For many, this method of production is tried and tested and has proved both reliable and economical. Gavin Whitlock reports.
On-site gas generation is nothing new to manufacturers and processors in many industry sectors, which rely on regular supplies of ultra high purity (UHP) nitrogen or other industrial gases, for their production facility. For many OEMs and processors this method of production is tried and tested and has proved both reliable and economical.
However, increasingly, competition is forcing some forward-thinking manufacturers to reconsider this arrangement as they explore new ways to benefit from quality on-site UHP gas supplies, without the responsibility of on-site management and up-keep. This new approach to on-site gas generation can help them to achieve the competitive edge they are seeking, while staying focused on core manufacturing activities.
In addition to these new management solutions, recent technological advances, which have made them more modular in design, have helped to make on-site gas generation a more viable alternative for a wider range of manufacturers. By tailoring solutions to specific requirements, the latest gas generation systems are capable of driving efficiency and optimising production as well as providing valuable management benefits.
Gas for glass
For one world-leading glass manufacturer, Pilkington, plans to increase production at its flat glass production plant in Gladbeck, Germany, provided an opportunity to review its approach to on-site gas generation. Pilkington's Gladbeck site produces two brands of specialist flat glass for applications in the building and automotive industries: Pilkington Optifloat and Pilkington Optiwhite. The latter is an exceptionally clear glass, sought after by designers and architects, and has been used in prestige construction projects all over Germany including the Reichstag dome in Berlin.
Specialist glass-making processes are extremely sensitive to oxidisation and for this reason, float glass processing usually takes place in a controlled atmosphere, which requires large quantities of very pure nitrogen.
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