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Specialized Air Products Delivery Trucks Target Laser Cutting Industry

Air Products' new fleet of Microbulk Solutions delivery trucks are equipped with upgraded supply capabilities intended to decrease production downtime and improve operational efficiencies for the growing laser cutting industry. The new Microbulk trucks, to be rolled out in North America in 2008, are one of the featured offerings to be discussed by Air Products at the FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show 2007 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. from Nov. 11-14.

Air Products' new Microbulk Solutions delivery trucks aim to make good on their name by providing an operational solution for laser cutters. The delivery trucks supply high purity nitrogen, oxygen, and argon to meet the demand of high performance laser cutting and welding and are able to reduce downtime, while a facility continues operating, by delivering product at pressures up to 29 bar .- a typical operating range when using nitrogen as a laser assist gas for cutting.

"Traditional delivery methods require the storage tank pressure to be blown-down or vented during delivery, resulting in wasted product and production interruptions. This isn't the case with Air Products' delivery system. The trucks are also equipped with innovative features such as auto shut-off, which reduces product loss during delivery, and submerged pumps for inert service, which eliminates cool-down and reduces delivery time," said John Tapley, business development manager-Microbulk for Air Products.

Tapley said that in addition to the new delivery trucks, Microbulk Solutions offer many advantages that traditional gas supply methods such as cylinders and dewars cannot match. Microbulk systems are available in storage tank sizes ranging from 230 to 2,000 liters. The Microbulk systems supply mode can prevent repeated change-out of cylinders and costly equipment downtime interruptions. Programmable digital liquid level gauges enable convenient inventory management and eliminate costly run-outs, and the need to store, order and track cylinders.

"These cost-effective storage and supply systems can reduce waste by eliminating residual gas returned to your supplier. In other words, you only pay for what you use. The maneuverable delivery trucks can get into tight spaces to supply permanently fixed storage tanks, and with the large-capacity tanks there is reduced delivery traffic to your site, creating a safer work environment for all employees," Tapley said. Microbulk's dedicated containers also help eliminate potential contamination and the risk of product mix up.

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