Signs of recovery in the manufacturing and fabrication segments fuelled optimism among the more than 40 industrial gas distributors who attended the 15th annual meeting of the Airco Distributor Association (ADA) held in Miami, Florida, in late October.

The annual meeting provides the opportunity for ADA members to share ideas for business improvement and to network with preferred vendors.

Since its inception in 1993, ADA has enabled independent distributors to leverage the purchasing power of an association to achieve volume discounts and earn rebates – and Linde North America provides marketing and administrative support to the ADA.

Throughout the two-day event, 21 vendors participated in breakout sessions to discuss product lines, promote rebate programs and introduce special sales available only to meeting attendees.

“We had a very good meeting with open dialogue at all times,” said Mark Falconer, ADA Co-Chairman and President of Minneapolis Oxygen Company, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Bob VanKirk, Head of key customers and distributors for Linde North America, spoke to the group about Linde’s business and the industrial gas industry in general. His presentation covered industrial gas supply and demand, Linde’s bulk and packaged gas network and integrated supply offerings for industries, including food and beverage, chemicals, electronics, manufacturing, construction and energy.

“This year’s ADA meeting was a genuine success with a renewed sense of optimism among both the distributors and the vendors as we recover from the economic crisis of the past couple of years,” said VanKirk.

“Linde is proud to support and be a growing part of a strong and vibrant group like the ADA. Linde will continue to work with the ADA membership to further strengthen our group and find ways for all involved -- vendors, distributors and Linde -- to prosper in the coming years.”

The ADA has 78 independent members who have over 400 retail locations throughout the US. Today the members represent approximately $1bn in annual purchases and have earned about $28m in rebates since inception achieved through compliance with their vendors.