Industrial gas supplier Afrox will boost its specialty gas mixture range with a R20m ($1.7m) investment to build an automated gravimetric filling plant, in addition to upgrading its analytical capabilities.

The new plant will allow the South African manufacturer a higher degree of accuracy when analysing its HiQ Life Science gases, the company’s custom blended range of specialty gas mixtures used in fertility treatment, clinical blood and pulmonary function testing.

It will also improve the analytical criteria of anaerobic and aerobic specialty gas mixtures used to maintain biological atmospheres in incubators for cell culture growth.

The automated nature of the plant is set to increase the company’s production rate at a higher rate of success.

Flammable and oxidant special gases filling bays.

Flammable and oxidant special gases filling bays.

Source: Afrox.

“As the demand for more complex mixtures increase over time, our ability to produce these within acceptable lead times diminished and reject or failure rates increased significantly,” said Pieter Moolman, Product Manager Packaged Special Gases, Afrox.

The new plant will become the main source for all Afrox made-to-order (MTO) mixtures supplying South Africa and its neighbouring countries.

Due to a further R5m ($340,000 upgrade, Afrox can now analyse substances with concentrations as low as one part per million, potentially even as low as parts per million.

The company provides a Certificate of Analyse for each mixture.