One of Air Products South Africa’s long-term customers recently made the ‘switch’ from a cylinder-based mode of supply to the company’s CryoEase ‘total gas management system’, and is reaping the multiple benefits.

CryoEase is a method of liquid gas delivery which suits a manufacturing or fabrication facility where gas requirements have outstripped cylinder volume capability, and where the premises are large enough to house a large storage tank.

These criteria were all perfectly aligned to Budget Sheet Metal’s requirements, a family-run business which specialises in the manufacture of sheet metal parts and finished products.

The company specialises in stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium, and offers CNC punching, laser profiling, bending, jigging, Quality Assurance (QA), welding (including robotic welding), grinding, de-burring and finishing.

Budget Sheet Metal had recently up-scaled its operational footprint from two smaller premises to one large, 2,600m2 space in Randburg, and when renewing its gas supply contract with Air Products, looked at various options. Until then, the company had used cylinder gas supply from Air Products for more than a decade.

Air Products supplies Budget Sheet Metal with high purity (HP) specialty gas mixtures for various fabrication applications, notably as a coolant for use on its laser machinery. 

For the latter, while it has experienced steady growth of late, the nature of the business is such that demand is erratic, and based on ‘ad hoc’ jobs of varying sizes. Claudio Ferrari, Managing Director of Budget Sheet Metal (pictured), explained, “Depending on the job, consumption of gas can be quite significant, and we found that the cylinder method was becoming increasingly challenging.”

“There are various difficulties inherent in managing cylinder turnover, such as doing cylinder stock reconciliations and dealing with product loss.”

“With Air Products’ CryoEase system, we can meet high demand without interruptions in production. This is thanks to the size of the tank, which is based permanently at our premises, and to the fact that Air Products is consistently monitoring volume levels. We are furthermore impressed with the quality of the gas itself, and the mode of supply and delivery is a practical and effective solution which really suits our needs,” Ferrari added.

Gary Lombard, CryoEase Business Manager at Air Products, confirmed, “The beauty of CryoEase is that we can manage supply on a long-term basis without our customer needing to be involved in the ordering process.”

“With CryoEase, Budget Sheet Metal can focus on its operations without worrying about managing their gas, and without the fear of down-time or damage to materials in the event of an interruption in supply. Continuous flow means enhanced productivity, and enables the company to focus on growing the business. And as the business grows, Air Products will be there, managing our customer’s supply and demand proactively, every step of the way.”

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