Japan Air Gases has revealed that it has launched its ‘SMARTOP’ valve product for user-friendliness of gas cylinders, building on the high-performance technology of Air Liquide and providing users with innovative new users.

Industrial and medical gases are used in many sectors including steelmaking, chemicals, semiconductors, and healthcare, and delivered in a best-suitable way for the customer depending on the purpose and quantity of the gas used.

To that end, Japan Air Gases (Air Liquide Japan Ltd.) has introduces a sophisticated cylinder valve named the SMARTOP, to bring new values to gas cylinder users. The new innovation has been mounted onto PURESHIELD, shielding gas for welding, as of July 2008.

Cylinder gas supply is widely applied for customers with relatively small gas quantity, and welding and cutting applications such as for automotive and construction industries are typical examples of the supply method, as mobility is often required in those sectors for instance.

SMARTOP is a high-performance valve developed by the Air Liquide Group, and around 200,000 units have been already introduced by the group’s affiliates around the world.

The valve improves ease and efficiency of open-close operation of cylinders with one-touch lever, which is normally done with an industrial tool. Its higher visibility prevents unnecessary gas leak, and thus brings effects on safety and economy. A pressure gauge equipped to the valve enables operators to see the remaining gas amount at glance, without attaching a gas regulator as is normally the case with traditional cylinders. This can lead to a more efficient stock management.

Jean-Francois Lecouffe, General Manager of Industrial Merchant Business Division at Japan Air Gases, commented, “Since Air Liquide pioneered the industrial gas business of Japan in 1907, cylindered gases for industrial use, particularly welding and cutting, have been a key product of ours.”

“I am glad that we can bring our customers this innovative package, combining more-than-one-century experience and expertise, ahead of others in Japan. I believe that our customers will enjoy new values such as user-friendliness, safety, and efficiency with using SMARTOP.”