Linde North America is relocating its National Operations Center, the nerve centre of its customer supply organisation, to a newer and bigger location in Stewartsville, New Jersey.

Linde’s National Operations Center (NOC) houses the production forecasting, delivery scheduling and even remote monitoring and operation of the company’s network of over 70 atmospheric and process gas plants throughout the US, Canada and Mexico.

“Moving to Stewartsville enables Linde to put key components of our supply, distribution and engineering functions under one roof. That way our people can help each other at a moment’s notice to keep customers’ businesses operating without a hitch,” said Steve Jennings, Head of Scheduling, who oversees the NOC.

Linde’s NOC began in 1986 as a five-person operation in a small office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, adjacent to an air separation plant Linde operates. It was created to consolidate the scheduling and planning of the company’s bulk gas deliveries, a job previously carried out at each production location.

Two decades and three major expansions later, the centre’s 150 employees now handle nearly all aspects of keeping Linde’s 10,000-plus bulk customers in North America supplied with the gases they need to keep their businesses running.

NOC employees schedule and dispatch some 35,000 deliveries a month, made by drivers who travel over 80m miles to deliver oxygen, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen, helium and carbon dioxide.

Besides product scheduling and remote plant operations, the NOC also houses functions such as customer engineering services, rail/logistics, energy services and safety, health, environment and quality.

“Linde is moving our NOC from Bethlehem because we wanted to provide added security to this critical centre of our business,$quot; added Jennings.

$quot;Moving 16 miles east puts us slightly closer to our North American headquarters in Murray Hill but still keeps us in the Lehigh Valley, where we’ve become an integral part of the local community,” Jennings said.

The new, 28,000 square foot location has also enabled Linde to upgrade most of the technology used to keep customers supplied, such as remote monitoring of customer inventory, operating and monitoring plant production and communicating with trucks on the road delivering to customers.

“It seems fitting that as the National Operations Center enters its third decade of existence, it does so in a facility that is equipped with the latest technological infrastructure and system redundancy to support Linde’s customers, even in the event of a major snowstorm or power outage along the East Coast,” Jennings added.