The Linde Distributor Association (LDA), formerly known as the Airco Distributor Association, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The LDA has sustained ongoing partnerships with key vendors since its inception in 1993 and has grown to include 70 member companies who have over 400 retail locations throughout the US.

Together, LDA members make over $1 billion in annual purchases and have earned up to $27 million in rebates in the group’s lifetime. Products purchased include wire and cable, abrasives, tools, gas apparatus, leathers and clothing, MIG and TIG replacement parts, plasma cutting equipment, replacement torch tips, welding helmets, cylinders, cryogenic storage equipment and tank maintenance services.

Linde North America provides marketing and administrative support to the association, which enables its independent gases and equipment distributor members to leverage their purchasing power to achieve volume discounts and earn such rebates from equipment suppliers.

Mark Falconer, president of Minneapolis Oxygen Company and co-chairman of the LDA, reflected, “Minneapolis Oxygen has been a member of LDA since its inception. It’s been both a pleasant and profitable experience. It is the best and most successful buying group in our industry because of our integrity and loyalty to our vendor partners.”

Terry Hall, also co-chairman of the LDA, recalled the early days when the discussion of a buying group began. “The concept for the association came about when members of the Distributor Advisory Board began to explore ways to take advantage of Airco’s buying power and purchasing expertise,” said Hall, who was then vice-president sales, Distributor Gases. “The result was to start a distributor association that could leverage its buying power for all sorts of products and services from qualified vendors. And, as they say, the rest is history.”