North Carolina Specialty Hospital’s (NCSH) plant manager is sleeping better at night knowing that Air Products’ CryoEase® microbulk solutions are delivering a reliable, uninterrupted supply of oxygen to his facility.

NCSH, located in Durham, North Carolina, is one of many smaller volume gas users benefitting from the numerous advantages of microbulk supply over traditional cylinder or dewar supply. This supply option has proven so efficient and cost-effective that NCSH has again turned to Air Products to identify and provide the optimum gas supply option for its recently-opened Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center, also located in Durham.

NCSH performs approximately 1,100 surgical procedures a month, using liquid oxygen in both its operating and recovery rooms. Prior to switching to microbulk oxygen supply, NCSH received its oxygen in dewars, which required the plant manager to monitor supply levels daily and change-out dewars three times a week. With Air Products’ microbulk solutions, NCSH has eliminated the time and labor associated with dewar handling, as well as the supply interruption that occurs during dewar change-outs. In addition, Air Products has reduced NCSH’s risk of product runout by installing its Telalert®telemetry system to monitor the hospital’s gas consumption so that oxygen can be automatically delivered when inventory nears a predetermined reorder level.

“The changeover from dewars to the microbulk system was seamless; we were never without oxygen,” said Ron Roghelia, plant manager at North Carolina Specialty Hospital. “The people at Air Products really understand my business, and they understand that my time is valuable here. With microbulk supply, I never have to check oxygen supply levels, I never need to handle dewars, and I never need to make a phone call to reorder product.”

Microbulk is a modern concept for smaller volume users where gas is supplied by filling on-site versus the traditional method of swapping full for empty cylinders and dewars. This supply option has eliminated both the significant product loss that NCSH experienced during dewar change-outs and the residual product at the bottom of the dewars that went unused and returned to the supplier.

With Air Products’ specially designed tank trucks—which are smaller than traditional bulk tankers and able to access tighter delivery locations—fitted with a special metering system, microbulk customers only pay for gas that is delivered and used.