Airgas Inc. has announced that its Airgas Refrigerants, Inc. plant in Smyrna is successfully operating an on-location cylinder recertification facility, following approval from the US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
The approval allows Airgas to recertify low-pressure cylinders manufactured to 4B series DOT specifications including 4B, 4BA, and 4BW. Airgas Refrigerants is one of the country’s largest distributors and reclaimers of refrigerant gases.
“Airgas is in the cylinder business, as well as the refrigerant business,” said Pat Kitchin, Director of Operations for Airgas Refrigerants. “We now have the ability to recertify and refurbish our own refrigerant cylinder fleet instead of strictly relying upon third party vendors to handle this type of low pressure cylinder. We’re reducing the time it takes to turn these assets around from six weeks down to one.”
The company has created the recertification operation to further streamline its processes and reduce cost and waste. By recertifying its own fleet of cylinders, Airgas Refrigerants eliminates a third party service provider, putting cylinders back in service faster and delivering better asset utilisation.
The Airgas Refrigerants recertification qualifications include visual inspections, hydrostatic testing, and direct expansion testing. The cylinder recertification facility was created in anticipation of the growing market for reclaiming used refrigerants, especially HCFC22 or R22, which the EPA has designated for a phase out of new production by the end of 2019.
“This latest Airgas Refrigerants’ process improvement demonstrates the company’s commitment to reducing waste and creating efficiencies to continue to deliver the best products and services in the refrigeration industry,” adds Kitchin.
The commissioning of the cylinder recertification facility follows Airgas Refrigerants’ 2012 announcement of Refrigatron™, the country’s largest capacity refrigerant reclamation system.
Airgas, Inc. through its subsidiaries, is one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and related products. Airgas is a leading US producer of atmospheric gases with 16 air separation plants, a leading producer of carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest US suppliers of safety products, and a leading US supplier of refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals. More than 15,000 employees work in approximately 1,100 locations, including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers. Airgas also markets its products and services through e-Business, catalog and telesales channels. Its national scale and strong local presence offer a competitive edge to its diversified customer base.