Air Products have been named amongst the winners of the Queens Awards for 2006.

The awards, established more than 40 years ago to promote British enterprise as a force for good in the world, are becoming ever more finely tuned to the changing needs of modern business. This is reflected in the diverse range of winners from a $quot;green$quot; printing company to a firm which trains people how to taste beer.

Air Products, which has a depot in Didcot, was given a prize for innovation for its Integra gas cylinders. Air Products says the product was developed as a response to feedback from the metal fabrication industry, is unique to the UK market and was designed to make welding easier and safer.

It features a built-in regulator, is 23 percent lighter and shorter than traditional cylinders (but contains the same gas volume), has a quick-connect gas outlet and a built-in contents gauge.

Technology director Prof John Irven said, $quot;We have been listening to our customers' requirements and developed cylinders that are lighter, easier to handle and safer with their integrated valve and gas control functions.$quot;