As revealed recently in gasworld, helium is a high demand resource – therefore it was a cause for celebration when Air Product’s innovation enabled key helium customer, Philips to reduce its reliance on the invaluable product.

Yesterday, the electronics giant, Philips, celebrated Air Products’ innovation with a statement award. The North American industrial gases firm was awarded the ‘Innovation for Growth 2011’ award through the Royal Philips Electronics Supplier Awards program; an accolade which recognises valued contribution to customers.

John Van Sloun, General Manager of Worldwide Helium at Air Products, reflected, “Customer service is essential in today’s globally competitive market and we are very proud to have our dedicated efforts in this essential area recognised by Philips. We worked closely with Philips in restructuring a segment of its operations to reduce their overall usage of helium. The result benefits Philips from an operations and cost standpoint, and we retain a satisfied customer.”

Van Sloun added that the reduced sales of helium to Philips will be used to grow Air Products' helium business beyond magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and to supply the increasing demand for the product in several other product markets.

In particular, Air Products received the award for its work together with Philips to significantly reduce the amount of helium used at Philips’ Latham New York manufacturing facility. The award was presented at a ceremony held in Andover, Massachusetts.