Rapidly growing demand in the industrial sector has seen nitrogen generation equipment supplier Nitralife recently achieving the milestone of having supplied more than 100 customised Nitracut generators to the fabrication and industrial sector over the past four years.
“With each new sector and application, we have developed greater expertise and understanding, which has allowed us to offer customers the best and most appropriate technology and solution for their application,” says Nitralife MD Tom Sowry.
While the company’s nitrogen generators have similar designs for the various applications to which it supplies, it adjusts each variation, which includes purity, production volume and pressure, according to the customer’s required specifications. While each generator for each application across the industries differs, these units can all deliver on-site, on-demand, 24/7 high purity nitrogen supply.
“As our machines are generally custom-built for each customer, we are also able to include or remove accessories, such as digital purity monitors and digital flow meters. We have also introduced a nitrogen booster on our range of Nitracut generators to boost these generators’ cutting capability in the fabrication sector. Further, as we supply customers in new industrial sectors, this creates an increased awareness and demand for our nitrogen generator solutions,” notes Sowry.
Nitralife is expanding its solutions across more industries, including metal fabrication, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and the food and beverage sector in particular. Sowry states that the company is fortunate that it supplies into a specific niche in the steel and fabrication industry, and demand for the nitrogen systems, on average, has increased over the past two years.
“Covid-19 has negatively affected some of the markets we supply into. However, we have benefited from shortages or interruptions in traditional gas supply, where customers were pushed to search beyond their traditional sources of power and gas supply, and to produce more efficiently at a lower cost.
“We have also seen an increase of higher-powered lasers brought into the market. These lasers require higher volumes of nitrogen to cut thicker steel,” notes Sowry.
The increased demand for nitrogen generation has also been owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen a rapidly growing demand for medical-grade oxygen and gas cylinders. This has resulted in the repurposing of nitrogen gas cylinders, as traditional suppliers try to keep pace with gas demand.
“As we are fortunate enough to supply into a variety of industries, we were able to maintain supply into the opencast mining industry which continued to operate throughout the national lockdown as this and a few other industries were deemed ‘essential’ by government.
“I would describe us as a lean and agile business. “The Covid-19 shutdown last year gave us an opportunity to reassess where we were at the time and where to focus our energy in the changing conditions,” explains Sowry.
The steel and fabrication sectors are essential to industry, and form the backbone and bedrock of the economy. There will always be a demand for the manufacturing of new products, machines and systems for new operations and uses, as well as the requisition of parts and spares for maintenance and repairs.
To this end, Sowry states, these industries will constantly require a reliable gas supply, to ensure operational continuity and efficient production.
“As other industries began experiencing shortages from their existing gas suppliers, many started contacting Nitralife for their nitrogen supply. “This opened up previously unexplored markets for us, which we are now servicing,” Sowry concludes.