Market Conditions Drive Need for Smart Argon Tank Planning
Rules of thumb to help simplify your life and your job
A Rule of Thumb is a term that probably originated by the many ways a thumb is used for measurement within many different fields, from brewing, to building, to art. Today, it is commonly used to refer to a practical rule that is based on experience. Below are some useful Rules of Thumb you might use in your personal and professional lives:
- If you want to improve something, then measure it.
- Use less than 10% of the credit that’s available to you.
- When the snowstorm of the century bears down on you, don’t drink too much red wine the first night of the blizzard.
When it comes to picking the right sized argon gas tank or cylinder, WestAir has found a couple of useful Rules of Thumb you should consider:
- For gases such as argon, oxygen or nitrogen, if you use more than 20 cylinders-per-month, you should consider taking advantage of a dewar storage systems.
- If you find you are using 2-to-3 dewars-per-week you may consider a MicroBulk solution.
Why change now?
Increases in energy and infrastructure construction activity has increased demand for argon gas in the United States. However, argon production has not kept up with this increase in demand. As a result, you’ve probably experienced price increases for the argon gas you use in your applications.
In addition to managing increased material costs, you’re probably also under pressure to improve all your Key Performance Indicators like throughput, quality and labor expenses.
Making the right choice between cylinders, cylinder packs, MicroBulk or liquid bulk can help you address a wide variety of cost reduction and productivity improvement issues.
Single cylinders and cylinder packs have their place
If you need mobility, cylinders are probably your best solution. You can easily move cylinders around your workshop or lab. Also, if you occasionally need large volumes of gas, you can take advantage of cylinder packs as a practical storage solution to cope with intermittent large applications.
Isn’t liquid storage just for large scale operations?
Many manufacturing applications use argon or nitrogen gas for inert purging and blanketing. In addition, many process in the pharmaceutical, chemical and food processing industries require secure gas supplies for optimum results.
For welding and cutting, the right mode of supply reduces costs and minimize downtime to help ensure maximum efficiency. Each process application is different and depending on the volume of gas used, it could be more practical to switch from cylinders or cylinder packs, to MicroBulk or liquid storage.
MicroBulk systems can be as small as 230 liters. This has proven to be cost-effective for many operations that use 15 to 20 cylinders per month.
But MicroBulk, and bulk storage, provide benefits beyond cost savings. Liquid storage simplifies stock control and management. Plus, liquid storage provides important safety and productivity benefits. For example, most compressed gas cylinders weigh can weigh more than 200 pounds and therefore must be handled with care. MicroBulk storage systems help you reduce the risk of injury associated with cylinder changes, as well as downtime. Also, in the case of welding applications, liquid storage also means that compressed gases are made available to the welder at a much lower pressure, which reduces risks and improves safety..
When is MicroBulk not a good fit?
If you’re considering MicroBulk storage for mixed gases, a MicroBulk system may require more capital investment. The proper MicroBulk storage system may require more than one storage tank. and a mixer or blending system. Also, MicroBulk systems are not great for mobile welding applications where the welder must work in hard-to-reach locations where single cylinders can fit.
But in general, however, liquid storage tanks (i.e., MicroBulk and bulk) is an extremely versatile and cost-effective solution for most moderate to high volume applications that require of pure gases like argon and nitrogen.
Where can I find out more Argon Tank supply planning?
Many gas and gas equipment suppliers have Application Engineers sit down and analyze your processes and systems, and recommend the right supply system.
WestAir Gases & Equipment has been helping customers design and implement gas-related processes and systems for over 60 years.
You can schedule an Application Survey where WestAir Application Engineer will come on site to analyze your processes and systems, and recommend the right supply system. Contact WestAir at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 937-8247.