Harris A Solution for Expansion
Customized gas solutions for new labs
Over the past few years, increasing numbers of gas distributors have expanded their product lines to include specialty gas blends and high purity gases to meet their customer needs.
Many industries, including analytical, pharmaceutical, electronics and petrochemical benefit from the unique properties of specialty gases that help to improve yields, optimize performance and lower costs.
To support this growing trend, Ohio-based Harris Products Group has invested extensively in engineering and manufacturing resources to help distributors with their special gas handling requirements. Several of these projects involved customized gas solutions for new laboratories at the distributors’ facilities.
In 2019, for example, Harris Spec Gas Team worked with Keen Compressed Gas when the company constructed a new automated fill plant for both industrial and specialty gases in New Castle, Delaware. The facility included a lab that enabled Keen to produce more accurate mixes, including medical CO2, some CO mixes, flammable gases and other specialty mixes, many of which they had been buying from other sources. The laboratory, which is ISO accredited for testing and calibration to international standards, uses gas chromatography equipment calibrated to ensure that specifications are being met.
“Our market is a mixture of customers,” said Lawrence Priebe, Keen’s Safety and Quality Control Director.
“We have our fabrication welding shops but we also have a lot of biotech, pharmaceutical manufacturers and food facility manufacturers in our area. They require the higher-end calibration gas and we saw an opportunity to better serve their needs.”
Keen chose CryoVation, a New Jersey-based custom manufacturer and installer of innovative cryogenic liquid and industrial gas cylinder filling and distribution systems, to design the facility. The lab featured equipment for gas blending and also single gas monitoring equipment to detect trace oxygen, trace moisture, binary mixes, hydrocarbons and oxygen percentages for compliance testing. The design called for 45 gases to support the laboratory. The gas cylinder area or ‘farm’ was out of the laboratory, down a narrow hallway six feet wide by 25 feet wide.
To stage these 45 gases with an uninterrupted flow system, CryoVation and Keen called upon the Harris Products Group team of experts. National Sales Manager Matt Paradiso acted as the main Harris contact but called upon his fellow gas specialty products co-workers and their extensive experience working with distributors, laboratories and gas chromatography, to design a customized solution for this complex situation.
Harris took the list of gases that Keen intended to put into service, and provided the appropriate two-stage chrome-plated high purity regulators, pigtails with purge outlet valves equipment that would meet the high standards required. The Harris team also designed a custom solution that included 45 drop-down stations and a rack system that runs on both sides of the cylinder area in an organized manner. Paradiso presented a CAD drawing of the design and worked with CyroVation as the company installed 316 stainless steel eighth-inch outside diameter tubing that ran from the regulators up the wall into the ceiling and then dropped down into the analyzers or gas mixing stations.
The solution allowed Keen to deliver the high pure gas into the piping and instrumentation and produce the highest calibration possible.
“Demand for specialty gases is expected to continue to climb and this new laboratory enables us to serve our customers with the precise product they need in a very efficient manner,” said Priebe.
gasworld US Edition • December 2021 • gasworld.com/specialty-gas-zone