June 26, 2020 - Chemical processors have been identified by governments around the world as part of the critical infrastructure because they produce materials needed to produce products used in the fight against COVID-19, including antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, surfactants for soaps and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gowns and face shields. And, these customers rely on Air Products' gases and technologies to help produce these important products.
For example, some of our chemical processing customers are converting their daily production operations to produce hand sanitizers to support COVID-19 relief efforts. A number of these companies are supplying, and in instances donating, these products to hospitals and other health institutions. The high alcohol content in hand sanitizer could create a flammability risk during production or packaging. To minimize this risk, customers use our nitrogen inerting technologies to help keep their operations safe. Inerting, also known as blanketing, is the process of replacing the atmospheric air around a substance or material with a non-reactive gas, such as nitrogen or argon, to ensure it stays in a passive or unreactive state.
Additionally, Air Products provides both large and small volumes of nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, as well as gas separation and purification technologies and technical support to the chemical processing industry. Our offerings play an important role in several other applications used in this industry, such as:
We are proud to help these businesses operate smarter, cleaner and more economically, while contributing to the COVID-19 relief efforts.
May 8, 2020 - At the end of April, our team in Gent, Belgium, completed a 10-day turnaround of the Gent ASU2 for essential maintenance. It was the first European shutdown of a large ASU since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and was a complex undertaking, involving confined space entry, working in small areas and potentially close together. The impact of COVID-19 was felt throughout the process, right from ordering materials in early 2020. The normal molecular sieve supplier in China was already in lockdown, and unable to accept orders. A European alternative was found but was based in Italy, which soon experienced its own lockdown measures. Similarly, the approximately 1,400 new screen nozzles required were fabricated in France, also under a strict lockdown. Work by both the local team and Procurement was vital in getting them on time, with the final batch arriving the evening before they needed to be installed. The teams involved did an excellent job in preparing a very detailed COVID-19 safety plan. The focus was on maintaining physical distancing at all times, good hygiene and appropriate personal protective measures. To help separate and protect employees and contractors, different colored high-visibility jackets were issued, each printed with a reminder to maintain distance. P2 face masks were provided for all personnel on site and worn at all times. Each group of contractors had separate break facilities, outside hand wash stations were installed, and extra cleaning and disinfection done frequently. This plan satisfied the Belgian authorities, and the inspector who visited the first day of the shutdown was pleased, with no negative remarks. And all the hard work resulted in successful on time completion of the work with zero incidents or accidents.
June 3, 2020 - Air Products' customer engineer teams are responsible for the installation, start-up and maintenance of the equipment customers use every day to supply gas to their applications, such as tanks, tunnels, gasifiers, control panels, pipes, valves, control systems, telemetry, and more.
In locations difficult to reach because of the COVID-19 pandemic, augmented reality technology is affording a unique solution, providing versatility, cost savings, safety and more agile start-ups.
Having launched an augmented reality pilot program last year, Air Products ramped up in the early months of 2020 in response to COVID-19, increasing our scope to provide customers with a new level of support in challenging circumstances.
In Spain, for example, Air Products'/Carburos Metalicos' technicians recently used augmented reality to address an electrical issue with a frequency inverter during the start-up of a tunnel freezer. Usually, several Air Products' experts are on-site at a customer location to address similar issues, but an on-site technician—wearing augmented reality glasses, working hands-free, and interacting via audio—worked with a remote engineer to successfully address the customer issue in real time.
May 19, 2020 - Aluminum and steel producers are supplying essential products for medical, transportation, energy, communications, food, agriculture and other necessary supply chains during COVID-19.
As an example, one of our aluminum manufacturing customers increased production of extruded medical components for ventilators, hospital bed frames, analyzer chassis for coronavirus test kits, medical oxygen carts, MRI equipment parts, and more. This customer also produces extrusions used for emergency response and key infrastructure equipment.
We are proud to supply them gases, technology, and technical support to melt, process, and extrude high quality aluminum products for these critical industries.
Essential together during this challenging time.