NITROGEN is an essential requirement in a number of applications such as chemical manufacturing, food and beverage processing and packaging, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and laser cutting, which are dependent on this industrial gas as an integral part of the production processes.
According to Zandra van der Westhuizen, Business Line Manager of Atlas Copco Compressor Technique’s Industrial Air division, the company’s advanced NGP+ Nitrogen Generators have been designed to supply nitrogen onsite at up to 99,999% purity and deliver a potential 50% reduction in running costs.
“Onsite industrial gas (nitrogen and oxygen) generation offers a much more sustainable and cost-efficient solution compared to cylinder or bulk liquid supply which require transport, handling, storage and administration,” she said, adding that the company has extended its NGP+ nitrogen generator range to include nine energy-efficient, high-capacity models.
Van der Westhuizen said these generators have been designed from the outset to protect the process application and the users’ equipment investment, offering onsite nitrogen at flows ranging from 5,4 l/s (18 Nm³/h) to 867 l/s (2870 Nm³/h).
Operating with PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) technology, these plug-and-play NGP+ Nitrogen Generators can simply be plugged into existing clean, dry compressed air installation to offer an independent, reliable, secure, flexible and cost-effective supply of nitrogen.
The company claims that the augmented family of NGP+ nitrogen generators offer up to 50% reduction in running costs compared to other nitrogen supply methods.
Core to the NGP+ is the Carbon Molecular Sieve; small oxygen molecules penetrate the pores while large nitrogen molecules by-pass the carbon molecular sieve. The NGP+ generators are equipped with an automatic “off-spec” purity control check that prevents nitrogen with a purity level less than the fixed threshold from reaching a sensitive application.
Additionally, fail-safe sensors continuously monitor feed air conditions such as temperature, pressure and pressure dewpoint. “If the feed air does not match the generators specifications, it is automatically blown off prior to entering the machine to eradicate the risk of contamination and component damage,” Van der Westhuizen said.
“In addition, in some sectors like rubber, metal production and general industry, customers are able to refine the actual purity level required for any given application while benefitting from optimum economic operation.”
The future-proof design of the NGP+ generators, which includes the integration of SMARTLINK, aligns these units with Industry 4.0 applications. This data monitoring program, collects, compares and analyses data in real-time to deliver an intelligent assessment of generator system performance. Through machine monitoring and assessment customers are able to achieve increased reliability, reduced downtime and identify energy optimisation opportunities.
The NGP+ generators complement Atlas Copco’s existing range of onsite gas solutions, including both nitrogen and oxygen generators, available in membrane and PSA technologies.