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Swagelok Southwestern Ontario

Your Authorized Swagelok Sales and Service Center

Gas Distribution Case Study

Gas distribution system at chemical company

200 Gas Lines. 1 Comprehensive Solution.

The Challenge

A major British chemical company uses dozens of specialty gases to perform research and development functions. Many of these gases can pose a significant risk to workers if they are not safely contained, making leak-tight gas distribution and handling throughout more than 200 gas lines a top priority. They also needed to find a way to reduce their gas panel replacement and maintenance costs, as replacing just 10% of gas panels cost an average of $58,500 (£45,000) per year.

Gas distribution system at chemical companyThe Solution

The company took advantage of the Swagelok® gas distribution program to enhance the safety of its system and realize new efficiencies.

An evaluation of the system identified several opportunities for improvement. Various components had been added over the years for purging and venting, creating unnecessary complexity. Removing critical relief valves via tapered, threaded connections during maintenance required significant labor time. And the customer’s use of different gas panels from multiple suppliers made planning ahead for replacement difficult.

Advisors identified opportunities to standardize gas panel design throughout the system, and Swagelok source inlets and gas panels were installed to establish reliable connection points between high-pressure source gases and the rest of the distribution system. New designs incorporated dedicated lines for safer purging, offered easier access to critical relief valves, enabled easier maintenance, and included a common panel footprint for improved workflow.

The Results

The configuration of the new panels enhanced operator safety and provided easier access and removal of critical relief valves. This helped reduce overall gas panel maintenance time by 75%.

The standardized Swagelok panels’ common design footprint also allowed the engineering team to reduce labor hours and improve overall efficiency. And the Swagelok panels can be serviced rather than replaced, helping the customer save over $52,000 (£40,000) every five years based on a 10% annual replacement rate with the old panels. The company also reduced their carbon footprint by eliminating leaks and frequent panel replacement.