Reducing gas wastage

Shield Technologies leak detection equipment for compressed air. Shield Technologies leak detection equipment for compressed air.

INDUSTRIAL operations are keeping gas wastage to a minimum by making use of the specialised Shielding Gas Saving System manufactured in-house by Shield Technologies, a leading expert on products designed specifically for welding and industrial applications. 

An important component of this technology is that the Shielding Gas Saving System provides accurate measurement of gas usage including identifying and quantifying leaks, and prevents surges at start-up, allowing for an even flow during welding, while enabling the user to conduct routine leak detection surveys. The result has been significant gas and financial savings for clients, such as Dynamic Automotive Systems, which has subsequently reduced gas costs by more than 60%. 

Dynamic Automotive Systems specialises in the supply of seat metal to South African automotive assemblers, and the export of seat metal subcomponents to offshore customers. Technical manager Robin Venter notes that monthly gas purchases have been reduced from R105,000 to R40,000, since the Port Elizabeth-based company adopted the Shield Gas Economiser System in June 2012, noting the potential for further reductions after additional leak detection and repairs. 

 “Shield Technologies provided the technical know-how that enabled us to cut gas consumption by optimising regulator settings throughout the plant. The Shielding Gas Saving System reduces gas consumption by lowering the pressure in the gas hoses, and has been instrumental in ensuring that Dynamic Automotive Systems remains globally competitive,” he explains. 

Shield Technologies CEO Wayne Holt highlights the fact that most users of metal inert gas (MIG) in welding applications consume up to three times the amount of shielding gas that they should, due to excess gas stored in the delivery hose. 

“The Shielding Gas Economiser is designed to restrict gas flow surge at the start of a weld by reducing the pressure and volume of gas in the hose. The small pressure drop in the Shielding Gas Economiser hose, together with the smaller volume, can reduce gas wastage by up to 80%,” he notes. 

Another successful application of the Shield Gas Economiser System is at the Johannesburg-based manufacturing facility of mining safety equipment manufacturer New Concept Mining (NCM), which adopted a total of 85 Shield Gas Economisers and two flow measurement devices in 2011.

NCM’s Gerhard van Beeneke points out that the company has reduced its argon and carbon dioxide consumption by 30%. “NCM is always looking for ways to reduce its overheads and cut expenses. One of the areas identified for saving costs was in gas consumption. Shield’s Gas Economiser technology has provided the necessary solution for us, and we are pleased with the savings that have been realised to date.”

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