Meeting a rapidly growing demand in the industrial sector Nitralife – a local pioneer in the manufacture and supply of nitrogen generation equipment since 1996 – recently achieved the milestone of having supplied more than 100 customised Nitracut generators to the fabrication and industrial sector over the past four years.
“With each new sector and application, we have developed a greater understanding and expertise, which has allowed us to offer customers the best and most appropriate technology and solution for their application,” says Tom Sowry, Managing Director of Nitralife.
“Furthermore, as we supply customers in new industrial sectors, this creates an increased awareness and demand for our nitrogen generator solutions,” he says.
“We are expanding our solutions across more industries: including metal fabrication, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and the food and beverage sector in particular,” Sowry remarks.
The increased demand for nitrogen generation has also been due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen a rapidly growing demand for medical-grade oxygen and gas cylinders. This has resulted in the repurposing of nitrogen gas cylinders, as traditional suppliers try to keep pace with gas demands.
“As customers began experiencing shortages from their existing gas suppliers, many started contacting Nitralife for their nitrogen supply. It opened up new markets for us that we hadn’t even thought of,” Sowry advises.
With more than 24 years of nitrogen generator manufacturing knowledge, the company is no newcomer in the field. In the transportation and mining sectors, Nitralife became the first company globally to actively promote the use of nitrogen inflation gas in truck and passenger vehicle tyres, and in large off-the-road (OTR) mine vehicle tyres.
Entering the industrial sector in 2016, Nitralife diversified into supplying Nitracut nitrogen generators to the metal laser, plasma cutting and fabrication industries, which has become increasingly popular.
Meanwhile, Nitraspray was developed in 2018 for the supply of nitrogen for spray painting in various industrial applications.
“Being the only nitrogen gas generator manufacturer in Southern Africa – with an easily accessible, local footprint in Gauteng – Nitralife is able to offer a short turnaround time in terms of building and delivering our generators. This allows customers to rapidly have an exceptionally cost-competitive, on-demand and on-site supply of high-purity nitrogen, 24/7,” Sowry points out.
Further improving and setting Nitralife’s product portfolio apart is the huge advantage of on-site and on-demand nitrogen production.
“Many of the new customers, who approached us due to supply shortages from their usual suppliers, found that on-site nitrogen generation was far simpler and more affordable than they thought, and this was a great opportunity for us as a business,” Sowry explains.
“We also continuously develop and include new capabilities, as demonstrated by our full-solution offering of nitrogen generators, boosters and guaranteed high-quality air compressors. The compressors, manufactured by German compressed air specialist Kaeser, can also be serviced and maintained by our qualified technicians.
As nitrogen quality and purity become increasingly important in efficient industrial operations, and specified by customers, the delivery of high-purity nitrogen is non-negotiable. In some cases, we have fitted inline purity monitors onto our customers pipelines, showing real-time nitrogen purities.” Sowry explains.
On this point, he notes that it is important to maintain nitrogen generators regularly to ensure they produce the right level of purity and quality of nitrogen:
“We strive to provide the best solutions from a nitrogen purity and quality perspective. While many customers know their businesses thoroughly, they may not know nitrogen as well! We possess the required knowledge and – by taking responsibility for the purity and quality requirements – we can deliver a truly quality product, ensuring that our customers can have peace of mind while focusing on their core business.”
No limit to nitrogen
“South African industry is typically very adaptable and flexible, and customers are open to new ideas, technology and innovation – such as getting away from traditional gas supply and trying our nitrogen generators for on-site, on-demand nitrogen.
This means that there is always an opportunity for us to deliver new nitrogen solutions to the broad variety of industrially-orientated sectors in this country – and beyond. If approached carefully and strategically, this can only result in steady growth and success,” Sowry concludes.