August 2009, Issue 18
In This Issue

Quotes and Quips
Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
– Robert Collier

Contact Us
You can request more information or any of the documents referenced in this issue by calling us at 800-654-4567 code 730, or by contacting us online.

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Metals and Money

We understand that accurate forecasting and planning requires an understanding of the movement of indices that are key for your industry. Air Products’ team of economists has compiled the graphs below to illustrate three-year trends for utility and metals pricing as well as industrial production. We will continue to update you with this important information in future issues.

Industrial Production IndexesIndustrial Production Indexes
Source: US Federal Reserve Bank Board of Governors
Click here to view the graph.

Utility Pricing MetricsUtility Pricing Metrics
Source: Inside F.E.R.C., Bureau of Labor Statistics
Click here to view the graph.

Steel PricesSteel Prices
Source: Market Pricing
Click here to view the graph.

Key Metals Prices Key Metals Prices
Source: London Metals Exchange
Click here to view the graph.


As the world economy struggles, businesses continue to search for ways to reduce costs by improving the efficiency of their operations. Industrial gases, due to their common usage in metals operations, are often overlooked as a source of improving the bottom line. Air Products, with the knowledge, experience and skills accumulated from maintaining thousands of industrial gas systems around the world, can perform a customized audit at your facility to help improve your quality and production as well as yield safety benefits for your operation. And in most cases, customers who implemented our recommendations realized cost savings well in excess of the audit costs within just a few months. To learn more about the type of benefits you can realize through an Air Products industrial gas audit and how we can help improve your bottom line, read the full article or contact us to speak to an industrial engineer.
> read the article


From its earliest discovery more than 275 years ago, oxygen has been recognized for its unique physical and chemical properties and for its ability to sustain life and to promote combustion. Oxygen is a highly reactive nonmetallic element that readily forms compounds. At standard temperature and pressure, oxygen is found as a diatomic gas with the formula O2 and makes up 20.9% of the volume of air. The gas has no color, odor or taste and is slightly heavier than air and slightly water soluble. Even though most applications use oxygen in the gaseous form, it can be cooled to a pale blue liquid at extremely low temperatures (–297°F/–183°C) and is often stored and transported in this liquid form. Although oxygen itself is nonflammable, combustible materials burn more strongly in oxygen, and an excess of oxygen promotes rapid combustion.

Large-scale production of oxygen was not possible until 1895, when a process of liquefaction, purification and separation was introduced. Originally, oxygen was produced at a central plant and then transported to customers. In 1951, Air Products took it to another level by commissioning the first on-site oxygen generation plant at a steel customer’s site. Today, we still produce oxygen through these methods.

The discovery that oxygen promotes combustion is the basis for most industrial uses of oxygen. The metals industry is the number one user of commercially produced oxygen in the world! Other industries that use oxygen include glass, pulp and paper, petroleum refineries, chemical production, environmental applications, medical, pharmaceuticals, and aerospace.

Learn more about the benefits of oxygen and how your process can benefit by using it.
> read the full article


What's New

Powering Up
Side-by-side, 20 hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts are now operating alongside traditional lead-acid battery forklifts used in daily warehouse operations at the Defense Distribution Depot Susquehanna Pennsylvania (DDSP) in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. Air Products is the lead contractor for this R&D demonstration pilot project and has installed the company’s hydrogen fueling station technology at the site to support the operation. Over a two-year period, data will be collected and analyzed comparing costs and operational characteristics for the technologies as part of the Department of Defense’s development and commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell technologies. There are many anticipated operational, economic, and environmental benefits to the trend-setting hydrogen fuel-cell technology, including decreased dependence on imported oil, maximized operation time, and no wear-down performance challenges, as well as being more environmentally friendly with no lead-acid battery storage and disposal issues.


Ask the Expert

Tom Philips - expert

Tom Philips
Principal Applications Engineer

Q: Can I determine if the oxidation in the cooling section of my continuous furnace is caused by air ingress or a water leak?

A: With no special equipment and just a simple test, you can identify the source of your oxidation.

> Click here for the easy details ...

> View past "Ask the Expert" questions, answers and videos.

> Have a question for us? Contact us online.


Where to Find Us

Our representatives hope to see you at these events to discuss your metals processing needs.


Meet This Quarter's Metal Head

Matt Hawkins

The Boilermaker Connection
Joining Air Products 12 years ago as part of an intern/co-op program with his college, Purdue University, Matt Hawkins was attracted to the company because of the wide range of opportunities. Little did he know then that the ties between Purdue and Air Products are many, and indeed continue today in Matt’s position as a principal industry engineer serving the foundry, cement/lime kiln, and nonferrous industries in the Midwest United States.

Hawkins received his mechanical engineering degree from Purdue and notes that while there are a number of Purdue grads at Air Products, the reverse is also true, with several former employees now professors and administrators at the university.

“Working in the Midwest region, I come in contact with a lot of fellow Purdue grads,” Hawkins states. “Many of our customers attended the university or have a connection to the Boilermakers.” And whether they are rooting for or against Purdue, Hawkins says that what he has in common with his Midwest customers is finding ways to add value to their operations. Hawkins explains, “Air Products has technology that can really improve a customer’s process and add value for them. To me that is the best part of the job.”


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Contact Us

You can request more information or any of the documents referenced in this issue by calling us at 800-654-4567, code 730, or by contacting us online.


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