Automation, backed by workmanship and commitment to quality, secures a bright future for Colorado distributor.
Technology for Today—and Tomorrow
Approaching its 50th year of operation, independent gas and welding distributor General Air Service is eying a bright future lit by its newly automated cylinder fill operations. With eight retail-store locations throughout Colorado, Commerce City, CO, is where you’ll find the new fully automated General Air fill plant.
Intergrating New with Old
General Air Service is known for providing customers with a wide selection of gas mixtures in a variety of cylinder sizes, including small-quantity fills. And while much of the filling equipment being used had become old and outdated, plenty of its equipment had plenty of remaining life. That’s where the fill-plant upgrade project took an interesting turn: General Air Service sought to work with Weldcoa to reuse much of its existing
equipment and integrate it with new automated technology, including modernized state-of-the-art controls.
“As a result of our automation upgrade with Weldcoa, we’ve
reduced fill island manpower by 30% and setup times have been
cut by 15 - 20%.”
Ed Conrad, Fill Plant Manager, General Air Service
The Benefits that Keep on Giving
There’s much more to the new fill island than just the five automated fill heads; side-by-side prep and fill stations for medical cylinders, which replaced the separate stations used before, have eliminated a lot of wasted movement and realized significant time saving at General Air. “Now, in our medical nitrous and CO2 areas, we can simultaneously process 10 large-size and 10 small-size cylinders. Before, we used to move one cylinder at a time over to our separate medical area for filling.” says Conrad.
Happy Operators, Happy Owners
Finally, Conrad recalls a key component of his justification strategy used to convince company owners that the fill-plant upgrade project was the right move at the right time.
“What ultimately stood out when we examined how Weldcoa worked with other distributors, was its commitment to workmanship and quality. I appreciated their diligence and attention to detail, and ultimately so did our owners. We all gained a huge sense of security having Weldcoa as our partners on this project.” noted Conrad.