Digital technology, robots, to expand specialty gas production

BOC Limited

Thursday, 22 February, 2018

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An upgraded specialty gases plant in Western Sydney will adopt a world-first application of a six-axis robot combined with four turntables that can see, pick up and handle gas cylinders.

BOC Australia’s new $20 million specialty gases production facility and $15 million robot cylinder automation system at its Sydney Operations Centre in Wetherill Park were officially opened recently by Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, and Minister for Western Sydney, the Hon. Stuart Ayres MP at a ceremony attended by dignitaries, customers and staff.

BOC South Pacific Managing Director John Evans said the new specialty gases facility will increase BOC’s capacity to locally produce and supply over 8000 high-purity and specialty gases to many high-value industries in Australia.

“BOC is proud to be expanding our specialty gases capability to meet future demand for high-precision gas mixtures and support Australia’s vibrant research and knowledge-based economy as it continues to grow.

“With leading-edge laboratory technology and a highly experienced team of chemists, the new facility offers the best in quality, precision and safety — allowing BOC to supply many scientific and calibration gases in almost half the time and at higher packaging pressures.”

BOC is embracing the new era of advanced manufacturing and digital technology. “Designed with global experts and local engineers, the system integrates advanced laser vision technologies, automated guide vehicles, robots and 3D cameras,” said Evans.

“The launch of this cylinder automation system is a landmark moment for BOC, driving a competitive advantage, and representing a significant safety investment for the Sydney Operations Centre, which produces more than 1.3 million cylinders each year.”

Sanjiv Lamba, Member of the Executive Board, Linde AG, and Chief Operating Officer for Asia Pacific, said the BOC Sydney Operations Centre is a world-class manufacturing facility that exceeds Australian and international industry standards, furthering BOC’s position as a leading industrial gas supplier in the Asia Pacific region.

“With increased capacity and efficient production technology, BOC’s new specialty gases facility is strongly positioned to export Australian-made product to Asia’s emerging electronics, manufacturing and medical markets,” said Lamba. “This will be particularly important as demand for specialty gases in the Asia Pacific region is expected to grow significantly over the next five years.”

BOC has invested more than $130 million at the Sydney Operations Centre since it was opened. The site has a cylinder maintenance centre, dedicated medical gas filling facility, dissolved acetylene plant, nitrous oxide plant, specialty gases production facility and dry ice production facility.

Image: © Freund

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