NitraLife, South Africa’s pioneering nitrogen generator manufacturer and supplier, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a partnership with the leading Swiss steel processing solutions manufacturer Bystronic, whereby the Swiss company will market NitraLife’s NitraCut generators.
A pioneer in the field, NitraLife has been manufacturing and marketing nitrogen generators – primarily for the tyre inflation market – since 1996. In 2016, following a request from the owner of a local fabrication business, NitraLife developed the NitraCut generator to supply gas to the fabricator’s fibre laser. The new generator was immediately very successful.
Since then, NitraLife has sold over 60 NitraCut generators into the fabrication market.
Bystronic is the world-leading manufacturer of a range of steel processing equipment. Among this range, the company markets the ground-breaking 10 kW ByStar Fiber laser, one of the most powerful, high-output lasers on the world market.
According to Tom Sowry, Managing Director of NitraLife, the advantage of having a laser steel processor linked to a NitraCut is that conventional gas is usually supplied in tanks or cylinder bundles. Occasionally – and due to often unavoidable circumstances -, there is a real risk of gas run-outs. This, in turn, means expensive downtime for the fabricator or engineering business, until such time as new supplies of gas can be delivered.
“What we have found, is that for a busy fabrication shop, by generating their own nitrogen, the cost of a NitraCut generator can be amortised within the space of a year – or less in some cases,” explains Sowry. “After the NitraCut has paid for itself, the owner of the fabrication shop essentially continues to have a free supply of nitrogen,” he adds.
Sowry explains that some owners of fabrication businesses were understandably hesitant about acquiring a NitraCut. He cites the example of a leading steel processing company which operates six fibre lasers.
“We initially connected a NitraCut to one of their smaller Bystronic machines. After a period, the cost-saving convenience of the NitraCut became evident. Recently, this company purchased three more NitraCuts, which are connected in parallel to supply the large gas volumes needed by the company’s 10 kW Bystronic ByStar fiber laser.
“We have also found that supplying a fibre laser with a NitraCut generator allows a fabricator to continue operating successfully – in locations where conventional gas supplies are either erratic or unavailable,” he continues.
This was recently the case when, in a first-ever for Zimbabwe, a Bystronic BySprint Fiber 3015 was purchased by a Harare-based company. As gas supplies in Zimbabwe are sometimes uncertain, the Bystronic laser was supplied with its own NitraCut generator. This has allowed the Zimbabwean operation to continue cutting steel without interruption.
As the world moves towards Industry 4.0 and increasingly automated factories, the uninterrupted flow from a NitraCut nitrogen generator supplying automated fibre lasers means that production can continue with a minimum of human intervention, or skilled supervision.
“As the generator has no moving parts, it is also absolutely reliable and requires minimal and infrequent maintenance,” continues Sowry.
He furthermore adds that, in the past few years, Nitralife has had great success in co-marketing their NitraCut nitrogen generators with Bystronic’s fibre lasers. The feedback from users of this combination has – without exception – been excellent, as the two machines in tandem have invariably increased productivity and consequent profitability
“Our experience to date in partnering with Bystronic has been excellent, so much so, that we are now exporting our NitraCut units to Bystronic in Switzerland and Israel,” continues Sowry.
“We are extremely gratified that Bystronic, as a leading global provider of holistic steel processing solutions, has chosen us to be part of the future development of their advanced steel processing worldwide,” he concludes.
NitraLife was founded in 1996 as a local, pioneering supplier and manufacturer of nitrogen generation equipment. The company was the first internationally to use a membrane separation process to generate high-purity nitrogen for commercial tyre inflation.
With this innovative flagship product, NitraLife was also the first to actively promote the use of nitrogen inflation in heavy transportation and latterly passenger vehicle tyres; and subsequently also in large off-the-road (OTR) mine vehicle tyres.
In 2016, NitraLife diversified into supplying nitrogen generators to the industrial sector with the development of the NitraCut generator, a product, which today, is mainly used by the laser cutting and fabrication industries. In 2018, the company developed NitraSpray, for the supply of nitrogen for spray painting in many different sectors of industry.
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