First Cut, local distributor of nitrogen generation company NitraLife’s products, has exported a NitraCut nitrogen generator into Africa. To date, this is the first generator of this type to be exported pan-Africa.

NitraLifeOctober2018NitracutThe NitraCut generator is now supplying nitrogen to a Bystronic BySprint Fiber 3015 laser used in steel cutting and fabrication. The BySprint, which fabricator Sawpower also purchased from First Cut, is the first fibre laser to be imported into this particular African country.

“The sale of the NitraCut generator to this African fabricator is a clear illustration of one of the very useful aspects of our nitrogen generators. In South Africa, most fabrication businesses are located in urban centres which can be supplied with nitrogen gas from mainstream gas manufacturers. However, if there is a need to set up a fabrication business far from an urban centre or in a country without a major conventional mains gas producer, NitraCut generators effectively allow owners of the fabrication businesses to be their own nitrogen manufacturers,” says Managing Director of NitraLife, Tom Sowry.

Even where there is a well-established supplier of mainstream gas, when fabrication businesses have gas cylinder bundles as their source of supply, there is always the risk of running out of gas half way through a cutting operation. Owning or renting a NitraCut generator eliminates this risk, he says, adding that estimates have the price of gas in many African countries at about four times the price one would pay in South Africa, and the availability of gas in Africa tends to be erratic.

“Owning a state-of-the-art Bystronic laser and NitraCut generator will not only assist the fabricator in its manufacturing, but should also sharply reduce the company's production costs,” Sowry says. “Steel fabrication typically follows the steps of cutting, welding and painting. At each of these steps, NitraLife, as a manufacturer of nitrogen generation equipment, has made significant contributions to lowering the cost of fabrication.”

Nitrogen also has a benefit for the next fabrication step - welding - where the use of nitrogen as a laser assist gas for cutting mild steel, gives a faster and cleaner final cut. This reduces the amount of rework needed to prepare edges for welding.

In the final fabrication step of painting, NitraLife is now promoting the use of nitrogen in spray-painting as an alternative to compressed air. Sowry points out that spray-painting with nitrogen gives a superior finish as nitrogen is completely dry and free of contaminating oil and particles. While this reduces the amount of rework, paint savings are also significant. “We have had reports from spray painters using nitrogen that the savings on paint can be in the order of 10 to 30%, depending on the application.”


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