Gasworld’s editor in chief Rob Cockerill, asks CEFRANK about innovation in packaged gases…
Gasworld: There is a clear and increasing trend towards innovation in the packaged gases business today, a trend that is arguably long overdue. Do you feel this has previously been lacking in packaged gases? If so, why do you think this is?
CEFRANK: Yes, innovation has been sorely lacking in this sector. I think it’s because ultimately people don’t like change. They don’t want to be the ones who implement something new because they’re afraid of failure. It’s that ‘don’t fix it if it ain’t broke’ attitude that’s held back innovation. Often times, big corporations get stuck in a reactive cycle instead of moving forward with a proactive approach to their packaged gases. That kind of climate makes it hard to welcome new and innovative ideas. However, we’ve noticed a more open-minded approach in recent years, particularly with some of the independent gas companies and I think it’s due to a changing of the guard in the industry in terms of the development of new systems, but also of the people in decision-making roles.
“Our market share in China has been increasing steadily over the last 5-10 years because they can see the value in our innovation.”
Gasworld: Would you agree that such investment is essential if compressed/packaged gases are to remain a core mode of supply (with the rise of MicroBulk delivery in mind, for example)?
CEFRANK: There is a better, more stream-lined way of managing packaged gases. And there is room for all kinds of delivery systems as the industry changes with technology.
Gasworld: What innovation(s) or areas for development do you see going forward? Are there any particular areas of focus for CEFRANK in the near future?
CEFRANK: We’re particularly interested in further developing our modular manifold range and our specialty gas manifolds. Our market share in China has been increasing steadily over the last 5-10 years because they can see the value in our innovation. We’ve been developing some pretty hi-tech manifolds for very expensive mixed gases for the China market.