Oxygen gas generator case studyStory
ICX series with diversified product lineup
Oxygen gas generator uses an adsorbent (synthetic zeolite) and repeatedly pressurizes and decompresses to remove nitrogen and extract high-purity oxygen. It is more like a concentrator than a generator. In addition to replacing oxygen tanks, also using to improve productivity and maintain water quality and freshness in fish farms and agriculture-related fields.
This is the case study of gas generators such as the ICX series as in-house developed products.
First of all, please tell me about the whole story of this oxygen gas generator improvement.
Development staff O: The oxygen gas generator is an equipment that conncentrates oxygen in the air. Essentially, it is a removal equipment that removes the nitrogen and carbon dioxide contained in the air, concentrating oxygen at a concentration of 90% or more.
My specialty is physics, and I was initially engaged in research on vacuum equipments, and then I have been involved in gas separation for about 35 years. The ICX series is a series that I started with the purpose of leaving all my technology to IBS. In my previous job, I developed an industrial oxygen gas generator and also a nitrogen and carbon dioxide generator. This project uses existing technology, so it is a commercial development rather than a technology one. Therefore, as an industrial product, the key points were "how to make it reasonably" and "how to improve productivity and maintainability".
Oxygen gas generator used in various fields
Please tell me the usage examples in the industrial field.
Development staff O: IBS oxygen gas generators are widely used in various industrial fields. For example, in the aquaculture industry, sharing oxygen from generators in cages increases the number of individuals that can grow and increases productivity. It is also used in the agricultural field for maintaining an appropriate oxygen concentration in greenhouses and soil, and improving productivity.
In other fields, it is used in the steel industry to reduce iron ore and plays an important role in the production of high quality steel, and also used to promote chemical reactions and supply oxygen for combustion reactions in the chemical industry. Oxygen gas is for the electronics industry to manufacture silicon wafers and normalize electronic components, and in the power generation industry, oxygen is supplied in the combustion of coal and natural gas, enabling efficient power generation. These are just a few examples of its use, and our gas generantor takes the essential part in many other fields as well.
Please let me know if there are any prospects for further improvements.
Development staff O: In the future, we would like to unitize our products. Generally speaking, it is modularization. It is possible to develop into various series by grouping each function such as an electrical unit and a control unit. In addition, when providing maintenance services to customers, they can replace the units themselves by delivering only the units they need, which improves maintainability and reduces costs.
The Okayama Business Development Office is run by a small number of people, so our design philosophy is to let customers do as much as possible on their own. As an engineer, it is my basic policy not to waste the customer's "money and time." I would like to continue to develop various products, keeping in mind the design that considers cost, productivity, and maintainability.
Comments from improvement staffComments
"Speed" and "Cost awareness" in development as an engineer
The ICX series is a commercial development of existing technology, with an emphasis on speed and cost. As long as it is developed as a business, it is necessary to be conscious of costs and develop with consideration for subsequent series. Design concepts such as standardizing parts and making them usable throughout the series are important.
Including the one-of-a-kind items that we have manufacturered with the customers' request, we plan to promote unitization at the opportunity of model changes in the future. The unitization was able to reduce the cost of parts and man-hours required for maintenance, and also develop a variety of series.
Improvement staff profile
Team leader I of design division(Joined as a part of valve development staff in 2019)
He joined the company as a designer and developed many products of gas generators such as the ICX series, and works in the development of physics, vacuum devices and gas separation for many years. In addition to various gas generators that he worked on in his previous job, IBS is commercializing products developed at the request of customers. He is also engaged in training young talents as veteran engineers.
His commitment is to "design that considers cost, productivity, and maintainability".