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9 December, 2017 - 20:48 By Kate Sweeney

42 Technology steps on the gas for Linde

Product design specialist 42 Technology is helping to develop a concept smart gas cylinder valve that will enable Linde Gases, a division of The Linde Group, to offer customers what it calls the industry’s first complete gas management service.

The EVOS DCi digital valve is being developed as an IoT (Internet of Things) device that can transmit and store industrial gas cylinder valve data in the Cloud. 

Using an app on their PC, laptop or mobile, users can see ‘at a glance’ exactly where all their cylinders are currently located, what gases they contain and how full they are. 

The device will also allow Linde to provide a unique gas management service to help improve its customers’ operational productivity, reduce their costs and at the same time to ensure they never run out at a critical time.

42 Technology, based in St Ives, is working with Linde on the overall system and detailed design for the EVOS DCi device including its electronics, communication protocols, and integrating the new functionality with Linde’s award-winning EVOS high pressure valve. 

The consultancy team has also designed a prototype app with associated usage analytics for further development by Linde and its software development partners.

Derrick Hilton, global design manager at Linde Gases, said: “42 Technology is taking a pivotal role in helping Linde to develop a world first for the packaged industrial gases sector which will enable us to offer new services to customers. 

“The consultancy’s skills and expertise in complex system design, connected devices and in running multinational projects has allowed us to develop the complete EVOS DCi system from first concepts through to advanced field trials in just 15 months.” 

The EVOS DCi device features an ‘always on’ digital display on its collar so users can instantly see what gas the cylinder contains and how full it is. 

The device also regularly communicates details of its status, contents and location using a combination of short range radio, GPS tracking and cellular communications to nearby mobile devices, the business’s IT network and the Cloud. 

The valve electronics are fully ruggedised for 24/7 operation, for use outdoors in all weathers, and are powered with a non-rechargeable battery for zero maintenance during the lifetime of the cylinder package.

42 Technology’s other work on EVOS DCi includes: managing first batch manufacturing for the new valve; advising on regulatory testing and compliance issues to enable CE marking; and helping Linde to file a number of patents to protect new design and technology innovations.

Linde is now carrying out more extensive controlled field tests in UK and Germany before planning to launch its device and new gas management service more widely.

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