There is a mature state in the life of a product, and, in Japan, some think the oxygen pressure swing adsorption (PSA) generator has arrived there.  The demand was considered flat in fiscal year 2016, and getting more orders proved to be quite hard.

That said, with the second half of that year commencing in October, 2016, work began on replacing then current PSA in plants for paper manufacturing and electric furnaces, and other, unexpected demands from other similar companies, rapidly materialised.  The long time slow PSA market began a resurgence.

There are three main manufacturers in Japan; namely, Sumitomo Seika, Veolia Jenets, and Air Water, which got orders for 16 generators in the 2016 fiscal year which was seven generators up from fiscal year 2015.  This is approximately a ¥2.5bn ($22m) market increase.

The Gas Review said that Air Water closed orders for five generators (10,700 m3/h) with Veolia Jenets having received orders for six generators for 2016’s fiscal year, thereby registering a total capacity of 4,500 m3/h.  Sumitomo Seika Chemicals obtained orders for a total of five generators (8,200 m3/h).  The total capacity of all three companies’ sales represents over twice the results for the prior year in 2015.

Although there is strong sales competition for orders, 2017s fiscal year projects good forecasts for equipment sales in non-ferrous markets. Even though different sales possibilities are limited, still the view for orders is the same it was in Spring, 2016.

Veolia Jenets received orders for two 1,400 m3/h generators and one 400 m3/h generator for melting refuse.  Veolia Jenets further sole one 700 m3/h generator and one 100 m3/h generator for water processing, as well as a 500 m3/h generator for the making of paper.  With the exception of those designed for refuse melting, replacement generators were the reason for the demand. The water processing PSA oxygen generator served as a new model for an older oxygen PSA generator mounted in a “UNOX System,” which utilized pure oxygen in the treatment of activated sludge.  More than 150 machines have been delivered worldwide.

Two orders were obtained for 850 m3/h generators designed for refining of  non-ferrous materials, by Air Water, along with one 3,000 m3/h generators to be sent to  China, as well as two 3,000 m3/h electric furnace generators, with the latter being replacements.  All of these units were contracted as for “gas total systems” that are gas supplied with back-up.

On the other hand, the Air Water non-ferrous applications generators were contracted with new buyers obtained after strong challenges from the autumn of 2016 industrial gas makers.  Air Water received orders for a total capacity of more than 10,000 m3/h, thereby achieving the greatest yields of all three manufacturers. Because orders for paper manufacturers for the Oxygen PSA business at Air Water were only two 732 m3/h generators in number in  2015, they showed a big growth in sales not only with the amount of generators but also for capacity in the fiscal year for 2016.

One generator order for paper manufacturing at 2,100 m3/h was received by Sumitomo Seika Chemicals, along with two 2,000 m3/h generators for petroleum refining to be sent to India with one 1,000 m3/h generator for electric furnaces. These generators for electric furnaces and for the manufacturing of paper are replacement models.

Sumitomo Seika Chemicals, during the 2016 fiscal year, featured its first delivery to Russia.  It was ordered in 2013, but delivery was delayed because of what was referred to as an “unstable situation.”  The delivery for a 5,000 m3/h generator for copper refining in Russia occurred in 2016.  This delivery represented the first time a manufacturer in Japan exported a PSA oxygen generator to Russia because, in Russia, ASU is the typical onsite method of oxygen being supplied.  This is, therefore, a virtually new sales venue for oxygen PSA generators.  Russian market data research is being continued by Sumitomo Seika Chemicals.

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