Oil Rig

AUTOCHARGE: breathing air cylinder filling for industrial, military and civilian applications

Filling breathing air cylinders / Medical Oxygen cylinders for civilian, military and industrial applications has until recently been a time-consuming, manual process. Involving working with high-pressure gases that were both flammable and unpredictable, the task always carrying a certain degree of risk. The problems were compounded by the fact that the task was unnecessarily labour-intensive, and unfortunately the outcome was often variable in terms of the mass of gas filled. However recent developments and technological advances in high-pressure gas system control have meant that this risky and time consuming process can now be carried out automatically. Hale Hamilton has now taken the uncertainty out of the process with the development of our AUTOCHARGE gas filling technology. What’s more, we think  AUTOCHARGE might help save lives too.

The automation of filling breathing air / medical oxygen cylinders, or Autocharging, has addressed a number of safety, reliability and efficiency issues, and has taken the drudgery out of what was once a repetitive task. Autocharging is carried out in a much more cost-effective manner and the inherent risks associated with the manual filling of high-pressure gas systems have been significantly reduced as has the intensive training required.

Hale Hamilton AUTOCHARGE technology which incorporates proportional control has delivered significant benefits. High-pressure gas can now be controlled safely, filling times have been reduced whilst delivering  both a repeatable and consistent mass of gas filled. The use of sensor technology has allowed for fill pressures to be pre-selected for different applications, multiple applications can be filled from the same panel without the need to recalibrate and delivers cylinder filling from any residual pressure up to 380bar (5,510 psi).

The Autocharging process is robust, and the design of our cutting-edge equipment allows it to withstand both shock and vibration. It will even withstand the effects of a corrosive marine environment. Push button-automation has made the process of air cylinder filling easier, simplified the start, stop and vent-down procedures, and reduced the need for specailist operator training. Additional advances in Health and Usage Monitoring (HUMS) options can provide Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM). Offering further significant benefits such as only having to change the filter cartridges when necessary, and can provide on-line, real-time breathing air quality monitoring and measurement.

Hale Hamilton’s AUTOCHARGE gas filling systems also offer what is known in the industry as Turnkey Charging Solutions. This option offers a complete package which includes compressor, air drier, air storage and automated cylinder filling. Turnkey charging solutions can be configured and packaged appropriately for individual applications which meet the user’s precise requirements.

AUTOCHARGE gas filling has a proven track record: it is widely used in industry and has been successfully used by Linde Gas for some 10 years now. Over 50 AUTOCHARGE systems are in-service in the military naval market today in fire-fighting and damage control applications. It is avaliable now for general use in the marine markets for luxury yacht, cruise ship, and offshore oil & gas applications. It may also be used in both military/non naval and civilian breathing air charging applications, such as at airports, in the security services and police force, in the fire service, for diving and for damage control in hazardous environments.

For more information about Autocharging 

By Bill Dormer

Air cylinder filling for industrial, military and civilian applications