Aspen Air U.S. Corp.

Since entering the United States six years ago, Aspen Air U.S. Corp. has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of industrial gases. The company has established solid relationships with healthcare facilities, refineries and other industrial companies since opening its plant several years ago.

“We have considerable breadth of experience in the cryogenic business,” President Onkar Dhaliwal says. “We provide the technical solutions our customers need to help them find ways to improve how they use industrial gases. We can help them increase their yield, and we compete by localizing the service and concentrating on [their] needs.”

Local Touch
Aspen Air U.S. Corp. is a manufacturer and distributor of industrial gases, providing liquid and gaseous nitrogen, oxygen and argon to the medical, welding, food, oil and gas, refining, high tech, chemical and paper sectors. The company also offers storage and transportation solutions to customers.

It is a spinoff company from Calgary-based Aspen Air Corp. Each is a separate but related company. The American operation is located in Billings, Mont., having completed construction of its $20 million air separation plant in 2006.

The company’s products play a critical role in its clients’ operations. For example, it supplies oxygen used by healthcare facilities and in refining and other manufacturing processes. The plant separates gases through a series of filters, compressors, expanders, dryers and chillers. In effect, Aspen Air U.S. Corp.’s customers have come to rely on the company’s products and services because it helps them to be more competitive.

The Billings location was chosen to be the home of Aspen Air U.S. Corp.’s plant because it is situated in an area that has a solid concentration of businesses, including healthcare facilities, refineries and welding shops. Also, it is approximately 500 miles from competing industrial gas manufacturing plants.

“We picked this location because of the nearby refineries and its access to electricity,” Dhaliwal says. “We have our own trucking fleet and we work with third-party trucking partners, too. We have a wide scope of clients and work closely with the local community.”

By working with Aspen Air U.S. Corp. instead of a far-flung supplier, customers can reduce their operating costs by 10 to 15 percent. Instead of paying to ship liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen and argon gas across large distances, they can access Aspen Air U.S. Corp. at a much more local level.

“What sets us apart is our local focus and technical skill,” Dhaliwal says. “Our products can help our customers achieve their goals. For example, the oxygen and nitrogen we supply can help reduce refinery emissions and make them safer. Hospitals can also introduce oxygen chambers because of the use of local gases.”

Supportive Forces
Just as Aspen Air U.S. Corp.’s customers rely on its industrial gases, Aspen relies on its partners, too. These partners help the company find ways to innovate and be as efficient as possible.

One critical partner for Aspen is Control Technology Inc., which designs and manufactures advanced control, comm­uni­cations and I/O products Aspen uses for process control. Another important partnership is with American Welding & Gas, an industrial gas distribution company that is closely integrated with Aspen Air U.S. Corp.

Right now, Aspen Air U.S. Corp is doubling the size of the Billings facility and expanding its capabilities. The plan is to enhance the plant with more technology and production space.

“Engineering is already done for the expansion project,” Dhaliwal says. “The project will help us become more efficient, upgrading equipment inside the plant to reduce energy use. We started the project in September 2012, and it will be a nine month process.”

Aspen Air U.S. Corp. is tasked with challenges around manpower. Because the Montana oil patch is booming, it is getting harder to find skilled employees.

Although it has not been an easy task, the company still has been able to attract people who have helped build a professional environment where achievement, creativity, respect, safety and personal growth are the standard. In the end, the company is in a strong position because its products and solutions are heavily integrated into its customers’ systems.

“I’m very proud of our people and what they do for this company, and our opportunities are endless now,” Dhaliwal says. “The business is growing, and we can secure solid contracts and partnerships. That is why we’ve been able to expand. It is very easy to lose focus, so we must remain focused on the local market to achieve our goals.” EMI