To meet growing demand from automakers for its self-piercing rivets and tools, Atlas Copco Industrial Assembly Solutions installed an on-site nitrogen generation system that feeds its hardening operation and overcomes dependence on vendor-delivered supply of the gas.

As automotive assembly applications become more complex, with new hard-to-join materials, self-piercing rivets and tooling provides the answer. With its annual output in the order of 1 billion items, it is essential for Atlas Copco Industrial Assembly Solutions to maintain the integrity and continuous performance of its rivet hardening furnaces. The reliable supply of nitrogen, and its purity level, plays a vital part in the process.

Until recently, liquid nitrogen was supplied in bulk to site from the vendor then vaporized for delivery to the production heat-treatment furnaces. The purity level of the delivered nitrogen was 99.999%, but calculations proved that if the nitrogen supply could be set at 99.8% purity it would reduce the running cost of a high-purity gas not necessary for the process. As such, the company decided to install an on-site nitrogen generation system.

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