the systems view blog

Applying our perspective to industry topics and trends

December 20, 2016

Looking Back to Move Ahead: A Year in Review of Gas Delivery Trends

As we look ahead to 2017, the outlook appears exciting for our industry and for many of the markets we serve. According to a recent report from Technavio, the global industrial gases market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 8% through 2020. Specifically in the semiconductor market, equipment spending is expected to increase by 11% in 2017 after staying fairly flat this year. The use of process gases continues to be a growing part of R&D innovation in research laboratories and analysts are also tracking the increasing use of industrial gases in the photovoltaic (PV) industry as clean energy generation continues to attract investments.

To make the most of these new opportunities, it is important to look back at what has worked well for the gas delivery industry over the last year, and continue to strengthen and build upon those successes.

In a Time of Consolidation, Focus is Key

In 2016, the global and industrial gas industry experienced some significant changes with the consolidation of top-tier gas distributors: Air Liquide acquired Airgas, and Linde and Praxair were on the verge of a merger until talks fell through in the fall. This created some uncertainty for molecule providers, but at AES, it reinforced one of our long-held mantras: success through focus. Because we are solely specialized in the area of gas delivery equipment, and not in providing the gases themselves, we were not distracted by these changes, and were able to maintain our leadership as a value-add, expert partner for customers seeking best-in-class gas delivery systems.

Process Requirements are Ever-Evolving; Your Equipment Must be Too

One key trend that we experienced throughout the year was the growing demand for custom gas delivery equipment solutions. High-tech production environments like micro-electronics and semiconductor fabs continue to increase in innovation and stringency, and AES has tailored our SEMI-GAS® system offerings accordingly to support new advances and regulatory requirements. Our VERSA-GAS™ line has continued to grow in popularity as it offers customers in more industrial and R&D environments with scalable systems that can be flexibly configured to their process, safety, and budgetary requirements. Overall, we’ve seen customers’ system requirements become more and more specific, and have engineered several Applied Solutions to address very unique gas delivery needs, like the Activity Tester Cabinet for sulfuric acid.

Safety and Quality Will Always Come First

Safety and quality remain the top priority in gas delivery across markets: in this sense, 2016 was no different than the years and decades before it. The ability to reliably uphold these non-negotiables has always been what sets the leading gas delivery systems apart. As quality criteria standards continue to change – for example, those seen in the most recent SEMI Standards revisions – our team at AES is committed to ensuring our systems engineering reflects the latest accepted methods and is validated to the most updated criteria. Our new ‘Applied Excellence’ initiative for continuous operational improvement will be integral in helping us deliver the safe, reliable, high-quality gas delivery systems our customers and their markets demand.

If the industry can continue to embrace these key themes, and remain vigilant in spotting the opportunities to further gas delivery system innovation for the benefit of the customer and their end users, then 2017 will be another strong year!

Share this Post: