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Helium Shortage Creates Need for Reclaim Compressors

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Whether you have noticed or not, a global shortage in helium (He) has existed since May of 2012. Have you recently tried to buy a floating balloon for your kid’s birthday party? You will have a hard time finding helium to fill the balloons and if you do, it is very expensive to purchase. This shortage has now reached a level the U.S. Government describes as a crisis. While the causes are many, the net result is helium prices are skyrocketing while supply is diminishing.

While helium is abundant in the universe, it is rare on earth. This gas is created when heavy elements like uranium radioactively decay in the earth’s crust. Most helium atoms diffuse to the surface and escape the earth’s atmosphere. Only a small percent of helium atoms are trapped in the Earth’s crust, much like natural gas. Helium extraction becomes economically viable in a select few deposits. Currently, the annual global use of helium is larger than the amount produced. This situation is convincing many companies to recover the helium rather than vent the gas into the atmosphere.

This is where Hycomp helium compressors have become a popular solution. Hycomp’s oil free compression keeps the gas stream pure. Our gas packing arrangement keeps O2 and other contaminants from ingressing into the gas flow. Our unique self-adjusting tangent/tangent gas packing arrangement enables Hycomp to maintain purity. One customer reported less than 5 parts per billion of oxygen.

International Hycomp

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A major contributor to Hycomp’s growth these past few years has been the international market. Hycomp has expanded its worldwide presence into eight new countries, increasing the number of countries that have Hycomp compressors to thirty.

According to industry experts, air and gas compressor exports are expected to increase 8.9% annually for the next five years. Hycomp has been exceeding this trend and is prepared to meet international demand. We have experience in packaging systems to ASME, ATEX, IECex, UL/NEC, CE/PED, KGS/KOSHA, GOST, and SQL standards.

As the world’s awareness of Hycomp’s quality and dedication to providing the best possible solution to each application increases, we expect international activity to continue increasing. We look forward to continued relationships with our international customers.

Running Almost 200 Miles is Actually Pretty Fun

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197.4 Miles Through the Utah Mountains
Hycomp Team Runs the 2012 Ragnar Relay

If you were to drive 197.4 miles it would take you between 2 and 3 hours. Running that same distance through the mountains of Utah only took our team of relay runners 36 hours and 6 minutes. Yeah, that’s right!

“If We Weren’t All Crazy, We Would Go Insane” has been our team name for the last 3 years and like the years preceding this one, our team has been comprised of Hycomp employees and friends. A dozen people that were crazy enough to collectively run almost 200 miles as fast as their feat could carry them.

Ben Brough, Hycomp OEM Sales Manager had this to say about his first experience with the Ragnar Relay. “Running was the easy part to prepare for. I found that it is the lack of sleep and not being able to eat right that makes the Ragnar challenging. The energetic atmosphere is something that can’t be explained, it has to be experienced!”

The Ragnar race is a relay, each runner has three sections of the course to run and each team has 12 runners and 2 drivers. But when you factor in the fierce terrain of Utah’s mountains, the almost complete lack of sleep for 36 hours, and running in the heat of June 15 – 16 the runners of this relay take a serious beating. And yet, year after year, they keep coming back for more.

The average person would ask the obvious question, “Why would anyone want to do this?” But to our runners and anyone else that has run in a Ragnar Relay, the question is quite the opposite, “Why wouldn’t you want to do this?” During the relay, there is a camaraderie forged among all runners, and especially tight friendships and bonds among teams as they cheer each other on. People who have not run a Ragnar Relay may never understand why anyone would want to do something like this… and that doesn’t matter to a runner, they will just keep on running.

Hycomp Gas University: Ethane

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Typically found in many gas mixtures compressed by Hycomp gas compressors, ethane is a colorless, odorless, flammable gas that is relatively inactive chemically and

Technical Bulletin: Hycomp ID Coding System

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The Hycomp documents T111 Air Compressor ID Coding System, T112 Air Booster ID Coding System and T113 Gas Compressor ID Coding System have been recently updated and may be found by clicking the previous links or by visiting Hycomp Literature Page.

Hycomp President and Engineering Manager, Robert James, explained the revision, “As we’ve grown internationally, we found that our standard compressor model scheme was insufficient to meet the wide range of both domestic and international code requirements for heat exchangers and vessels.”

Therefore, in an effort to streamline, simplify and universalize the Hycomp ID Coding System we have removed these items from our standard model number for our customer’s convenience.

Thriving in a Niche Market

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Every company should have a target market in which it thrives. Hycomp flourishes in a market segment that requires oil-free and high quality compression from 0-3,000 psig standard. Most of the larger companies do not even make a product offering in this corner of the market. This helps to make us unique, but that’s not what makes us successful.

Not a “one size fits all” Product Line
We are not looking to be everything to everyone. We do not restrict our customer’s choices to a standard compressor model from a catalog. That is not the Hycomp way. We custom build exactly what you need. This methodology is the backbone of Hycomp’s commitment to its market and one of several important characteristics that differentiate us from the competition: Our products are engineered solutions.

At Hycomp, what makes us truly successful is how we interact with each customer before the sale, then how well we back our product after it is in operation. We take the time to investigate each application to ensure that the chosen compression system exactly matches each requirement. When a new client discovers Hycomp, it is not unusual to hear that they have spent a lot of time and effort searching for a compression system that meets their specific needs. Their search ends when they call us. Hycomp compressors are tailor made to perfectly fit our clients’ individual needs and to provide efficiency, longevity and worry-free service. Add to that our high quality standards, personal customer service and endless technical support, and you begin to see a distinct pattern of why our customers choose us again and again.

Our customers are not the only ones that benefit from the Hycomp niche. Our unique product and services mean our distributors can comfortably carry both large, name brand compressor lines and Hycomp products without conflict in product function or loss of quality.

Hycomp Product Offerings
Air Compressors: When you need continuous oil-free air. Hycomp reciprocating air compressors are designed to provide continuous duty oil-free air up to 450 psig standard. Higher pressures are available. We apply heavy duty construction to incorporate the benefits of large industrial designs into our smaller oil-free compressors.

Air Boosters: When your plant pressure isn’t enough. Hycomp oil-free air boosters are engineered to increase existing plant air pressure. Our oil-free air boosters are a smart alternative to stand-alone compressors or air amplifiers because Hycomp air boosters are more cost effective, last longer and increase your overall energy efficiency.

Gas Compressors: When you need to compress any gas other than air. Hycomp oil-free gas compressors deliver a wide range of flows at pressures from a few psig up to 3,000 psig. We compress gases such as: nitrogen, natural gas, argon, helium, and carbon dioxide, to name just a few. These gases are accommodated with our safe, reliable and flexible oil-free gas compressors.

Niche Market
No matter what the market, it is always a good practice to specialize in something within that market that differentiates your company from the rest. If specialty and high quality were not important, the only stores you would see as you drive through your town would be those big box department locations.. Our specialization is providing solutions tailored to your exact needs. Rather than saying, “This is what we have,” we ask, “What do you need?”

Rome Strip Steel: Hycomp Service Testimonial

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It always feels good when someone tells you that you have done a good job, and it’s even better when a happy customer becomes a friend and trusted ally.

An end-user was having problems with their compressor and they wanted to do some maintenance on the Hycomp valves, but had never done any major work on the unit. The original manufacture was no longer in business and they basically had no one to turn to, so they called Hycomp. Even though we did not manufacture or sell the compressor, the valves being used on the unit were ours. We did everything possible to get them back up and running in a short time frame. The following testimonial is from Leo Angelicola, Electrical Engineer for Rome Strip Steel in New York.

Hycomp Gas University: Krypton

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If you have ever seen a white or green “neon” sign then chances are you have seen Krypton in action. It is not normal for a

Discontinued Lines – Hycomp Has The Answers

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Finding replacement parts for discontinued compressor models can feel like a wild search for buried treasure. If and when the parts are found the worry is still ever present concerning future maintenance.

Given the current economy, many of Hycomp’s main competitors are going through a product rationalization program. This reason is pretty straight forward, increase profits by reducing costs. The biggest loser in situations like this is the customer who purchased these discontinued model numbers in good faith, believing they would never have replacement parts issues. In some situations, the only way to obtain replacement parts was to buy a used machine and harvest parts from it. A simple online Google search will yield only a handful of these used discontinued compressors for sale.

In some cases, discontinued products are being replaced with wider range units that are not able to perform at the same level as the originally purchased units. One such discontinued air compressor, which was well known for its long lasting oil-free service and most commonly used for food and pharmaceutical applications, has been replaced by a lesser machine. The discontinued series has been replaced by oil-less compressors that claim to provide nearly the same service, but in fact, experience two major limitations:

1. Continuous Duty: Oil-less compressors struggle to provide higher pressures and have a shortened life span when operating continuously. The main reasons being sealed ball bearings, lesser materials and higher RPMs.

2. Higher Pressures: Due to the crankcase design and use of sealed bearings and therefore limited lubrication, these replacement oil-less compressors are unable to handle the increased load requirements necessary to provide higher pressures.

Enter the Hycomp Oil-Free Air Compressor
Not only will Hycomp air compressors handle the heavy duty industrial applications of the discontinued lines, it will provide truly continuous duty oil-free air. In many cases Hycomp air compressors are being purchased specifically to replace these failing compressors that could not be maintained due to lack of replacement parts. As other companies are discontinuing product lines to lower their operating costs, they are also sacrificing quality and longevity. Hycomp continues to maintain high quality oil-free compressors for continuous heavy duty operation as we always have since 1969.

Hycomp Air Compressor Capabilities:
Up to 450 psig Standard, Higher Pressures Available
Up to 75 HP
1, 2 and 3 Stage Units Available
Flows to 150 scfm

Building a Better Compressor: Oil-Free Vs. Oil-Less
Hycomp manufactures high quality oil-free air compressors that are designed for reliable continuous duty and longevity. There are 5 main factors in how we are able to accomplish this: 1) Materials of Construction, 2) Oil Isolation, 3) Crosshead Design, 4) Pressure Lubrication and 5) Lower Speeds.