Industry : When proximity leads to innovation and agility

Innovating to adapt to the needs of customers and patients

Industry : When proximity leads to innovation and agility

The health crisis has put pressure on production and logistics chains in many sectors. Air Liquide supports manufacturers in their quest for agility, competitiveness and sustainable solutions thanks to its unique strengths: technological expertise, in-depth knowledge of customer processes, its presence at the heart of local economies… And its ability to innovate relentlessly.

Serving more than 2 million customers around the world, from craftsment to SMEs and large companies, Air Liquide contributes to nearly every sector of the economy: food, pharmaceuticals, energy, chemicals, automotive, aeronautics and more. The Group is at the forefront of detecting market changes and anticipating the needs that will transform industrial production methods. It is constantly investing to support its customers in their geographical development while offering them innovative solutions that improve the industrial and environmental performance of their processes. This dynamic is reflected in the signing of several long-term contracts in 2020 with major industrial players in mature economies (United States, Europe) and developing economies (China, Russia). 
Air Liquide's key assets for advancing industry are its close proximity to its customers and its in-depth knowledge of their industrial processes, which enables it to maximize the full potential of the molecules it supplies and to design innovative equipment. Indeed, the Group is constantly transforming itself to better understand and meet the needs of its customers and respond to them more effectively, even in difficult conditions. For example, SRF, a customer in India specializing in technical textiles and packaging films, wants to become autonomous in its supply and have greater flexibility. Two advantages of 
Air Liquide's on-site gas production solution that met the customer's expectations. In 2020, despite the many restrictions resulting from the health crisis, multidisciplinary teams worked together on-site and remotely to successfully install and commission a nitrogen production unit at the customer's site in the Dahei region. This 2,000 m3/h capacity unit provides SRF with a continuously reliable nitrogen supply, with enhanced safety conditions, and also meet its need for autonomy. And at a cost that is significantly more competitive than the market price. Air Liquide's success in this project illustrates the advantages of on-site gas production which has steadily increased, a growth particularly driven by China and the United States. After a record year in 2019 with 40 on-site production contracts, the Group signed 45 new contracts in 2020. In addition to the sale stability provided by these 10 to 15 year long-term agreements, they also help to reduce the Group's carbon footprint as there is no gas to liquefy or transport to the customer, resulting in less CO2 emissions.

For industrial companies, these on-site gas production solutions mean autonomy, reliability as well as being environmentally friendly. Ultimately, on-site gas production solutions offer flexibility and competitiveness.

Digital technology providing greater proactivity

Competitiveness that the Group wants to further strengthen using digital technologies. 
Air Liquide is experiencing profound change thanks to digital technology, which drives performance and innovation. Digital technology powers the Group's working methods at all levels of the organization.