Leading industrial gas provider Air Products has recently assisted their biggest argon customer Columbus Stainless to overcome a production challenge which could have had a severe impact on their operations. Air Products team was approached by Columbus Stainless in Middelburg in South Africa in June to assist in providing a solution for the emergency oxygen supply. The Air Products team acted swiftly to ensure that Columbus Stainless could continue their production with a minimal downtime period averting delays for their export trade.Columbus Stainless was confronted with a major interruption in the oxygen supply via the pipeline. Due to the oxygen supply pipeline interruption and the Air Products argon installation on site not being utilized, an option was recommended by the technical team to modify and utilize the existing argon storage and vaporization system for an alternate supply of oxygen into the plant. By changing the equipment service use from argon to oxygen, all required controls would be available with minor modifications requiring a temporary pipeline to provide an interconnection between this installation and the plant oxygen supply pipeline. The core requirement was to connect approximately 24 meters of three inch stainless steel pipe as a temporary gas supply solution.The process of converting the crude argon system to oxygen was seamless as Air Products uses oxygen clean components as a standard for all gas applications. The product in the tanks had to be run down, and the system had to be purged to change service from crude argon to oxygen. An oxygen fill flange with an adaptor had to be fabricated and installed onto the current crude argon fill flange. The crude argon low pressure tank control, electrics and transfer pump had to be isolated and disabled. Concurrently, a three inch stainless steel pipe had to be fabricated, welded and installed from the crude argon system to the tie-in point on site. Air Products relationship dates back to the 1980’s, before the company was renamed Columbus Stainless. Over the years, Air Products has gradually increased the volume of industrial gas products to Columbus Stainless, the only stainless steel mill in Africa and part of the Acerinox Group of companies.