"MacGyver - that's a good show," joked S.C. Hwang, lead engineer, gases technology, referring to the Richard Dean Anderson television series in which the title character got out of tricky situations through the application of scientific principles. Hwang was one of many presenters at BOC Gases' Industrial Innovations for Industry event, held November 9 at its U.S. headquarters in Murray Hill, NJ.

Hwang began the proceedings with a few MacGyverisms of his own, demonstrating the uses of cryogens. A banana frozen with liquid nitrogen was used to hammer a nail into a board, and a metal axle submerged in liquid nitrogen shrank to fit in a slotted plate, then expanded at room temperature to seal in place.

"In every industry, there are leaders, and those leaders are global," explained Dennis Smithyman, vice president, food markets. "The strategy is to service those global companies globally."

While Smithyman noted that the easiest sales call to make is to an existing customer, he was quick to point out that BOC develops technologies to sell to the entire marketplace. "You don't have to buy our gases to have access to our technology," he said.

BOC is one of four major worldwide gas producers offering atmospheric, nonatmospheric and specialty gases. According to Dick Grant, chief executive, process gas solutions, BOC is targeting four areas to drive its growth: help customers meet environmental requirements, improve product quality, boost process efficiency and lower costs.

Among the presentations at the event were demonstrations on new developments in environmental applications, materials testing for cylinder development, safety and cleanup, and food processing innovations. Guest speakers included Darryl Austin, technical standards engineer, Ford Motor Co., Detroit, and Jeff Smith, executive director, Institute of Clean Air Co., Washington.