How Oxygen Generators are changing Scotland’s Manufacturing Landscape

When it comes to oxygen generation capabilities in Scotland, and one of Scotland’s longest serving Premier Distributor of Atlas Copco Industrial Air products, BRE is uniquely placed to advise.

We spoke to Managing Director, Bob Robertson, about how the latest oxygen generators from Atlas Copco are making a difference. Here’s what he had to say:

How is an Oxygen generator currently used in manufacturing companies?

Adding oxygen to a process enables better control of heating patterns, higher furnace efficiencies (for lower fuel consumption) and the reduction in particulate and NOx emissions.

It’s used with fuel gases to enhance processes including gas welding, gas cutting, oxygen scarfing, flame cleaning, flame hardening and flame straightening.

Oxygen is a raw material in many oxidation processes and it’s also used to regenerate catalysts.

How does an Oxygen generator work?

The air we breathe is about 21% oxygen.

Oxygen for industrial use is generated by separating oxygen molecules from the other molecules within a clean, dry compressed air stream.

Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) is a simple, reliable and cost-effective technology that enables continuous, high-capacity oxygen flow at the desired level of purity. Adsorption happens when atoms, ions or molecules from a substance (compressed air in this case) adhere to a surface of an adsorbent. PSA technology isolates oxygen molecules from other molecules (nitrogen, CO2, water vapor and trace gases) to leave high purity oxygen at the outlet of the generator.

The process takes place in two separate pressure vessels (tower A and tower B), each filled with a carbon molecular sieve, that switch between a separation process and a regeneration process.

What are the benefits of on-site generation of Oxygen?

Compared to the delivery of gas bottles or tanks of oxygen, in-house generation of oxygen will offer you many key advantages. For example, it ensures continuous availability of oxygen, removing the risk of a production breakdown due to delivery issues or supplier shortages.

Having an oxygen generator on site also avoids the hassle of constant order processing for refills and delivery costs associated with bottled oxygen. Accordingly it eliminates the space and special handling requirements for full oxygen bottles in inventory and empty bottles awaiting pickup, refill and re-delivery.

What kind of industries use Oxygen Generators?

A dependable supply of oxygen gas is crucial to productive operations in many industries:

  • Steel
  • Food & beverage
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Plastic injection molding
  • Electronics
  • Laser cutting
  • Semiconductors
  • Gold and silver mining/extraction
  • Oxyfuel combustion
  • Chemicals
  • Pulp & paper
  • Metal heat treatment
  • Cable & optical fiber
  • Glass
  • Fire prevention
  • Fish farming
  • Waste-water treatment

How can BRE assist you with your Oxygen Generation needs?

BRE is best known in Scotland as a leading provider of Atlas Copco compressed air services, including oxygen generator solutions from Atlas Copco’s wide range of industrial gas generators.

If you are looking for a more efficient and cost-effective oxygen generator solution, please speak to one of our experts who can advise you. Based in Scotland and servcing clients in Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee, Stirling, Perth, Fife, Edinburgh and Glasgow, you can contact BRE UK on 08000 565 929 or email us at

Our expert air system professionals will happily come out in person to review your current set up, listen to how your business operates and what its in-house oxygen generation needs are. Our expert team will then make an oxygen generator recommendation that will best suit your specific needs.