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Perspectives With Kevin Collins, VP of Business Development, CP Industries

By Robin Skibicki, Marketing Coordinator, NGVi

For over a century, CP Industries has manufactured and produced large, seamless pressure vessels. In the fall of 1897, the company was founded as U.S. Seamless Tube Works. The plant, called Christy Park Works, began manufacturing seamless steel tubing and small compressed gas cylinders in the spring of 1898. In 1911, the company produced the first heat-treated air flasks for submarines. During WWI, the facility operated as a multi-purpose plant serving the armed forces with shell forgings and torpedo tubes.

From 1920 through 1940, Christy Park Works continued to pioneer work in the development of technology utilizing cylinders for the storage and transportation of compressed gasses. In the mid-1980’s, the company was sold to Stanwich Partners and renamed CP Industries. At that time, 60% of the business was comprised of military projects, with few international sales. In 2008, CPI was sold to Everest Kanto Cylinder Ltd (EKC) with operations in Dubai, China and India.

NGVi had the opportunity to speak with CP Industries’ VP of Business Development, Kevin Collins, about their involvement in the natural gas vehicle market. 

When did your company begin manufacturing storage vessels for compressed
natural gas (CNG), and what vessel sizes do you offer?
CPI was on the forefront in offering products for storing and transporting CNG. As far back as the 1970’s, CPI provided trailers and ground storage to New Zealand. Our website lists some of the sizes, pressures and specifications that we design and manufacture to. It’s important to realize that CPI vessels are customized to meet the requirements of our customers, and vary in operating pressures, wall thickness, length and outside diameter (OD).

Can you explain your applied manufacturing process, and which processes are
used for your CNG products?
CPI spin forms large, OD seamless pipe. The vessels are heat treated to attain specific properties and machined, cleaned, assembled and tested. The following video depicts our manufacturing processes:

What are the testing methods for your CNG storage vessels?
CPI vessels undergo strenuous testing to pass the requirements of the ASME, DOT, ISO/UN, ANSI NGV 2, and FMVSS304 specifications. It is important to mention that CPI ASME ground storage vessels must pass a final ultrasonic test to a 5% notch criteria. This test is not required by the ASME code but is performed by CPI to assure safe CNG storage. Tests are monitored and approved by third party inspection agencies.

Which manufacturing standards do you design in accordance to, and which
third party approvals have you received?
For transportation, our tubes are manufactured in accordance with DOT and ISO 11120. Our ground storage vessels are manufactured to meet ASME Section VIII Division 1. The cylinders for on-board storage are certified to ANSI NGV2-2007 and are compliant to FMVSS-304. Our approvals include TPED, KGSC, China SELO, DNV, PED and Canada.

CPI makes ASME Section VIII Division 1 pressure vessels. Please share with
us the primary differences between your vessels and ASME Section VIII
Division 2 pressure vessels offered by your competition?
Division 1 is the most commonly used division and contains rules for the basic design of unfired pressure vessels. Division 2 contains alternative rules for the design of more complicated or specialized vessel designs. Division 2 vessels require that the vessels be designed for a specific usage and for a specific installation. Further, the usage of Division 2 vessels must be monitored following installation. There is also a Division 3, which contains rules specific to the design of vessels for pressures above 10,000 psi.

Are your manufacturing plants eco-friendly?
CPI monitors our water outtakes and air quality constantly and are in full compliance. We have also operated CNG fueled forklifts since the 1970’s.

How has the demand for natural gas vehicles and fueling shaped your company’s production? Has it changed its priorities?
CPI has been innovative in bringing new designs for the storage and transportation of CNG. We introduced a longer ASME vessel that is capable of storing more CNG than a “traditional” three pack. The dollar value per standard cubic foot (SCF) of CNG stored is significantly lowered. We have also introduced larger 24” OD ASME vessels that reduces the space required for CNG storage at NGV stations. In addition, CPI manufactures a line of Type IV composite cylinders for on-board storage applications. These cylinders are ideal for use on passenger and commercial vehicles in the heavy-duty, medium-duty and light-duty markets.

Why should natural gas fueling customers choose CP Industries? What are your competitive advantages? 
CP Industries is well known in the high-pressure storage market as manufacturers of high-quality products, offering flexible and expandable design options. We are well positioned in the Industrial Gases and Alternative Fuels marketplace given our vast industry knowledge and technical expertise. We’ve established market channels worldwide through our parent company, EKC. Operating as a LEAN manufacturing facility, productivity is high and our lead times and delivery are timely and consistent.