Valve paving the way for the future
the most abundant element in the Earth's crust and the second
most common of the Earth's elements as a whole. Without oxygen,
humans cannot survive and health professionals cannot save lives.
Supplying medical oxygen requires extensive logistics and many
human resources. Linde Healthcare is one of the leading medical
gas suppliers and, in partnership with ELL , has raised the management
of oxygen cylinders to a new level.
L inde Healthcare
supplies medical gas to clinics and hospitals in more than 50
countries around the world. When it comes to medical care, it
is vital that diagnostic and therapeutic applications function
reliably, complying with the highest possible safety, quality
and efficiency standards worldwide. Gaseous oxygen is stored
under extreme pressure in cylinders. Medical oxygen for mobile
use is generally available in cylinder sizes of between two and
five litres. At a pressure of 200 bars, one litre of medical
oxygen is equivalent to 200 litres of oxygen at normal air pressure.
Oxygen cylinders with an analogue pressure gauge have been used
to supply medical gas for more than 20 years.The user takes a
reading of the remaining oxygen on a physical table and calculates
it based on the residual pressure, the size of the cylinder and
the set oxygen flow.This requires an enormous amount of human
resources, as hospitals use up to 1,000 gas cylinders every day,
with each cylinder lasting for around three hours when used at
the maximum flow rate.These huge logistics are handled by the
nursing staff themselves.
Linde Healthcare came up with the idea of a digital display on
oxygen cylinders with the aim of simplifying hospital Iogistics.The
project definition was to develop a digital valve which is compatible
with the existing, durable oxygen cylinders. Linde found its
way to KELLER via an official call for projects.
IoT solution for networked gas cylinder systems
OF COMPETENCE THANKS TO COMPLEX STARTING POINT
KELLER is Europe's leading manufacturer of isolated pressure
transducers and transmitters. Its many years of experience in
providing customised solutions and its relish for new challenges
made the company an ideal partner for Linde.
KELLER has been developing fill level measurements with specifically
designed sensors for all manner of difficult environments for
many years now.Wlth the project for Linde Healthcare, however,
KELLER took the deliberate decision to take on this new challenge
in order to further develop its internal infrastructure and process
operations for products in the medical industry.
Aside from making it compatible with the existing cylinder, no
modifications to the structure of the new digital valve were
permitted. In addition, the sensors must also meet the high purity
standards required for medical oxygen applications. In order
to meet these standards, KELLER had to develop a completely new
sensor which was fully tailored to the specified environmentThe
sensor needs to be able to measure pressure ranges of up to 300
bars and must be manufactured in a sterile room.
In order to meet these strictly defned specif cations, the project
team tested out a variety of designs and prototypes until they
found the perfect combination.The recently developed pressure
transmitter is extremely robust, reduced to the bare essentials
and is made with materials that tolerate oxygen particularly
well.With these qualities, the PA-5 sensor by KELLER excels with
its very compact structure and is now becoming the centrepiece
of Linde's digital oxygen cylinders.
The analogue sensor built into the valve measures the pressure
of the gaseous oxygen in the cylinder and sends this information
to the electronics behind the display via a plug connection.The
patient can access the following prepared data at any time using
In addition to the digital display, the valve also has an acoustic
and visual alert signal.The alarm indicates critical situations
such as a low fill level or a limited gas flow caused by a bend
in the hose. This gives patients greater safety when monitoring
the cylinder themselves.
This new and innovative gas cylinder system is called LIV IQ
(Linde Integrated Valve) and has become very well established
on the market. The major advantage of this system lies in the
selfmonitoring aspect and the better mobile oxygen supply, for
example when transporting a patient. Furthermore, it helps nursing
staff tremendously as they spend less time taking readings as
they know down to the exact minute how much longer the oxygen
will last with the current settings.
OF DIGITAL OXYGEN CYLINDERS
The optimisation of medical gas supplies will go a step further
in the future.There are plans for an IoT (Internet ofThings)
process for the LIV IQ.The valve's digital data will then be
integrated into an internal hospital network via radio and prepared
in a customer friendly way.
Nursing staff can access all digital, acoustic and visual display
information from any workstation within the hospital across a
network. Once again, this vastly reduces the additional effort
of checking each oxygen cylinder in situ.
This step towards the Internet ofThings is currently being developed
by Linde Healthcare. With this planned solution, the next generation
of the LIV IQ will revolutionise how oxygen cylinders are managed
"When you break new technological ground as Linde has done
with the LIV IQ, it is very reassuring to have the best experts
on your team. When it comes to pressure measurement technology,
there was no doubt that KELLER met these requirements admirablyWhat
is important in our case is not only that our suppliers have
the necessary technical expertise, but also that they are prepared
to offer individual solutions. Last but not least, only top production
quality is good enough when it comes to medical applications.
In KELLER we have found a partner who emphatically supports us
in this endeavour," comments Bernd Rieker, global expert,
Medical Devices, Linde Healthcare.
"Thanks to the close cooperation with Linde, KELLER was
able to gain valuable knowledge about the market requirements
for medical oxygen in the product development and launch phases.This
is how, for instance, the quality of the working environment
in specific production departments at KELLER was boosted to a
new level. In return, Linde was able to benefit from KELLER's
extensive experience in the fields of pressure sensor measuring
and sensor data analysis and compensation.With the pressure sensors
that are currently being developed, the joint path into the future
of intelligent oxygen cylinders is being paved;' adds Michael
Mack,, product manager, KELLER.
is a member of the LoRa Alliance
The long range wide area network "LoRaTM" connects
objects via radio and offers safe, bidirectional communication
within the Internet of Things. LoRaWAN is based on the open industry
standard LoRa and has been set out by the non-profit organisation
LoRa Alliance, of which KELLER AG fur Druckmesstechnik is a member.
This technology offers high coverage and a low level of energy
consumption, which is especially suited to battery-operated applications.
For more information, please contact:-
+44(0) 845 643 2855 Fax: +44(0) 845 643 2866