2011 - Volume #35, Issue #6, Page #03[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Refillable 1-Lb. Propane Cylinders
“Our 1-lb. refillable cylinder is unique to the cylinder industry,” says Scott Viebranz, vice president, sales. Manchester estimates their refillable container will pay for itself in just 16 hours of use. Currently, disposable containers cost more to recycle than it does to make them.
“I used torches for soldering water and refrigeration lines and for lighting pilots,” says Frank Lane, director, Research and Development. “My greatest frustration was when I ran out of propane for my torches. I thought it was such a waste to throw away cylinders and buy new ones.”
Lane turned his frustration into cylinders that can be filled in 50 to 70 sec. The company also developed portable dispensers for filling containers, as well as dispensers to fill vehicle-mounted propane tanks such as on many forklifts.
Unlike disposables, each Manchester refillable features a positive on-off valve, a relief valve and a fixed maximum liquid level gauge. The safety fill valve ensures that dispensers can’t be used with disposable containers.
Manchester is working closely with companies like Run Propane that make propane conversion kits (see story above). Jon Richmond with Run Propane expects the refillables to make propane use much more user friendly for smaller applications like leaf blowers, hand torches and recreational use.
“Customers will be able to buy a 33-lb. cylinder and five 1-lb. cylinders and refill them themselves,” he says.
Initially the refillable units are expected to be filled only by trained retailers. Getting prospective dealers interested and trained is the current bottleneck to ready availability.
“It will take some time to establish the infrastructure for consumer availability,” suggests Leslie Shorter, marketing manager. “We are working with different companies to provide parts and pieces of the system needed.”
Prices of the cylinders and suggested refill prices are not yet available.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Manchester Tank, 1000 Corporate Centre Dr., Suite 300, Franklin, Tenn. 37067 (ph 615 370-6300; toll free 800 640-6327; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.mantank.com).
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