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Articles / Energy / Breath of life

Breath of life


Piped gas is a critical part of modern medical care. Thailand’s busiest hospital has entrusted Atlas Copco’s BeaconMedæs with a major medical gas system upgrade.

Baby in hospital - BeaconMedaes

Photo: iStock

When it comes to medical facilities in Thailand, none is older or more renowned than Siriraj Hospital. Located in a dozen buildings spread over four city blocks in Bangkok, the facility has 3 000 beds and one million outpatient visits a year, making it the busiest public hospital in the country.
Imagine then the size and complexity of the contract BeaconMedæs won in 2010 to replace Siriraj Hospital’s outdated medical gas distribution system.
The project is complex – “a massive undertaking,” especially since the facility needed to remain open and fully functional for patients, says Steve Robinson, a medical gas specialist who worked full-time on the project as Business Line Manager in BeaconMedæs’s South East Asia office. It involves eight air and eight vacuum plants, each with multiple compressors, pumps, filters and control systems to supply medical, surgical and dental services in various buildings.

BeaconMedæs, a part of the Atlas Copco Group since 2006, is the world’s leading specialist in the design, supply and installation of piped medical gas distribution systems.
The company operates through local and regional distributors in over 40 countries and through Atlas Copco customer centers in 140 more.
More than half of the company’s hundreds of current projects involve the replacement of aging piped medical gas distribution systems in hospitals in North America and the United Kingdom. “There aren’t a lot of new hospitals being built in developed countries these days,” says Mark Allen, Director of Marketing. “But there is growing demand to update the systems in the many facilities that were built in the 1960s and 70s.”

The biggest and most lucrative opportunities are in developing nations that have enjoyed substantial economic growth in recent years – and now have both the mind and the means to build world-class medical facilities. “In China and India alone the number of new hospitals being built or contemplated is staggering,” Allen says. “We’re working hard to get our fair share of that business and, considering our reputation and our networks, we are confident that we will succeed.”