COVID-19: AXI International Update

Fort Myers, Fla. (March 25, 2020) – AXI International is considered to be an essential business and will remain open and in full operation during this time.

With the development of COVID-19, AXI International is taking all precautions to mitigate risk of infection, and have adjusted our operations to make the workplace safer and healthier.

As responsible citizens, we will continue to comply with all state and federal recommendations/mandates regarding COVID-19 and will be staying up-to-date with the latest information from the CDC

You can find information directly from the CDC here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

AXI International’s mission remains to provide the most reliable fuel management and maintenance equipment to industries across the globe and we will continue to do so during this pandemic.

Our staff is working, available, and here to support our customers with their needs. Should you have any questions, please reach out to us toll-free at (877) 435-4239.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those being affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Exhaust Scrubber Alternative Proposed for IMO 2020

Fort Myers, Fla. (August 22, 2019) – January 1st, 2020 marks the beginning of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulation on sulfur emissions for the global maritime fleet.

Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) or High Sulfur Fuel Oil has provided tankers and cargo ships with cheap and widely available fuel for decades.

This new regulation calls for vessels to adopt higher cost fuels with significantly less sulfur contents than the current 3.5%.

Although the regulation specifically calls for the use of low sulfur fuels, the rule was written to regulate emissions, not sulfur contents.

This has created a loophole that allows vessels to keep burning the preferable high sulfur fuel oil so long as they adopt the appropriate measures to suppress sulfur emissions.

This has brought exhaust scrubbers technology into the global conversation because it can do just that.

Once installed on a ship, exhaust scrubbers work to significantly reduce sulfur oxides and particulate matter in emissions.

This would allow vessels to keep or even benefit from the low and predictably dropping price of high sulfur fuel oil.

Unfortunately, demand for this technology far outweighs the world’s supply capacity leaving many ships with two options, adopt more expensive compliant fuels (ultra low sulfur fuel oil, marine gas oil, or diesel fuel) or pay for costly vessel conversions to Liquid Natural Gas (LNG).

This harsh reality has prompted AXI International to propose a new solution to better deal with the IMO’s 2020 regulation.

The Concerns of Exhuast Scrubbers

Before we get into the new solution proposal, we must better understand why an alternative to exhaust scrubbers or Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS) would be desirable.

Aside from the low availability and long lead times, scrubber technology is still considered to be in its infancy and can cost ship owners millions for installation and integration.

EGCS systems are also becoming a much-debated topic among environmentalists due to how its byproducts are being disposed of.

Many of the new exhaust scrubbers being installed are open loop systems that spray sea water over the exhaust fumes to wash out the sulfur oxides and particulate matter.

Once drained from the emissions chamber, the sea water, now full of emissions contents, is released into the open ocean.

Advocates for exhaust scrubber systems have argued its effects on the ocean are negligible while many others remain skeptical of such claims.

“Surely, scrubbers will reduce emissions to air, but it appears as it will just move the emissions to the sea instead.” – Ivar Myklebust, CEO of Höegh Autoliners

This has led to speculation on whether exhaust scrubbers could be the target of future, more stringent regulations.

If this were the case, thousands of multi-million-dollar investments to keep HFO could be rendered useless overnight.

Singapore, China and Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates have already started a ban on open loop scrubber systems.

There are fears that localized areas with higher shipping density may be vulnerable to higher discharge volumes leading to negative ecological impacts.

It is uncertain if other ports will follow suit with similar concerns.

The Benefits of Keeping High Sulfur Fuel Oil

New Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) is expected to be 25% more expensive than the current high sulfur fuel oil.

This rise in fuel costs will result in increased freight rates which can be expected to be passed down to end consumers.

With 90% of all global trade happening on our oceans, Goldman Sachs estimates this change could impact consumer wallets by nearly $240 billion in 2020.

With initial capital expenditures, an investment in exhaust scrubber systems could help ships owners dodge the hikes in fuel costs and even save them money should the price of high sulfur fuel oil drop like many predict.

Keeping heavy fuel oil could make certain vessels more competitive with lower freight rates and faster transportation times, another metric expected to be negatively impacted as ships attempt to lower fuel consumption.

AXI International’s new alternative could allow entities to remain competitive in 2020 without the huge risk in capital expense needed for exhaust gas cleaning systems.

An Exhaust Scrubber Alternative

AXI International suggests the better solution to emissions control and cost reduction lies in the pre-combustion stage of the engine as opposed to the reactive approach of exhaust scrubbers during post-combustion.

By modifying the rate determining step of the fuel during the combustion process, AXI International has demonstrated amazing results in emission reductions across the board along with increases in fuel efficiency.

This is due to the fuel being burnt more completely in the combustion chamber as opposed to creating excess byproducts we have come to know as harmful emissions.

A proprietary combustion catalyst lies at the heart of this solution and AXI International has developed a robust system to deliver it directly to the vessel’s fuel supply with intelligent auto dosing protocols.

Talks have already began surrounding the systems implementation for smaller applications but AXI is actively looking for partners in further testing on larger maritime vessels.

With a more complete combustion of the fuel, users can expect increases in efficiency and power on top of emission reductions.

 “These benefits are all tied together. If you are burning more of the fuel you can expect to extract more energy from the fuel and receive considerable increases in power and efficiency. Harmful emissions are also a direct result of unburnt hydrocarbons (fuel). If more of the fuel is being burnt, you can quickly deduce how it would correlate to reductions in harmful emissions.”

To go further, AXI International’s AFC Fuel Additives are already being used to restore much of the lost lubricity associated with ultra-low sulfur diesel.

AXI believes this additive injection system paired with its fuel additive could work to alleviate some of the coming ailments and offset some of the increased costs associated with the adoption of new distillate marine fuels.

Chemical fuel treatments or fuel additives are a proven technology that have been successfully utilized in many industries on a whole range of hydrocarbon-based fuels.

” …the application of residual fuel additives in the marine and power generation sectors to improve combustion or provide other benefits is not yet widespread… The combustion phase is one of the areas where marine residual fuel oil additives can be used to advantage” – Chevron

In automating the additive dosing process, AXI International hopes this will become a more feasible solution for marine vessels to gain a competitive edge in a IMO 2020 environment.

AXI Launches Engineering Services for Custom Solutions

Fort Myers, Fla. (June 17, 2019) – We are pleased to announce that AXI International is now formally offering engineering services as part of our growing scope of services & products.

As the industry leader in Intelligent Fuel Management solutions, this step was a logical stride in AXI’s ever-growing presence within the fuel services & products market.

Building upon our background in fuel management and fuel reliability, our expansion into engineering services will only lead to greater industry innovation for all aspects of our business.

Globally, AXI International provides engineering services for a variety of industries. Our experienced team of engineers are dedicated to working with companies to evaluate project demands and offer solutions. Our skilled staff are experts in the development, design, integration, and programming of a range of components, including control panels, PLCs, HMIs, VFD systems, and more.

Working with AXI International ensures you have the proper engineering consultation & guidance to work through your project needs. By using the latest technologies, our team of engineers can address the project and determine ways to increase system capability and reduce potential downtime.

Fuel tank analysis and design using computational fluid dynamics technology and industry best practices.

CEO Jeff Poirier states that “AXI has been performing many different engineering tasks as part of its effort to break into new business. We have also greatly increased our engineering staff level and expertise and can now accommodate many different types of projects. It fits right in with the model we were trying to suit: manufacturer with engineering support for its integration into complex projects.”

Our industry experience in Intelligent Fuel Management has given us the opportunity to broaden our scope of services, as we now provide engineering services for a number of applications. AXI International will continue to serve our industries and provide an unparalleled quality of service, product & expertise.

These Engineering Services include:

These engineering services are crucial to the industries and clients we work with, and through offering these services our goal is to remain as the industry leader in a variety of fuel management & maintenance solutions.

Image comparing the flow path coverage between the standard fuel polishing setup and multi-point flow path system upgrade

Our team is filled with passionate individuals who put everything on the line to make this company who we are today. Without their dedication, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this consistency of growth.

By building upon our team of professionals, we are excited to have the manpower and capacity to handle engineering projects of all shapes, sizes, & applications.

“For AXI International, this means that we can transition the engineering team to being a proactive portion of our business. Direct communication between facility engineering firms and our team will assist in integrating our product lines into new projects and also allow us to help these firms create the best possible solution for their clients. It will also bring new opportunities to AXI that may have never presented themselves before. We have brought in many engineers with different backgrounds that give us multiple perspectives for each project and different ways of thinking.”

– Jeff Poirier, CEO

We are confident that with this momentum, we can continue to excel as we explore new opportunities for AXI International. These engineering services are crucial to the industries we work with, and we hope to continue with our pattern of growth and innovation that has lead us to the forefront of the industry.

As we strengthen our current footholds, reinforce old ones, and step out into new innovative areas of opportunity, we are elated to continue building upon the ever-growing vision of AXI International.

Algae-X: Bill Miller Leads Revitalization of AXI's Presence in the Global Marine Market

Fort Myers, Fla. (April 4, 2019) – Congratulations to Bill Miller, AXI International’s new Director of Marine Fueling Solutions Worldwide.

Bill started with AXI International’s predecessor Algae-X nearly 20 years ago when the company focused on providing fuel solutions for the marine industry.

At that time, Algae-X’s flagship product was the in-line magnetic fuel conditioner, better known as the LG-X.

LG-X took off as a phenomenon in the marine industry where it was quickly utilized in both recreational and commercial applications.

Algae-X logo

Bill Miller’s vast experience, technical understanding, and relentless passion brings a valuable presence as AXI International revives the Algae-X brand within the marine market.

A few years prior to the 2008 recession, Algae-X had begun to diversify its brand presence by expanding into the industrial market.

In 2008, the marine market was hit especially hard by the economic recession and Algae-X had to shift focus to other fuel system solutions in markets less impacted.

However, in recent years the marine industry has seen a steady comeback, with marine manufacturer and consumer confidence reflecting consistent growth.

Algae-X aims to offer proven fuel solutions for marine vessels of all applications through integration of new technologies developed by AXI International.

“Fuel is as worse as it’s ever been, and the tolerances on these engines are tighter than they’ve ever been. The two don’t play well together. Everything we do to enhance the optimal quality of the fuel being provided to the engines on-board is important. Boats find out they have a problem quicker than anybody. The boat can’t move without stirring up the ‘soup’ in the tank. As soon as that happens, it goes right to the filters.”

– Bill Miller, Director of Marine Fueling Solutions Worldwide

Background of image of a LG-X magnetic fuel conditioner installation

With Algae-X’s marine fuel solutions, fuel can be treated with AXI International’s industry proven systems and custom engineered solutions that aim to prevent breakdowns and catastrophic failures related to poor fuel quality.

These solutions are inherently proactive by preventing the problem where it originates (in the tank).

With these offerings, those who would otherwise be affected with the pains of fuel degradation can gain confidence in the overall performance & reliability of their vessels.

Outside of AXI International, Bill Miller is a devoted husband of 30 years to his wife, and a caring father.

Bill is also an avid outdoorsman and golfer, and when it comes to being indoors, Bill expresses “I’m still a kid– I hate being inside.”

AXI International looks forward to working with Bill Miller to grow our international presence within the marine market.

We are excited for AXI International to resurrect the Algae-X name and venture back strongly into the marine industry.

Tank Polishing Dramatically Improves with New Technology

Fort Myers, Fla. (November 29, 2018) – AXI International is disrupting the fuel maintenance industry with a slew of new technologies that simulate, improve, and measure tank cleaning effectiveness.

Through the use of powerful software, the company can now simulate the cleaning efficiencies of their fuel polishing systems on different fuel tank designs.

With these simulations, AXI has solidified claims that their patent pending technology, Multi-Point Flow Path, dramatically increases flow velocity and tank cleaning coverage in base/belly tanks compared to traditional fuel polishing configurations.

To take things a step further, the company has also begun integrating particle counters on their systems to provide real-time data regarding fuel cleanliness to international cleanliness standards (ISO 4406).

“Combined, these technologies bring AXI to forefront of the fuel maintenance industry by inspiring data driven design and producing data backed results.” – Jeff Poirier, COO

Multi-Point Flow Path

Traditional fuel polishing configurations feature a single point of pick-up to pull fuel into the polisher and a point of return to transport the newly clean fuel back to the tank.

The industry has considered this best practice for maintaining fuel cleanliness.

AXI International hypothesized and later proved this traditional approach was lacking in tank cleaning effectiveness, which lead to the creation of Multi-Point.

This upgrade adds multiple pickup and return points to increase the number of flow paths, average flow velocity, and total cleaning coverage in any given tank.

To both optimize and demonstrate the effectiveness of this upgrade the company invested in complex simulation software.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Software

AXI uses computation fluid dynamics (CFD) software to demonstrate the fluid flow, velocity, and cleaning coverage of fuel polishing configurations of specific tanks.

Through these simulations, AXI has demonstrated the power of their Multi-Point Flow Path upgrade in contrast with traditional setups.

Leveraging this insight, the company has begun consulting on valve placement and tank design to better optimize fuel flow for maintenance purposes.

Particle Counter Integration

To further ensure a tank’s fuel is meeting the international standards for cleanliness (ISO 4406), AXI now integrates particle counters into their fuel maintenance systems as an additional option.

These particle counters use laser-based detection to identify the size and number of contaminant particles per 100 mL of fuel.

The result is a three number code used to determine the overall cleanliness of the fuel as defined in ISO 4406.

“By integrating particle counters, we are eliminating any guess work as to how clean the fuel actually is before and after polishing. Our system will read the data and react appropriately to ensure your fuel is always within spec.” – Jeff Poirier, COO

AXI International Featured in Health Facilities Management Magazine

Fort Myers, Fla. (September 27, 2017) – In its September issue, Health Facilities Management published an article that features recent installations of AXI International’s fuel filtration equipment at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania.

The article, titled “Fuel Polishing Aids Facility in Emergency Power Readiness: Pennsylvania Hospital Relies on Critical Product to Meet NFPA and CMS Standards” outlines the benefits that AXI International products provide for healthcare facilities.

The Associate Director of Facilities and Maintenance at Hershey Medical Center, Jeffrey Dove, and his team understand the importance of maintaining their fuel supply for the hospital’s backup generator.

For this reason, they made the decision to install automated fuel filtration systems on two of their tanks.

Maintaining their fuel using AXI International’s FPS-LX-F systems allows the facility to meet NFPA and CMS fuel and backup power standards.

Each of the two systems maintains 13,000-gallon fuel tanks.

Meeting NFPA and CMS Guidelines Through Fuel Filtration

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, paragraph 7.9.1.3. states that fuel “tanks shall be sized so that the fuel is consumed within the storage life or provision shall be made to remediate fuel that is stale or contaminated or to replace stale or contaminated fuel with clean fuel.”

Additionally, the article discusses the fact that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has increased their emphasis on fuel quality.

Its Conditions of Participation for the Final Rule at 42 CFR 482.15(e)(3) states: “Emergency Generator Fuel: Hospitals that maintain an on-site fuel source to power emergency generators must have a plan for how it will keep emergency power systems operational during the emergency, unless it evacuates.”

Keeping Backup Systems Maintained and Intact

When the fuel supply at a facility is properly maintained, it creates less wear-and-tear on the engine, and, most importantly, assures that the facility’s backup power system will be functioning when it is needed in the event of an emergency.

AXI International fuel filtration systems give healthcare facility professionals peace of mind and assurance that their backup systems will function properly in time of need.

To read the original article featured in Health Facilities Management, click here.

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