Everett, MA – Middlesex Gases, a leading supplier of specialty, medical, and industrial gases in New England, has expanded its dry ice services. Now, in addition to distribution, the company will manufacture dry ice at its Plainville, Massachusetts, filling plant.
Dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2), is an essential refrigeration material for Middlesex Gases customers in the medical, health care, pharmaceutical, and life sciences industries. From hospitals to academic research facilities and biotech labs, these organizations are often shipping temperature-sensitive samples, supplies, or materials. Packing these invaluable items in dry ice helps ensure that the cold temperatures they were stored in are maintained during transport.
Over the past few years, customer demand for dry ice had grown substantially. However, the supply of dry ice from third-party sources had become inconsistent. In addition, dry ice prices skyrocketed. Middlesex Gases has been investigating better ways to reliably fulfill its customers’ dry ice requirements—which have topped one million pounds per year—and to do so at a fair price. In June 2022, Middlesex Gases decided the optimal solution was to bring dry ice manufacturing in-house.
Middlesex Gases’ Director of Sales & Marketing, Ron Perry, said, “We are very aware of how vital it is for our customers to have a stable source of dry ice. The recent supply chain issues turned into an exciting opportunity for us to continue to expand our capabilities to meet the ever-changing needs of the labs and facilities we serve. We are proud to now be one of just three gas companies in New England that both manufacture and distribute dry ice.”
Building out its dry ice capabilities did require Middlesex to commit significant resources. The largest investment has gone toward the purchase of an industrial dry ice pelletizer that can manufacture up to 1,700 pounds of product per hour. This highly reliable pelletizer is two dry ice machines in one, so if one unit breaks down, there is always a backup to keep production going.
Another big investment the company had to make was retrofitting the Plainville plant to accommodate a 50-ton CO2 bulk tank. By bringing in one of the largest available bulk tanks in the market, the company is making sure it will have enough product to keep up with not only current demand from customers but future requirements as well.
Middlesex also acquired fully enclosed dry ice delivery trucks to ensure that customers’ products are transported in a protected, clean environment. In addition, the company purchased insulated, sealed containers, with either 200-lb. or 500-lb. capacity, that are specially formulated with high-impact polyethylene. These containers offer much longer hold times than the cardboard boxes typically used by other dry ice suppliers. For example, product delivered in a cardboard box generally lasts about a day at a customer site, while dry ice delivered in the Middlesex containers may hold for as long as two weeks. Containers are barcoded to enable traceability of orders from fill to delivery truck to the customer location.
Perry said, “Now that we are both the manufacturer and the distributor of dry ice for our customers, we have significantly reduced lead times. Instead of waiting several days for a product that has already begun to disintegrate, labs and other facilities are receiving dry ice that just came off the pelletizer a few short hours before. We are very pleased to be able to offer our customers a dependable supply of dry ice that is colder, higher quality, and longer lasting.”
The new dry ice manufacturing equipment is just one example of how Middlesex is constantly improving the way it serves the gas requirements of its customers. The company has also made significant investments in a high-tech specialty gas lab, a state-of-the-art medical CO2 lab, and a fleet of trucks and trailers, including a 10-ton medical CO2 bulk truck, which enables Middlesex to offer gas solutions to a wide range of businesses throughout Southern New England.
About Middlesex Gases
Middlesex Gases is a family-owned, third-generation supplier of specialty, medical, and industrial gases and a variety of gas systems, including Bulk, MicroBulk, and Cryopreservation. The company was founded in 1949 by welder Joseph Martin Sr. as Middlesex Welding Supply, in Everett, Massachusetts. Today, Middlesex still offers expertise in industrial and welding gases and products but has evolved to focus more resources on serving the ever-increasing gas requirements of businesses in life sciences, biotech, and health care. Middlesex is now the preferred vendor for the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), the Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMEDIC), and BioCT, Connecticut’s biotechnology community. With three fill plants, five supply stores, a state-of-the-art specialty gas lab and new medical CO2 lab, and a large fleet of trucks and trailers, Middlesex Gases delivers superior gas products and solutions wherever and whenever its customers need them.