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Airgas' Red-D-Arc Welderentals Becomes Global Distributor for Key Plant Automation Products

Key Plant weld-positioning and automation products to be marketed world-wide

RADNOR, PA - January 9, 2012 - Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG) today announced that its Red-D-Arc Welderentals subsidiary has partnered with Key Plant Automation Ltd., Liverpool, UK, to become their exclusive global distributor of Key Plant weld-positioning and automation products. Key Plant has more than 50 years of experience in the design and manufacture of standard and custom-designed weld-positioning and automation equipment in the UK, with sales to a variety of customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

"We are confident that with Red-D-Arc as our dedicated distributor, Key Plant can expand our global business opportunities," said Kevin Davies, Managing Director of Key Plant Automation Ltd. "Red-D-Arc's long history and expertise in the sale, lease and rental of both welding and weld-positioning equipment, as well as their global reach, make them an excellent partner."

"Key Plant has long been recognized as a world-class designer and fabricator of automation equipment," said Mitch Imielinski, President of Red-D-Arc, the Airgas company that provides welding and welding-related specialty equipment for rental, lease and sale to Airgas customers on a global basis. "Our companies share a commitment to growing this business, and we are excited about the new opportunities that this partnership will provide."

Key Plant's full-line includes floor turntables; seam welders; side beams and lathe types; handling equipment; column and booms; girth welders; pipe and valve cladding systems; standard, bench, elevating, and rotilt positioners; headstocks and tailstocks; self-aligning, pipe and scissor, anti-drift, and conventional rotators, as well as welding equipment and supplies.

In partnering with Red-D-Arc, Key Plant brings these essential weld-positioning and automation products to a broad, worldwide customer base. Steel fabrication shops, tank and vessel manufacturers, wind tower manufacturers, shipyards, special-purpose fabricators, welding equipment manufacturers, and pipe fabricating shops, among others, can locate Red-D-Arc's unparalleled network of retail stores and knowledgeable staff on

"We're seeing quite a bit of interest in automated solutions as metal fabricators world-wide are looking for ways to become more efficient and more competitive," Imielinski added. "We displayed the Key Plant fixed-automation cladding system at FABTECH 2011 in Chicago and it generated a lot of attention and significant sales."

FABTECH, according to Imielinski, is North America's largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing exposition and conference.

About Airgas, Inc.
Based in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and supplies. Airgas is also one of the largest U.S. distributors of safety products, the largest U.S. producer of nitrous oxide and dry ice, the largest liquid carbon dioxide producer in the Southeast, the fifth largest producer of atmospheric merchant gases in North America, and a leading distributor of process chemicals, refrigerants, and ammonia products. More than 14,000 employees work in approximately 1,100 locations, including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities, and distribution centers. Airgas also distributes its products and services through eBusiness, catalog, and telesales channels. Its national scale and strong local presence offer a competitive edge to its diversified customer base. For more information, please visit

About Red-D-Arc Welderentals
Red-D-Arc Welderentals, an Airgas company, is the largest provider of welding and welding-related rental products and services in North America, with over 50,000 units in our fleet. Started in 1955, Red-D-Arc became an Airgas company in 1995 and currently offers rental welding-equipment through over 50 service centers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East, as well as through Airgas Construction Stores, and a dealer network that includes the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Kazakhstan, and Australia.

About Key Plant Automation Ltd.
Key Plant, based in the United Kingdom, is a world leader in the manufacture, sale and rental of positioning and automation equipment. Key Plant has supplied equipment to the welding industry, updated manual welding processes, and developed automated welding equipment for over 50 years. Since beginning as Courtburn Welding in 1956, Key Plant has grown to include state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and today offers fully automated turnkey installations.

Media Contact:
Jay Worley (610) 902-6206

Investor Contact:
Barry Strzelec (610) 902-6256

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