Praxair, Inc. (Praxair or the company) was founded in 1907 and became an independent publicly traded company in 1992. Praxair was the first company in the United States to produce oxygen from air using a cryogenic process and continues to be a technological innovator in the industrial gases industry.
Praxair is a leading industrial gas company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. Praxair's primary products in its industrial gases business are atmospheric gases (oxygen, nitrogen, argon, rare gases) and process gases (carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, electronic gases, specialty gases, acetylene). The company also designs, engineers, and builds equipment that produces industrial gases primarily for internal use. The company's surface technologies segment, operated through Praxair Surface Technologies, Inc., supplies wear-resistant and high-temperature corrosion-resistant metallic and ceramic coatings and powders. Praxair's sales were $11,437 million, $10,534 million, and $10,776 million for 2017, 2016, and 2015, respectively. Refer to Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis, for a discussion of consolidated sales and Note 18 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information related to Praxair's reportable segments.
Praxair serves a diverse group of industries including healthcare, petroleum refining, manufacturing, food, beverage carbonation, fiber-optics, steel making, aerospace, chemicals and water treatment. In 2017, 95% of sales were generated in four geographic segments (North America, Europe, South America and Asia) primarily from the sale of industrial gases, with the balance generated from the surface technologies segment. Praxair provides a competitive advantage to its customers by continuously developing new products and applications, which allow them to improve their productivity, energy efficiency and environmental performance.