Tag Archive | "Oil"

TRIPLE T RANGE FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

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TRIPLE T RANGE FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF CARLUBE

The largest operating expense for a fleet is fuel costs and any savings made within this sector will have a significant impact for the fleet. As a result, fleet managers are constantly looking for ways to reduce costs and increase fuel economy. Although it may be overlooked, engine oils are a vital part of any operating vehicle, and can also reduce emissions – even a 1% fuel economy saving can help hugely in a large fleet. Although this sounds like a small percentage, when an average annual fuel bill is reviewed, a 1% saving can make thousands of pounds difference by simply changing the engine oil. A potentially large saving for a fleet of vehicles.

Engine oil manufacturers are constantly looking at ways to improve fuel economy in all vehicles. We know that the thinner the oil, the less drag it puts on the engine, and therefore an increase in fuel economy. These oils are now ready to buy off the shelf for passenger vehicles – for instance grades such as 5W-30 instead of 10W-40. However, within heavy duty applications, one of the main concerns with this method is whether lower viscosity oils will protect the engine to the same extent.

Carlube’s Triple T range for commercial vehicles, meets the needs of Truck, Transport and Tractor engines. This range covers over 99% of commercial vehicle engine applications, allowing extended drain intervals of up to 80,000km and reduced engine wear. Triple T products carry formal approvals from leading commercial vehicle manufacturers such as Mack, Renault, Scania & Volvo.

Carlube Triple T 5W-30 UHPD E6/E9 is rigorously tested to provide premium protection against engine wear and fully protect vital components. In the ACEA E6 engine tests, it has been proven to offer over 40% more engine wear protection than the test limit. The formulation is one of Carlube’s most comprehensive offerings for on and off road vehicles in the marketplace.

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES VS THE AFTERMARKET

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES VS THE AFTERMARKET


What challenges does the lubricant industry face? With impending bans on traditional vehicles and increasing market share of EVs

At the end of last year, the UK media reported a sixth month consecutive decline in sales of diesel cars. UK Government’s uncertainty about how to treat vehicles once classed as ‘the green option’ has led to consumer caution about buying cars that might be subject to higher taxation in future.

In July 2017, the UK Government declared that from 2040, sale of motor vehicles powered with internal combustion engines, petrol or diesel, would be banned. This followed similar announcements made by the French Government earlier that year. Even Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) followed suit with Volvo and more recently Jaguar Land-Rover announcing the end of petrol and diesel car sales from 2019 and 2020 respectively.

The impact on the automotive sector, its fuel and lubricant sales, as electric vehicle sales increase cannot be underestimated.

Barclays’ analysts reported that if electric cars with greater efficiency increased to one third of the current automotive sector, this would cut global oil consumption by 3.5 million barrels a day by 2025. This is roughly the equivalent of Iran’s current supply of oil at 3.8 million barrels a day that is the Organisation of Exporting Petroleum Countries (OPEC)‘s third largest member.

Globally, demand for oil is still growing. In their 2017 outlook OPEC signalled that the medium-term demand for oil for the period 2016–2022 would increase by 6.9 million barrels a day, rising from 95.4 million barrels in 2016 to around 102.3 million barrels a day by 2022. Developing countries are expected to account for the majority of this increase, with demand expected to increase here by 43.2 million barrels a day in 2016 to 49.6 million barrels a day by 2022.

A cut in automotive demand for oil would effectively wipe out half the expected increase in global oil demand by 2022. But globally, the demand for oil would still increase.

Transportation is expected to remain the largest consumer of oil products, both fuel and lubricants, well into 2040. Much of the sector faces weak competition from alternate sources of fuel and lubricants although improved efficiencies, the rise of hybrid or electric vehicles and a tightening of energy policies will help to decelerate increases in the demand for oil from this sector.

WHAT IS ALLOWED?
Details of the French and UK Governments’ decision to ban conventional internal combustion engine vehicles is still vague. Will hybrid vehicles still be allowed? What about heavy goods vehicles or diesel powered public vehicles such as taxis? Some analysts believe that Governments might have kicked an emissions issue aligned to poor air quality into the long grass. The UK faced with the prospect of fines by the European Union over the quality of its air in cities, needed to be seen to be doing something positive about the issue.

Today’s vehicles are cleaner and leaner than those of ten or twenty years ago. Exhaust after treatment devices, both catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters, have removed many post-combustion harmful gases. Car scrappage schemes promoted by both Government and car manufacturers have incentivised owners to replace ageing vehicles with more modern cars. Changes to car taxation duties reward cars with lower emissions.

Electric cars might not be the panacea for everyone. Limited battery range and the high cost of lithium power cells means that extended ranges between charges of 300 miles or more are not yet a reality. As local town run-arounds or shopper cars, electric vehicles provide a viable alternative to conventional vehicles for journeys typified by short local stops. For longer commuter journeys then electric vehicles alone do not currently provide a realistic solution in the absence of a national and comprehensive electric charging network.

Much needed investment in electric charging stations along major motorway routes and trunk roads still remains in short supply. The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) gave evidence to UK Government’s Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill Committee in November arguing against proposals to mandate electric vehicle charge points in petrol stations and motorway service areas. Although subsidies exist for domestic installation, the Bill proposes that a larger commercial network of charging points would be paid for by fuel retailers who would, by implication, pass the charges back to motorists. Government would not fund such a scheme.

REQUIREMENTS
In terms of engine oil and lubrication requirements, hybrid vehicles act in a slightly different manner to more conventional vehicles. A distinguishing feature of hybrid electric vehicle is that the conventional engine switches off when the power available from the electrical cell exceeds that needed to propel the vehicle. This results in lower operating temperatures and higher stress during stop/start for the conventional engine, which could lead to increased sludge and varnish than that of conventional engines.

What of service intervals? In the UK, service intervals of 12,000 miles are usually expected by motorists. In America, some dealers are claiming that hybrid vehicles require oil changes every 5,000 miles or 10,000 miles if using a synthetic, more typical of conventional cars sold in that country. The move to lower viscosity oils could also confuse matters if a motorist has been used to using a 5w30 engine oil in their hybrid ten years ago and today the same, but newer, model of their much-loved car requires a lower viscosity lubricant of 0w20 or less.

For the aftermarket, although electric cars might prove a challenge today, a hybrid car is a more popular and obvious choice for motorists. They provide the assurance of extended ranges for longer journeys similar to that of conventional vehicles, with the benefit of lower emissions under town centre driving conditions.

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ARE CLASSIC OILS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY?

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ARE CLASSIC OILS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY?


There is growth in the classic oil market, but it is an overcrowded area

i-Sint formulation

Buying oil is an ever more complex process for modern vehicles, so don’t you just long for the days when there was a choice of about three?

Well, there is a section of the market that caters just for classic cars (and by ‘classic’, we mean anything from the straight weight oils of the veteran and vintage eras, right up to the high-detergent multigrades used in the late 1990s). Oddly, as demand for volume of older oil grades such as 10w40 decreases, the number of brands available has actually increased. It is also one of the few areas in the lubes market where a high percentage of sales go to DIYers rather than to the trade, so retail visibility is important.

Old brands, long out of circulation have been revived during the year just passed, notably Veedol and Duckhams. The latter being produced under new ownership as a private consortium bought the brand from BP, though at the time of writing, the only way to get your hands on a can is to mail order it from the brand’s website.

Traditional brands have got a lot of cache among older motorists, but a name isn’t the only reason that consumers would choose one brand over another. Indeed, there is plenty to suggest that the market for this type of product is oversupplied.“The temptation is to think there’s always room for one more brand, but there have been some spectacular failures in recent years where people have assumed they can carve a niche and found that it’s much harder than they thought” said Guy Lachlan, a Director of Bicester-based retailer Classic Oils.“Kroon Oils was one that didn’t work in the UK, and the Shell X100 brand tried to come back but hasn’t really made the leap into the mainstream yet.”

TOUGH OLD TIMER
Others concur that the old-timer segment is tough to crack. “The classic market all told is relatively small, so we are noticing a degree of increased competition, oversupply and also margin squeeze” said Tony Lowe, Sales Director at Brighouse-based Millers Oils. Interestingly, both Millers and Classic Oils have found a significant market for direct sales via the internet, something that would have seemed unlikely even a few years ago. “Online is the big driver for this range,” said Lowe. “Our own web shop via the Millers website has been key in driving sales forward.”

Penrite oil

However, the assurance of modern quality also goes a long way according to Adam Young, a Field Sales rep for lube supplier MotoWorld which imports ENI and Agip into the UK, both long- standing brands featuring the fire- breathing six- legged dog. “The oil market in general, is very crowded, but Penrite oil we believe there is a space for ENI” he said. “The products are fully certified to the latest ACEA, API and JASO and manufacturer standards so consumers can be certain they’re receiving the best quality possible from our oils.” As you might expect, all of the suppliers that we spoke to said that the message of quality was something that any consumer working on their pride and joy would take to heart, however other aspects of the marketing message differed. Millers’ Lowe said that the ‘Made in Britain’ tag was important to its customers, while Classic Oils’ Lachlan makes the point that it is easier for brands that were originally mentioned in the handbook, which must be good news for the likes of Castrol.

RETAIL IS DETAIL
When selling directly to consumers, ‘retail is detail’ as the old saying goes. However, how much difference does retro- styled packaging really make? “Packaging does have an effect on retail sales as the product has to firstly catch the consumers eye if they are unfamiliar with the brand” said Young.

Putting oil into traditional metal tins and using a design based on a 1950s logo has certainly paid off for Millers. “Since rebranding, sales of the Millers Classic range have enjoyed double digit growth in terms of revenue” Tony Lowe confirmed.

Conversely, Lachlan makes the point that product recollection is extremely important. “People tend to be looking for a familiar design rather than a ‘good’ one” he said. “We have seen clever rebrandings actually damage sales because customers don’t recognise it as being the same as their trusted product.”

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ELF BACK ON THE SHELF

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ELF BACK ON THE SHELF


Lube maker Total has reintroduced the Elf brand to coincide with the latter’s 50th anniversary.

The oil firm will introduce a new line up, known as the ‘Sporti’ range comprising of six lubricants in a range of popular viscosities and with various OEM approvals. The product is now available in 208-litre barrels and 20-litre packs. Five litre and one litre refill packs will follow shortly.

Aimed at the mid-market, the maker says that the newcomers will all be blended with high-quality base oils and raw materials, though they will not have the so-called ‘Age Resistance’ additive technology used in the range-topping Total Quartz line.

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COMMA EXTENDS PLANT WITH NEW LAB FACILITY

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COMMA EXTENDS PLANT WITH NEW LAB FACILITY


comma

New lab space for Comma

Oil brand Comma has opened a new laboratory facility for product development and testing, situated near its blending plant in Gravesend, Kent.

The extension comes as part of a multi-million pound investment programme from parent company Moove, in an attempt to maintain Comma’s competitiveness for automotive lubricant, coolant and brake fluid testing. “There is no let-up in the pace at which vehicle manufacturers are introducing new specifications for the engine and gear oils for their latest models, and in many cases, upgrading existing specifications”, said Mike Bewsey, Sales and Marketing Director at the firm.

“These investments are designed to ensure that we’re using the latest manufacturing techniques so that the quality of our products can be maintained in a scalable and efficient way, as we enter a new phase in our growth strategy”, Bewsey continued. “The investments that have taken place are on our existing blending plant here in the UK – although our product portfolio continues to be developed and expand”.

Bewsey said that Comma will begin training staff up with its latest test and quality control equipment so they can utilise the laboratory at its full capacity. He said. “As we invest in new equipment for the laboratory, we’re also investing heavily in the development of our people there, so they are equipped to use it to its full potential”.

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PETRONAS OPEN BRANDED CV WORKSHOP


Branded workshop opens

Branded workshop opens

Oil Company Petronas Lubricants International (PLI) has opened a branded workshop for CVs. The new branch is in partnership with contract hire and fleet maintenance company Alltruck.

Since CAT reported on the opening of the first branch in Hamburg last year, the lubricant firm has been busy signing up 1,200 workshops of different types across the continent. However, the venture with Alltruck marks the first branded CV workshop in the UK.
Petronas has set itself a target of 3,500 workshops across Europe within five years. Each workshop is autonomous and works on a ‘soft franchise’ basis with the firm.

Alessandro Orsini, PLI Regional Head of Europe said: “We continue to grow our network of branded workshops and this time, with Alltruck plc, we have established another first, especially for commercial vehicles. As part of the Petronas branded workshops network, independent garages such as Alltruck plc will benefit from stronger brand recognition as an affiliate”.

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EARLY MORNING AND OIL’S WELL


We’re in West Lothian to learn more about hidden link in the oil supply chain with Andrew Salton

CERTAS_FRONT

Certas Energy Headquarters

We are in the hilly outskirts of Edinburgh on what is turning out to be a beautiful spring morning. However, we haven’t come here to admire the scenery. Instead, we’ve come to take a look at a depot belonging to Certas Energy that distributes oil-based products to trade customers.

In case you are not familiar with the name, Certas started in 2001 when DCC acquired a company called Scottish Oils from BP. The firm then acquired the Shell Direct business and Emo Oils as well as many brands for the fuel side of the business. The fuel part of the business boasts 140 ‘wet’ depots, while the mainland lubes division operates from six sites around the UK. However, it is the firm’s most recent branch, opened around 18 months ago, that we are here to see today.

Andrew Salton, General Manager for the North explains that the pre-packs and lubes side of the business has enjoyed a period of growth: “In 2007 when I joined, people were doing 300,000 litres of lube, packed fuel and adBlue per year” he said. “Now we’ve topped 8.5m litres of the same product range, so there has been significant growth, not only through a lot of acquisition, but also through organic growth”.

As most readers will be aware, the lubricant market has become far more complex in recent years with the number of oil types and VM approval codes greatly increasing. Salton made the following observation: “I noticed in CAT a few months ago that someone had written in to ask why lubricants haven’t come down in price in line with oil prices. The simple answer to that is that lubricants today are complex synthetic chemicals and not mineral based. If you tried putting a mineral-based oil in a Euro-VI engine you wouldn’t
get more than 4,000 miles before it starts to deteriorate,
it just can’t deal with the temperature regime”.

Tank Farm

The tank farm

TANK FARM
Inside, the large depot is what you might expect: bulk quantities of oil are neatly racked in 1,000-litre pallet tanks known as ‘IBC’s while other shelves are full of barrels of grease and pre- packed fuel. On our visit, the team were in the process of upgrading from a basic barcode- scan stock control system to a more elaborate QR code system which when operational will include useful extra points of reference. Other isles contain smaller quantities of pre-packed items, but central to the whole operation is a ‘tank farm’ designed to quickly and cleanly take bulk quantities of product directly from tanker lorries.

It is an installation of which Salton is clearly proud. “The tank farm has been especially made for our purpose” he explained. “Really, it is not a tank farm but a specialised decanting tool. The trucks come down with 30,000 litre loads, we decant it and measure it into 1,00 litre lots using a special measuring system into IBCs and then we go out and deliver 1000 litres at a time. It’s a good system and it works really well. It cuts down lead-time and customers get what they want”. The company deals with many top-name oil companies, including Castrol, Shell, Valvoline, Total and Gulf Oil.

SERVICE LEVELS
We can’t deny the efficiency of the operation, but we can’t help wondering why trade customers don’t simply buy directly from the oil companies. However, Salton has a simple explanation. “The UK is a mature marketplace. The oil companies understand that they are good at dealing with the VMs, and they make sure that they are developing the right oils for the engines, not just for today but for five or ten years down the line. Where our expertise at Certas comes in, is listening to and dealing with customers. We give [oil companies] an on-the-ground, fast response for the products that the customers need there and then”.

The extra legwork includes understand remote customers, such as those on Scottish islands, stock profiles so the products they need are in stock at the local depot before they have even been ordered. “We’ve won DOFE awards from Shell and Valvoline due to the great effort from all of the branches to make sure the deliveries go on time” said Salton.

Andrew Salton

Andrew Salton

VITAL STATS
CERTAS ENERGY LIVINGSTON

SIZE 33,000 sq, ft.

TANK FARM CAPACITY
150,000 Litres

PALLET SPACE 2,000

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TOTAL RENEWS FIVE-YEAR KIA DEAL

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TOTAL RENEWS FIVE-YEAR KIA DEAL


Total Lubricants has renewed its strategic partnership agreement with vehicle manufacturer Kia.

For the next five years, Total will remain the Korean VM’s preferred aftermarket lube supplier for its vehicles. Total branded oils will continue to be available in Kia dealerships in 180 countries, which includes the UK.

Kia and Total will also develop joint marketing service programs aimed at increasing Kia dealers’ profitability, customer retention and customer satisfaction.

 

The deal was signed between Steven Yoon, Vice President, Overseas Service Division at Kia Motors Corp. (left) and Pierre Duhot, General Manager, Automotive Division at Total

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IGA AND GEA CHALLENGE SWOBS DECISION


Waste Oil BurnerDirector of the Independent Garage Association (IGA) Stuart James, will be teaming up with the Garage Equipment Association (GEA) Chief Executive Dave Garratt, in an attempt to challenge the changes to the guidance of the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2010.

Both James and Garratt believe the impact analysis carried out didn’t fit the current economic model of waste oil collection given the recent devaluation of oil prices. Stuart James responded: “The revisions to guidance will make it uneconomical to use a small waste oil burner (SWOB) for the purpose it was intended as it significantly increases the costs for small garages. This will inevitably be passed on to consumers through higher labour rates”.

The legislation will come into effect from April and will effectively eradicate the use of SWOBS. The changes remove the exemption from the Waste Incineration Directive for SWOBS and requires garages to pay a permit of £3,218 on top off annual fees costing £1,384. There will also be further costs for monitoring and reporting requirements under the SWOBS permit.

By March 31st, current operators of SWOBS will either have to apply for a new permit to continue burning waste oil or ‘surrender the permit’ if they intend to use non-waste oil fuels or installing an alternative method of space heating that doesn’t require the burning of waste oil.

Garratt said: “We do not believe that it is appropriate and proportional to treat a 0.05MW SWOB in the same way as a 50MW industrial process. The revised guidance takes no account of the high levels of technology in modern SWOBS, which makes it far better for the environment to burn waste oil on site than to store and transport it by road to an industrial incinerator”.

James and Garratt will be meeting up with Rory Stewart, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs, in early March to discuss their concerns.

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