Tag Archive | "Oil"

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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