Lubricant selection – What’s next?
Looking beyond the present day, Shell Lubricants is always working to consider the future challenges that the next generation of products and services will help companies to overcome.
Looking at current industry trends, some issues Shell Lubricants is already addressing include:
Changing equipment portfolio
The emergence of new OEMs from Asia is introducing a broader variety of construction equipment to the industry, all with slightly different lubrication requirements. In addition, in regions like North America, many construction companies are starting to move into quarrying and cement manufacturing. This is diversifying their portfolio of equipment, and means that the lubricant must be able to perform in even more challenging operating conditions.
Applying sensor technology and telemetrics to analyse lubricant and equipment performance in real time will play an increasingly important role, especially as companies look to lengthen ODIs, improve efficiency, and further extend equipment life.
Emissions performance standards worldwide are increasingly stringent. For example, the CK-4 and FA-4 specifications for engine oils also include tighter emission requirements. In Europe, OEMs and Shell Lubricants are preparing for the introduction of new Stage V emission legislation, scheduled for 2019.
Although the exact nature of environmental targets vary from region to region, the impact on fuels is being felt around the world. Some countries are already introducing high biodiesel blends for construction engines, while we also expect increasing adoption of LNG fuels. Engines designed to run on alternative fuels place different requirements on the lubricant, for example hotter operating temperatures.
Gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology is one of the most exciting recent innovations in lubrication and one example of how product performance can be enhanced in the future.
Did you know?
The latest synthetic base oils from Shell are produced from natural gas using a revolutionary, proprietary gas-to-liquids (GTL) process. With no sulphur* and very low aromatic and unsaturates contents, these GTL base fluids typically have higher flash points, lower densities and more effective thermal properties than conventional mineral oils. They enable the development of lubricants that offer superior performance compared to those based on traditional, crude-derived base oils.
*Below the detection limits according to ISO 14596/ASTM D2622