Shell: Industrial companies could save millions by using the right efficient lubricants
May 12, 2017
European Lubricant experts discuss challenges in the industry at the Shell Technology Forum in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam, 11 May 2017 - Today, Shell Lubricant experts and nearly 150 industrial customers from all over Europe came together at the Shell Technology Centre in Amsterdam to discuss how effective lubricant selection and application can make a significant difference to a company's total cost of ownership. A global survey conducted by Shell demonstrates the ever critical role that the management of lubricant products and services will play in unlocking competitive advantage for businesses. The key is correct lubricant selection, application and management which involves regularly working with an oil supplier like Shell to audit, review and improve operations.
During the Shell Technology Forum, world-class technologists from Shell and the industry spoke about lubricant trends and challenges, the emergence of industry 4.0, total cost of ownership and how to reduce total amount spent on industrial equipment maintenance. Breakout sessions were also organized for deep-dive discussions on everyday problems faced by industrial businesses in an increasingly competitive economy.
Roger Moulding, Shell Vice President for Global Lubricants Marketing and Lubricants Sales in Europe, says the cost saving power of lubricants is often underestimated: “Shell Lubricants has conducted a global survey to look at how end users approach the subject of total cost of ownership. We have found that many users recognize, but vastly underestimate, the potential impact of good lubricant selection and a management program on their operational costs. Failing to recognize this means many companies are “leaving money on the table” and reducing the potential competitiveness of their operations. Getting this approach right is critical in today’s competitive business environment, but will be even more important as we start to see the impact of emerging technologies and business models associated with Industry 4.0.”
The global Total Cost of Ownership research by Shell surveyed those who purchase or influence the purchase of lubricants and greases for their businesses across eight key markets. According to the study, 60% of the companies admit their lubrication errors caused unplanned downtime, 63% don’t conduct enough staff training on lubricants while 51% don’t expect higher quality lubricants to help reduce maintenance costs.
Shell technologists highlighted these gaps to customers at the Technology Forum and shared that by helping companies upgrade their lubrication practices, Shell Lubricants has delivered $139 million in customer savings over the last five years alone1. This was made possible by a 300-strong team of technical specialists that helps companies to optimize their lubrication practices. Their role is to visit customer sites and share expertise about lubrication management, to ensure that customers not only have the right lubricant or grease for their equipment, but have the right processes and practices in place to maximize the benefits.
Dr. Richard Tucker, Shell General Manager B2B Technology, said: “When companies are under pressure to reduce maintenance spend, lubricants are often one of the first areas where they look to cut costs. However, while selecting a less effective lubricant rarely results in immediate equipment failure, it can lead to increased maintenance expenses over time. These mounting costs can be far greater than the savings from selecting a lower price lubricant.”
Shell Lubricant experts believes technology collaborations and co-engineering can yield some of the best results and lubricant solutions, helping us to push the boundaries of R&D – Together, anything is possible. Technical Partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) help ensure that lubricants and greases are optimised for the latest equipment technology.
Shell Lubricants works closely with a number of key OEMs to develop products that are technologically advanced and can meet and exceed equipment needs both now and in the future. By working closely with customers and helping to improve their operations and savings, Shell has demonstrated that lubricant product selection and management can impact many elements of a company’s maintenance budget. These savings that Shell has achieved for various customers around the world indicate the potential for lubrication excellence to deliver total cost of ownership reductions and productivity increases.
To read more, please visit www.shell.com/lubricants
 Documented customer savings from 2011 to October 2015. These savings represent only a portion of the real-world total, which could be as much as 10 times higher.
Notes To Editors
- This study into lubrication procedures was commissioned by Shell Lubricants and conducted by research firm Edelman Intelligence. It polled sector staff who purchase, influence the purchase or use lubricants / greases as part of their job across 8 countries (Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Russia, UK, US) from November to December 2015
- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is defined by Shell Lubricants as the total amount spent on industrial equipment, including cost of acquisition and operation over its entire working life, including costs of lost production during equipment downtime.
- Shell Lubricants has also published an accompanying white paper on the topic of Lubrication and Total Cost of Ownership, which contains case studies of companies achieving cost savings through selection and management of lubricants.
- Methodology, survey results and white paper available on request
Shell Lubricant Customer Saving Case Studies:
- Plastics processing company, Alpla D.O.O., was using OEM-recommended VG 68 hydraulic oil in its Netstal-Maschinen AG plastic injection moulding machine. The company contacted Shell Lubricants for advice on how to extend the oil drain intervals to help reduce costs. Shell Lubricants technical experts recommended upgrading the hydraulic fluid to Shell Tellus S3 M 68, designed to deliver long oil life and improved system efficiency, implementing regular lubricant monitoring using Shell LubeAnalyst, and using an additional oil filtration system with a filter of 3 microns. This resulted in an extended oil life from 5,000 to 15,000 hours helping to reduce equipment downtime with estimated savings of USD $16,500.
- Dutch fleet company Van der Lee Transport specialises in transporting dangerous goods, chemicals and other liquids in bulk, using tank-trucks. Shell Lubricants technical experts supported the company in implementing a field trial to compare the fuel economy benefits of Shell Rimula R4 L 15W-40 to Shell Rimula R5 LE 10W-30. Test results showed an average fuel saving benefit of 2.1% for Shell Rimula R5 LE 10W-30, resulting in Van der Lee switching to this lubricant for all Volvo-trucks in their fleet (around 70% of their fleet). The company reported total cost savings of USD $132,273 per year, calculated based on 160 trucks driving 100,000 km per year on average.
- German company L&Z Transformatoren (L&Z) specialise in the maintenance, recovery and disposal of electrical power systems. One of their core services is the purification and re-conditioning of transformer oils. Shell Lubricants technical experts conducted a complete process review and introduced Shell Diala S4 ZX-I, which has a much lower foaming tendency than conventional transformer oils. This resulted in an estimated 10% reduction in the company’s maintenance process time and subsequent reported savings of USD $24,000 per year.
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About Shell Lubricants
The term “Shell Lubricants” collectively refers to Shell Group companies engaged in the lubricants business. Shell sells a wide variety of lubricants to meet customer needs across a range of applications. These include consumer motoring, heavy-duty transport, mining, power generation and general engineering. Shell’s portfolio of lubricants includes Pennzoil, Quaker State, Shell Helix, Shell Rotella, Shell Tellus and Shell Rimula. We are active across the full lubricant supply chain. We manufacture base oils in seven plants, blend them with additives to make lubricants in over 40 plants, and distribute, market and sell lubricants in over 100 countries.
We also provide technical and business support to customers. We offer lubricant-related services in addition to our product range. These include: Shell LubeMatch –the market leading product on-line recommendation tool, Shell LubeAdvisor - helps customers to select the right lubricant through highly trained Shell technical staff as well as online tools, and Shell LubeAnalyst - an early warning system that enables customers to monitor the condition of their equipment and lubricant, helping to save money on maintenance and avoid potential lost business through equipment failure.
Shell’s world-class technology works to deliver value to our customers. Innovation, product application and technical collaboration are at the heart of Shell lubricants. We have lubricants research centres in China, Germany, Japan (in a joint venture with Showa Shell), and the USA. We invest significantly in technology and work closely with our customers to develop innovative lubricants. We have a patent portfolio with 150 + patent series for lubricants, base oils and greases; more than 200 scientists and lubricants engineers dedicated to lubricants research and development.
Customer benefits include lower maintenance costs, longer equipment life and reduced energy consumption. One of the ways we push the boundaries of lubricant technology is by working closely with top motor racing teams such as Scuderia Ferrari and BMW Motorsport. These technical partnerships enable us to expand our knowledge of lubrication science and transfer cutting-edge technology from the racetrack to our commercial products.
Definitions and Cautionary Note
Reserves: Our use of the term “reserves” in this presentation means SEC proved oil and gas reserves.
Resources: Our use of the term “resources” in this presentation includes quantities of oil and gas not yet classified as SEC proved oil and gas reserves. Resources are consistent with the Society of Petroleum Engineers 2P and 2C definitions.
Organic: Our use of the term Organic includes SEC proved oil and gas reserves excluding changes resulting from acquisitions, divestments and year-average pricing impact.
Shales: Our use of the term ‘shales’ refers to tight, shale and coal bed methane oil and gas acreage.
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 Savings/benefits reported by one customer. Actual savings/benefits will vary. More information available upon request
 Savings indicated are specific to the calculation date and mentioned site. These calculations may vary from site to site, depending on application, operating conditions, current products used, condition of equipment and maintenance practices
 The savings indicated are specific to the calculation date and mentioned site. These calculations may vary from site to site and from time to time, depending on, for example, the application, the operating conditions, the current products being used, the condition of the equipment and the maintenance practices. More details available on request.