Lubrizol Enhances Global Testing Capabilities
Delivering the Right Testing, Technology and Credentials
CLEVELAND, —Lubrizol Additives, a business segment of The Lubrizol Corporation, announces continued enhancements to its global research and testing capabilities to better serve the needs of its worldwide customer base. Recent and ongoing improvements to its existing network of technical facilities will help the company deliver the right balance of advanced testing and technical capabilities to meet the needs of worldwide demand.
In the past three years, Lubrizol has invested more than $35 million capital to support R&D and testing activities, with another $50 million budgeted for the next three years. This is in addition to extensive capital investment in operations, which includes more than $200 million for a new plant in China.
Wickliffe Technical Center
Chemical synthesis and applied sciences laboratories at Lubrizol’s Wickliffe facility—site of the largest technical center and world headquarters of Lubrizol Additives and The Lubrizol Corporation—are undergoing extensive modernization. New laboratory spaces conform with industry best practices in order to deliver results faster and more efficiently, while encouraging collaboration and innovation; all to achieve the best products and solutions for customers.
The renovation began in 2007 and is proceeding in stages with the final phase to be completed by the fourth quarter 2012. Ultimately, up to 100 researchers and scientists will be based in these advanced facilities.
Mechanical testing laboratories have also undergone significant upgrades to support customers’ product development and performance claims as they strive for opportunities to differentiate new products brought to market. Additional investments include multi-million dollar rigs to measure transmission efficiency, safety and environmental upgrades that include the use of highly energy-efficient electric motors and dynamometers, and updated fuel inventory and delivery systems.
According to Bob Graf, Lubrizol corporate vice president of R&D, upgrades to these laboratories play a major role in Lubrizol Additives’ continued success. “The Wickliffe and Hazelwood labs are the engine behind our innovation,” he says. “Investments to modernize these laboratories demonstrate Lubrizol’s commitment to the industry and to our customers. Great ideas originate in people’s minds. World class labs enable us to attract and retain some of the best minds in the business, and these are the resources that help us continue delivering on that commitment.”
Hazelwood Technical Center
Significant investments are underway at Lubrizol’s global technical center in Hazelwood, UK. These investments include recently completed major upgrades of chemical testing laboratories as well as ongoing improvements to the Hazelwood chemical synthesis facility. In the past decade, the size of the chemical synthesis team at Hazelwood has nearly doubled, pushing existing synthesis capacity to its saturation point. In order to ensure efficient chemical synthesis and superior customer service, Lubrizol has made investments in infrastructure and equipment, including the acquisition of state-of-the-art nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) capabilities on site. NMR spectroscopy is one of the principal techniques used to obtain physical, chemical, electronic and structural information about molecules. The NMR suite in Hazelwood will accelerate the development of new molecules and provide faster analysis in problem-solving.
Many updates to the Hazelwood technical facility will be complete by the end of this year, with further extensive upgrades anticipated in the next two years. “We’re very excited about a new Field Testing Center that will soon support the more than one million kilometers of data gathered every week globally in the field on Lubrizol products,” notes Phil Shore, Lubrizol vice president of testing. “Beginning later this year, we are also expanding our laboratory blend room capabilities. Yet another example of how we continue to invest in our research and testing capabilities.”
Zhuhai Technical Center
A new, previously announced Lubrizol Additives laboratory on the campus of Jilin University in Zhuhai, Guandong, China will offer advanced technical services for lubricant, fuel and industrial additive customers and OEMs throughout Asia. Capabilities will encompass a full menu of services including additive and lubricant blending, physical and chemical analyses, as well as performance testing. Construction on the new technical services laboratory at Jilin University is complete, and the lab is expected to be functional later this year.
Kinuura Technical Center
Updates to blending and testing service capabilities at Lubrizol Japan Ltd.’s technical facility in Kinuura, Japan are recently complete. New equipment and laboratory services improve the value that Lubrizol provides for its customers and OEMs throughout Japan and other regions of Asia. New viscometers and friction and shear stability testing equipment are among the improvements that help optimize the high quality of service provided. Likewise, comprehensive field testing equipment is now integrated into the modernized facility.
Mumbai Technical Center
Renovations to Lubrizol technical capabilities in Mumbai, India include the consolidation of several existing labs into a modern lab facility capitalizing on synergistic resources. The purchase of new testing equipment will help ensure timely, enhanced and valuable services. Other new equipment will broaden overall testing capabilities and meeting space will allow for customer training as well. The result will be the creation of a world-class laboratory infrastructure designed to meet the significant increase in demand for lubricant testing expected to occur in India within the next five years. Completion is targeted for mid 2012.
Global Testing Network
These best-in-class technical facilities will be linked as part of Lubrizol’s global R&D and testing capabilities with access to Lubrizol’s advanced computer network, providing immediate, 24-hour access to global data. Phil Shore summarizes, “These significant investments in our overall laboratory capabilities are key because they allow us to collaborate, share results and improve the quality and efficiency of our work. And the fact that our first-class laboratory capabilities are truly global in scope also allows us to provide timely and valuable assistance for our customers, wherever they are located.”
About The Lubrizol Corporation
The Lubrizol Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is an innovative specialty chemical company that produces and supplies technologies to customers in the global transportation, industrial and consumer markets. These technologies include lubricant additives for engine oils, other transportation-related fluids and industrial lubricants, as well as fuel additives for gasoline and diesel fuel. In addition, Lubrizol makes ingredients and additives for personal care products and pharmaceuticals; specialty materials, including plastics technology and performance coatings in the form of specialty resins and additives. Lubrizol’s industry-leading technologies in additives, ingredients and compounds enhance the quality, performance and value of customers’ products, while reducing their environmental impact.
With headquarters in Wickliffe, Ohio, The Lubrizol Corporation owns and operates manufacturing facilities in 17 countries, as well as sales and technical offices around the world. Founded in 1928, Lubrizol has approximately 7,000 employees worldwide. Revenues for 2010 were $5.4 billion. For more information, visit http://www.lubrizol.com/.
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