Fuchs Petrolub SE opened a polyurea lubricating grease factory at its Kaiserslautern, Germany, site, the company announced last week. The new facility is part of a multi-year project to expand the company’s production.
The independent lubricants blender declined to disclose the capacity of the plant, which cost €25 million (U.S. $29.4 million). The company built the facility on a 2,000 square meter footprint at the site of Fuchs Lubritech Gmbh, which is based there.
“The new production is one of our final projects in the global growth initiative launched in 2016, which is focused on capacity increase in line with advanced technology,” Stefan Fuchs, chairman of Fuchs’ executive board, said in a March 24 press release. “It will enable us to significantly increase the production capacity of polyurea greases, allowing us to respond quickly to specific customer requirements and supply tailor-made polyurea greases.” Polyurea greases have good oxidation stability and thermal stability, excellent water resistance and low oil bleed characteristics.
Fuchs’ polyurea greases are used in constant=velocity joints and wheel hub bearings for automobiles; electric motor bearings and CV joints for electric vehicles; and pitch, main or generator bearings in wind power applications, a Fuchs spokesperson told Lube Report.
Over 164 million pounds of polyurea grease were produced in 2019, or about 6 percent of all grease, according to the National Lubricating Grease Institute’s annual production survey. About 25.5 million pounds were produced in Europe.
“The new plant is a milestone for the entire Fuchs Group in terms of the production and distribution of polyurea greases,” said Lucas Haaß, managing director of Fuchs Lubritech. “The production concept implemented will serve as a blueprint for other group sites and sets a global standard for grease technology at Fuchs.”
The facility will also produce other lubricating grease specialties. These include long-life greases for mechanical engineering, biodegradable greases for environmentally sensitive areas and high-temperature greases for extreme operating conditions.
Fuchs said the grease plant is one of the last projects of its growth initiative. Others have included a lube plant in Sweden and a regional headquarters building and research and development hub in China. Fuchs has also made a number of recent acquisitions such as lube blenders Nye Lubricants and PolySi Technologies in the United States, Italian distributor Welponer SpA and Vietnamese distributor STD & S Co.
Land is still available for expansion at the Kaiserslautern site, Fuchs said.