Lubrizol plans to upgrade its existing additives testing capabilities in Mumbai, India, by mid 2012 to help meet significant growth in demand for higher-performing lubricants expected to occur in India within the next five years.
Renovations will include consolidation of several existing labs into a modern facility. Upgrades will also include new testing equipment and other equipment to broaden capabilities and provide meeting space for customer training.
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The facility in Mumbai will provide services for lubricant, fuel and industrial additive customers and original equipment manufacturers throughout the region. Capabilities at the Mumbai facility include additive and lubricant sample blending, physical and chemical analyses and performance testing.
With the move towards more modern vehicles in India, there is an upgrading of lubricants to higher performance levels, Lubrizol pointed out to Lube Report. In addition, as both OEMs and lubricant marketers attempt to differentiate their brands in India, the need for additional testing will become even more pronounced, the company believes.
Likewise, it perceives increased testing needs from global OEMs targeting the domestic Indian market. And finally, as observed over the last 10 years, India has been adopting the more stringent European emissions standards. This also drives the need for higher performing lubricants that are tested and proven to deliver greater emissions benefits. All these factors working together potentially set the stage for a significant shift in testing demand.
Overloading of vehicles, dusty atmosphere, inconsistent fuel quality across the country, and rugged road conditions all represent challenges for lubricants in India, in Lubrizols view. So enhanced testing for thermal/oxidative stability, shear stability and durability will be included in the labs performance evaluations. In addition, metalworking rust preventative performance testing is planned.
The additives maker said bringing all these activities together in a new, expanded laboratory space will increase efficiency, provide for additional types of testing and allow it to deliver results to customers more quickly. The technical facility will be linked to the companys global network, providing immediate, 24-hour access to data in support of customers.
Indias finished lubricants demand, 1.8 million metric tons valued at almost $2.8 billion in 2009, is expected to grow briskly at 3.7 percent per year for the next five years to reach 2.2 million metric tons by 2014, according to Kline and Co.s study, Opportunities in Lubricants 2010: India Market Analysis.