Castrol, TechSolve Form JV


BPs Castrol and U.S.-based TechSolve launched Optis last week, a 50-50 joint venture which Castrol says is the first such agreement between a lubricant manufacturer and a machining process and supply chain consultancy.

Based at TechSolves Cincinnati, Ohio, headquarters, the new venture-for which equity terms were not disclosed-will combine TechSolves machining and manufacturing process improvement business with Castrols lubricants development, marketing and sales operations. Both companies will benefit from the others relationships with major original equipment manufacturers, according to a recent Castrol press release.

Optis will focus on what it has identified as four key industry sectors: automotive, aerospace, construction equipment and machinery manufacturing. Optis will provide technical advice, technology, data analytics and practical business and marketing consulting.

The partnership is fundamentally different from a standard supply relationship, according to Castrol. Its very different from a partnership in which a lubricant company drags along a machining consultancy or a manufacturer drags along a supplier. Optis is going to the market with a joint vision, said Roy Williamson, director of Castrol InnoVentures, Castrols investment branch that directs the companys venture capital toward innovative new businesses. Optis will leverage existing relationships, but act as a stand-alone company and transact separately [from the two parent companies], Williamson told Lube Report.

Well be combining the commercial approach of Castrol, along with its global network, with the capability, depth and quality of TechSolve to create quite significant optimization benefits, Williamson continued.

Optis is in talks this week to find the optimal route to the industrial market, Williamson said. For the next year or so, Optis will focus on a U.S. customer base, but the potential market is worldwide, as both companies have a global network, according to Williamson.

Optis will be headed by TechSolves former vice president of machining technology and defense services, Jon Iverson. The new entitys board of directors will consist of officials from both parent companies.

According to TechSolves website, the firm consults with manufacturers on their supply chain and operations processes by testing machines and manufacturing lines, making machining improvements without disrupting production, helping increase the delivery of products to the market, and helping market products and develop new business.

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