Lubrizol and GE Uncouple


The Lubrizol Corp. and GE Transportation Systems have dissolved a 16-month-old joint venture aimed at developing fluid monitoring and fluid management services for railroad, mining and other applications.

The companies did not explain their decision to undo GE Lubrizol LLC, except to say they decided to pursue their respective market objectives independently. Officials maintained, however, that the short-lived alliance was productive.

The ventures market trials successfully demonstrated our ability to extend fluid life and detect incipient equipment failure in severe operating environments, Lubrizol Senior Vice President George Hill said.

As part of the break-up, the companies agreed that both may try to sell fluid management services in the mining, marine and stationary power markets. GE Transportation will also target railroads while Lubrizol can pursue opportunities in all other markets.

GE Transportation will absorb an engineering unit that was part of GE Lubrizol, according to a Lubrizol spokesman. Lubrizol will rehire several former employees whom it contributed to the joint venture.

The companies formed GE Lubrizol in June 2000 with a goal of developing and marketing products and services that would extend fluid maintenance intervals in target industries. GE Transportation, which owned 51 percent of the alliance, contributed technologies that allowed online remote monitoring and diagnosis of lubrication systems for railroads and mining equipment. Lubrizol contributed its FluiPak fluid management technology and equipment from its performance systems group.

In announcing the dissolution, Lubrizol said that GE Transportation will pay royalties to use FluiPak technology in railroad applications.

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