Rhein Chemie Spiffs Up U.S. Testing Lab


Rhein Chemie Corp. has upgraded the technical service lab for its lubricant oil additives business at its U.S. headquarters in Chardon, Ohio, including addition of a full-time chemist and an applications chemist who also does work in the field. The lab offers fluid testing, analysis and trouble-shooting of lab and field samples for U.S. customers.

Bruce Ernst, vice president of sales and marketing for the lubricant oil additives division, said the company in January began the process of revamping its U.S. testing lab, which had been relegated to a corner of its production plant. Weve totally redone the lab, Ernest told Lube Report. Weve cleaned it up, moved around things, brought in new equipment, and weve assigned a full time technician to it. Now were bringing it public and saying were ready to do these kinds of analyses for our customers.

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A goal of the lab revamping was to change the perception the U.S. location was serving strictly as a sales distributor, Ernst said, and instead to emphasize its value as a solutions company. Rhein Chemie sells a variety of lubricant additives imported from its parent company in Mannheim-Rheinau, Germany.

The new approach is to go in and solution-engineer, and talk about their issues and their problems, he explained. Then using technical selling here to create the solution – that could be an additive, a combination of additives, or it could be a distinctly new package for them, something along those lines. Now that means the customer comes back and says, can you take a look at this in your laboratory and tell me what you think the best recommendation is?

He emphasized that more sophisticated testing still will be done by the parent company in Germany.

Rhein Chemies lube additives, sold under the Additin brand, include corrosion inhibitors, sulfur based extreme pressure agents, antiwear agents and additives for greases, hydraulic oils, gear oils and metalworking fluids. It also supplies additives for making plastics, polyurethanes and rubber. Rubber is its largest-volume market.

Its production sites in Europe, Asia and the Americas make more than 80,000 tons of products year, and lubricant additives, although one of its lower-volume markets, are among the highest in value.

Although weve been running a successful U.S. lubricant oil additives business for many years now, the U.S. is still an important and strategic growth region for our global company, said Ernst. This new lab project is one of the many steps we are taking to help us reach our ambitious regional growth goals.

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