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Letters to the Editor


Quality Must Be Verifiable

Dear LubesnGreases,

I read Trevor Gauntletts article Small Adcos Package Up Success in the August issue with concerns regarding the incomplete picture given of some of these companies activities.

As a long-standing channel partner in the United Kingdom and Ireland for one of the suggested big four additive companies, I am unaware of our principals inferred withdrawal from any low- or mid-tier markets.

Certain companies mentioned are not just offering low-tier products at a reduced level of testing, they are offering such products as suitable for some of the latest passenger car and commercial vehicle requirements, where additive packages are formulated to confirm that both increased hardware protection and environmental performance are being delivered. Blenders sourcing these products may be inadvertently putting end consumers hardware at a heightened degree of risk.

Any additive company aiming for a competitive cost advantage by not running tests undermines the efforts that lubricant industry bodies are making towards verifiable fuel economy and emissions control. For example, how can an additive company offer a product meeting Volkswagens VW 504/507 specification without first passing the fuel economy tests that specification requires? Following the Volkswagen emissions episode, do we really want evidence that an industry associated with the automotive sector such as ours is not thorough in verifying its environmental commitments?

This is creating a race to the bottom as marketers that align themselves with these companies gain market share-over those making oils that can provide evidence of performance-through reduced technical costs.

Ultimate responsibility lies with the oil marketer to verify its own products performance, for which it must rely on the data provided by its additive suppliers. An additive company estimating a level of performance through a limited range of basic testing does not deliver sufficient verification of technical performance.

Industry bodies globally are working hard to encourage additive providers to offer products of verifiable rather than assumed quality, increasingly where environmental standards are concerned. For the protection of the consumer, that must also be the editorial objective of any respectable lubricant industry medium.


Antony Ball

Ashdowne Oil & Chemical

Warrington, United Kingdom

Editors Note:

LubesnGreases reached out to the companies named in the article and inquired about their business practices in relation to lubricant testing.

SBZ stated that it offers a range of licensed and unlicensed products to meet the requirements and demands of its customers.

A Tianhe employee said that laboratory testing is the common practice, as running engine tests is costly and time-consuming.

Ipac and Jinzhou Kangtai did not reply by deadline.

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