Industrial Lubricants: The Vital Component of Any Industry

Oct 13, 2022

 In the US region, the focus on bio-based lubricants has increased due to the US Federal Bio-preferred program

Industrial lubricants are designed to protect the machinery against wear & tear, reducing downtime, prolonging service intervals, lower maintenance costs, increasing efficiency, and boosting productivity. Lubricants help reduce machinery's wear and tear; it reduces the friction between the moving parts by substituting fluid friction instead of solid friction. Without lubricants, it isn't easy to move weights or move various machinery parts easily, making lubricants an integral part of multiple industries. Industrial lubricants play a vital role in industries, as with the right amount and proper attention, they can help achieve various tasks that seem impossible without them. Machines cannot work properly without industrial lubricants, leading to total machine failure or breakdown.

Industrial lubricant is classified into four categories: industrial oil, metalworking fluids, process oils, and greases. Each of these segments is further subcategorized into different types based on properties and applications. Industrial oil is the most used segment in industrial lubricants. The key takeaways from these categories are discussed as follows:

Industrial oil: The oil used for lubrication in industrial machinery and equipment is called industrial oil. This oil plays a vital role in any industry and is made with a mixture of base oil and additives. It consists of base oils such as mineral oil, synthetic oil, or bio-based oil. Industrial oils are used to improve the performance of industrial machinery and equipment and protect them against damage during operations.

Metalworking fluid: It is the fluid used in cooling or lubricating metal workpieces to be machined. Usually, they are also referred to as suds, coolants, or soaps. They provide a protective film between the die and metal parts. Cutting & grinding processes generate a significant amount of heat and friction between parts which causes undesirable thermomechanical side effects such as burning, deformation, smoking, surface roughness, and thermal wrapping. If the workpiece burns, it can cause an unfit downstream application.

Process oil: Process oil is an industrial lubricant used widely in various chemical and technical industries, which is used either as a raw material component or as an aid for processing. They are classified into four types such as naphthenic, non-carcinogenic, paraffinic, and aromatic. Process oil is primarily used in industries such as tire & rubber, polymer, personal care, textile, and others.

Grease: It is used for the lubrication of any mechanical system. The main purpose of grease is to reduce friction between moving parts, increasing the system's efficiency and output. It also reduces wear in machine parts, increasing components' life. Grease is made up of a combination of base oil, thickener, and additives. The base oil content is between 75% to 90%, thickener content is about 2% to 20%, and additives content is 1% to 10%. Based on the thickener, the grease is classified into two types such as metallic and organic. Metallic soap grease is further classified as straight metallic soap, mixed metallic soap, and complex metallic soap. Organic soap can be classified as Polyurea and Polytetrafloureten (PTFE).

Key Industrial Lubricants Market Trends:

  • Industrial lubricants are not easily biodegraded and pose a significant environmental threat. Due to such factors, various nations have brought stringent emission regulations to reduce the impact of harmful gases on the environment. This has created a new opportunity for the bio-based industrial lubricant market to grow and fill the market gap. In the US region, the focus on bio-based lubricants has increased due to the US Federal Bio-preferred program. Bio-based industrial lubricants are manufactured from vegetable oil and synthetic esters.
  • With the rapid depletion of non-renewable resources, the world is rapidly moving towards renewable energy resources. Renewable energy-generating power plants such as wind, hydroelectric, and solar power plants have significantly contributed to the industrial lubricants market. Using industrial lubricants has helped to increase efficiency, low power loss, and less breakdown time & maintenance, resulting in increased productivity and low service life.
  • Emerging economies like Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are growing due to big markets in terms of demand and consumption. The industrialization has been a significant advantage for growing economies as it contributes significantly to their development. The rise in industrial production across developing countries is expected to accelerate the demand for industrial lubricants. So the industry in the sectors like agriculture, construction, mining, and automotive is expected to drive the industrial lubricants market.

Competition In The Industrial Lubricants Market

The competition in the industrial lubricants industry is increasing due to technological advances and an increase in the product line. High investment in R&D is forcing the technology change, stringent environmental regulations laid down by government entities have adversely affected the vendors, and customers are demanding innovative and upgraded products in industrial lubricants.

Here is a list of some of the top-performing companies in the global industrial lubricants market:

Shell plc: The company is one of the leading companies in manufacturing and supplying industrial lubricants. Shell plc markets its industrial lubricants under various sub-categorical names such as Shell Gadus, Shell Argina, Shell Corena, and Shell Diala. The company has also added new products to its portfolios, such as Shell EcoSafe®, a Hydraulic Fluid, and Shell EcoSafe®, a Turbine Fluid. The Shell EcoSafe requires less frequent changes compared to the mineral oil-based fluids. It also has excellent hydraulic stability that prevents it from reacting with water, helping to minimize fluid degradation and acid formulation. 

Castrol: The company serves industrial lubricants in various industries: aerospace, automotive, robotics, metals, mining, and many more. It has been offering industrial lubricants to industries for over 100 years, making them one of the key players in the industry. In recent years Castrol, with the help of continuous innovation, has developed good quality lubricants for electric vehicles as the demand for electric vehicles is increasing rapidly in Europe and North America. Castrol industrial lubricants offer superior and differentiated performance not readily achievable with conventional industrial lubricants. They can also deliver significant value in enhancing protection, reliability, and productivity at reduced operating costs.

ExxonMobil Corporation: ExxonMobil corporation, founded in 1999, is a multinational oil and gas company with its headquarters in Texas, US. and has the largest base oil manufacturing company and is the second-largest lubricant manufacturer in the world. They provide industrial lubricants to various industries like plastics, wind energy, power generation, manufacturing & machining, oil & gas, and many others. The key features that help the company in the field are helping lower the operation costs and helping run equipment at peak efficiency. Mobil DTE™ 700 is one of the industrial lubricants for turbine oils, designed for bearing lubrication and keep-clean hydraulic servo valve performance.

Chevron: Chevron Corporation is a global leader in manufacturing premium base oil used in motor, hydraulic, and turbine oil. The company produces & markets its lubricants and grease products under Chevron Lubricants. Chevron sells its fuel through the Americas Fuels & Lubricants organization in the United States and Latin America. The company has a network of more than 9,000 Chevron and Texaco-branded retail outlets. Recently, the company launched a new product named Texaco HAD 9300 SAE 40, a premium performance, specially developed for 4-Cycle, High BMEP Steel Piston engines, running on pipeline quality natural gas. HDAX 9300 protects engines running on natural gas and operating under heavily loaded conditions, including high-output 10 MWel class units. 

TotalEnergies: it is the 4th largest company in the lubricants market and has nearly 42 lubricant production plants worldwide. The company distributes its lubricants to more than 159 companies, has a team of more than 129 researchers, and operates nine grease manufacturing plants. Engine oils, heavy-duty motor oils, professional racing, industrial, glass lubricants, and more and the key industries where TotalEnergies provides their lubricants. The industrial lubricants branch of the company holds a complete line of industrial lubricants to help energize the equipment's performance and life.

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