Construction and mining industries require lubrication solutions that are as durable as their equipment. In an exclusive interview, Deepankar Banerjee, CEO, ExxonMobil Lubricants advises how new generation lubricants can boost efficiency of heavy machinery and equipment.
What are the current technology trends in lubricants for infrastructure equipment?
The infrastructure equipment in India is witnessing a new wave of global benchmarking, and so is the country's lubricant sector. Companies are waking up to the benefits of technologically superior world-class application-specific lubricants that yield huge dividends in terms of improved productivity and significant cost savings. The lubricant industry is gearing up to meet the need for customised specialty products, giving Indian customers best-in-class products developed through global expertise of decades. The trend is of synthetic lubricants, or like we call them, designer lubricants. Synthetic lubricants differ significantly in composition and performance from conventional lubricants. The new generation Mobil lubricants aptly demonstrate the immense value created by synthetic lubricants.
Could you elaborate on your range of lubricants for construction, mining and material handling equipment?
The machinery and equipment in the construction and mining sectors face harsh conditions - from heavy loads and high temperatures, to excessive wear, dirt and water contamination. These industries require lubrication solutions that are as durable as their equipment. Our offerings for the construction and mining equipment have been designed specifically to meet the needs of customers with heavily loaded equipment that require high EP/anti-wear performance. The greases remain in place even in tough conditions of water wash, high sliding and high temperature.
We have a portfolio of advanced product offerings for the construction, mining and material handling equipment sectors. The customised lubricants for the mining sector include Mobilgrease XHP™ 321 Mine and 322 Mine. The Mobilgrease XHP Mine series has excellent extreme pressure and anti-wear properties, in addition to exceptional staying power, good water wash-out, water spray-off and extended service capabilities under harsh operating conditions.
What are the features of your lubricants in terms of performing in extreme weather and temperature conditions?
Our Mobil SHC™ line of synthetic lubricants is designed to protect equipment operating under severe conditions, including loads and pressures, frequent starts and stops, wide operating temperature ranges and contamination. These lubricants offer long oil life and extended equipment life, creating less waste and potential energy savings, while helping increase worker safety by minimising potentially hazardous maintenance. The advantages of Mobil SHC synthetic lubricants include high-temperature capability, excellent resistance to oxidation, low-temperature flow properties and protection against wear.
The Mobil DTE 10 Excel™ Series, a mineral product that can perform in extreme conditions, consists of high-performance anti-wear hydraulic oils, specifically designed to meet the needs of equipment hydraulic systems. Its outstanding oxidation and thermal stability allows long oil life and minimised deposit formation to protect critical hydraulic system components from malfunction. While the shear stable, high viscosity index (VI) allows for a wide operating temperature range maintaining maximum hydraulic efficiency at all temperatures, the zinc-free anti-wear system provides a high degree of protection in gear, vane and piston pumps while minimising deposit formation.
When it comes to choosing the right lubricant, viscosity is another key factor. As temperature rises, viscosity decreases, and as temperature decreases, viscosity increases.
Synthetic lubricants with high VI, such as those in our Mobil SHC™ family of synthetic lubricants, can help protect equipment from a wide range of operating environments and conditions. They are formulated to resist thinning at elevated temperatures to deliver superior equipment protection as compared to conventional, mineral-based lubricants that have a lower VI.
How are lubricants gearing up to save wear and tear of engine parts?
Lubricants are the lifeblood of machines and the right lubricant not only saves wear and tear of engine parts but also helps increase productivity, reduce unscheduled downtime, improve equipment durability and lessen lubricant consumption. For instance, we have the Mobil Delvac 1 line of heavy-duty diesel engine oils, designed to help commercial fleets drive business growth by boosting uptime and reducing fuel costs. Formulated to exceed the prescribed norms, Mobil Delvac 1 oils deliver fuel economy without sacrificing wear protection and can help extend engine life by reducing the wear and tear.
What do customers look for while selecting a lubricant for construction, mining, or material handling application?
Customers are looking for industrial expertise like Mobil's that has helped companies and equipment owners around the world lower costs, improve productivity and enhance equipment efficiency. Our highly experienced Equipment Builder engineers work closely with leading OEMs to help guide our research chemists and lubricant formulators in developing lubricants for the most demanding applications. Our wide and responsive distributive network is another big advantage, considering that mining operations are located in scattered locations. The strong distribution network allows us to give urgent attention and support to our customers, if the need arises.
Where do you see the market for lubricants in the next five years? What will be the demand from infrastructure equipment segment?
The lubricants market in India is robust and is expected to grow consistently at a CAGR of 4.64 per cent over the next five years. The construction and mining equipment sectors are the areas where we expect strong demand in the coming years. This growth can be attributed to greenfield projects, capacity expansions and embracing of new technology in key sectors like construction and mining.
What are your product and market expansion plans?
We are bringing our finest specialty lubricants to meet the growing demand for high-quality and improved-efficiency materials that enhance productivity and profits. In terms of product expansion, the Mobil SHC Elite™ is the newest member of our Mobil family of synthetic lubricants that provide performance advantages far exceeding the capabilities of conventional oils. These lubricants can help extend equipment longevity and generate potential energy savings for our customers, while their significantly longer life - thanks to a 12x oil drain interval - lowers maintenance costs and reduces worker exposure during oil changes.
'The Mobil SHC Elite™ is the newest member of our Mobil family of synthetic lubricants that provide performance advantages far exceeding the capabilities of conventional oils.'