PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
GULF’S NEW CHENNAI FACILITY
It is my pleasure to have been part of this great organisation for last 14 years and it is like a dream come true for me, seeing Gulf’s futuristic new blending plant and global standard R&D Centre in Chennai coming to reality.
The key to this new facility is indeed the word “future”.
You will find the details of the plant’s capacity and technical specifications elsewhere in this Gulf Today. There are some truly exciting aspects of it: the blending technology is state-of-the-art and the automatic storage and retrieval system, which runs almost without any human intervention, together with the plant’s use of solar power are the way forward. But for me, it is our new Research and Development capability that will really help drive Gulf on.
This truly represents a large and vital step forward in helping Gulf compete as a global lubricant force as we were able to design it not only to cope with today’s requirements but also with our future needs firmly in mind.
The new R&D facility has no less than five different sections. Firstly, we have the Rheology Laboratory, which deals in analysing flow properties that are vitally important to all lubricants. Next comes our Performance Testing Lab – so we can ensure that products meet and exceed their target specifications, particularly with regards to oxidation & rust protection and the control of wear and deposits, which determine oil’s performance and life. Then we have our Analytical Laboratory equipped with sophisticated testing facilities which form the backbone in determining the various constituents of lubricants – the base oils, performance additives and, of course, the finished products.
Our fourth laboratory is the General Testing Lab. It is equipped to determine important physico-chemical properties of lubricants, including some performance tests (thermo-oxidation stability, turbo-charger deposits, rust protection, quenching characteristics etc.) that need to be carried out in fume cupboards to extract the smoke and fumes that emanate during testing.
Finally we have a Tribology Lab. Whereas our other labs all use bench test equipment, our Tribology lab has various test rigs with which we can determine the load bearing characteristics of industrial and metal working fluids. We are also adding test rigs for evaluation of frictional properties, as fuel economy is going to be the major driver for reducing the carbon foot print. We will also have a multi-specimen tribo-tester to simulate various metal working operations, using real life test specimens.
Our new R & D Centre – and all of its labs – are designed to recognised Global Laboratory and HSE Standards and we will use it to help design the next generation of both automotive and industrial lubricants. We are on a constant mission to help increase the fuel economy of engines – and thereby reduce the carbon footprint – and we seek to optimise our formulations to allow increased economy while not sacrificing – or even helping increase – engine/equipment durability.
Our aim, with this new facility is not only to help consolidate our position in the automotive sector, but also to increase our focus on industrial lubricants. And, of course, we look to add value to all of our stakeholders through differentiated products, as well as high quality service. We also believe that by using this facility, we can enhance our engagement with OEMs as well as academic/independent research organisations and technology partners on strategic projects.
The Gulf Customer Experience Centre, which has also opened, is a first of its kind, showcasing our brand’s history with our present product & partnership offer and our view of the future. With its virtual imaging system it is truly like something from a science fiction film!
The launch of this new facility means we are now better equipped than ever and are looking forward to meeting the future challenges. For Gulf, however, increasingly the future is now.
Wishing you good health and good business.