Effective lubrication can help mining industry lower costs and boost profits, reveals Shell Lubricants
Sep 26, 2016
Only 41% of companies have the right lubrication procedures in place1 and 40% admit incurring costs of over $250,000 from unplanned downtime
London, 26 September, 2016 - Mining companies are significantly undervaluing the potential savings from effective lubrication, according to a new study by Shell Lubricants2. While 60% of companies recognise they could reduce costs by 5% or more3, fewer than 10% realise that the impact of lubricants could be up to six times greater. For the mining industry in North America alone, this could mean potential savings in excess of $29.1 million4.
The Shell Lubricants sponsored research found that 96% of mining companies report experiencing unplanned equipment shutdowns in the last three years, with over half (56%) acknowledging this is due to their incorrect selection or management of lubricants. This is having a direct financial impact, at a time when cost competitiveness is a priority for mining companies.
The international study of mining companies across Asia, Europe and the Americas commissioned by Shell Lubricants reveals that many businesses do not realise that some of their critical operational factors can be significantly influenced by how lubricants are managed. For example, less than half realise that lubrication can influence unplanned down time, and 64% are not clear about how extended oil drain intervals can generate cost savings.
Renée Power, the Shell Global Sector Manager for Mining, said; “40% of the companies we surveyed estimated that they had incurred costs of at least $250,000 over the last 3 years from breakdowns due to ineffective lubrication. This shows potential for companies to achieve a significant boost to profits by working closely with a supplier like Shell Lubricants to improve equipment lubrication practices.”
However, with maintenance managers facing budget and time constraints, and only 34% of businesses making use of regular visits from their lubricant supplier’s technical staff, most are not well equipped to take action. The study revealed that only 41% of companies have all the recommended procedures in place to manage lubricants effectively5 and 59% recognise they don’t conduct staff training on lubricants as regularly as they should. Misconceptions about lubricants are also evident, with 44% believing that all lubricants and greases provide the same level of performance.
Renée Power commented; “The impact of lubrication on Total Cost of Ownership is too often underestimated. Almost half of companies surveyed wouldn’t expect to see a reduction in maintenance costs resulting from lubrication, but we have helped deliver over $44 million6 in savings to mining companies over the last five years. Longstanding experience in the mining sector enables Shell Lubricants to identify potential opportunities for lubrication to deliver significant business value. We work closely with customers to help them reduce operating costs and enhance equipment productivity by looking after the lubrication needs of their machinery – not just selecting the right product, but providing guidance so that it can be properly managed.”
“We are very aware that companies are under pressure to limit costs and often looking for immediate results. Achieving extended oil drain intervals, for example, is one way that customers can realise cost savings almost as soon as they upgrade their lubrication. As the oil or grease lasts longer, less frequent re-greasing or oil changes are required, helping reduce overall cost of lubrication.”
Shell Lubricants has released a whitepaper to address some of these issues, and set out how profits can be gained by effective lubrication practices, firstly by selecting the right lubricant or grease for each application and, secondly, effectively managing the on-going use and application of the lubricant.
1Shell recommended procedures include: Delivery and storage of lubricants and/or greases, Oil change procedures, Oil dispensing systems, Efficient grease lubrication systems, Oil analysis, Training employees in lubricant selection and/or management
2This survey, commissioned by Shell Lubricants and conducted by research firm Edelman Intelligence, is based on 181 interviews with Mining sector staff who purchase, influence the purchase or use lubricants / greases as part of their job across 8 countries (Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Russia, UK, US) from November to December 2015. For more information, please visit www.edelmanintelligence.com
3Costs include maintenance, labour, fuel
4Based on savings delivered to Shell Lubricants customers from 2011-2015
5Procedures included: Delivery and storage of lubricants and/or greases, Oil change procedures, Oil dispensing systems, Efficiency of grease lubrication systems, Oil analysis, Training employees in lubricant selection and/or management
6Documented customer savings from 2011 to October 2015. More information available upon request.
Notes to Editors
- This study into lubrication procedures in the mining industry was commissioned by Shell Lubricants and conducted by research firm Edelman Intelligence. It polled 181 Mining sector staff who purchase, influence the purchase or use lubricants / greases as part of their job across 8 countries (Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Russia, the UK, and the US) from November to December 2015
- Shell Lubricants has also published an accompanying white paper on the topic of Lubrication and Total Cost of Ownership, which contains case studies of mining companies achieving cost savings through the selection and management of lubricants.
- Methodology, survey results and white paper available on request
For more information
Email: Michelle Gibb-Taylor, Lubricants Global PR Manager
About Shell Lubricants
The term “Shell Lubricants” collectively refers to Shell Group companies engaged in the lubricants business. Shell sells a wide variety of lubricants to meet customer needs across a range of applications. These include consumer motoring, heavy-duty transport, mining, power generation and general engineering. Shell’s portfolio of lubricants includes Pennzoil, Quaker State, Shell Helix, Shell Rotella, Shell Tellus and Shell Rimula. We are active across the full lubricant supply chain. We manufacture base oils in seven plants, blend them with additives to make lubricants in over 40 plants, and distribute, market and sell lubricants in over100 countries.
We also provide technical and business support to customers. We offer lubricant-related services in addition to our product range. These include: Shell LubeMatch –the market leading product on-line recommendation tool, Shell LubeAdvisor - helps customers to select the right lubricant through highly trained Shell technical staff as well as online tools, and Shell LubeAnalyst - an early warning system that enables customers to monitor the condition of their equipment and lubricant, helping to save money on maintenance and avoid potential lost business through equipment failure.
Shell’s world-class technology works to deliver value to our customers. Innovation, product application and technical collaboration are at the heart of Shell lubricants. We have lubricants research centres in China, Germany, Japan (in a joint venture with Showa Shell), and the USA. We invest significantly in technology and work closely with our customers to develop innovative lubricants. We have a patent portfolio with 150+ patent series for lubricants, base oils and greases; more than 200 scientists and lubricants engineers dedicated to lubricants research and development.
Customer benefits include lower maintenance costs, longer equipment life and reduced energy consumption. One of the ways we push the boundaries of lubricant technology is by working closely with top motor racing teams such as Scuderia Ferrari and BMW Motorsport. These technical partnerships enable us to expand our knowledge of lubrication science and transfer cutting-edge technology from the racetrack to our commercial products.
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