Today, (8 April 2015) sees the opening of new laboratory facilities at Total Lubmarine’s main research centre, already one of the largest lubricant research centres in Europe. Located in Solaize, near Lyon in France, the new facilities are dedicated to the research and formulation of new marine lubricants and equipped with state of the art equipment to support the research team’s quest to develop the next generation of lubes for the shipping sector.
The move comes against a backdrop of changing ECA regulations and the development of marine engines with several operating modes, capable of burning two types of fuel. The lubes required to keep these engines running are more complex than ever before and the new facilities will enable Total Lubmarine researchers to develop a new range of lubricants suitable for the challenges of the next 10 years.
Inaugurating the new facilities, Norbert Schieren, General Manager of Total Lubmarine said:
“Total Lubmarine’s success to date has been due in large part to our commitment to long-term research programmes. These programmes, run by scientists at the top of their field, enable us to scope out and evaluate all the options. We are re-imagining the lubes of today and developing lubes suitable for the stresses and strains of the marine environment: whatever the fuel and whatever the engine. Our investment in these new facilities demonstrates our ongoing commitment to this vital research.”
“We strongly believe that innovative, research-based chemistry is the key to creating adaptable lubricants. The next generation of lubricants must be born out of innovative chemistry if they are to be simple for operators to use and at the same time match tough and variable operating conditions.”
The spacious new facilities include engine testing and tribology equipment, along with significant analytical resources. All existing test beds have been extensively re-built and modernised and meet the most stringent safety and quality regulations.
Total’s new facilities significantly add to the company’s existing capabilities for both formulation and testing, enabling collaboration between Total’s research scientists and technical marine engineering teams to anticipate the future needs of customers.