General Manager – Industrial and OEM
GS Caltex India
R&D is the core strength of GS Caltex in developing product competitiveness for lubricants and polymers.
– Jayanta Ray
General Manager – Industrial and OEM for GS Caltex India
GS Caltex India has been growing very fast in Indian market in spite of making a late entry in Indian lubricant space. “GS Caltex India has emerged as the most preferred partner to mining industry to address their business challenges to make a customized lubrication program through hi-performance products and value added services,” says Jayanta Ray, General Manager – Industrial and OEM for GS Caltex India. Rays shares his views on the latest product and technology trends in the oil & lubrication market space.
How do you assess current and expected growth opportunities for mining lubrication market?
Rise in scope of active projects in various infrastructure segments will drive the automotive and industrial lubricants. The Indian construction equipment market will continue to be driven by construction, mining and other infrastructure investments which will in turn drive lubricants market. In a rough estimate, lubricants industry is poised to grow between 4 to 5 per cent in next 5 years depending on several macro-economic, socio-political and environmental factors. However, ban in mining segment in various states can significantly dampen the demand for mining lubricants subject to environmental clearances.
What has been your business performance in the last couple of years and how do you expect end this fiscal?
GS Caltex began base oil production with 16,000BPSD capacity. As of 2010, its production capacity holds 23,000 BPSD; GS Caltex expanded its base oil production capacity to 26,000 BPSD through revamping of its Base Oil Plant in 2011. By using the latest cutting edge hydrocracking technology, GS Caltex aims to be the influential and dominant supplier of high quality base oil in Asia through further expansions and improvements.
In India our products GS Caltex high performance lubricants are blended in the state of art lube oil blending plant near Navi Mumbai and distributed across India through a well established ware house network to reach its end users both in B2B and B2C segments. GS Caltex India has been growing very fast in Indian market in spite of making a late entry in Indian lubricant space. Our associations with our key OEM partners are a testimony towards our commitment to India.
There have been increases in power, power density and torque with each successive model launched by OEMs. What is the impact of this on product development from your side and how have you responded to these challenges?
Power density is based on internal capacity of the engine. Customer demands for better performance, more power and fuel efficiency in every new vehicle. On the other hand, energy and environmental concern are major drivers for change for the OEMs. Hence OEMs work on new design for hardware to address above challenges which in turn pose challenge for lubricant manufacturers. Lowering of viscosity improves fuel economy however also durability needs to be taken care while doing so. Hence Lubricants manufacturer try to balance between HTHS limit and thinner oils. The above changes require investments for both OEM as well as lubricant manufacturers. GS Caltex product development team collaborates early with R&D of OEMs for better optimization of resources.
What are the trends in specialized power transmission fluids?
Improved fuel economy, increased vehicle performance, greater power requirements, and enhanced driving experience, have driven tremendous changes and developments in automotive transmission systems and fluids.Trend is to gain maximum fuel efficiency, hence the new formulation trend is for transmission fluids is to have lower and lower viscosities over a wider range of operating conditions. GS Caltex offers a wide range of transmission fluids for mining application with huge operational benefits as mentioned below.
- Saves on maintenance
- Prolongs periods between overhauls
- Preserves power and performance
- Long oil drain intervals
GS Caltex have all types of power transmission fluids divided into three board categories :
– Kixx Transmission Fluid ATF range
– Kixx Transmission Fluid Manual/HD range
– Kixx Transmission Fluid Specialities range
Is there a shift towards low viscosity higher fuel economy products manufactured from Group II Plus and Group III Base Oils?
The need for lubricant marketers to meet more stringent regulatory standards and challenging specifications is growing. The ongoing shift to higher quality automotive lubricants is driven mainly by the automobile industry’s increasingly demanding requirements such as severe vehicle emission standards. Industrial demand is also moving towards HVI hydraulic fluids and high oxidation stability turbine oils. Since more than 80 per cent of the content of lubricants consists of base oil, higher quality base oil is essential in producing higher quality lubricants. GS Caltex Group II/III base oils can give the optimal solution for top quality lubricants, which conventional base oils are not able to provide.
Through ingenuity in facility design, GS Caltex has the flexibility to control the desired amount of production of Group II and Group III base oils. It can also produce high quality heavy grade base oil to replace white oil and bright stock. Its Group II/III base oils have excellent low temperature properties and exceptionally bright white clear transparent qualities. The Group II/III base oil produced by GS Caltex is environment-friendly with low volatility, reducing oil consumption and improving fuel economy. It also offers high thermal and oxidation stability to support drain interval extension. All these advantages are the result from the latest cutting-edge hydro-cracking technology. These benefits help the company adapt more efficiently to changing market conditions and generate greater customer satisfaction. Kixx LUBO, the new name in base oil, is a combination of the GS Caltex family brand Kixx and lube base oil.
How important is the selection of right lubricant for right application with regard to enhance the fuel and energy efficiency of a machine, bring down cost and high uptime?
Lubricant related breakdowns can be of extensive cost for the mining companies. At time they miss out on potential cost savings by underestimating the equipment productivity that effective lubrication can bring about.To stay competitive, mining companies are focussing to innovative programs to increase productivity, efficiency and performance.
A construction company spends appx 15% in the acquisition of the asset and 58% in fuel over the total life of the equipment. Fuel efficient equipment can thus have a significant impact on overall operating costs and save significantly for the company.
Maintenance cost, which involves lube and filter changes, costs less than 5% during the entire life cycle of the equipment. Most managers focus on bringing down lubricants per unit procurement cost rather than focussing on efficient lube maintenance program which can significantly bring down the repairs and breakdown costs ( approx. to 10%-12%) .
Selecting the right lubricant is a critical first step in improving productivity and realizing significant cost savings. The equipment’s design characteristics, operational parameters and operating environment must all be considered when selecting the lubricant. Working conditions in the mining industry are often severe; factors like temperature, humidity, dust and location all pose different challenges for lubrication.
GS Caltex supports mining companies in selecting the right lubricant which is the most important stage in improving productivity and meets cost savings targets.
The use of synthetic and semi-synthetic lubricants is the lowest in Asia, with India having only around 4-5% share.
Agree, use of synthetic lubricants are low in Asia now, but increasing focus on TCO (Total cost of ownership) and environmental challenges are creating atmosphere for growth of such hi-end lubricants. With more focus on environmentally sustainable lubricants, market is moving towards fully synthetic products (Group III and PAO based Base Oils). Increasing popularity of synthetic lubricants due to excellent thermal stability, wear and tear protection, good load carrying capacity, low friction will propel growth in construction and mining segment. For example we developed PAO (Polyalphaolefin) based Kixx PAO DX Euro 15W40 synthetic engine oil based on Tri-Synthetic formula including PAO (polyalphaolefin). Meeting American Petroleum Institute (API) performance standards and European standards, Kixx lineup boasts superior oxidation stability.
Tell us about your R&D and where it is heading in terms new developments? And how do you look at the future trends?
Research and development is the core strength of GS Caltex in developing product competitiveness for lubricants and polymers. GSC R&D facility is located near Seoul in South Korea which has developed many award winning lubricants to forge partnerships with major OEMs and key accounts.
In terms of future trend, recently we have launched PAO based fully synthetic engine oils and gear oils for Indian market .We are moving ahead in the market place with development of futuristic engine oils meeting API CK4 and FA4 categories with our own base oils.
How do you assess the scope for advanced systems such Condition Based Monitoring (CBM) and Total Fluid Management (TFM).
To avoid expensive, catastrophic machinery failures and reduce the risk of unplanned down-time and costly repairs almost every progressive mining company now practises condition based monitoring for their critical equipment. GS Caltex Oil Conditioning Monitoring (OCM) testing and evaluation services offer full, independent, expert interpretation of lubricant fluids targeted towards improving productivity and reducing downtime.
Total fluid management is fast catching up in India among leaders. We work closely with leading OEMs and mining companies focussing towards training programs on lube handling, storage and safety, on site inventory management, skill upgradation of operators and waste oil disposal advice apart from regular OCM (Oil condition monitoring) services.
Telematics and data driven technologies have brought in a profound change in the CE space. What is the bearing of this on the lube manufacturers?
The growth of telematics that has been witnessed in developing and developed countries was primarily in four types of service domains, namely safety, information, navigation and remote diagnostics.The use of intelligent sensors for online lubricating oil analysis will permit in a short period of time the optimization of its life, cost reduction and the detection of problems in lubricated machinery. Wide use of telematics in automotive fluid management system can integrate sensor based technology for cost effective solutions. Lubricants manufacturers have a huge role to play to optimize lubricant performance both during warranty and non-warranty stages.
Elaborate us on the solutions offered for the mining sector?
As GS Caltex focuses on reducing overall lubrication costs of business, it has made services an integral part of its offering to construction companies. Our team of experts is available to work with you to help optimize overall lubrication management. Our service help you maximize the cost saving benefits of our products in the long term.
Our extensive relation with OEMs plays an invaluable role in delivering technical services that are consistent with latest trends. These services are indispensable in keeping equipment at peak performance and include advanced oil condition monitoring, customized training programs, technical trouble shooting and technical assistance.