Supplier of lubricants and process fluids for a wide ranging application area, Fuchs Lubricants is in complete synergy with their clients – the fulcrum of its mission: to provide clients not only with the best possible fluid solutions but with a complete consultancy service that includes application, safety requirements and environmental sustainability. All group R&D centres, including the Italian branch, operate in complete synergy, selecting materials and developing new products from renewable sources.
Whith its over 85 years experience, Fuchs Lubricants possesses a portfolio of products able to satisfy a wide range of requirements across many application sectors. Lubricants for industry, in particular, play a key role in guaranteeing the highest possible machinery performance. The same can be said for fluid process which determines process productivity and final quality of the goods being manufactured.
Together with Diego Botti, Sales director at Fuchs Lubricants, we spoke about the whole field of business activity, from new developments to compatibility, safety and R&D, plus plenty more besides.
Fuchs Lubricants go well beyond mere product distribution. As sales director, can you sum up company mission?
The industrial application of lubricants and fluids is highly diversified featuring a multitude of solutions. The processes are in constant evolution so our mission is to provide solutions to clients where the complete productive process will be analyzed in order to find the best possible cost/benefit ratio. Indeed, our work is far from simple sales of goods, we supply a full consultancy service covering application, environment and safety. We are increasingly geared to provide complimentary services on top of supplying the fluids our clients need – meaning they can concentrate on their production and not worry about anything else. This reduces clients’ unnecessary fixed costs during periods of lower production. Our ability to offer best possible technological solutions with complementary additional services, means we are the most reliable partner – our mission: to be our clients’ “first choice”.
A perfect knowledge of clients’ business and needs is indispensable for Fuchs Lubricants in developing made to measure solutions. How important is the synergy between supplier and client?
A solid partnership is fundamental – when exchanges of experience take place, technological progress is enabled. We need a perfect knowledge of technological evolution in production process to continue to keep our products at the cutting edge and bring benefit to clients.
Clear information exchange between supplier and client is the bedrock to a successful relationship.
As in most industrial sectors, lubrication and environmental respect are inseparable. How are you moving the implementation of ecological fluids forward?
During the XX century, lubricants and other industrial fluids had a common denominator: their mineral origin. The advantage of this was in their availability and cheapness at a constant quality level being, principally, the last step of the crude oil refining process. This mineral origin is destined to be increasingly replaced “sustainable” fluids of the future, which, as well as satisfying technical performance, will also be produced through renewable methods so kinder to man and the environment as their carbon footprint will be significantly lower. Moving in this direction, Europe wide, government backed protocols already exist in terms of purchasing fluids, a good example being the ECOLABEL brand. Fuchs intends to become carbon neutral in the very near future and all its R&D centres, including Italy, work with the same regulations concerning the use of renewable materials under a sustainable manufacturing perspective.
Fuchs Lubricants invest heavily in research with numerous facilities spread across the country. What can you tell us about the research being carried out by the Italian branch?
All Fuchs group laboratories work in harmony through the dedicated research group for each single sector and project; researchers from around the world operate within these research groups meaning they are mostly involved in international development projects that aim to create a modern portfolio of globally relevant products. These are accompanied by work on local projects such as metal working.
In terms of innovation, can you take us through the latest product range and the new features we will find?
In strategic terms, at an international level, and as a group, we are focused both on new technologies as well as new materials. For example, through our INOVIGA company, in collaboration with global manufacturing players, we are creating a range of remote sensors to monitor fluid levels on process machinery, allowing our clients to enjoy real time process control in the best possible operating conditions and drastically reduce machinery down time. At a local level, we are now able to customize the molecular contamination level of lubricating oils up to an “ultra clean” level. Constructors are increasingly looking for machinery operating with lower volumes of fluid; our research focuses on bettering the critical parameters in play during intense machinery use such as filtering, air release and fluid ageing.