Well-oiled operations

As Shell lubricants launches a new range of products in the Middle East, General manger Amr Adel speaks to The Big Project about innovation, value and choice.

In April 2011 Shell introduces a new range of industrial lubricants and transmission fluid portfolios. The range of six products (see box) is the result of a three year research and design process, conducted by the company, which concluded a demand among clients for a simplified selection system.

The new products, which feature clearer labeling and standardised packaging, are also designed for easy identification and storage. The range is based around “key tiers”, each offering different levels of protection comprising; entry, mainline, premium and advanced.

To assist clients, the new range will be accompanied by an “old to new” conversion tool; product guides, colour coding and visual icons, to reduce the risk of misapplication. Products with overlapping applications have been removed with new “speciality and synthetic” products added.

“Research into the way our customers choose and use lubricants revealed they often find the array of choice confusing,” explains general manager Amr Adel.

“While recognising the importance of correct lubricant choice and application, clients also welcomed changes that would make the process simpler.

“With this in mind, we have redesigned the range, removing products with overlapping applications or whose technology had been replaced by more advanced formulas whilst improving choice by selectively adding speciality and synthetic products.”

Meeting client needs

Explaining that innovation is “constant” within the company, Adel says the new products underline Shell’s “commitment to leadership and innovation in the lubricants business”.

“To address this opportunity we have developed simplified, yet comprehensive ranges built around the value generated by our latest technology and synthetic lubricants, which are designed to meet client’s needs.”

As a result, Adel says the range is “less-complex and more logical”.

“The product naming systems help make selecting the right lubricant easier. The systems follow the principles already successfully rolled out and well received worldwide for our leading heavy duty and automotive ranges.”

“Whilst recognising the importance of correct lubricant choice and application, clients also welcomed changes that would make the process simpler”

Rapid expansion

Shell’s Lubricants division manufactures and blends products for use in mining, power generation and commercial transport. Products are manufactured and marketed in more countries than any other lubricants supplier.

With a focus on developing products and services “that provide both superior protection and efficiency”, in 2002, Shell acquired Pennzoil-Quaker State Company to become the USA’s primary lubricants supplier.

“We are expanding rapidly into emerging markets while continuing to seek growth in our heartland markets,” Adel says.

“Economic conditions globally have been tough. Overall we have declines in demand due to problems in business sectors and industries such as construction.”

In 2006, Shell acquired a 75% share in Tongyi; China’s leading independent lubricant manufacturer, giving Shell the third largest share of the Chinese market.

“In November 2009, we opened our sixth lube oil blending plant in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China. With a production capacity of 200 million litres a year, and the potential for a phased development to 400 million litres a year, the complex could become one of Shell’s top three lubricant blending plants worldwide in volume terms,” he adds.

“We differentiate ourselves through better technology, which results from our 4D process; to define, design, develop and demonstrate.

“Our systematic approach to product development combines a deep understanding of the client’s challenges, with applied fundamental science and an innovative approach to component selection,” Adel says.

“The result is breakthrough products with proven customer benefits.”


Shell’s new product range, introduced April 2011

  • Shell Tellus – hydraulic oils
  • Shell Omala – gear oils
  • Shell Corena- compressor oils
  • Shell Spirax – axle and transmission oils
  • Shell Gadus – greases
  • Shell Tonna – slideway oils

A new grease portfolio will follow in June this year.

New features of Shell’s industrial and transmission lubricants range:

  • Simple labeling systems
  • Standardised packaging for easy storage, stacking and identification


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