PRODUCT DESIGN. ADAPTABILITY TO CLIENT REQUIREMENTS
AMSOIL formulates world-class synthetic lubricants for applications in several markets, including passenger car/light truck, powersports, racing, heavy-duty, wind and industrial. The company’s product line includes synthetic motor oil, transmission fluid, gear oil, turbine oil, hydraulic oil, fuel additives, filtration products and more. AMSOIL designs synthetic lubricants that help motorists, enthusiasts and maintenance managers get the most out of whatever they drive, ride or operate.
AMSOIL’s products provide several solutions for customers. They reduce wear and maintain system cleanliness so engines and equipment run better and last longer. AMSOIL synthetic lubricants reduce friction for maximum energy efficiency, helping reduce fuel consumption and save money. They also last longer than conventional lubricants, which reduces maintenance and helps the environment by generating less waste oil.
Easy Engineering: What was the research behind the products/solutions design?
AMSOIL: We tailor research and development to the problems each AMSOIL product is designed to solve. Our engineers start by identifying challenges modern engines and equipment present. In some cases, they work directly with customers to analyze their application needs and identify areas for improvement. Our work in the wind market is a great example. We’ve worked with wind-asset managers to formulate a wind-turbine gearbox oil that provides superior wear protection while lasting longer than competitive products, helping keep turbines up and running, providing energy and making money. Our research in this area involves rigorous field trials along with lab testing to validate product performance. It’s an exhaustive effort that has solidified our reputation as the leader in synthetic-lubricant technology for the wind market.
We also monitor markets and stay current on technological advancements that may present challenges to motorists and enthusiasts. The increased use of turbochargers and direct fuel injection in internal-combustion engines is a great example. Most new engines use these technologies to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions; however, they also increase engine heat and stress. If the motor oil isn’t up to the challenge, wear and deposits reduce engine performance and life. We formulate AMSOIL synthetic motor oil for the worst-case scenario and validate its performance using industry-standard testing and field trials. Once we settle on a formulation that meets our standards, we continually seek ways to improve it.
E.E: Which are the key aspects of the process of product/solution development?
AMSOIL: It starts with a commitment to making the best synthetic lubricants on the market and partnering with customers to solve their problems. These goals condition everything we do, from hiring the right people to designing test protocols in our mechanical lab, to working closely with customers.
Customer service is a key aspect in our solution-development process. In many cases, we work with our large industrial customers to uncover ways to boost productivity. They come to us with a problem and we provide a product to solve it. For example, a U.S. manufacturer was wasting time and money due to a competitor’s hydraulic oil causing sludge and varnish in its large industrial presses. Maintenance techs had to frequently shut down the presses to change oil, reducing productivity. We developed a hydraulic oil specifically designed to combat varnish, which not all hydraulic oils do. Switching to our product allowed the customer to change oil far less often and eliminate the varnish and sludge problems. We helped them save a lot of money thanks to a strong relationship and a commitment to solving problems.
Our testing capabilities are another key aspect. We’ve invested heavily in our on-site chemical and mechanical labs to provide the ability to test our products and those of our competitors in a range of applications and operating conditions. This speeds research and development and helps us provide our customers solutions faster.
E.E: How quickly do you adapt your products/solutions to different requirements?
AMSOIL: Unlike most U.S. oil formulators, we’re a privately held, family-owned company. This provides the advantage of making decisions more quickly since we’re not bound to stockholders. It also means we’re free to make decisions based on what’s best for product performance, not profitability. As such, we maintain constant communication with our customers while staying ahead of industry trends. We’re able to proactively improve our products in anticipation of challenges rather than reactively change products after it’s too late.
E.E: What are the most common requirements from clients?
AMSOIL: Those who purchase AMSOIL synthetic motor oil for their car, truck, motorcycle or other vehicles want the best protection possible so their vehicles will perform as designed and last for years. We fulfill their needs by designing products that blow away leading industry performance standards.
Our large industrial customers want excellent service. Put simply, they want someone to answer the phone when they call. They want technical experts who can explain lubricant technology and how it benefits their business. They want a partner, not a salesperson. We strive to fulfill those roles by delivering service on par with our product performance.
E.E: How do your products/solutions solve problems that your clients may have?
AMSOIL: Our products typically solve problems by providing better performance than conventional and other synthetic lubricants. Many of the problems our customers have boil down to using lubricants that cannot provide the wear protection, engine cleanliness or service life their applications need for maximum productivity. As a result, performance suffers, which wastes time and money. AMSOIL synthetic lubricants provide better performance and protection, helping reduce maintenance and costs.
E.E: Tell us about products/solutions innovation.
AMSOIL: Developing innovative products and solutions requires a commitment by everyone in the organization, starting with senior leadership. A desire to innovate must inform every idea, decision and project. Some companies are happy to sell products and rely on other industry leaders to bear the costs of innovation. AMSOIL is different. Our founder, Al Amatuzio, was commercially selling the first synthetic oil for passenger cars and trucks by 1968 at a time when everyone said conventional oil was good enough. His desire to innovate pioneered the synthetic-lubricant market. Today, most people now recognize the superiority of synthetic lubricants and rely on them for improved performance. We have maintained that spirit and drive for continual improvement.
Innovation also requires continual activity. It’s not enough to develop an innovative product; once it’s available, you need to return to the drawing board in search of new areas of improvement and opportunity. Innovation requires ongoing commitment and a desire to be the best.
E.E: What are the trends in product/solution design in your area of activity?
AMSOIL: The trend is toward a clearer understanding of the capabilities of synthetic lubricants. Where some see only a commodity, savvy industrial managers and enthusiasts see synthetic lubricants as enablers of increased vehicle and equipment performance. As formulators continue to introduce lubricants tailored to solve specific problems, customers’ acceptance of synthetics and expectations for lubricants that provide more pronounced benefits will increase.
E.E: What are your estimations for the rest of the year?
AMSOIL: The entire lubricant industry is still managing challenges that arose during the COVID pandemic, but we expect continued growth as we expand our reach into additional countries, further penetrate existing markets and strengthen our industrial presence.
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