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COS Blog

Information about Central Oil Supply and all of its divisions.

Prevent Sludge and Plugging Issues while Optimizing Engine Performance

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Prevent Sludge and Plugging Issues while Optimizing Engine Performance

Ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) is better for emissions; however, less sulfur can result in maintenance issues in fuel systems and tanks. The engineering used to formulate ULSD strips away beneficial lubricity; this can cause fuel system wear and lead to clogged injectors and filters. Additionally, ULSD is more likely to retain moisture, putting fuel and tanks at risk of bacteria contamination.

When left untreated, it doesn’t take long for fuel system issues to hurt engine performance and fuel economy. And in winter months, this is an even larger concern.

Central Oil carries Schaeffer's fuel additives, which are highly effective at dispersing injector clogging and plugging while preventing new deposits from forming. This powerful keep-clean performance means longer component life, better fuel economy, less fuel blow-by and restored horsepower.

Central Oil carries: DieselTreat 2000, Neutra Fuel Stabilizer, and SoyUltra Gasoline Additive. Each of these products increases lubricity protection, reduces gelling, increases cold weather performance, and provides consistent fuel quality, while reducing emissions.

To determine which product is right for you, please call us at 318.388.2602 to speak with an expert today.

2020 Price Increase Announcements

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Price Increase Roundup (via JobbersWorld)

Smitty's Supply 

Announced a price increase on all lubricating oil, fluids, greases and automotive chemicals of up to 12% effective February 24, 2020. The increase is said to be due to increased cost of base oils associated with the manufacturing of its products. 


PennStar, LLC

Announced a general price increase of between 10 to 12%, depending on product class. The increase is effective February 24, 2020. PennStar advised its customers the adjustment is driven by the continuing rise in the price of base oils. 


Chemlube International

Effective February 13, 2020, it will increase the price of its lubricant products in the range of 7 to 12%; varying somewhat by product. The adjustment is said to be necessary due to significant increases in the costs of the raw materials used in the manufacturing of its lubricants. 


Warren Oil Company

Notified its customer there will be up to a $0.30 a gallon price increase on its finished lubricants, and up to a $0.04 a pound increase on greases effective February 18, 2020. Warren Oil also attributes the need for the increase to increases in the cost of  raw materials. 



Announced it will increase the price of its lubricants in the US market by up to 12%. The increase is effective February 24, 2020.


SOPUS/Pennzoil-Quaker State advised its marketers of a price increase of up to 12%, effective February 24, 2020. The increase is said to be due, in part, to increased cost of raw materials used in production and delivery of its products.


CAM2 International, LLC 

January 24, 2020

Announced a price increase of up to 12% on bulk and packaged lubricants, greases, and automotive chemical products effective February 24, 2020. CAM2 advised its customers that the increase is due to the recent increases in the price of base oils.


Chevron (Canada)

January 24, 2020 

Announced a general price increase in the Canada market on lubricating oils and greases up to 12%. The increase is effective March 2, 2020.



January 23, 2020

Announced a general increase of 12%. Certain products, including synthetics, may fall outside of the general 12% increase. The increase is effective on order placed after February 24, 2020.


Old World Industries 

January 22, 2020

Announced a price increase of up to 12% on all finished lubricants effective February 21, 2020. The increase is said to be due to increased cost of raw materials and logistics that have been passed on to Old World. 


Nu-Tier Brands / Gulf Lubricants 

Announced a general price increase of 10% to 12% effective February 20, 2020 on all finished lubricants. The increase is said to be necessary due to rising costs associated with raw materials and manufacturing. 



Announced on January 17th there will be a $0.33 a gallon price increase across the board for all Purity FG WO White Mineral OiI and a $0.30 a gallon increase for its Paraflex HT Process Oils, except HT 100 which will increase by $0.25 a gallon. These increases are effective on February 17, 2020. 


Chevron (U.S.) 

January 16, 2020

Chevron advised its marketers in the US that the company will increase the price on all lubricating oils and grease in the US by up to 12%. The increase is effective February 24, 2020.



January 16, 2020

Due to increasing costs of raw materials, Sinclair Lubricants announced it will be implementing a price increase of up to 10% to 12% on finished lubricant products effective March 1st, 2020. 



January 14, 2020 

AOCUSA/AMALIE announced an across the board price increase for all oil and automotive chemical products, as well as all private labeled products. The increase will move all of its oil prices up by $0.32 a gallon effective February 13, 2020. The price for the company's grease products and automotive chemicals will increase by $0.04 a pound on the same day. There will, however, be no increase for antifreeze and brake fluid products. Amalie attributes the need for the increase to the higher cost of additives, base oils, corrugated and transportation it has absorbed over the last few months. 


TOTAL Specialties USA  

January 3, 2020 

TOTAL advised it US customers that it will be increasing its lubricant prices on February 3, 2020. The increase will move its Navastane prices up in the range of $0.40 a gallon, Quartz 9000, INEO & Racing up $0.25 a gallon, grease up by $0.06 a pound and all other products by $0.15 a gallon. TOTAL says the increases are a result of continued escalation of logistics, taxes on imports, and the costs of some raw materials.

Fuel Risk Management: What it is, and Why it May be a Game-changer for You

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, February 04, 2020

What is Fuel Risk Management?

Fuel hedging is a contractual tool some large fuel consuming companies, such as airlines, cruise lines and trucking companies, use to reduce their exposure to volatile and potentially rising fuel costs. A fuel hedge contract is a futures contract that allows a fuel-consuming company to establish a fixed or capped cost. The companies enter into hedging contracts to mitigate their exposure to future fuel prices that may be higher than current prices and/or to establish a known fuel cost for budgeting purposes. If such a company buys a fuel swap and the price of fuel declines, the company will effectively be forced to pay an above-market rate for fuel. If the company buys a fuel call option and the price of fuel increases, the company will receive a return on the option that offsets their actual cost of fuel. If the company buys a fuel call option, which requires an upfront premium cost, much like insurance, and the price of fuel decreases, the company will not receive a return on the option but they will benefit from buying fuel at the then-lower cost.

Why Hedge?

Hedges are particularly popular with companies that have exposure to certain markets, such as commodities or interest rates. For instance, airlines and railroads spend substantial amounts for fuel for their operations, and so hedging future fuel costs can protect them against a spike in the market price for energy products.

Oil and gas exploration and production companies provide a useful example of this use of hedging, as some players in the oil-rich shale plays like the Bakken and Eagle Ford hedged their anticipated future production and therefore earned huge gains on their hedge positions because of the plunge in oil prices on the open market during late 2014 and 2015. Those companies that didn't hedge, on the other hand, face the full impact of the crude oil drop, and some are struggling to get the capital they need to keep operating.

If you purchase bulk fuel, pre-booking your fuel may be something to strongly consider. Firstly, this program can help you minimize your exposure to the volatile fuel market; secondly, this program can help you establish an estimated fuel cost for the upcoming year. And ultimately, you will be better able to manage your operating costs when you use this program to budget fuel expenditure. Simply put, with Fuel Risk Management, you are guaranteed a budgeting tool that is a lifesaver for some of our customers; some of them even see savings as a result of pre-booking their fuel with Central Oil.

If you don’t know where to start, we recommend you booking 50-75% of your anticipated usage.

Fuel Risk Management FAQ:

  • What types of fuel can be booked?

Clear On-Road Diesel/Dyed Off-Road Diesel/Jet-A

  • How big is a transport load?

7,000 Gallons

  • How long do I have to take the delivery?

You will have an entire month to take the load you have booked

  • How much should I book?

We recommend booking 50% -- 75% of your anticipated usage

  • When is the deposit due?

Deposit is due at the time of contract execution

  • When can I book?

We encourage customers to use our FRM Program as a budgeting tool (before their fiscal year-end). However, you can book at any time of the year!

  • How many types of contracts are there?

Fixed Forward

Collar Option

Max Price

(fool.com; Wikipedia.com)

Shell Lubricants Expands Product Portfolio

Jennie McRae - Monday, January 20, 2020
Pennzoil-Quaker State Company dba SOPUS Products, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company that comprises Shell’s US lubricants business, announced today that it has purchased the assets of American Chemical Technologies, Inc. (ACT), which manufactures and distributes industrial fluids that are based on core glycol chemistries. The purchase includes ACT’s intellectual property, customer contracts and technology/product pipeline, as well as its two manufacturing facilities in Fowlerville, Mich., and Bowling Green, Ky. 
According to SOPUS Products President Carlos Maurer, “We are very excited about this acquisition, which enables Shell Lubricants to expand our product offering to industrial customers, especially those in the primary metals and power sectors. The resilient B2B Industry sector is a key pillar in Shell Lubricants growth strategy, and ACT’s portfolio of fire-resistant fluids, unique industrial lubricants and environmentally acceptable lubricants ideally complements our existing US industrial lubricants portfolio.”

ACT President and co-owner Kevin Kovanda noted, “This is a momentous day for American Chemical Technologies. Our dad would be very proud to know that his vision of industrial selling, unprecedented customer service and hard work would attract the interest of Shell Oil. Our experience over the past 40-plus years of introducing new synthetic fluid technologies into the industrial lubricant marketplace brings a host of fluid chemistries that will blend perfectly into Shell’s global lubricant portfolio. 
“Jim, Ross and I want to thank the entire ACT team, past and present, and our loyal, open-minded customers who have made this day a reality! Our goal is to merge our agility and customer service focus with the reach and corporate strength of Shell.” 
While the acquisition of assets is effective immediately, SOPUS Products has contracted with ACT to continue to operate the business on SOPUS Products’ behalf for a transitional period. Staffing needs for the business will be assessed during the transitional period, and ACT employees will be informed of potential employment opportunities with Shell as they are determined.

About American Chemical Technologies, Inc. 
Since 1977, American Chemical Technologies, Inc. (ACT) has been a recognized leader in the manufacture and development of highly specialized, high performance industrial lubricants supported with unsurpassed personal service. We are the exclusive source of polyalkylene glycol (PAG)-based synthetic lubricants, which provide unique protection for equipment and the environment, and support more profitable and sustainable operations. 
About Shell Lubricants 
The term ‘Shell Lubricants’ collectively refers to the companies of Royal Dutch Shell plc that are engaged in the lubricants business. Shell Lubricants companies lead the lubricants industry, supplying more than 11 percent of global lubricants volume.* The companies manufacture and blend products for use in consumer, heavy industrial and commercial transport applications. The Shell Lubricants portfolio of top-quality brands includes Pennzoil®, Quaker State®, FormulaShell®, Shell TELLUS®, Shell RIMULA®, Shell ROTELLA® T, Shell SPIRAX®, Shell Gadus® and Jiffy Lube®. http://www.shell.us  

Source: Jobbersworld.com

Workplace Safety: 10 Tips You Should Know

Jennie McRae - Friday, June 07, 2019

Here’s the Top 10 Workplace Safety Tips Every Employee Should Know to help you inform your own workers and create a workplace safety environment based on shared responsibility:

1) Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

This step requires knowing the particular hazards of your job or workplace. Once you’ve learned these risks, you are able to keep clear of potential hazardous areas and potential hazardous situations. Also, always be alert of machinery.

2) Keep Correct Posture To Protect Your Back

If you work at a desk, keep your shoulders in line with your hips to avoid back problems. If you’re picking things up, use correct form so your back doesn’t get hurt. Avoid stooping and twisting. If possible, always use ergonomic designed furniture and safety equipment so everything you need is within easy reach.

3) Take Regular Breaks

So many work-related injuries and illnesses occur because a worker is tired, burned out and not alert to their surroundings. Taking regular breaks helps you stay fresh on the job. One trick to staying alert is to schedule the most difficult tasks when your concentration is best, like first thing in the morning.

4) Use Tools And Machines Properly

Take the proper precautions when using tools, and never take shortcuts. It’s a huge safety risk to use scaffolding as a ladder or one tool in place of another for a specific job. Using tools the right way greatly reduces the chance of workplace injury.

5) Keep Emergency Exits Easily Accessible         

In case of an emergency, you’ll need quick, easy access to the exits. It’s also recommended to keep clear access to equipment shutoffs in case you need to quickly stop them from functioning.

6) Report Unsafe Conditions To Your Supervisor

Your supervisor needs to be informed about any workplace safety hazards or risks. They are legally obligated to ensure their employees have a safe working environment and will take care of the unsafe conditions and make them safe for you and your coworkers.

7) Use Mechanical Aids Whenever Possible

Instead of attempting to carry or lift something that’s really heavy in an attempt to save a sliver of time during your workday, take the extra minute to use a wheelbarrow, conveyor belt, crank or forklift. Too many injury risks are involved with trying to lift something that weighs too much.

8) Stay Sober

Around three percent of workplace fatalities occur due to alcohol and drugs. When a worker’s ability to exercise judgment, coordination, motor control, concentration or alertness is compromised, this leads to any number of risks for workplace injury and fatalities.

9) Reduce Workplace Stress

Stress can lead to depression and concentration problems. Common causes of workplace stress include long hours, heavy workload, job insecurity and conflicts with coworkers or managers. Take your concerns about workplace stress to your supervisor to see how they might help you address them.

10) Wear The Correct Safety Equipment

If you’re not wearing the correct safety equipment for a task, you may get injured. Depending on the job, equipment like earplugs, earmuffs, hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, or a full-face mask greatly reduce the risk of workplace injury.

It’s up to facility managers and business owners to get their employees onboard with workplace safety efforts, encouraging them to become active members in the process. Share with them the workplace injury statistics and the inherent risks their job presents to them on a daily basis. Provide incentives that reward them for exemplifying great workplace safety behavior. These simple initiatives really do make all of the difference.

Source: https://www.arbill.com/arbill-safety-blog/bid/182469/top-10-workplace-safety-tips-every-employee-should-know

9 Tips for Car Care this Summer

Jennie McRae - Friday, May 10, 2019

You always hear of everyone searching for the best car care tips that will prep their cars for the harsh winter months, but what about the vicious summer sun? Heat is as big of a threat to your vehicle as the cold and snow are. Whether you’re just driving to the store down the road or taking a road trip, you’re risking the possibility of a break down if you don’t follow these nine tips before heading out in high temperatures. We assure by taking care of your car properly, you can keep it running forever.

1. Test your air conditioning before it gets too hot outside. There’s nothing worse than no AC in the scorching sun. If you notice the air is coming out but not cold enough, there may be something wrong. You most likely need more refrigerant or need to replace your air filters.

2. Check your tire pressure. Drastic temperature changes can cause your tire pressure to fluctuate. If the pressure is over or under your car’s recommended PSI, your tires will begin to wear unevenly. Also, if you have summer tires, now would be the time to put them on.

3. Make sure your radiator has enough coolant. If you notice your car is running too hot by the temperature gauge on your dashboard, your coolant could be low or there may be a leak. Keeping extra coolant in your car may be a good idea if you have an older vehicle prone to breakdowns.

4. Keep up with oil changes. I know it always sneaks up on you at the most inconvenient times, but oil changes are vital to the upkeep of your car. The more you drive, the more often you should be getting an oil change. If you don’t regularly change your oil, you should at least keep extra oil in your trunk in case of a breakdown.

5. Test your battery. Car batteries can fail any time of the year, but the rise in the temperature can take a significant toll on your battery. Bring your car to your local auto store and they will be able to test it for you – most stores do it for free!

6. Double check your brakes. You don’t want to be driving around with worn out brakes. If they feel funny or make weird noises while you’re driving, you should try replacing the brake fluids or take your car to a mechanic to be checked.

7. Replace your windshield wiper blades and fluid. Your wiper blades have most likely been worn down from scraping off ice and snow. It’s also a good idea to top off your wiper fluid as more bugs will be flying around in the warmer weather and crashing into your windshield – you’re going to want to be able to see where you’re going!

8. Get a car wash. Road salt and grime from melted snow can cause severe damage to your car’s paint and undercarriage. There’s no better time to wash your car than in the warm weather. If you don’t want to spend the extra money, you could always detail your car yourself (or trick the kids into doing it).

9. Update your emergency kit. You may have tapped into your supplies over the winter and forgot to replenish them. Some essential items include a first aid kit, flares, water, and phone charger.


Shell's Claims Against Mobil Delvac - What You Need to Know

Jennie McRae - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Shell released a statement on June 14, 2018, that Mobil Delvac 1300 Super 15w40 does not pass the stringent CK-4 Volvo T-13 test it claims to pass. 

Background on CK-4 and the Volvo T-13 Engine Test: 

What is CK-4? 

CK-4 is the API’s (American Petroleum Institute) newest diesel engine oil standard. New engine oil standards are developed every few years to protect new and current engine technologies, meet government regulations, and ensure overall quality in the motor oil industry. API CK-4 oils were designed specifically to meet stricter emission standards. They’re also overall superior to CJ-4 oils in protecting engines from oil oxidation, viscosity loss, and oil aeration. 

What is the Volvo T-13 Test? 

The Volvo T-13 Engine Test is a very severe 360-hour duration, high-temperature oxidation test – it is one of several tests used to determine if an oil is CK-4 compliant. Because the industry is responding to stricter emission standards, smaller engines are being built with increased turbo-charging; and in other cases, engines are being created to run at higher temperatures. Both scenarios create a very challenging environment for an oil to protect your engine. The Volvo T-13 Engine Test is used to determine if an oil will remain resilient in these severe, yet fuel efficient, engines. 

What It Means for You: 

What does it mean when an engine oil doesn’t pass CK-4 requirements? 

When an oil doesn’t pass all CK-4 requirements, you risk deposit build-up, corrosive wear on engine parts, and viscosity thickening of the oil. This all can lead to reduced oil drain intervals, shorter engine life, and reduced energy efficiency and fuel economy. 

Does Shell Rotella Pass the Volvo T-13 Test? 

Yes! When you use Shell Rotella, you can be confident that not only does it pass the CK-4 requirements with flying colors – it goes above and beyond to meet the stringent requirements set by Volvo, MACK, and Cummins. Demonstrating robust performance in the Volvo T-13 Test is evidence that Shell Rotella T4 Triple Protection 15w40 engine oil can enable OEMs to deliver the promise of fuel efficiency and can help customers protect their equipment.

5 Common Lubrication Problems and How to Fix Them (Part 2)

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Happy Tuesday, everyone! We are back with the second half of our blog from last week. If you are new and want to catch up before you delve into this blog, check out last week's blog post here.

Here is the rest of the list West Cash wrote about at Machinery Lubrication Magazine:

3. Overgreasing

Most plants I visit do not recognize that grease guns are precision instruments. They also fail to see the problems that can be caused by the misuse of grease guns. Overgreasing is a very common problem and can result in higher operating temperatures, premature bearing failure, and an increased risk of contaminant ingression.

Bearings require a set volume of grease to be properly lubricated. A popular formula used to determine the volume of grease needed is the outside diameter (in inches) multiplied by the width (in inches) multiplied by 0.114. This will provide the volume of grease in ounces that the bearing requires.

Once you have calculated the volume of grease for the bearing, you need to know how much grease the grease gun is dispelling per stroke. To do this, simply pump 10 shots of grease onto a plate and weigh it on a digital scale. Next, divide the weight of the grease by 10. This will give you the amount per stroke of output. Remember, certain grease guns can product pressures up to 15,000 psi and can cause numerous problems if not properly managed.

The Fix?

While calculating the regrease requirements for all bearings onsite and determining the output of grease guns are a great place to start, there are other concerns that must be addressed as well. For instance, the output of grease can vary between guns. The best way to counteract this problem is to standardize with a singe type of grease gun so the output will be similar for each one. Grease guns should also be dedicated to a single type of grease and checked at least once a year.

If possible, bearings should be outfitted with grease purge fittings that allow excess grease to be expelled without compromising the integrity of the seal. In addition, all professionals who operate a grease gun should be trained on their operation and the proper way to regrease a bearing.

4. Lack of a Labeling System

Labeling is a key part of any world-class lube program. Not only does it reduce the chance for cross-contamination by minimizing confusion as to which lubricants go where, it also allows individuals who may not be as familiar with the lube program to top-up with the correct oil or grease.

The Fix?

Developing a labeling scheme takes time, but when done properly, it can provide a variety of information not only about the lubricant, but also about lubrication intervals as well. The best label design incorporates a color/shape scheme for each lubricant used. This offers a quick visual reference as to which lubricant is inside the machine. Noria has developed the Lubricant Identification System, which includes all basic information for a machine type such as base oil, application, and viscosity. As mentioned previously, once a labeling system has been established, that labels should be applied to all lubricant storage containers and application devices.

5. Use of OEM Breathers and Dust Caps

Most OEM accessories like breathers do little to restrict the ingression of tiny particles into oil and critical spaces, which can damage machine surfaces. Some of these breathers are simply a cap filled with steel wool or a mesh screen that serves as a block for larger particles. Considering the lubricant film in a journal bearing is approx. 5 to 10 microns, any particles of this size contaminating the oil will greatly increase the likelihood of wear and subsequent machine failure. These tolerance-sized particles do the greatest damage and have the highest probability of causing machine wear.

Not only do many OEM breathers allow particles into the oil, they also do nothing to restrict moisture from entering the oil. Oil is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture from ambient air. In areas with high humidity or steam, moisture will pass through these types of breathers and be absorbed into the oil, casing rust, increased oxidation and hydrolysis rates, and a higher corrosive potential of acids formed by oxidation and hydrolysis.

The fix?

OEM breathers should be replaced with higher quality versions to restrict particulate and moisture ingression. With several breather manufacturers on the market, the key is to get the breather that is right for your particular environment and operating conditions. In very dry environments, a spin-on particulate filter may work fine provided that ambient humidity is low. In more moist environments, a hybrid-style breather may be the best choice. This type of breather employs a particulate filter to trap hard particles followed by a desiccating phase to strip moisture from the incoming air. All of these breathers can be threaded into the current breather port for quick and easy installation.

For questions regarding the state of your industrial plant, please do not hesitate to call one of our nationally-certified DFLT-S account managers at 318-388-2602.


5 Common Lubrication Problems and How to Fix Them (Part 1)

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Happy #HowToTuesday, everyone!

Today, we are excited to feature half of an article by Machinery Lubrication on the Blog. (The second half to come in a week!) This article deals with the most common lubrication issues Wes Cash sees on visits to power plants, food-processing plants, refineries, and manufacturing facilities. As a Shell Distributor with two Nationally Certified DFLT-S Account Managers, our team has seen many of these problems, too!

The following is not only a list of the most common industrial lubrication problems, but also gives advice on how these issues can be resolved.

1. Lack of Procedures

Great lubrication problems are only as good as the people who do the work, just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In many of my most recent projects, the retirement of technicians has been the problem of greatest concern. As Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age and subsequently retiring, they are taking with them a great deal of personal experience and knowledge of how they do their jobs. For some plants, the lube-tech position may have been held by a single person for decades. These professionals are the masters of their domains and know every sight, sound, and smell of their machines. It is imperative to pass down this type of dedication and understanding to the next generation of professionals. Unfortunately, all of this knowledge usually is not passed down. This results in problems and steep learning curve.

The Fix?

Documented procedures can lessen the blow and help new personnel understand the proper way a task should be performed. While countless articles and books have been published on the best way to write procedures, once written, the procedures must be implemented for their full effect to be realized. Thorough documentation of every task performed in the lubrication program offers the best method for creating procedures. You want to write a procedure not only for the application of lubricants but also for how lubricants are handled in storage, decontaminated upon arrival and even disposed of after use.

 Improper Sampling Points and Hardware

If used correctly, oil analysis can be an extremely valuable tool. It allows you to monitor not only the health of the oil, but also the health of the machine, as well as catch failures before they become catastrophic. In order to obtain all the benefits of oil analysis, you first must have the correct sample points and hardware. Many plants regard oil sampling as a secondary function and simply take samples from a drain port of with the inconsistent drop-tube method. When sampling from drain ports, you may obtain a sample that is full of historic data (e.g., layers of sediment and sludge). Wear debris trends can also be hard to establish, as these samples often contain a high concentration of contaminants.

In addition to being inconsistent, drop-tube sampling frequently requires the machine to be taken out of service. This can result in particles settling at the bottom of the sump, which may prevent a good, relative sample from being taken from the system.

Proper sampling ports can be achieved by modifying the machine. This will allow good samples to be taken consistently from "live" zones or areas inside the system where oil is experiencing turbulent flow.

The remedy?

All machines to be included in the oil analysis program should be evaluated for the proper sampling hardware. Splash-bathed components such as bearings and gearboxes can be equipped with minimess sampling valves with pilot tube extensions. These extenders can be bent up into the "live" zone next to the bearing or gear teeth.

Circulating systems should be examined for the best possible sampling points as well. These systems typically require several points.

A primary point is where routine samples are drawn from to provide a snapshot of the entire system. The best place for a primary sample is on the main return-line manifold, before any return-line filters and in an area of turbulent flow (most often an elbow).

Secondary points should be installed in the oil return line after each lubricated component. Secondary points allow you to pinpoint problems in the system after an alarm has been triggered by the primary point.

In conjunction with sampling hardware installation, all technicians should be trained in the proper way to pull samples. All sample tubing should be flushed with five to 10 times the volume introduced into the sample during the entire process.

(Central Oil provides oil analysis and sampling as a service to our customers.) Please stay tuned to the blog for Part 2, which will be coming in a week! If you have any questions about oil analysis, please do not hesitate to contact an account manager at 318-388-2602.



PC-11 Gets Green Light

Jennie McRae - Tuesday, December 29, 2015





PC-11 Gets Green Light

By Steve Swedberg • December 16, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas – PC-11, the next heavy-duty engine oil upgrade, received the go-ahead from both ASTM and the American Petroleum Institute here last week. The new category – which API officially will call CK-4 along with its fuel economy version, FA-4 – now is assured of being available for licensing on Dec. 1, 2016.

Products meeting API CK-4 will continue to be backwards compatible with earlier categories, such as CJ-4 and CI-4PLUS. However, API FA-4 may have only limited backwards compatibility due to the fact that its minimum high-temperature, high-shear viscosity falls below that specified in prior category requirements.

The PC-11 approvals came in a flurry of meetings on Dec. 8, 9 and 10 during the half-yearly gathering of ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants. First, ASTM’s Heavy Duty Engine Oil Classification Panel, chaired by Shawn Whitacre of Chevron, had to review and accept all of PC-11’s tests and limits, which it did Dec. 8.

Immediately following, two other stakeholder groups chimed their agreement: the Diesel Engine Oil Advisory Panel, which represents engine builders and oil and additive companies and is jointly chaired by Steve Kennedy of ExxonMobil and Greg Shank of Volvo Powertrain; and the New Category Development Team, led by Dan Arcy of Shell, which began working on PC-11 back in December 2011 and adroitly steered it to completion.

On Dec. 9, ASTM D02 Technical Committee B moved to ballot the new standard, a simple formality now that all hurdles have been cleared. Joe Franklin of Intertek is this committee’s chairman.

That left API’s Lubricants Group, chaired by Scott Lindholm of Shell, to write PC-11 into Document 1509, which governs the institute’s engine oil licensing system. Thanks to the group’s unanimous vote on Dec. 10, oil marketers can now lay plans to roll out CK-4 and FA-4 products next Dec. 1. That will be the first date licensees may display these designations in the trademarked API “donut” on their labels.

There are still several issues API will need to clean up in the coming months. First, the VGRA-BOI work is ongoing, with matrix testing unfinished yet.

VGRA, viscosity grade read-across, is allowed under API 1509 as a means of reducing engine sequence test costs, by comparing certain engine test results across multiple viscosity grades. Often, for example, lower viscosity oils have more difficulty in successfully passing certain procedures; if an SAE 10W-30 oil earns a passing grade, its results can be read across to a heavier grade such as SAE 15W-40, eliminating the need to run additional tests.

The same holds true for BOI, or base oil interchange. API has grouped base oils according to specific properties, such as sulfur content, saturates content and viscosity index. If a company with an approved engine oil formulation wants to change base oils, BOI guidelines may allow the blender to replace at least some of the original base oil without entirely re-testing the formulation.

So far, enough supporting data has been generated to establish BOI between Group II base oils for PC-11, but not for switching between Group II and Group III, nor for switching within the pool of Group III base oils.

Another and more provocative issue is how marketers will label the new oils – CK-4 and FA-4 – and how they’ll communicate the differences effectively to end users.

API commissioned a study to determine what users value and believe to be descriptive of oil performance. The first results from this study showed that brand name and viscosity grade are the only information that participants consistently said they recognize! The API donut trademark and other terminology are mysteries to most users.

Given that, API has decided to develop an educational piece to communicate the benefits of engine oils with API category designations, which will include information about the importance of viscosity grade and its impact on fuel economy.

During the PC-11 development process, several ideas were tested and discarded regarding public awareness efforts. One proposal was to create an exotic viscosity grade, “SAE 26,” which presumably would identify heavy duty engine oils meeting the FA-4 definition for the SAE XW-30 grade, which has a high-temperature, high-shear viscosity limit of 2.9 to 3.2 centiPoise.

However, there is also room in CK-4 for an SAE XW-30 with HTHS of 3.5 minimum cP. It’s recognized that this could create confusion for oil customers trying to select the correct product.

Another idea put forth was to label the viscosity grade as “SAE XW-30 L” or “SAE XW-30 H.” This was deemed just as confusing as the SAE 26 concept. In the end, the viscosity identification system was left unchanged.

While it will not affect first-licensing date, the documents that define engine oil categories are going to be revised to align with each other. API 1509 and ASTM D4485 are the two documents which identify the necessary tests and results to describe each oil category. Over the years, differences in terminologies and language conventions have resulted in some tortuous definitions and awkward footnotes. This is being addressed by a ta


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