Industry Insight: Established relationships and high performance

Posted: 10 September 2009 | Ian Davidson, Exxon Mobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialities | No comments yet

The second and concluding part of New Food’s interview with Ian Davidson, Exxon Mobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialities, discusses what the future will bring both for the company and for the industry.

The second and concluding part of New Food's interview with Ian Davidson, Exxon Mobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialities, discusses what the future will bring both for the company and for the industry.

The second and concluding part of New Food’s interview with Ian Davidson, Exxon Mobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialities, discusses what the future will bring both for the company and for the industry.

How does ExxonMobil meet supply chain demands?

“ExxonMobil has a globally integrated manufacturing chain that enables us to balance and respond effectively to any fluctuations in supply and demand for our products. While most of our plants manufacture our complete product line, some are specialised in particular product areas to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction with respect to quality, packaging and delivery time.

Our high-performance, finished lubricants are delivered to the end-user through a robust network of delivery agents and distributors. Our distributors, likewise, meet similarly high standards of quality control and health and safety standards as do our own manufacturing facilities. Since distributors are independent companies, they are regularly audited by ExxonMobil employees to ensure that these standards are being met on a consistent basis.”

How does ExxonMobil ensure that they keep up with technology developments?

“We see three primary drivers for technology evolution in the food industry.

Firstly, globalisation of the processing industry where there is an increasing desire to exploit the benefits of production expertise in manufacturing and packaging while maintaining regional taste, preferences and menus.

Secondly, governmental oversight and stewardship of food safety regulations will increase the need for food manufacturers to adhere to new and existing legislation, and both suppliers and regulators will need to cooperate to ensure food-safety throughout the supply chain.

Thirdly, the equipment builders in the field are highly influential in driving new equipment designs to help customers drive productivity and ensure a better, safer food product.

To this end, ExxonMobil offers globally available and consistent products and services that meet the growing globalisation of food production. Our Equipment Builder Engineer network works with the original equipment manufacturers to stay abreast of the latest trends in equipment design and manufacture. Quite often, these equipment builders operate on a global basis and knowing that high performance products are consistently offered around the globe allows them to offer precise and consistent lubricant recommendations to their customers.

In terms of regulations, ExxonMobil has a biomedical organisation, ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences Inc. (EMBSI) which is staffed with doctoral-level health scientists who provide integrated services in the areas of toxicology, exposure and risk evaluations, occupational health and epidemiology, and product stewardship.

These scientists thoroughly evaluate chemical and product safety for each component that becomes a part of a food-machinery lubricant, as well as ensuring compliance of each lubricant with global food-safety regulations and laws from bodies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority. EMBSI ensures that health and safety communications for all ExxonMobil products are accurate and up-to-date, and EMBSI is available to address any new health or safety issue/concern that might be raised by governmental agencies or the general public.”

How can ExxonMobil help the equipment builders?

“ExxonMobil has had established relationships with leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for more than 100 years. Today, our global Equipment Builder Engineer network works closely with these machinery manufacturers to not only meet their current needs but to respond to the future equipment needs. By leveraging our application specific expertise and close relationships with leading OEMs, ExxonMobil can engineer products that enable customers to take their productivity to new heights.

Products such as Mobil SHC Cibus and Mobil SHC Polyrex can help a machinery manufacturer to increase the speeds and loads at which their machines operate.

To the manufacturer, this provides a competitive advantage, and to the end-user of the machine, it provides equipment that produces more with a smaller foot print and at a significantly lower cost.

Our ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Products Technical Centre (EMRE PTC), based in Paulsboro, New Jersey, works intimately with members of our global Equipment Builder Engineer network to incorporate emerging equipment trends into new product formulation.

The EMRE PTC team is responsible for the formulation and testing of all new finished lubricants and greases. This state of the art facility is manned by a staff of industry leading scientists and engineers that are dedicated to providing the highest performing products to industry.

One of the fields in which our research and development excels is simulation testing. Working side-by-side with the world’s leading OEMs, we have developed numerous proprietary simulation test apparatus that simulate real world machine conditions. These tests allow our scientists to bridge the gap between glassware tests and end-user applications, bringing bottom line performance benefits to market.”

What developments do you see for lubrication in the food & beverage sector for the next five years?

“In the past few years, we have seen a number of food safety incidents that have affected consumers around the world. We believe that these incidents will lead to increased governmental stewardship and oversight of existing food safety regulations, and possibly even more stringent legislation. One of the results of this will be an increased demand for oils and greases that are H1 registered, i.e. suitable for incidental food contact. Much of this demand will come from applications that have not traditionally used H1 lubricants as food processors increase their level of food safety requirements and need to reduce the risk of misapplication.

Along with higher demand for H1 lubricants, the requirements for lubricant performance are likely to increase. In the past, food processors may have avoided the use of H1 lubricants in applications based on the belief that these lubricants did not perform as well as traditional lubricants. As the food processors expand the use of these lubricants into all applications in their facilities, they will expect H1 lubricants to perform as well as their traditional counterparts. ExxonMobil is addressing this trend with the introduction of Mobil SHC Cibus and Mobil SHC Polyrex lines of lubricants and greases. These products offer performance benefits that allow their use both above and below the processing line as well as offering H1 registration for incidental food contact to fit into companies’ risk management systems.”

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