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Case Study – Petronas Lubricants International

Date: 6 May 2021 | Category: Case studies

How Safetykleen helped

  • Reduction of labour cost associated with parts cleaning activities, and greater standardisation of results from using automatic machines.
  • Minimisation of risks to operators’ health and environment by using non-hazardous and VOC-free water-based detergents.

PETRONAS Lubricants International carried out a project to create a new Global Research and Technology Center within its site in Santena (Turin, Italy), including a new Engines Room and laboratories where R&D activities are performed to test new lubricant products for internal combustion engines. In order to be able to conduct the tests on the engines’ components, it is necessary to remove any oil contaminant from the parts first. And that is how the collaboration with Safetykleen started.

The company and its challenge

PETRONAS Lubricants International (PLI) is a global manufacturer of industrial and automotive lubricants available in over 100 markets. Its high-quality products make it the ideal partner for the extremely competitive world of motorsport, where PLI is very active.

PLI is the technical resource behind the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 team, which last year won the Constructor’s World Championship for the seventh time in a row, and is responsible for the development of the team’s customised lubricants, fuel, and transmission fluids. Also in the sport-competition field, it is the technical partner of De Rooy IVECO for the Dakar Race, and for Moto GP’s Sepang Racing Team, who recently announced the arrival of nine-time Moto GP Champion Valentino Rossi on their roster of riders.

In such extreme and competitive driving conditions, motor oil’s performance, efficiency and reliability really makes a difference, and striving for excellence is a necessity. For this reason, PLI invests a great deal in innovation to maximise the synergy between engine and product, and to help its partners stay ahead of the competition.

The expansion of its site in Santena (Turin, Italy) and the creation of a new Engines Room dedicated exclusively to testing and developing new lubricants fit into the picture perfectly. To test and evaluate the efficacy of lubricants in improving engine performance and endurance, the products need to be used in extreme conditions so that both engine and oil are under pressure. This is one of the main activities carried out in the Engines Room.

Once the test is over, all engine parts need to be checked – through visual inspection, rating, spectrographic analysis, and metallographic examination – for damage or wear. For these tests to be performed accurately, all the components need to be clean, and this is when Safetykleen’s all-in-one parts cleaning service enters the game.

Solution

Components in engines used at top speed and/or for long periods of time become extremely dirty and end up covered with a tough contaminant which is quite difficult to remove. This is because the lubricant oil – when subjected to high temperature and strong physical forces for long – changes.
To achieve the level of cleanliness required for testing, we provided two Aquakleen Automatic parts washers and one Jetkleen parts washer. These have been positioned in a specially designed Washing Room.

Our machines are used sequentially to match different soil removal requirements.

The first Aquakleen Automatic parts washer is used to carry out an initial washing cycle that removes most of the contamination, while the second one is dedicated to a more thorough finishing cycle. If an even more in-depth cleaning is needed, parts can be washed with the Jetkleen machine that – thanks to its high pressure and manually directed cleaning jets – provides a quick and accurate cleaning of complex components, such as pistons, connecting rods and cylinder heads, with difficult to reach areas.

All the washing activities are performed with non-hazardous, water-based detergents that provide high-quality cleaning without any risks for the operators’ health or the environment, and that avoid the safety issues related to the use of dangerous substances like solvents.
The service we provide PLI includes regular machine maintenance and replacement of used chemistry every 12 weeks, which guarantees effective cleaning over time and leaves them free of responsibility for waste management, because we take care of the compliance work for them.

Results

Because of the importance of cleaning activities in the testing process, PETRONAS Lubricants International decided to invest in specific washing solutions that led to an early involvement of Safetykleen in the creation of the new Engines Room.

Non-stop parts cleaning
Parts cleaning is a fundamental part of testing, and so it is crucial that the parts washers are always ready to perform without unexpected stops or problems with the availability of cleaning chemistry. Safetykleen regularly services the machines and replenishes the chemistry to guarantee continuity of operations.
Waste management outsourcing
Safetykleen’s complete solutions also include the management of any waste produced by parts washing. PETRONAS Lubricants International is now able to step back from waste management paperwork (waste consignment notes, waste transfer notes etc) and focus on its core business while Safetykleen – who are now the sole subject legally responsible for disposing of the waste – take care of everything in compliance with environmental regulations.
Focus on R&D
The commission of two automatic parts washers has resulted in a dramatic reduction of the labour costs associated with cleaning activities, which are now 80% automatic and leave the operators free to work on other tasks once the washing cycle starts.
Standardisation of results
Using automatic machines provides repeatable cleaning levels. And this is a very important feature of cleaning related to testing because it eliminates a potential variable that can affect results.
Greater safety and reduced environmental footprint
The use of non-hazardous water-based detergents for all cleaning activities positively affects PETRONAS Lubricants International’s environmental impact. In contrast to the alternative solutions traditionally used for oil removal, these products are free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which improves the safety level on site and for the team at PETRONAS.
Peace of mind
Thanks to Safetykleen’s complete service, PETRONAS Lubricants International can perform its tests without worrying about anything related to parts cleaning. From chemistry supply to machine maintenance and waste management, Safetykleen takes care of it all, providing PLI with reliable machines and peace of mind.

Contact us to find out how our all-in-one parts cleaning service can help your business