New Name for Glass Lubricants
‘Glasstec’ in September 2016 – the leading trade fair for the glass industry, held on a biennial basis in Düsseldorf – saw the official launch of the new single brand for all glass lubricants in the FUCHS family: VITROLIS – a combination of the Latin words vitro (vitrium glass) and olis (oleum oil).
“The main reason for this decision was to bring the products of the Batoyle Freedom Group for the glass containers market and the traditional FUCHS brand Glasol for the glass industry together in a single brand,” explains Steve Harris, Global Commercial Manager – Glass Division FUCHS LUBRICANTS (UK).“This brand will help us to further strengthen our position in this sector.
In June 2014, FUCHS acquired the lubricant business of renowned British company Batoyle Freedom Group (BFG), which was founded in 1975. BFG has a particularly good reputation in the international glass industry, especially as a supplier to manufacturers of glass containers in Europe and Australasia. The company supplies products that are used in the five most important stages of ‘hot-end’ process, such as synthetic I.S. machine oils, mould swabbing compounds, shear spray and delivery lubricants. The manufacture of glass containers represents one of the most difficult challenges in any production process: the combination of extreme temperatures and high speeds places challenging demands on the lubricant manufacturer. As such, the range represented a perfect complement to FUCHS’ activities in the glass industry, a field that had been in the hands of FUCHS LUBRITECH and the Glasol brand for many years.
The FUCHS glass product line is now one of the most diverse in the industry and covers the requirements of glass container manufacturers, the flat glass and optical industries and the producers of medical and pharmaceutical glass packaging. VITROLIS products include grinding and cutting media, forming oils and elutriation mixtures, and the line also includes cleaning products, separation agents and other auxiliary materials for all machine-related applications.
The glass lubricants are produced in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, in the most advanced lubricant plant in Great Britain – a site which was recently modernized. Plus, 2,110 photovoltaic modules ensure that up to 15 percent of the annual consumption comes from renewable energies and a new, eco-friendly central administration has been put in place (see box).
The Technical Centre of Excellence for Glass Industry Lubricants is responsible for research and development, OEM approvals, sales support, marketing and product training. “This facility is our hub for the development of new products as well as technical support and will ensure the quality and safety of systems and processes for all glass products,” says Harris. “And it is also responsible for transfer of knowledge and technology to FUCHS’ various subsidiaries.”
Recently, the centre has developed new technologies that have been well received by industry including sprayable swabbing compounds designed to increase the safety and repeatability associated with swabbing and therefore reducing container rejection rates. In addition, trials of a new cold end coating to eliminate scratch marks associated with container transfer have showed benefits to users.
This centre is supported by the Group research & development programs, and where potential developments in other fields of lubricant technology could benefit our glass industry customers, a forum for knowledge sharing is established. FUCHS UK chemists are supported by dedicated specialists in Europe as well as Asia and the USA.
Employees from all departments of FUCHS LUBRICANTS (UK) in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, came together for the grand unveiling in front of the new headquarters. Stefan Fuchs and board members Dagmar Steinert and Dr. Ralph Rheinboldt. At 1,250 square meters, the new, sustainable, eco friendly building is 40 percent smaller than the previous build ing, thereby allowing for significant energy consumption reductions.