»Lubricants are definitively one of the most important industrial products in the Chinese growth market. In this environment, we are a flexible and reliable partner for our customers.«
Cutting-edge technology for the Chinese growth market: The new FUCHS LUBRICANTS plant in Wujiang, a Suzhou district in the province of Jiangsu, China, is expected to go into operation in 2019. Around 100 employees will be working here in production, storage, maintenance, IT, administration and other areas. The latest technologies and special measures to protect the environment and optimize processes at this factory, not far from Shanghai, will make it one of the most modern lubrication production facilities in China. We spoke with QingPing Zhu, Managing Director at FUCHS LUBRICANTS (CHINA) LTD.
Mr. Zhu, the budget for the new plant in Wujiang is roughly € 36 million. What is the capacity of the new plant?
This factory will have eight highly automated filling lines, 31 blenders and 55 tanks with a capacity of between 60 and 500 m3 on 80,000 m2 floor space. In Phase I, its nominal production capacity will be around 100,000 tons per year – almost twice as much as our plant in Shanghai. The automatic high bay warehouse will have a capacity of around 11,000 pallets.
This factory will be one of the most modern lubricant production facilities in China. What exactly will it produce in the future?
We will produce a wide range of products, including automotive lubricants for OEM customers and retailers. In the industrial sector, our portfolio includes metal working fluids, corrosion preventatives, quenching oils and products for lubricant management services. To increase production efficiency, the new plant will be designed based on an “intelligent plant” concept. This means greater and more flexible production due to more automation, more effective material flows and optimized management processes in order to meet customer requirements even better than before. We will also work with an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS). We will be one of the first lubricant manufacturers to use this extremely efficient storage technology in China.
Some of FUCHS’ most important Chinese customers are based in the Jiangsu region. And business is still growing in your country …
Absolutely. China is the largest automobile manufacturing country in the world and has the second-largest number of vehicles on the road. China is also a leader in the growing electric vehicle industry and in other industrial markets, such as wind energy, steel, cement and coal mining. At FUCHS, we have been increasingly expanding our business from year to year as part of this rapid development. Over time, customer requirements have become more demanding – for example, with regard to supply chain and production management. Our new sophisticated plant in Wujiang is another important step towards increasing our competitiveness in China. This will allow us to continue improving the quality of our products, our services and ultimately our position as a leading lubricant manufacturer in a dynamic market while being in close contact with our local customers.