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August 29, 2017 Manufacturing Insights

Primetals pioneering lubricant contracts for equipment

Laura Finaldi Gabriel Royo (left), and Michael Eldredge of Primetals Technologies.

Primetals, a Dublin-based steel-making company with a location in Worcester, in August inked a deal with Exxon Mobil for the gas and oil giant to provide lubricant and services to Primetals' machines. The company was recently awarded a grant for employee training. Vice President Gabriel Royo sat down with the WBJ to answer questions about the two recent developments.

What does the partnership with ExxonMobil mean for Primetals?

Primetals designs the equipment and lubrication specifications of lubricants. Having a reputable lubricant supplier, which we recommend, ensures our equipment will work as designed and provide the best value to customers. Our recommendation of lubricant is for oil for our Morgoil bearings, high-speed equipment in long-rolling mills, and gearboxes for all other mills. Customers will benefit by the combined capability in services from both companies.

Does it have any more significance the agreement is with a company as large as ExxonMobil?

Bringing together two reputable brand names provides assurance of the combined offerings for both products and services.

Are agreements of this kind especially important in today's manufacturing climate?

Agreements like this are typical in the automotive industry. High-end brands like BMW choose the Mobil 1 oil for their cars and motorcycles. In our industry, we are a pioneer. Our competitors have not moved into this space yet.

What are the challenges of manufacturing today as opposed to years past?

Equipment performance depends on many factors -- not only design and manufacturing, but also how the equipment operates in the field. Our services division ensures we provide training, engineering support, quality spare parts and now excellent oil to achieve a higher level of performance for the equipment when it is operating. Our equipment gets its reputation by the way it performs in the longer term.

The company was awarded a grant for training. How important are government subsidies and grants in today's manufacturing world?

It is very important to work with government as well as with educational institutions to get the proper training for manufacturing personnel.  Training of machinists in new technologies is key. It is also very important to attract more people into this field.

How do you see the industry changing as we move forward?

Our customers expect the highest mill utilization. Their rolling mills are a very expensive asset, thus having the equipment running most of the time is critical for their success. Our Metallurgical Services Segment, which I lead, focuses on a key mission of “Maximizing Mill Utilization.”  We achieve this mission by providing key products and services and bringing intimate support to our customers’ needs. Customers not only want good design and manufacturing, but demand excellent service.

This interview was conducted and edited for length by Zachary Comeau, WBJ staff writer.

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