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“We try to be a bit

“We try to be a bit ahead of the times” The total cost of ownership (TCO) of machines and systems is a crucial economic factor for industrial firms. It was the main topic at this year’s Shell Technology Forum in Amsterdam. There, we had the opportunity to discuss the company’s new generation of hydraulic oils and their effect on TCO with Ahmet Güven, Product Application Specialist for Hydraulic Oils. Mr. Güven, these days hydraulic systems have to work around the clock, with maximum efficiency and productivity, and under extreme pressures of up to 500 bar. What effect does this have on the hydraulic oil used? Like you said, pressures are rising. And when pressures rise, so too do the temperatures and therefore the stress the oil is under. The rule of thumb is: for each rise in temperature of 10 degrees Celsius, oxidation doubles. So the oil has to be resistant to oxidation. However, high pressure gives rise to other stresses, too. When the oil flows through the valve at such high pressure, drops in pressure will occur, and these cause extreme friction and large temperature fluctuations. The temperature therefore rises and falls continually. The highest temperatures are as much as 135 degrees Celsius. And then we have to factor in thermal breakdown, whereby the bonds between the different chemical elements of the fluid rupture. This is yet another stress that the hydraulic oil has to withstand. If you wish to develop a novel formula for a fluid, you have to pay attention to these three things: stress due to pressure, oxidation and temperature. How difficult is it to develop a new generation of hydraulic oils like this? It isn’t easy, because you always have to find the best possible compromise. If you wish to improve protection against wear, for example, and add a suitable additive for this purpose, in certain circumstances this can have negative effects on other aspects – such as worsened protection against the thermal breakdown effect, for instance. This all has to be kept in balance. What’s more, not all OEMs ask for the same values. We satisfy a great many different specifications, not just the Bosch Rexroth Fluid Rating mentioned above. Shell Tellus oils also meet the requirements of Parker Denison and Eaton, among others. Furthermore, one of the greatest challenges facing us today concerns the seals. OEMs are very anxious about seal compatibility. About Royal Dutch Shell Royal Dutch Shell was formed in 1907. Today, Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with an average of 92,000 employees in more than 70 countries. In 2016, the group generated a revenue of $ 233.6 bn and sold 57.1 million tonnes of LNG. You recently launched the next generation of your Shell Tellus hydraulic oils onto the market. What are the advantages of these products? MACHINE ELEMENTS Shell Tellus VX and MX oils are currently the only international Oil Company on the market that satisfy the demanding requirements of the Bosch Rexroth Fluid Rating List RDE 90245. They can be used at pressures of up to 500 bar, speeds of up to 4 000 revolutions a minute, and an operating temperature of 100 degrees Celsius. In addition, these are the only oils that fulfill the viscosity requirements of the Bosch Rexroth test. These Shell fluids therefore protect the pump from wear even under the abovementioned influences – pressure, oxidation, and heat. Moreover, Shell Tellus VX and MX have climbed from Group I to Group II base oils. This means that we have better oxidation stability. Let me explain: We performed a TOST life test to ASTM D943 (note from the Editor: Turbine Oil Stability Test) with these products, and Bosch demanded 2 500 operating hours for this. We doubled this expectation: our oils ran for 5 000 hours. The oil change intervals therefore become much longer and our customers can keep their machines running almost continuously. Consequently, our oils increase users’ productivity and reduce maintenance costs – and therefore the TCO. Author: Peter Becker, editor World-of-Industries - Motion, Drive and Automation WORLD OF INDUSTRIESMOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 4/2017

We used to test compatibility over 100 hours; these days it is more than 1 000 hours. In addition, machine and component manufacturers demand a lot more information than they used to. A few years ago, it was sufficient to send a couple of data records on the respective oil. Nowadays, manufacturers want all the data for all the base oil combinations. We therefore have to perform a lot of very expensive tests in order to satisfy these requirements. If the wrong oil is used in a hydraulic system, this can lead to machine failure, which in turn involves high costs. The TCO goes up. I imagine customers need a lot of service and support, am I right? Unfortunately, the hydraulic fluid’s first job is to transfer force from one location to another. If a machine operator changes the hydraulic oil in a system and then sees that it is transferring power satisfactorily, he will think that everything is in perfect order. However, depending on which oil is used he could be heading for major problems, even if the machine initially runs as expected. Both our experience and that of filter and additive manufacturers has shown that at least 50 percent of all service cases concerning hydraulic systems are down to the quality and purity of the hydraulic oil. It’s important to note that in nearly all cases, there is a lack of adequate know-how. After all, the failures are mostly mechanical in nature – a bearing, a cylinder or a valve, for example – and an inspection reveals precisely that: a problem with a bearing, cylinder or valve. But in reality, the quality of the hydraulic oil is mostly at fault. These days, component manufacturers themselves mention the importance of using the right hydraulic oil. Not all hydraulic fluids are equal. What will the future bring? What can we expect from the Shell hydraulic oils of tomorrow? We believe that we lead the market in fluid technology. We strive to constantly remain at least one step ahead of today’s requirements. We are working on various projects, including a GTL (gas to liquid) based fluid. This will push performance characteristics up to an even higher level where pressure and temperature are concerned. By working together with OEMs, we endeavor to not just satisfy ever more stringent requirements, but to always be a bit ahead of the times. We are working on lubricant sensors, for example, to make predictive maintenance concepts a reality. These are already used in field tests and will monitor the quality of the hydraulic oil and provide an early warning of problems in the hydraulic system. The interview was conducted by Peter Becker WORLD OF INDUSTRIESMOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 4/2017


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