Morris Lubricants sees supplying quality oil as a moral duty. CVW finds out the company’s definition of what makes a quality oil from Automotive Product Manager Adrian Hill, BSc.
Adrian Hill’s role at Morris involves bringing new products to the market and keeping up-to-date with industry developments and researching new formulations, and his definition is clear and concise: a quality oil is one that is fit for the purpose for which it is intended. However, that quality comes with a price due to the development time and technology that goes into formulating it.
Inclusive of field trials, it can take between five and seven years to bring some Morris Lubricants oils to market. It’s a process that can cost millions of pounds, but one that ensures the fluid produced gives maximum protection to the engine from the first to the final hour of its service interval.
If you want the best oil which is going to look after an engine, then price should be secondary in the decision-making process. People obviously need to control their overheads, but if that product is going to protect that asset then it should be seen as an insurance policy. Morris Lubricants’ intention is to have a customer that wants to keep coming back to it because they’ve bought an oil which has done the job.
The journey of bringing a quality product to the consumer begins when a new market requirement is identified. Adrian and his team will work with trusted and globally recognised base oil and additive providers to develop the correct formulation, which is then blended in-house.
Adding an additional level of quality assurance, the additive providers that Morris Lubricants collaborates with work directly with the original equipment manufacturers to develop the lubrication chemistry that’s appropriate for combating the stresses and requirements of a new engine. It will be tested in their labs, static rigs, and field trials, and once approved by the manufacturer, the additive formulation gets an internationally recognized oil code registration number.
Morris’ lubricant technology provider gives the exact formulation, and then it’s Morris’ moral obligation to make sure it replicates it with the specified chemistry and base oils. This is why Morris has an extensively equipped quality control lab that can make sure its carrying this out.
Reputation for oils
As a reputable oil blender, Morris Lubricants is able to support any claim that it makes about its products by providing documentation including data sheets, letters from technology manufacturers, and, if needed, formal approval from the OEMs.
Morris can provide a customer with all the background information that supports its claims on the products it sells, proving that they are fit for purpose. It can provide data about all the years of test work that have taken place in order to develop a formulation. In a pre-COVID climate, site visits were encouraged to allow customers a better understanding of how the company works.
If you are producing quality, fit-for-purpose oil, using the correct materials in the correct way, there is nothing to hide. When visits to Morris’ site are possible, you can see how the company makes it, how it tests it, how it has put the formulation together and you can ask questions.
Policing the industry
To help protect consumers from less reputable oil blenders, police quality, raise standards, and promote ethical responsibility within the industry, Adrian sits on the Verification of Lubricant Specifications (VLS) technical review panel, which is part of the United Kingdom Lubricants Association (UKLA).
By scrutinising data sheets, formulations, product labels, formulation, and technical claims, the panel works to ensure blenders are not able to mislead consumers. This is because dubious companies can put something on the can which the oil inside doesn’t do. This devalues the quality approach of reputable oil blenders, leading the customer to think they’re getting the right oil.
However, when that engine fails, or there is a problem, the blender won’t take responsibility for it and the problem with a badly formulated engine lubricant is it can take years for that to manifest itself.
Setting itself apart
As a company that leads by example, Morris Lubricants also prides itself on the service, approachability and support it offers customers – with Adrian and the team of Technical Advisors on hand to provide expert insight, answer questions, and carry out sample analysis if an issue arises. A wealth of online resources are also available to customers, including access to training and courses run by Adrian.
Further to this, the Morris Lubricants What Oil? lubricant lookup tool provides personalised product recommendations based on vehicle type. By entering the vehicle registration or key words, the tool searches a database of Morris Lubricants products that have been verified as suitable for the specific requirements of that vehicle.
Forecasting a steady increase in demand for fluids that service electric vehicles (EV), Morris Lubricants has already invested time looking at market trends in order to meet this need, meaning that even if legislation to tackle climate change were to move faster, the company would be ready with fit-for- purpose products without delay.
New technology demands don’t come as a shock to the industry because, although it appears to be new to the general public, it’s taken years to get to the point of being released into the public domain. The tech providers that Morris works with are global companies that operate in parts of the world where EV is growing in popularity, particularly where it has been incentivised more dramatically.
Therefore, they’ve got lots of test stage experience and are continually generating information so that they can do trend analysis and forecasting to see where things may possibly go.