With its innovative intermediates BASF contributes decisively to the development of state-of-the-art lubricants for the metal- and glass-working industries. The company has for several years worked successfully with Oemeta Chemische Werke GmbH, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial lubricants.
Oemeta, a company located in Uetersen near Hamburg, specializes in water-miscible and non-aqueous cooling lubricants and multi-purpose oils. These products play an essential role in the drilling, turning and milling of metal, glass or ceramics, in three respects: they reduce friction and thus wear and tear on tools and workpieces; they cool tools and workpieces; and they flush cuttings and other undesirable components away from the part being worked.
Tuned in perfectly to the customer’s expectations
The cooperation started in the winter of 2005, when Holger Immig, Oemeta purchasing manager, met for the first time with BASF sales staff. “BASF’s people were well-primed for the meeting. They had compiled a list of chemical building blocks from BASF’s portfolio that were potentially suitable for formulating our high-grade coolants,” Immig said. Within a matter of weeks BASF supplied its first product samples and received Oemeta’s approvals immediately.
Intensive discussions then continued at the Ludwigshafen site in the summer of 2006. “Rather than talking primarily about our chemical products, we focused mainly on their properties. We set our sights on further improving Oemeta’s lubricants,” reported BASF product manager Dr. Volker Böhm. “The people we talked to tuned in perfectly to our expectations,” said Stefan Joksch, Oemeta’s technical director, and added: “In this way, they introduced us to new chemical intermediates that we never even suspected of being suitable for use in our lubricants.”
Reliability of “liquid tools” is the key
Here is an example of innovative products from Oemeta: General Motors has been running its automotive factory in Vienna, Austria, without changing lubricants for about ten years. This was made possible by a high-grade water-miscible multi-purpose oil from Oemeta. It serves as a lubricant, hydraulic liquid and cleaning agent and is continually recirculated. The benefits include savings in terms of products and waste reduction. A special process ensures that cleaning agents need not be discarded after just one or two weeks: once the maximum level of acceptable contamination is exceeded, the liquid is purified to be reused as a coolant. Oemeta has therefore decided to focus its research on this technology to keep improving its leading edge. Intermediates from BASF will continue to make an essential contribution.