Specialty Lubricants Translate into Engine-EfficiencyBy MBN Staff | Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:27
Q: What are the most demanding automotive systems supported by Bechem Lubrication Technology’s (Bechem) lubricants?
A: Every moving part in a car represents a tribological system that translates into an opportunity for us. Volume-wise, demand for special lubricants depends on requirements specified by the OEM in terms of noise damping, load carrying properties and conductivity, among others. A car may employ more than 5kg of our specialty lubricants for multiple applications.
Q: How is Bechem helping its customers ensure functional reliability of components while reducing weight?
A: The key factor is to avoid energy loss and maximize its usage throughout the car. Our parent company Carl Bechem works directly with friction and its implications. Our No. 1 objective is to avoid it or have it at optimum levels for the specific application. By doing this, you could downsize electrical motors or other components, achieving better weight in the car. Our antifriction coatings are a great ally to dampen noise and friction.
Lightweighting is a game of grams and milligrams, so if we can use smarter lubricants to reduce size, we add value to that cause. This is attractive to clients because better component performance always translates to lower production costs and added value.
Q: What is Bechem’s strategy to differentiate its offering in the commoditized lubricants market?
A: Automotive is a complex and well-structured industry, since a single component can be produced in multiple countries. This is why good communication is essential in this business. Carl Bechem operates globally through highly specialized and well-experienced customer teams that technically support you across the globe. By taking a deep dive into the application needs of our customers, we can always find room for innovation and savings. Speaking the same language as our customers and understanding their needs and challenges is highly appreciated.
At the same time, Carl Bechem makes robust investments in R&D. We develop the necessary equipment to test our lubricants so clients do not have to go through that process by themselves. We are also involved in our clients’ operations, which makes it easier to design components jointly.
Q: How attractive is Mexico for European companies to invest or reinvest?
A: Mexico is a relevant player in the global automotive industry. The country has a strong, skilled labor force, as well as direct vicinity to the US and a wide net of FTAs. Even for Chinese companies, it is competitive to produce vehicles in Mexico and then export them to North and Latin America. I expect there will be more engineering operations coming to Mexico in the near future.
Q: How challenging will it be for companies to comply with the new rules of origin outlined in USMCA?
A: Any major change in the dynamics of the automotive industry is challenging and will take time. But the automotive industry has never been easy and its players know that for a fact. We are talking about a very robust and dynamic supply chain that is always under improvement. I can definitely see more merges, spin-offs and acquisitions along the way.
Willingness to make changes on the fly and do what the market dictates is more important than ever, which for Bechem means staying close to customers and being able to adapt quickly to changes. As an automotive supplier, we need to remain agile and deliver products wherever they are needed.
Q: What growth opportunities does Bechem expect from newly-arrived OEMs?
It is very interesting to see the number of OEMs arriving to Mexico year after year and of course it represents a great opportunity for Bechem. Not only the European and American OEMs, to which Carl Bechem has very good partnership with, but also Asian carmakers that bring a great deal of dynamism to the industry in Mexico.
Approaching Asian car makers has always been a challenge for Bechem but due to all major changes in the auto industry, including M&As, our solutions have been carried out to numerous platforms and applications. Moreover, Carl Bechem has invested heavily in China as well. We have a production plant and a highly technical team of professionals to support our customers in the region.
Bechem Lubrication Technology is a German company founded in 1834 that focuses on the supply of specialty lubricants and metal working fluids. The company produces a special offering of lubricants and noise damping fluids for the automotive sector