ABB meets industry needs with pioneering solution for lubricant manufacturing market developed alongside Shell

ABB meets industry needs with pioneering solution for lubricant manufacturing market developed alongside Shell

  • ABB’s innovative In Line Coloring system will advance operator safety, removing the need for manual handling of toxic dyes commonly used in lube oil production
  • New system will drive production efficiency and reliability, increasing yield capacity by repurposing existing dye-only storage tanks and production lines
  • Solution developed in collaboration with Shell in response to their manufacturing needs and is already in operation for bulk loading at Shell’s facility in France

ABB Process Engineering (Cellier) has brought to the market a new In Line Coloring system that removes the need for segregating dyeing processes from mainstream production.

The system, developed for bulk loading and aimed initially at the lubricant market, replaces traditional batch-based production dyeing with an in-line process that allows dyeing to take place at the last stage of the process. In doing so, operators no longer need to store dyes in separate tanks or assign independent assembly and transportation lines. As a result, these assets can be repurposed to create extra production capacity and flexibility.

Dyeing of lubricants is generally deployed for standardization, regulation or end use identification purposes. It has been adopted stringently by the automotive industry to help identify different components in manufacturing and assembly of cars. With the global automotive market expected to reach 122.83 million units by 20301, the demand for colored lubricants is also expected to increase exponentially.

“Increased global demand has meant we needed to increase our production volumes. It became clear that we needed a more efficient process to ensure accuracy, speed and safety of the dyeing process. ABB worked closely with us to create that solution, and as a direct result we have been able to create more capacity at our facility by freeing up the storage tanks and production lines previously assigned for dye processing,” said Aurélien Allaert, Plant Engineering Manager, Shell.

The In Line Coloring system will also ensure accuracy and reliability of dye dilution and dosage levels, fully automating the process and removing the need for operators to manually handle solvent dye raw products, which have a high level of toxicity and can be harmful to health.

“In most plants, due to the ratio of products to be colored remaining relatively low, dilution and dosage application of dye is handled by operators themselves. The outcomes can be unpredictable and unreliable, and it is impossible to know if accurate dosing levels have been achieved until the product is received. Our solution fully automates the dye process and incorporates micro-dosing Coriolis mass flowmeters, which provide operators with precise dye injection measurements per gram of product,” said Samuel Dessolin, Global Segment & Product Manager Blending and Formulation Solutions at Process Engineering, ABB Process Engineering (Cellier).

ABB’s first In Line Coloring system is already in operation for bulk loading at Shell’s Nanterre facility in France. Thanks to this proven design, a range of fully standardized packaged solutions is now available for new facilities or conversion of existing assets.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.

ABB’s Process Automation business is a leader in automation, electrification and digitalization for the process and hybrid industries. We serve our customers with a broad portfolio of products, systems, and end-to-end solutions, including our # 1 distributed control system, software, and lifecycle services, industry-specific products as well as measurement and analytics, marine and turbocharging offerings. As the global #2 in the market, we build on our deep domain expertise, diverse team and global footprint, and are dedicated to helping our customers increase competitiveness, improve their return on investment and run safe, smart, and sustainable operations.

1Global Automotive Market: COVID-19, Growth & Forecast 2020-2030 -


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