Exclusive Interview with Advisory Board Member Cathy Novak from Cadillac Oil Co.

Q1) What is your role at Cadillac Oil?

I am the Technical Director at Cadillac Oil.  In general, I keep the projects moving through our department and try to locate other resources (both testing and raw material) as needed to complete the tasks at hand.  I also keep one foot in the Regulatory world and facilitate the reporting required.

Q2) You have been in the lubricant industry for over 40 years, how much have you seen it change in that time?

The first big change is the shift from steel to aluminum substrates.  Now we are seeing the evolution of some newer and more exotic alloys as well as more stainless steel.  In the past the most used chemistry in Metalworking fluids was soluble oil chemistry.  Today the most popular mwf’s are semi synthetic fluids.  The additives used to formulate the finished fluids has evolved into more renewable alternatives to petrochemicals.  Synthetic machining fluids now can be made so that they don’t peel the paint off the machines!  There are multiple choice biocide chemistries available that are safer and are economical alternatives.

Machines now run at higher pressures making the coolants in the sumps run at higher psi’s than in the past.  The sumps are smaller and this means the coolant runs hotter so we have had to adjust the raw materials used to be able to tolerate the heat and prevent foaming.

In maintenance lubes the biggest shift is away from reclaimed oil as a base stock and customers actively performing preventive maintenance.  Filtration, particle counts and scheduled maintenance routines have created cleaner work environments and enabled a longer life of the machines in use.

Q3) The lubricant industry is currently facing enormous pressure to become more sustainable, forcing changes to processes and product ingredients. How are Cadillac Oil addressing these challenges?

Our R&D team meets regularly with a number of suppliers to learn about new raw materials available for use in our industrial lubricants.  When a customer provides us with their list of requirements, we are then able to locate additives to help us develop a finished product that meets their specified parameters.  Many suppliers already have generated data that help us choose the appropriate chemistry and usage levels to formulate a new product.  They can often times, perform testing that will insure the success of our finished formulation in the field.

Q4) Cadillac Oil manufacture industrial lubricants, which industries make up your largest market?

Our largest market is the medium sized parts manufacturer.  We provide not only the machining fluids (water based and oil based) but the maintenance lubricants for the machines as well as the rust preventives for short or long term storage or shipping and the cleaners to remove any/all of those lubricants.

Q5) What are you most looking forward to about Lubricant Expo North America?

I am looking forward to introducing Cadillac Oil and our products to people who may not have heard of us.  I am interested in learning about any new processes or machinery as well as learning about our customer’s areas of greatest concern and growth is going.  That is how we can prepare for the next directional shift for supporting our customers in the future.