EDITORIAL The hands of time...

By the time you receive this issue of Lube magazine, we will all have lived through the first year anniversary of the outbreak of Covid-19, a pandemic that has engulfed our lives in so many different, challenging and at times, both heart-breaking and heart-warming ways. Whilst the exact timescales geographically may vary, the essence of a collective and shared experience is very much identical. There are obstacles and challenges still to overcome; there is uncertainty and miscommunication, there is fear and optimism, about vaccine efficacy, its distribution, its politicisation, but whatever our individual views and opinions, the only way to look forward to a renewed shared experience, one that brings us closer to the normality we have all missed and crave, is to work together, locally, nationally and globally.

I hope that a year from now, I will be writing my April 2022 editorial from a foreign conference venue busy with industry delegates who are networking, sharing insights, conversation and coffee; or maybe waiting to board a plane in a departure lounge somewhere; who knows, I may even be typing away at my very own office desk at UKLA headquarters surrounded by people, my actual colleagues, in situ - imagine? A lot can happen in a year so I’m keeping everything crossed for a very different scenario twelve months from now.

Until then I’m happy to report that another, very different anniversary is featured in this issue - the centenary of The Witham Group, an historic British company and Royal Warrant holder no less, that has come a long way since it was founded in 1921. I interview Nigel Bottom, its managing director and 3rd generation custodian on page 50. And there is a short profile of the company on page 35.

Timelines continue to come under the spotlight in this issue as we focus on Automotive PCMO (passenger


car motor oils). On page 23, Dr Boris Zhmud and Dr Peter Lee provide the Lube Tech white paper which examines the dilemma faced by formulators coming under increasing pressure to satisfy the demands of the changing political and new fuel economy standards and regulations.

We have articles from Lubrizol’s Dr Colin Morton and Dr Ewan Delbridge on the ‘Changing conditions of the passenger car market’ on page 10 and on page 12, Koehler Instruments’ Dr Raj Shah, Dr Mathias Woydt, Ms Hillary Wong and Mr Isaac Kim report on ‘The changing landscape of E-vehicle lubricants ’. The Greases markets are reviewed on page 18 with Afton’s Chris Pether and his insights on the HPM Grease Standard and on page 32, Kline’s David Tsui reports on the Post-COVID outlook for greases and general industrial oils. Inga Herman and Sebastian Dorr report on the German lubricants association VSI’s NaSch Initiative on page 36, keeping sustainability very much in the spotlight, a topic we return to regularly.

Elsewhere there’s a sense that life is slowly beginning to regain some kind of normality as hybrid events and conferences begin to take shape and new dates tentatively offered. More events information can be found on page 49.

Enjoy the warmer days ahead and stay well! Until next time...

Andrianne Philippou,

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