Lubricant manufacturer Rhenus Lub focuses on research

The highly specialised products offered by Rhenus Lub, the lubricant manufacturer based in Mönchengladbach, Germany, have little in common with the greases that existed when the company was founded. “The greases in use over 100 years ago were nowhere near as effective as the greases we use today”, says owner Dr Max Reiners. He explains that, while how to make grease was then a well-guarded secret among specialists, industrial production of greases and lubricants today follows scientific standards to ensure that the quality is always consistent.

Reiners has been managing the family company since 1989, and is the third generation to do so. Founded in 1882 by Wilhelm Schlafhorst as an import and export business for oils and greases, the business was taken over by the Reiners family in 1910. Daughter Isabella, from the fourth generation, is already employed by the company.

Rhenus Lub supplies its water-miscible and non-water-miscible coolants and high-performance greases to leading metalworking and metal processing companies worldwide, including vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, aircraft and machine builders and steel and construction businesses. The Mönchengladbach-based company owns subsidiaries in Spain, France and the Netherlands and has a presence in over 30 countries.

Production—approximately 26,500 tonnes per year—and development take place in Mönchengladbach-Rheindahlen. More than 20% of the 220 employees work in the laboratories, meticulously working on new, high-performance lubricants. “We have always invested more than average in basic research and development, which has allowed us to position ourselves as pioneers of innovation”, emphasises the owner.

In addition to producing and distributing lubricants, Rhenus Lub puts an emphasis on consulting. The service is called rhenus lubrineering — a neologism from lubricants (effective products) and engineering (specialist process knowledge). “The aim of rhenus lubrineering is to achieve long-term savings for customers”, Reiners explains. “We analyse the company’s processing methods on-site and determine exactly where we need to start to optimise the processes.” Comprehensive expertise and a dedicated and responsible commitment from all employees are required. “We place a great deal of importance on working in partnership. For us it is crucial that our customers can always trust us and can rely on safety, stability and sustainability”, he says, outlining the principles of the corporate culture at Rhenus Lub.

To demonstrate this culture and also to create a lasting memory of the company’s 130th anniversary for employees and business partners, Max Reiners has commissioned a Rhenus Lub photo album. Over the course of a year, Jon Stroud, an English photographer, took numerous black and white photographs of company sites and employees, which have now been brought together in an illustrated book entitled “Passion”.

Source: Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Central Lower Rhine, Dr Dunja Beck