ILMA Compoundings - September 2020 - 21

"Understanding what the lubricant needs to do and
understanding how to help the people using it are
two different aspects. If it's the case that you can't
reduce consumption, how can we help you get it up
there?" - Jesse Dilk, business unit manager, wind
energy, Klüber Lubrication North America
lubricants that provide competitive
advantages in changeout intervals
and energy efficiency, offering major
cost-savings by "getting more electricity
out of each knot of wind," said Miller.
Because lubricants are individualized
to turbine design and their stringent
demands, lubricant manufacturers
"have to work hand in hand with the
equipment manufacturers," Miller
added. "A lubricant is one more
component of a machine. If you don't
think about a lubricant early on, then
you're going to get yourself in trouble
at the end of the day because you don't
have a lubricant that does what you
need it to do."
In Europe, wind turbine manufacturers have long partnered with

lubricant manufacturers during the
design phase to customize lubricant
applications, said Dilk. The U.S. differed somewhat, as the rush inspired
by government incentives initially
caused reliance on standardized
models and specs. Over time, however,
turbine manufacturers formed U.S.
engineering teams, "and now they can
create projects to fine-tune applications and look at the lubrication."
Klüber's R&D approach acts as
an innovation driver, applying the
findings and needs of customers
toward research into customized problem-solving formulations, Dilk said.
In a field where ever-lengthening
changeout intervals might seem like
the path to obsolescence, Miller sees

partnerships with manufacturers as a
factor in keeping lubricants relevant
and creating win-win scenarios for both
sides. "People are trying to cut down
on the amount of oil they use," he said.
"What the lubricants industry looks at is,
'How do we grow the pie? How do we
get more equipment using lubrication?'"
Dilk agrees that lubricant manufacturers can continue to enhance
their understanding of tribological
interfaces and pursue innovation in
lubricant design that promotes the
evolution of wind power and the
lubricants themselves.
The lubricants testing process can
take five or more years, requiring
careful planning and thoughtful
investment. Lubricant manufacturers

21



ILMA Compoundings - September 2020

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ILMA Compoundings - September 2020 - 1
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