Lubricant suppliers play a crucial role in any reliability excellence program. The primary reason for procuring a lubricant is not only to keep the machine running, but also to minimize friction and wear, thereby extending the asset’s lifespan. Therefore, choosing the right lubricant supplier is essential. In addition to cost and performance, there are several other critical factors that users should seek from their supplier. This article outlines the top things that lubricant suppliers should provide to their customers.

Technical know-how

It is crucial for your lubricant supplier to have a skilled Technical Support Engineer (TSE) on board, ideally with certification. The TSE can advise you on the most suitable lubricant for your application and address any issues you encounter with the lubricant. Additionally, they can help you promote awareness, provide training and seminars, and conduct regular lubrication audits. They may also assist you in consolidating lubricants.

Authenticity of supplier’s storage services

Lubricating oils are designed to meet specific service requirements, and inadequate storage practices can sometimes be followed by suppliers. Just as refrigerated medicine loses its efficacy when exposed to high or abnormal temperatures, lubricants also lose their properties. Common causes of lubricant contamination, deterioration, and waste during storage and handling include exposure to dust or chemical fumes, poor outdoor storage practices, moisture, and exposure to excessive heat or cold. Validating the supplier’s storage practices is essential to ensuring that your lubricants are properly treated before they reach you.

Quality certification

A quality certificate provides information about the basic properties of newly blended lubricants. Each lot of lubricant deliveries should be accompanied by a quality certificate, which can be in the form of a hard or soft copy. Requesting a quality certificate from the supplier is not a sign of distrust, but rather a way to ensure the quality of the lubricant. Quality parameters such as viscosity, viscosity chart, flashpoint, acid/base figure, and purity are typically listed in the quality certificate for oils. For grease, base oil viscosity, dropping point, NLGI segment and other information are a part of the test certification. The certification is usually batch-specific.

Lubricant analyzation and interpretation service

How about receiving a complimentary oil analysis from your lubricant supplier, similar to the welcome drink you receive at a hotel?

Some lubricant manufacturers provide oil analysis and diagnostics services to improve maintenance programs. They offer oil analysis and assist maintenance professionals in detecting lubrication problems early and predicting future machine reliability. They are capable of testing their brand of lubricant for basic properties such as viscosity, viscosity index, moisture, elemental analysis, acid number, and base number. The purpose of this analysis is not to replace commercial oil analysis labs, but to cross-check the test results provided by them. However, for less critical machines, oil analysis results provided by the lubricant supplier can be used to make maintenance decisions.


Choosing reliable lubricants supplier is a crucial aspect of a successful reliability program. However, price alone should not be the sole criterion for selecting a supplier. The top five factors discussed in this article – technical support, storage practices, quality certificates, oil analysis, and sustainability – should be taken into consideration. By carefully selecting a supplier, businesses can save money and improve their bottom line in the long run. Therefore, it is essential to seek more than just low-cost and high-performance lubricants from the supplier.

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