TAIF-SM products: from desert to the Arctic
TAIF Lubricants — about 700 types of oils and lubricants in all segments and for all operating conditions
Tens of thousands of tonnes of lubricants a year. In less than 4 years, the only manufacturer of polyalphaolefin oils in Russia, TAIF-SM, became one of the leaders of the domestic market. About the conditions under which products under the TAIF Lubricants brand already operate and what plans the company builds for the foreseeable future — in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
Plans for 3k items
If at the start of the work of the redeemed TAIF Group and the fully modernised Nizhnekamsk synthetic oil plant, renamed as TAIF-SM PLC, produced barely 40 product names, today the line includes about 700 items of the widest range of applications.
“The company started working in 2020 after a deep modernisation of production as the first and only manufacturer of polyalphaolefin base oils in Russia. Today, we produce two types of products: Group IV base oils and lubricants under the Taif Lubricants brand. The peak capacity of the plant is 208 tonnes of oils a day, which makes it possible to produce 60 thousand tonnes of lubricants and 10 thousand tonnes of base oils a year," Alexey Osipov, the director general of TAIF-SM, told the guests when hosting the members of the Association of Motor transport enterprises of the Republic of Tatarstan in April 2023.
In such a short time, TAIF-SM managed to become one of the leaders of the Russian lubricants market as a whole. The company's products are in demand. TAIF Lubricants products confirmed the high level of quality, having received official approvals from the automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Renault, Daimler, VAG, and MAN. TAIF Lubricants oils for passenger car engines and commercial vehicles are licensed by the American Petroleum Institute (API — American Petroleum Institute).
In addition to motor oils, the company produces an extensive palette of oils for industrial (petrochemical, machine-building, metalworking, etc.) capacities of the Russian Federation. And there are also official approvals from leading global manufacturers of special equipment, in particular Siemens.
In December 2022, having debuted in regional and federal quality competitions, three TAIF-SM product names at once — TAIF VIVACE motor oil for passenger cars, TAIF INTRA heavy commercial equipment oil, and basic polyalphaolefin oil — were awarded the titles of laureates and diploma holders.
The company itself emphasises: the current range of products from 700 items is not the limit, and not even the middle of the road:
“A wide product portfolio of lubricants was initially laid down in the business development strategy. Due to the presence of polyalphaolefins, we are able to produce a rich palette of oils for use in a variety of conditions: from critically low to high temperatures. We plan to expand our product portfolio to three thousand items over the next 5 years," Sergey Agabekov, the deputy director general of TAIF-SM PLC for science, said in an interview with Realnoe Vremya.
R&D Centre: any product for clear requests
The Synthetic Oil Plant is an innovative enterprise. Not only from the point of view of the availability of PAOM production equipment unique for Russia, but also in the fact that, simultaneously with the modernisation of the production component, much attention was paid to the recruitment of personnel to the established own Research and Development Centre (R&D), equipped with the latest technology. But the equipment is not the main thing.
“Our Center is unique precisely by the people who work here. Today, the Centre is headed by Sultan Shamsutdinov, a graduate of the Gubkin University of Oil and Gas. I am a graduate of this university myself. And we recruited the staff here — in Tatarstan, because we want the staff to be initially educated here, in our corporate foundations," Sergey Agabekov, the company's deputy director general for science, said in an interview with Realnoe Vremya.
The main task of the Centre is the development and selection of formulations of lubricants that fully meet the needs of consumers. The work is carried out taking into account many factors: from the operating conditions of individual components and mechanisms, to their interaction during the operation of the equipment in complex. Everything is taken into account: the features of structures, environmental conditions, and temperature conditions, the physico-chemical characteristics of the lubricants themselves and their interaction with metals and all kinds of media with which they will have to come into contact... Dozens of various parameters and requirements.
“The maximum of our efforts is aimed at import substitution. We see that the demand for premium synthetic oils outstrips the supply. Our team of technologists, technical specialists, marketers, specialists of the commercial unit has directed all their efforts to actively promote synthetic products of their own design, which is especially important today, in conditions of emerging niches in the market of imported oils. In other words, we are talking about the implementation of import substitution policy, the need for which is often discussed at the federal level," Dmitry Bugayov, the director of commercial affairs at TAIF-SM PLC, announced priorities.
The result of the effectiveness of TAIF-SM, for example, in the segment of oils and lubricants for passenger cars, trucks, and special vehicles, can be easily seen on the shelves of auto shops and filling stations in almost all regions of Russia. This is significant, but only a small part of the work of the company and the specialists of the R&D Centre. Without false modesty, Sergey Agabekov emphasises:
“If we talk about the bulk of the oils and lubricants used in Russia, then we can create an alternative to 99,9% in the required volumes. The remaining 0,1% are special lubricants created on raw materials that are not produced in Russia. But, I'm not saying that we won't be able to create these products. It will just take a little more time and the help of our partners from friendly countries.
As for the rest of the products, most of the nomenclature of 700 items (but not in volume) were created to order.
“These are point implementations, point developments: for enterprises, for strategic nodes, for special, including racing vehicles, for equipment operating in special conditions. I won't say that no one but us will be able to develop such oils and lubricants, we just do it faster and better," notes Sergey Agabekov.
TAIF-SM, through its dealers, closely interacts with current and future consumers of the company's products. Laboratory for monitoring the condition of lubricants successfully operates on the basis of the R&D Centre. Laboratory oil analysis gives a quick and accurate picture of what is happening inside engines, gearboxes, compressors, hydraulic systems and other critical mechanisms. Effective monitoring makes it possible to optimally plan maintenance, reduce the risk of damage to expensive units and avoid unplanned downtime. The Technical Support Department is ready to provide comprehensive information on the use of any of the TAIF-SM products, or accept a request for the development of a new product for changing tasks.
“The product from TAIF-SM is offered of very, very high quality. At the same time, we always keep in mind that the client may need something special. The manufacturing company has the capacities to solve such problems. Moreover, we ourselves, and for free, conduct selective monitoring at customer sites to evaluate the performance of lubricants during operation. We take samples, TAIF-SM makes analyses in its R&D Centre with the issuance of a conclusion about what is happening with the oil. Customers get the opportunity to evaluate the efficiency of using domestic oils, and, no less importantly, they see that on behalf of the manufacturer we control the processes and are always ready for feedback," the federal distributor of TAIF-SM PLC in the direction of Energy, head of the Ground-based gas turbines sector, shared in an interview with the journalist of Realnoe Vremya of the Nizhny Novgorod company S-Technics PLC, Ivan Stepankov.
Oils and lubricants that work in all conditions
The products of TAIF-SM LLC are now represented in all segments of ready-made commercial oils in Russia:
- motor and transmission oils for passenger vehicles;
- engine and transmission oils for commercial, cargo transport and special equipment;
- industrial oils for various industries;
- oils for the food and pharmaceutical industry;
- water-soluble and oil-based lubricants and coolants for metalworking;
- oils based on polyalkylene glycols and esters.
In particular, the production of lubricants based on polyalphaolefins — base synthetic oils, oils based on raw materials Okten-1, medium-viscosity and high-viscosity oils has been established.
Taking into account the fact that PAOM was originally created for operation under conditions of significant temperature differences, do not evaporate, while maintaining working viscosity and stability, the range of applications of such lubricants is extremely wide and continues to develop. Today, polyalphaolefin oils are actively in demand for passenger cars, including racing equipment, for heavy truck vehicles operating under constant load and in the conditions from hot deserts to the Far North. PAOM have proven themselves well in production, ensuring reliable operation of various industrial equipment.
For information: products such as TAIF ALLEGRO and TAIF VIVACE guarantee high product efficiency when used in harsh climatic conditions in Russia. Since March 2022, a line of lubricants and coolants critical for the metalworking industry of the Russian Federation, consisting of water-soluble TAIF C-Fluid and oil TAIF-C-Cut, has been put into production and sale. Gear, turbine, compressor and other oils, such as TAIF MODUS PAO, TAIF RAVE PAO, TAIF HARMONY PAO, have shown high efficiency. Since September 2022, for the first time in Russia and entirely on domestic raw materials, the production of its own oils for hypercompressors has been established.
The work on expanding the range of manufactured products continues. At the beginning of 2023, a request was received through a federal dealer in the direction of Energy for the creation of a special composition for one of the GTU in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug.
“They have gas turbine units of container placement: that is, the gas turbine engine itself is installed in the container, and the attached equipment, in particular the oil cooler, is outside. In winter, the air temperature drops below -40 ℃ and if the turbine stops, the oil cools down and stops circulating, even though there is heating. Every restart becomes problematic. They heard that there is a possibility of using synthetic turbine oils based on PAO and turned to us. Thanks to the work of the R&D Centre of TAIF-SM PLC, the optimal recipe was selected, a batch of special product was created and the problem was solved," Ivan Stepankov said.
They are not afraid of difficult tasks in TAIF-SM. Moreover, we are sure that the more of them and the higher the level of responsibility, the more interesting the work. One of these is just now in the active phase:
“Together with Ural turbine plants, non-combustible oil is being developed for turbine control systems. The task is to create an oil that does not support combustion at a temperature of 550 ℃. For information: this special oil based on various phosphorus compounds is the one that controls all our turbines — all those turbines that create heat and electricity. The oil is in a closed system under high pressure. Simple versions of oils cannot be used, since a burst will occur during depressurisation. Disaster. The consumption of such oils is about 20 tonnes a year throughout Russia. Without false modesty, I will say: we have almost achieved success," Sergey Agabekov said in an interview with Realnoe Vremya.
He also said that the Arctic Project is being successfully implemented to create a whole line of special oils capable of maintaining pumpability at ultra-low temperatures, ensuring the operation of automotive equipment, production equipment, and generating capacities.
Among the unique orders already implemented by the company are compositions for racing cars. By the way, since 2023, TAIF-SM has become an official partner of one of the strongest clubs in the country, TAIFMOTORSPORT.
“We, as an oil brand, are just obliged to represent our colleagues from motor sports. For the engine, our product is blood and strength," Alexey Osipov, the director general of TAIF-SM PLC, explained the regularity of such an association.
In addition to its own research centre, and one of the best in the country, the company's undoubted advantage is also the ability to produce virtually any batch of product in terms of volume. Moreover, TAIF-SM has recently further strengthened this position:
“We have installed another small reactor for one tonne. If in laboratory conditions we can produce a pilot batch of 20-60 litres, then, thanks to this reactor, we can now produce up to a tonne of product on special order without compromising the main streams. And our customers really like that we are able to produce in fact any volumes of required oils," Sergey Agabekov noted. He immediately gave an example: “We are quite often asked to make some kind of point polyalphaolefins. In particular, one of the Russian state-owned companies instructed to create a base oil based on PAOM with clearly defined characteristics for use in aviation. It was an interesting project that we successfully implemented.
TAIF-SM products are already successfully coping with the tasks assigned to them throughout Russia and in countries not only near but also far abroad, working in hot desert sands and under the piercing winds of the North, at large enterprises and in personal cars, aviation equipment, in the railway, river, and marine fleet. Every day the company receives more and more orders for the creation of new oils. Moreover, the question of why they turn to TAIF-SM does not arise in the company itself. And this is obvious:
“We are the only ones who deal with the creation of lubricants in a comprehensive manner: both from a theoretical and practical point of view. There is simply no other such company in the country that would produce Group IV base oils and lubricants under its own brand, and do science," Alexey Osipov, the director general of TAIF-SM PLC, explained to the journalist of Realnoe Vremya.