Category Archives: Lubrizol

Lubrizol Selects Simko S.A. as New Distributor in Argentina

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Lubrizol Corporation has selected Simko S.A. as the new distributor for the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) portfolio of the company’s Engineered Polymers business throughout Argentina.

Simko S.A. distributes engineering plastics, synthetic rubbers, rubber chemicals and industrial equipment for rubber and plastic industries in Argentina. They have warehouse and office facilities strategically located in San Martin near the Buenos Aires highway network.

The agreement, which took effect on October 15, 2017, but was just announced on January 3, 2018, includes the following key product lines which are well-suited for today’s innovative and demanding applications:

– Estane(R) TPU: Estane TPU products are utilized in film and sheet, extrusion, blow molding, injection molding, over molding, calendaring and solution coating processes.

– Isoplast(R) ETP: Isoplast ETP products are hard and high flexural modulus polyurethane engineering resins with excellent chemical resistance and barrier properties.

– Pearlbond(TM) TPU: The Pearlbond TPU portfolio includes products for Hot Melt Adhesives (HMA) and Reactive Hot Melts (HMPUR), typically used in automotive interior parts, bookbinding, furniture, textile and footwear.

– Pearlstick(TM) TPU: Pearlstick TPU products are designed for use in the manufacture of solvent-based adhesives.

Other products that will also be distributed by Simko S.A are: Pearlcoat(TM) TPU, Pearlthane(TM) TPU, Pearlthane(TM) ECO* TPU and Carbo-Rite(TM) Conductive Compounds and Sheet Products.

Rogerio Colucci, Lubrizol Engineered Polymers business manager for Latin America comments, “It is exciting to work with Simko S.A. as they have excellent in-depth knowledge of the engineering plastics and rubber markets in Argentina. When combined with Lubrizol’s innovative and durable TPU solutions for specialized wire and cable, adhesives, consumer and industrial applications, this will further enhance our ability to work closely with customers, helping them solve valuable problems and drive innovation and growth in Argentina.”

Eduardo Simko, CEO of Simko S.A., comments “We are proud of having been selected as Lubrizol’s new distributor. We are impressed by the wide portfolio of products and the quality of the products, as well as Lubrizol’s commitment to market development.”

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Lubrizol Gets Grant to Develop Clean Energy Chemical Manufacturing

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded the University of Pittsburgh Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and Ohio specialty chemicals provider Lubrizol Corporation a collaborative grant for research into clean energy chemical manufacturing. The DOE grant, along with contributions from Pitt and Lubrizol, will total $7.5 million over a four-year period.

“The project will focus on applying advanced chemical engineering research to industrial-scale chemical manufacturing,” said Steven Little, William Kepler Whiteford Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at Pitt. “The Pitt-Lubrizol partnership aligns well with University efforts to work with businesses to translate research into industry practices and impact the region’s economy in a positive way.”

The grant is part of the DOE’s Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) initiative, a partnership between the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the DOE. Both Pitt and Lubrizol are among the 45 members of the $70 million AIChE/RAPID Initiative for improving energy efficiency and industrial productivity through process intensification and modular manufacturing–two design approaches for chemical manufacturing at industry-relevant scales.

“At Lubrizol, we are working with thousands of tons of chemicals per year,” said Cliff Kowall, Lubrizol technical fellow and corporate engineer. “The end objective is to provide the design basis to allow Lubrizol to deploy these innovative processes with sharp reductions in waste generation, utility, and energy costs, capital cost, and footprint accompanied by an improvement in quality consistency.”

Kowall was integral in establishing the initial partnership between Pitt and Lubrizol, which began in 2014 with a $1.2 million Strategic Alliance agreement. The partnership brought about opportunities for students to learn about engineering needs in an industrial environment, while at the same time benefiting Lubrizol through research projects tailored to its business operations. Last month, Pitt and Lubrizol renewed the partnership, worth roughly $1 million invested over a three-year period.

“The University of Pittsburgh was by far the best fit for us to establish a relationship with a university, largely due to the enthusiasm of the Pitt Chemical Engineering leadership team,” said Kowall. “Lubrizol made a long-term commitment initially, and now we’ve extended it for three more years with the expectation of it lasting indefinitely.”

The partnership helped Pitt’s Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department develop the course “Introduction to Chemical Product Design” (ChE 0214). Open to students in their sophomore year, the course teaches how to design products specific to a customer’s needs. In a traditional paradigm, engineering students don’t work on design projects until their senior years.

“This alliance has led to new educational programs that are first-of-their-kind in the country, exposing our students to unique opportunities to learn design principles and leading to multiple awards and even a spin-out company for our students,” said Dr. Little.

The follow-up course, “Taking Products to Market: The Next Step in Chemical Product Design” (ChE 0314), focuses on entrepreneurship and the skills necessary to successfully turn their ideas into products or companies.

“About half of the initial $1.2 million agreement went into the development of these courses and the resources to ensure our students’ success,” said Dr. Little. “Collaborating with Lubrizol directly, plus a jumpstart on product design, really gives our students a competitive advantage after graduation.”

Another feature of the partnership was the creation of the ‘University of Pittsburgh Physical Property Internship,’ which is a nine-month internship targeted at chemical engineering students who graduate in December and are intending to go to graduate school in the fall.

“This helps Lubrizol as well as the student who might have trouble finding something worthwhile to do in that rather awkward time. Three of the first four recipients became full-time employees,” said Kowall. “We have put emphasis on recruiting co-op students from Pitt. We work with the faculty to identify high potential candidates. Retention has been excellent in keeping co-op students as full-time employees.”

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee

Lubrizol’s Particle Sciences Signs Manufacturing Deal with PixarBio Corporation

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Lubrizol’s Particle Sciences division has signed an agreement to manufacture PixarBio’s NR14 product for clinical trials.

In 2018, PixarBio will be able to apply to the US FDA for fast track approval through the CDER Breakthrough Therapy designation.

“Although the agreement covers our 14 day treatment, we also have a 7 and 3 day product in our pipeline that are not part of this agreement. We worked for over 3 years with PSI to put this agreement in place and look forward to a long term collaboration. I am confident that with the FDA’s fast track approval we can receive FDA clearance to market NR14 in late 2019,” said CEO Frank Reynolds.

According to PixarBio, NeuroRelease™ is a morphine replacement, and non-addictive pain platform for post-surgical pain. First product FDA approval for the platform will be for a 14-day post-surgical pain treatment and it is expected in late 2019.

The platform can be formulated for acute and chronic pain treatments.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Lubrizol Opens State-of-the-Art Drumming Facility

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The Lubrizol Corporation has opened a state-of-the-art drumming facility and warehouse at its Painesville Township, Ohio manufacturing facility, both of which are part of the company’s previously announced phased investment at the site.

The total $70 million investment better positions the company to meet the changing demands of customers and ensures the integrity and quality of its products while reinforcing personal and environmental safety.

Construction on the 180,000 square feet combined buildings began in April 2015. With a focus on enhancing safety and business processes, the new buildings will be instrumental in reducing risk and achieving the company’s business objectives of improving effectiveness, efficiency and consistency.

“Historically, the Painesville Township site has been of great importance to our business, operating for more than 60 of the company’s nearly 90 years,” said Tom Curtis, incoming president of Lubrizol Additives. “This latest investment reinforces our commitment to the community by further ensuring the site as a key source in Lubrizol Additives’ global supply chain.”

With more than half of all Lubrizol Additives products worldwide containing at least one component manufactured at the Painesville Township site, adding new manufacturing capacity and updated automated packaging capabilities was a necessity. Furthermore, these efforts are important to ensure product integrity and to improve the overall safety and efficiency of handling product drums and totes.

“With our new drum filling facility, we will be able to improve safety by minimizing the manual packaging of drums, reducing packaging time for a single batch by more than 50% and minimizing the number of times a drum is handled by more than 70%,” commented Craig Hupp, Lubrizol Painesville Township plant manager. “And, with 100% indoor storage provided by our new warehouse, we will improve the quality and appearance of packaged products delivered to our customers. All of these improvements will be a tremendous value to our overall organization.”

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Lubrizol’s LifeSciences Investing $10 Million at Wisconsin Manufacturing Site

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The Lubrizol Corporation’s LifeSciences business is investing $10 million for a significant capacity expansion at its silicone contract manufacturing site in Franklin, Wisconsin.

This investment strengthens the company’s silicone business by adding 71,000 square feet of space that complements the existing 126,000 square foot operation.

Previously, in 2010, Vesta more than doubled its footprint at this location; the current expansion supports LifeSciences’ long-term growth strategy to provide high-quality manufacturing for silicone implants and finished medical devices.

“When customers partner with Lubrizol LifeSciences, they benefit from working with us at every stage in their development process,” states Uwe Winzen, general manager, Lubrizol LifeSciences. “With a long history of polymer expertise combined with recent investments, Lubrizol LifeSciences is positioned to offer full-service development for the next generation of medical devices, as well as long-term implantable and drug-eluting device innovations.”

The expansion adds 71,000 square feet of new space featuring product development, cellular manufacturing, and high-efficiency production lines, as well as separate Class 7 & 8 clean room space for the production of implants and drug-eluting devices.

The expansion allows LifeSciences to capitalize on the strong local labor pool and technical expertise offered in the Wisconsin area.

“This new space covers immediate short-term needs, but also provides room for growth in the future. Customers can feel comfortable that we are able to handle both their current projects, as well as a significant increase in their future business efforts,” states Mark Stuart, general manager, Vesta. “Companies looking for a world-class, efficient contract manufacturing partner can choose us knowing that we are a sustainable partner for their long term growth.”

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Lubrizol Upgrades Textile Coatings Center of Excellence

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What’s more excellent than excellent? Excellenter? Excellentest? Well, anyway, Berkshire Hathaway’s Lubrizol has announced that its Performance Coatings business is upgrading its Textile Coatings Center of Excellence in Gastonia, North Carolina.

The facility, which focuses on research and development of coatings technologies for textile and non-woven substrates, and is dedicated to formulating and testing innovative coating technologies for an array of technical textile applications.

The new Center of Excellence is a state of the art textile coating product development and applications testing facility.

“By upgrading our capabilities, we continue our longstanding commitment to the textiles industry”, says Bob Bonner, technical manager. “This investment expands our ability to deliver a wide range of textile coating and testing services for customers, including flame retardancy, abrasion resistance, water repellency, chemical resistance, and stretch-restriction capability.”

“Our textiles team in Gastonia is focused on providing an outstanding experience for customers through technical service”, comments Ted Parigian, sales manager, textile coatings. “They’re constantly developing new technologies, and these upgrades will enhance our ongoing ability to deliver winning solutions.”

Lubrizol investments in global Center of Excellences ensure the ability for highly skilled technical experts to collaborate with customers and each other in world class labs with modern equipment to efficiently deliver advanced coating technologies to customers. “Reducing our response time to customers is a key business goal,” notes Lee Young, technical director. “When we can bring the right, differentiated products to customers and meet their time requirements in the process, then we are a critical part of their success and profitability.”

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Particle Science to Begin Commercial Drug Manufacturing

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Commercial drug product manufacturing will be added at the Lubrizol’s Particle Sciences facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The move to become a commercial drug product manufacturer, rather than just a producer of trial supplies used in testing, will enable Particle Science to produce pharmaceutical products for commercial sale by its customers.

Particle Science already has several customers lined up for its new service, and plans to hire an additional 30 employees to its existing workforce of 85 employees.

The roughly $10 million expansion of its facility will be adjacent to the existing development and clinical trial manufacturing site, offering customers a seamless flow from development through manufacturing.

The new space, which is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2017, will accommodate both sterile and non-sterile products, highly potent compounds, and organic solvent processing.

The expansion id part of Lubrizol’s $60 million investment that will focus on new product solutions, capacity expansion and additional cGMP manufacturing.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Lubrizol Investing $60 Million to Expand Particle Sciences, Vesta and Other Facilities in 2017

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The Lubrizol Corporation’s LifeSciences business is continuing to invest in its key capabilities through a variety of planned expansions.

During this latest phase, a $60 million investment will focus on new product solutions, capacity expansion and additional cGMP manufacturing. These investments will strengthen the excipients, polymers, drug formulation and manufacturing, and medical device contract manufacturing capabilities at Lubrizol LifeSciences’ global facilities.

Commercial drug product manufacturing will be added at the company’s Particle Sciences facility in Bethlehem, PA. Leveraging the company’s knowledge in complex formulations and production, the facility will be adjacent to the existing development and clinical trial manufacturing site, offering customers a seamless flow from development through manufacturing. This new space, which is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2017, will accommodate both sterile and non-sterile products, highly potent compounds, and organic solvent processing.

Additionally, LifeSciences is investing to expand its global facilities for excipients, polymers and contract manufacturing, with a focus on quality and efficiency. This capital investment will impact multiple sites to increase in-house engineering capacity across the LifeSciences portfolio of medical and pharmaceutical applications. This includes new investments in design, manufacturing and sterilization technologies for the production of interventional catheters and long-term implantable devices, an area of strategic importance to the medical device segment.

“We have significantly enhanced our capabilities through the combination of strong polymer technology, application know-how and world-class manufacturing,” states Deb Langer, vice president, Lubrizol Personal Home and Health Care.

“As healthcare companies look for total solution providers, we continue to invest in the right areas to provide valuable offerings where our customers are experiencing the most growth.”

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Warren Buffett Wishes For Five More Lubrizols

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If there is any one of Berkshire Hathaway’s companies that Warren Buffett would love to find another of it would have to be Lubrizol Corporation.

Berkshire acquired the specialty chemical manufacturer in 2011 for $9.7 billion, and it has played an important role in Berkshire’s profits.

“Lubrizol is the second largest in terms of earnings so it’s a very important asset to Berkshire,” Buffett noted during a recent visit to Lubrizol’s headquarters in Wickliffe, Ohio. “Up until the acquisition of Precision Cast Parts [it was] the largest industrial operation we have.”

Lubrizol’s growth, which since being acquired by Berkshire has included the acquisition of Particle Science, the opening of a chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) compounding plant in Dahej, India, and assuming the Indian government’s stake in Lubrizol India Pvt Ltd., and more.

“It’s a terrific business and it’s big, and only gets bigger,” Buffet said.

With Berkshire size matters, as small acquisitions don’t make much difference in the profits of a company the size that Berkshire has grown to. Over the past decade, Berkshire has added not only Lubrizol, but also BNSF Railway, Precision Castparts, battery-maker Duracell, and a hefty chunk of Kraft Heinz to its portfolio.

While individual Berkshire companies can grow through smaller acquisitions in the millions, tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions, those size acquisitions don’t make sense for Berkshire if they are stand-alone entities. Berkshire has to add companies with billions in market cap in order to make a difference.

Companies of Lubrizol’s size are in the range that Buffett looks for with his famed “elephant gun.”

“It’s a huge advantage to be large too in terms of moving the needle on $400 billion of market cap.” Buffett noted, referring to Berkshire’s overall size.

Buffett’s a willing buyer, but companies such as Lubrizol are not on every corner.

“I wish we had five more and they’re hard, they are very hard to find,” Buffet said. “They take decades and decades to build.”

Buffett’s reputation as a long term owner of companies who keeps key management in place is one the things that makes becoming a Berkshire company attractive. The other is no longer having to be a slave to quarterly earnings reports. Just ask the folks at BNSF Railway how much easier it is to allocate capital now that they have been freed of that burden.

“We want Berkshire to be a wonderful collection of businesses over time, because we’re not going to sell them. It isn’t like we are going to keep culling the herd.”

If you can find Buffett another Lubrizol he’s certainly ready to thank you.

“Find me another Lubrizol, I’ll send flowers to your wife on her birthday,” Buffett adds. And he means it.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Lubrizol Breaks Ground on Polyisobutylene Unit in Texas

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Lubrizol Corporation has broken ground on the construction of a new polyisobutylene (PIB) unit at its Deer Park, Texas facility.

The facility is being developed as part of Lubrizol’s previously announced technology license agreement with Daelim Industrial.

Commenting on the new unit, Dan Sheets, president of Lubrizol Additives, states “With this significant investment, Lubrizol intends to meet future customer demands, as well as be fully prepared for anticipated performance upgrades in lubricants and fuels.”

The new unit is expected to be fully operational in the first half of 2019. It will provide Lubrizol with capacity for highly reactive polyisobutylene (HR PIB), a key raw material for next-generation dispersants and lubricants.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.