INCE ITS INCEPTION IN 1972, AMSOIL INC. has followed
one guiding principle: manufacture products that
"exceed customer expectations."
AMSOIL products are tested against the most rigorous
standards of the American Society for Testing and
Materials (ASTM) International, one of the largest voluntary
standards development organizations in the
world for technical standards for materials, products,
systems and services. ASTM standards are the benchmark
for motor oil and lubricant companies.
AMSOIL quality standards make the AMSOIL laboratory
critical to the company. The lab moved to the
AMSOIL Center in January 2008, where it was expanded
to 3,100 square feet, an increase of about 35 percent
over its original location in the old AMSOIL Distribution
"The lab was relocated into a well-laid-out space
that increases the efficiency of our monitoring AMSOIL
materials from delivery by rail and truck to finished
products," said Vice President of Operations Scott
Davis. "It’s an impressive laboratory. When vendors and
customers see it, it’s a ‘wow’ factor; when we see it,
it’s a confidence factor. The layout and design improve
processing and efficiency."
Chemists Use ASTM Standard Test Methods
"We follow the testing protocol as it is written for each
ASTM standard test method,” said Dave Leitten, laboratory
director. Test methods prescribed in ASTM standards
manuals are used internationally to evaluate the
properties of lubricants, oils, fuels and solvents. That
means, “other testing laboratories follow the exact
same procedures when they run ASTM Standard Test
Methods," Leitten said.
Quality Control Measures
Raw materials arriving at the AMSOIL Center in
Superior, Wis. are tested prior to acceptance of the
delivery to ensure they meet AMSOIL quality parameters.
Samples are taken directly from the tankers to the
lab. Only after the lab reports the raw materials meet
quality standards are they sent to the holding tanks,
from which they are then blended and bottled.
"We calibrate our equipment on a regular basis to
ensure our test results are accurate," Leitten said. "In
terms of product quality control, we test our products
in three stages. Stage one involves testing all of the raw
materials that go into our products.
"Stage two involves testing of the finished blends.
Stage three involves testing a production line sample
of product going into bottles, pails, drums and totes.
We use the same ASTM test methods used in competitive
product testing in our day-to-day laboratory
quality control testing."
In stages one and two, raw materials and finished
blends are tested against the specifi cations provided
by each material manufacturer. They also must meet
specifi c AMSOIL product specifications for fi nished
goods. "The specifications for our finished goods are
based on industry specifications," Leitten said. "We
tend to tighten up the finished goods specification
ranges so that the variability of the products we manufacture
Those specifications usually have an acceptable
minimum and maximum range for various attributes.
“As an example, a base oil could have an acceptable
range for kinematic viscosity at 100° C of 5 centistokes
(cSt) (minimum) to 5.4 cSt (maximum),” Leitten said.
“We would test this material using ASTM D-445
Standard Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of
Transparent and Opaque Liquids and compare our
tested value with the acceptable range and accept or
reject the material or blend based on the results.”
Kinematic viscosity is the measure of a fluid’s resistance
to flow under gravity at a specific temperature.
Innovative, Superior Products
"We strive to bring innovative products of the highest
quality to our customers,” Leitten said. “Our corporate
policy is to provide products with exceptional performance
that exceed customer expectations. We continually
test competitor products to benchmark our
performance versus other players in the lubricant indus-
try. This testing is expensive and very time-consuming,
but it is vital to ensuring our products are the very best
our industry has to offer."
Published Results Prove Product Quality
"We often publish the results of our competitor testing
as proof of our product quality," Leitten said.
"Formulating is a balancing act. Changing the attributes
of a product in one area may negatively affect the properties
in another. As an example, adding corrosion
inhibitors to a lubricant may detract from its wear performance.
The key to creating superior products is to
balance all the performance areas to create a well-rounded
lubricant. Our products are near the top in all
critical areas of performance and, more often than not,
they’re at the very top."