The world’s largest independent diesel engine producer, Cummins, and one of the oldest lubrication manufacturers, Valvoline, have cultivated a powerful partnership that shares its benefits with the transport industry.
The commercial road transport industry is full of long lasting relationships that reflect the words of automotive revolutionary, Henry Ford, who famously said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” For two decades, Cummins and Valvoline have been an example of Ford’s definition of success, using their partnership to share technology and testing facilities with the aim of developing premium diesel engine oils.
The Cummins and Valvoline relationship dates back to 1994, starting with a partnership in Australia that has grown rapidly to become a strong, global alliance between two well-known companies. Now, the pair has developed strong ties through regional marketing alliances, and also established joint ventures in the US, India, Russia, China and Argentina.
“By combining the innovation and proven performance of premium Valvoline lubricants with Cummins’ unparalleled expertise in diesel engines, we have been able to take engine design and lubricant technology to new performance levels,” says Valvoline Technical Director, Ed Kopinski. “Our partnership continues to create high-performance products such as Valvoline Premium Blue engine oils, which are designed for extended engine life and increased protection in all heavy-duty applications.”
The new Valvoline Premium Blue 8600 product was developed to meet the new oil specification category, CK-4, which the American Petroleum Institute (API) developed to meet the requirements of next-generation heavy-duty engines. Released to the Australian market in December 2016, the API CK-4 oil specification replaces the previous API CJ-4 oil, which was industry standard for over a decade. As engine technology advanced to meet new emission requirements, the oil standards were updated to fulfil the needs of these new engines.
“The advanced technology of the Valvoline Premium Blue 8600, jointly developed by Cummins and Valvoline, contains a proprietary combination of additives designed specifically to meet the needs and performance levels of today’s advanced engines,” says Ed. “The Valvoline Premium Blue 8600 includes a new technology formulation specially designed for Cummins engines, and is therefore the only oil specified as first fill on Cummins assembly lines.”
The newly designed oil boasts improved shear stability, which means it maintains its viscosity to help protect engines in the high-heat, high-load conditions typical in off-road and long haul applications. “In terms of viscosity control, the Valvoline Premium Blue 8600 beats the standards set by the API for CK-4 oils by 80 per cent,” Ed says. “It also beats the valve train protection requirements by 65 per cent and oxidation resistance by 50 per cent. This isn’t just an oil that meets the standards, it goes above and beyond to help extend the life of the engine.”
Ed adds that the Premium Blue oil uses the latest generation additive technology for enhanced engine deposit protection, oxidation and sludge control, providing superior engine cleanliness over the oil drain intervals – which can be extended up to 60,000km. “This is an incredible improvement in service intervals expected for some other oils, which often suggest drainage at 20,000km,” Ed says. “This extended drain interval has been tried and tested over millions of kilometres of real work applications in the Cummins ISXe5/X15 engine.”
According to Ed, the real world testing covered ground across the globe, including in Australia under arduous conditions. Throughout the tests, Valvoline Premium Blue resulted in a superior Total Base Number (TBN) retention, he says, keeping engines cleaner by neutralising contaminants for longer. “The partnership between Cummins and Valvoline presented the opportunity for oil to be thoroughly tested using knowledge from both engine experts and lubrication experts,” Ed says. “Having worked together to create the ideal oil for its engines, Valvoline Premium Blue is exclusively recommended and endorsed by Cummins and specially designed to provide advanced lubricant performance.”
As well as noting that the Valvoline Premium Blue has proven to perform exceptionally in the field, Ed says it is also formulated to be safe and compatible on new exhaust after treatment devices including Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) found on newer, Euro 5 and 6 heavy-duty diesel engines.
“It is also approved by other major US OEMs, making it ideal for fleet owners who want to reduce the number of engine oil types in their inventory,” Ed says.
When Valvoline and Cummins first came together in 1994, it was the beginning of a partnership that continues to create improved products to help fleets across the globe benefit from lower cost of ownership and maximised profitability.
Valvoline Premium Blue oil is formulated to meet the latest diesel engine specifications from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), providing advanced lubricant performance in modern, low-emissions diesel engines, including those with cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR).
Valvoline Premium Blue, while developed to meet the requirements for the latest generation engines, is also completely backwards compatible in all trucks and off-road equipment that use API CJ-4, CI-4 PLUS, CI-4 and CH-4 oils.
Valvoline tests each batch of Valvoline Premium Blue oil during the blending process, referring to on-site quality assurance coordinators and National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory technicians to ensure products meet specifications without exception.