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December 6, 2017

Volume 17 Issue 49

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ARG Completes New Lab

American Refining Group completed construction on its new quality control lab in Pennsylvania, the company announced last week. The 6,400 square feet building was a multi-million dollar investment.

Located on the grounds of ARG’s Bradford, Pennsylvania, refinery, the facility includes a general test lab, a gas chromatography and distillation lab, a water and environmental lab and a thermal-test lab. Seventy different tests for oil, wax and fuels can be run, including, x-ray analysis for additive metals, demulsibility tests and dielectric testing. Demulsibility measures an oil's ability to release water.

Photo courtesy of the American Refining Group

The facility contains a plethora of equipment, including the kinematic viscosity baths seen here.

The lab’s equipment is calibrated to National Institute of Standards and Technology traceable standards. Pennsylvania-based ARG did not purchase any new equipment for the lab, instead shifting the previous lab’s updated operations in phases before recalibrating the equipment for use. This was done in order to minimize disruptions for customers.

Additionally, the facility conducts incoming inspections of raw materials used in branded lubricant blending, branded lubricant blend analysis and packaging lubricant product analysis, alongside many other services.

The primary motivation behind constructing the new lab was to gain additional lab space for the facility’s 16 employees and various equipment, said Todd Cawley, ARG’s global business development manager.  “The main driver was additional space. It’s really important when it comes to safety,” he said.

“Our new location is very good because it’s located right next to our research and development lab. Now we can better facilitate better communication between quality testing and research and development,” he said. He told Lube Report many product announcements and projects have been slated to come out next year.

Cawley also noted that the added space will better serve sample testing. At present, in-house staff process 5,500 to 6,500 samples, running roughly 30,000 tests per month, according to the press release.

ARG’s Bradford refinery was founded in 1881, making it the oldest continuously operating refinery in the United States. The refinery, which produces light, sweet, paraffinic crude, has a rated capacity of 11,000 barrels per day. The facility’s base oil plant has capacity to produce 2,100 b/d of API Group I base oil and 300 b/d of Group II. Independent lubricant manufacturer ARG purchases a majority of its crude from Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and West Virginia.