Afton Chemical Corporation, a global leader in the lubricant and fuel additive market, announced the completion of its Japan Technology Center expansion in Tsukuba. Mr. Jon Heese, City Councilor for Tsukuba, jointly opened the Japan Technology Center with Mr. Teddy Gottwald, Chairman and CEO of NewMarket Corporation and Mrs. Regina A. Harm, President of Afton Chemical Corporation, subsidiary of NewMarket.

The investment provides an expansion of the analytical and mechanical laboratories to increase lubricant additive testing capabilities. This includes standardized and bespoke tests for transmission fluids, gear lubricants, passenger cars, motorcycles, commercial and off-road vehicles engine oils as well as industrial hydraulic oils. The expanded facility will provide its customers with enhanced technical services such as sample blending, physical/chemical analysis and performance testing that comply with international and Japan unique test methods like ASTM, JIS, JPI, JASO and JCMAS.

“We are committed to bringing our Passion for Solutions® model to Japan and the Asia-Pacific region to help our customers differentiate their offerings to meet the needs of the local marketplace. The expanded Japan Technology Center with its integrated technical support and performance testing will further enhance our ability to provide quick and effective solutions to our customers in Asia, and will provide customized solutions ‘Made For’ key Japan OEM projects,” said Mrs. Regina A. Harm, President of Afton Chemical Corporation.

“Afton Japan is a unique market with different needs and challenges. The ‘Made For’ strategy is built on the intent to understand the dynamics of each individual market and ensure we are developing the correct solutions from a product and services perspective. We constantly keep track of the local and global trends impacting the market and partner our customers to develop innovative additive solutions that exceed industry standards,” said Mr. Sean Spencer, Vice President and Managing Director of Afton Chemical Asia.

The expanded capabilities of the Japan Technology Center, with its integrated technical support, will enhance our capability to help customers:

  • perform validation tests that comply with OEM, industry standards and specifications
  • develop Afton proprietary tests that focus on the needs of Asia Pacific
  • support and deliver their differentiated product performance claims promptly

With the Japanese government’s recent announcement further reducing the average vehicle fuel economy standards by 32% by 2030, Japanese automobile manufacturers will have to sell more electric and hybrid cars. “EV and Hybrid vehicles are equipped with transmission like CVT, one-shift ATF as well as gear and bearing to transfer and assist motor torque to wheels. Ultra-low viscosity oil is one of the solutions to lower fuel economy. Afton is working proactively with key OEMs worldwide to develop the technology and lubricant needs for electric/hybrid vehicles. Afton is ready and will have the most advanced additives to meet these new requirements. Our additives will continue to help the automotive industry reduce emissions, improve fuel economy, and extend the useful life of fluids and equipment,” said Togawa Takayuki, R&D Group Lead.

The Japan Technology Center’s state-of-the-art chemistry and mechanical laboratories operate with lean processes and tests run are in full compliance with ISO 9001/14001 safety, environmental and quality standards. The state-of-the-art facility houses a team of 17 R&D managers, formulators, technologists, technician and administration staff, increasing the workforce by 100% since the last decade.

Afton has an extensive network of research and development and testing facilities in the United States, China, India, Japan and the United Kingdom. At these facilities, testing is conducted to ensure products meet or exceed the latest performance requirements of both OEM and industry specifications. Proprietary tests are developed and field trials are designed to create compelling proof of performance data that helps our customers’ products stand out in their markets.