Comma invests in product development

Comma has commissioned a new laboratory for advanced product development and testing at its manufacturing plant in Gravesend, Kent.

Employing the latest test and quality control equipment and technology, it represents a key element of the ongoing multi-million pound investment programme by Comma’s Brazilian parent company, Moove, to keep Comma at the leading edge of automotive lubricant, coolant and brake fluid development.

Moove sales and marketing director Mike Bewsey said, ‘There is no let-up in the pace at which vehicle manufacturers are introducing new specifications for the engine and gear oils for their latest models, and in many cases, upgrading existing specifications.

‘The emphasis is on lubricants that enable a step change in fuel efficiency and compliance with EU exhaust emissions and environmental protection regulations. Coolant specifications have to meet similarly strict standards of compliance, and the new Comma laboratory is fully equipped to deliver what the VM’s require as their new models come to market.’

He continued, ‘We test all raw materials – base oils, chemical additives etc – on delivery, even before they’re accepted into the blending and production process. In 2016, we tested over 10,000 pre-production raw material samples, and randomly checked a further 60,000 blend samples before, during and at the end of the production runs. By the time it’s filled, a typical Comma brand product has been subject to 50 parameter tests on the blend and its components.

‘Nothing is left to chance, and traceability samples of each production run are retained by the laboratory for five years. It’s a very intensive and scrupulous process, and the new laboratory will increase productivity in this area alone by 10%.’