Vintage year of success for Millers Oils

Millers Oils sqIn a year that the country has honoured outstanding achievement at the London Olympics, and longevity with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Millers Oils celebrated a Queen’s Award for Enterprisein its 125th year of business.

The Yorkshire-based company opened its state of the art Research and Development Centre in Brighouse in September, and invited industry guests to join staff for a unique day to commemorate the successes of 2012.

A production hall was transformed into an exhibition space, where attendees could admire racing cars, and enjoy a Formula One simulator and giant Scalextric track, while listening to live Caribbean music.

Millers Oils has invested more than £500,000 in the new Research and Devlopment facility, providing the capability to develop low friction oils that set new standards for efficiency.

“The new R&D centre is essential to ensure we continue the steep growth we have experienced for the last decade,” said Nevil Hall, joint managing director. “As a relatively small company it is important that we develop innovative solutions to meet the challenges our customers face.”

He added: “I am confident that we have the team to respond to the challenges in both the present and the future.”

International growth

Nevil’s optimism for a sparkling future is backed up with compelling evidence, as the company has nearly trebled turnover in the last 11 years, and experienced significant international growth in the past three years, despite a challenging economic climate.

The Queen’s Award for International Trade, which celebrates companies who have made an outstanding contribution to the British economy, was presented at the event by Vice Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Mr Tim Hare. He acknowledged the tough times that many businesses are currently experiencing, and said: “Millers Oils have proven to be one of the exceptions.”

Sales and joint managing director, Steve Woollven, said:” Despite the difficult economic conditions of the past three years, Millers Oils has produced consistent, strong growth in its business, both domestically and internationally.” He added: “Receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is an enormous honour for the company and will help open doors for us as we continue to develop our export business. We already have a strong presence in Europe and the Far East and are now developing distributor networks in Africa and South America.”

Millers Oils was founded in 1887 by John Watson Miller, but his descendent, and current company chairman speaking at the event, Andrew Miller, was quick to point to the current family of the Millers Oil staff in working towards the achievements of a modern, global business.

Nevil went on to say: “We have established a lead ahead of the competition, and like the Olympic athletes, we have no intention of relinquishing it.”

Racing to victory

Special guest, Lord Drayson, who owns Drayson Racing Technology and was Minister of Science in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills until May 2010, agreed.  “It is important to continue to invest in science in order to understand products and the problems that customers face.”

He went on to discuss the role of innovation in motorsport, in trialing new inventions before they are introduced to general road users. The first rearview mirror was used at the inaugural Indianopolis 500 race in 1911, and the tradition continues today.

Recognizing the opportunities and exposure that an involvement in motorsport can bring, Millers Oils sponsors a wide range of motor stars, including British Rally Championship Challenge Champion, Callum Black.

Millers Oils continues to strive to ensure its continued presence at the forefront of the market. Recently, the company undertook an entire redesign of the labels across its product range. Following customer feedback, colours are brighter and the design more striking. Isle of Man TT winner Ryan Farquhar has also been signed up to appear on the label for the biking market, and he will continue to work with the company for the next 12 months.

The company also launched a new family of high performance oils, Nanodrive, at this year’s Automechanika show in Frankfurt.  The lubricants use microscopic nanoparticles that act like minute ball bearings between opposing metal surfaces, thereby increasing engine performance through reducing friction.

Motorsport users reported power increases up to 5.6 percent, and when the nanotechnology oil was tested against a competitor’s oil, Nanodrive recorded 33% lower friction. Application of the technology to road car oils is set to reduce fuel bills by up to 2.5 percent for the everyday road user.

Nevil explained that many of those in the industry were surprised that results had been so significant through a slight change to the oil. He underlined the importance of using lubricants for engine performance.

 He said: “Oil is just oil? I don’t think so. Not any more.”

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