Condition Monitoring, Operations & Maintenance, Products & Resources, Rollingstock & Manufacturing, Sustainability

Lubricants success runs in the families


Rail infrastructure specialist Martinus Rail has joined the large number of rail companies to switch to PANOLIN lubricants. 

The family-owned and operated Martinus is headquartered in Sydney and has offices located across Australia, New Zealand and Chile, with its main workshop located in Brisbane. 

Backed by experienced civil, track, overhead wiring and signalling teams, Martinus Rail is committed to investing in Australian manufacturing, construction and maintenance.  

Since taking on the rail infrastructure tasks for the Carmichael rail project in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland, the company has invested more than $40 million in specialised rail construction plant and equipment, with six pieces of machinery on site: three tampers and three regulators all working around the clock.  

Several factors had to be considered before taking on such a challenging task, such as the remote location, the high ambient temperatures and the environmental requirements set by owners Bravus Mining & Resources 

One of the main factors for this is the demand to use environmentally friendly lubricants in the equipment. That’s where PANOLIN comes in.  

PANOLIN, also a family-owned and operated company with its headquarters and production facility in Switzerland, was established in 1949 and have been the market leaders in Environmentally Considerate Lubricants (ECLs) for more than 35 years.  

PANOLIN has a very well-known and outstanding relationship within the rail industry, incorporating some of the most highly regarded approvals in the market, such as the flagship relationship between PANOLIN International and Plasser and Theurer. All new machines coming from Plasser in Austria are filled with the signature HLP Synth bio-hydraulic fluid.  

PANOLIN’s Australian distributor, Imperial Oil & Chemical’s Sales Manager, Adrian Macdonald, said PANOLIN HLP Synth was not just an ordinary hydraulic fluid.  

“It is a world leading (ECL). HLP Synth has one of the highest rates of biodegradability at over 70% within the first 28 days, high operating temperature capability of up to 130° C and a life span up to five times that of a standard mineral oil, with many customers achieving results of up to 35,000 hour service intervals,” he said. 

“All of these characteristics are huge factors in helping decide which hydraulic fluid to use when the decision is made to convert a piece of equipment to an ECL.” 

When Martinus Rail placed its Plasser tampers on the Carmichael rail project, all of the above factors made the conversion to HLP Synth an easy one.  

“Just being able to extend the drain interval by so much has enormous benefits all round,” Macdonald said.  

“Less downtime for the machine, allowing it to operate far beyond the ‘normal’ operating hours means lower maintenance costs, saving on the consumption of additional fluids, lowering carbon emissions, less waste oil, less labor costs and increased sustainability.  

“This is all possible by the use of PANOLIN’s oil monitoring systems. By regularly sampling the condition of the oil, the customer is able to determine whether it is still performing within its acceptable parameters or if it’s time for the oil to be changed, ensuring that the hydraulic system is always running at optimum efficiency.” 

Imperial Oil & Chemical, the third family-owned and operated company in this collaboration, has been the Australasian distributor for PANOLIN for more than 15 years.  

With a team of highly qualified and experienced sales engineers and the support from PANOLIN’s state-of-the-art laboratory and testing facility, Imperial Oil & Chemical helps customers make the right choice and ensure on-time delivery of premium PANOLIN ECLs from one of its many warehouses, strategically located throughout Australia.      

The result is a great example of how three family-owned companies have worked together to achieve greatness.