2023 STLE Report on Emerging Issues and Trends in Tribology and Lubrication Engineering


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STLE has released its 2023 Report on Emerging Issues and Trends in Tribology and Lubrication Engineering. The report
builds on a multiphase research effort to evaluate current trends and predict future developments impacting the tribology and lubrication engineering field. This latest report is the fourth installment of a multiphase research effort that began in 2014. Current trends are classified into six key topic areas that will affect the tribology and lubrication business in 2023 and beyond.

1. Supply chain issues
Sourcing raw materials and shipping finished lubricants throughout the world will remain a challenge. Action steps to help overcome the problem are included in the report.

2. Sustainability
Sustainability is a central and pervasive theme because of the essential function and widespread use of lubricants to improve efficiency and productivity, and reduce emissions and, ultimately, the use of energy.

3. Electrification
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are a prominent part of the revolution in the energy and transportation field—but the use of more sustainable energy sources extends to many other applications, such as data centers and bitcoin mining.

4. Manufacturing
The 4th Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is still in progress, but efforts are underway to initiate a 5th Industrial Revolution (Industry 5.0). It adds the human element to the smart factor environment that links data, connectivity, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

5. Medical/health

The role that tribology plays in these areas, particularly with medical implants, is leading to improvements in medical techniques with significant benefits to patients.

6. Regulatory issues
Governmental regulations continue to impact how rapidly zero emissions technology must be implemented and impact raw materials used in lubricants. The latter leads to fewer options in the formulator toolbox and necessitates creative solutions by lubricant manufacturers and suppliers to meet end-user requirements.

Prepared by:
Dr. Neil Canter, FSTLE, CMFS, Chemical Solutions, Willow Grove, Pa. (U.S.), in collaboration with the STLE Advance Innovation Team.

For more information, please contact information@stle.org or call STLE headquarters at (847) 825-5536 (USA).

Other related content:
STLE 2020 Report on Emerging Issues and Trends
STLE 2017 Report on Emerging Issues and Trends
STLE 2014 Report on Emerging Issues and Trends

Industry articles:

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Sustainability Emerging as Key Trend for Tribology Industry
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