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Oils purchased by the General Electric Co. are divided into the following three groups: Group 1.—Lubricating oils used on equipment in General Electric factories. These oils cover a range from general purpose machine oils to special oils such as those used in company-operated steam turbines. Group 2.—Special oils used with equipment sold by the General Electric Co. such as electric refrigerators, transformers, cables, etc. Group 3.—Oils specified by brand-name by manufacturers of machine tools used by the General Electric Co. The following are the steps in the procedure used by the General Electric Co. in purchasing oils in groups 1 and 2: (a)—Laboratory tests on samples submitted by vendors are carried out to determine whether such samples pass certain specifications. (b)—Trial orders are placed to determine which of the oils passing laboratory tests perform satisfactorily in service. Those passing are given laboratory approval in group 1; engineering approval in group 2. (c)—Confidential lists of oil products approved under (b) are set up by the Purchasing Department. (d)—The Purchasing Department requests quotations from vendors of approved oils. (e)—After taking into consideration quotations, service data, and results of laboratory tests, orders are placed. It is to be noted that a specification under (a) is really a screening specification in that it screens out some oils from passing on to (b). Screening specifications are established through years of experience in using lubricants and in keeping up to date with new developments in the field of lubricants.
Engineer, General Electric Co., Schenectady, N. Y.