Technical Member Profile: Northwest Oil Company

Northwest Oil Company is a supplier of industrial lubricants and specialty fluids, including cutting oils, water-based coolants, grinding fluids, cleaners, degreasers and corrosion inhibitors. The company had its beginnings as a Union 76 truck stop in Wapakoneta, Ohio, owned by Dick Mowery.


Northwest Oil Company is a supplier of industrial lubricants and specialty fluids, including cutting oils, water-based coolants, grinding fluids, cleaners, degreasers and corrosion inhibitors.

The company had its beginnings as a Union 76 truck stop in Wapakoneta, Ohio, owned by Dick Mowery. In 1974, when the Union Oil Company decided to sell its bulk oil operations, Mr. Mowery asked his son-in-law, Harold Jackson, to go into business with him and purchased the distribution facility in Lima, Ohio. Today, that site is Northwest Oil’s headquarters.

In the early days, when the company had just three employees, Mr. Jackson made sales calls and delivered oil products to local customers. He moved into management as vice president in 1977, and he became president ten years later. In 2007, Mr. Jackson purchased the remaining outstanding shares of the company from family members.

Over the years, the company gradually began supplying oil products to the metalworking industry, including screw machine shops. Today, metalworking oils account for an ever-increasing percentage of Northwest’s business mix.

In 2001, Northwest Oil began a business relationship with Commonwealth Oil Corporation of Harrow, Ontario. Commonwealth now does the lab work and blending to produce Northwest’s products.

"We develop new products with Commonwealth based on what’s needed in the field," says Northwest Oil’s sales and technical manager, Jeff Dulmage, who joined the company in 1993 to help grow the metalworking oil business. "Our main focus has always been on helping to solve our customers’ problems."

"We’re continually working on new products and improving our existing lines," he explains. Today, Northwest’s brands include Northlube industrial fluids and Northcut cutting oils. The company also distributes Commonwealth’s products, including the Comminac cutting oil line.

"We found quite a niche with the screw machine industry," Mr. Dulmage states. "We’ve done a lot to help our precision machining customers save money, lower their usage and become better stewards of the environment through lower emissions."

Northwest Oil joined the PMPA as a technical member in 2001. From the beginning, the company has been involved at the local level (chapter meetings in Cincinnati and Cleveland) and at the National Technical Conference.

When Mr. Jackson attended his first Management Update Conference, it really opened his eyes. "After I went to that meeting, I realized that the value of PMPA went beyond the local meetings," he says.

"At Management Update, I gained valuable information, both personally and for the business," he continues. "It was one of the best meetings of any organization I had ever attended. The quality of the speakers and the value of the networking are just tremendous. There’s a great deal of information—from tooling to health care—that can apply to any company."

"We see the value of belonging to the PMPA and we promote it to every company we do business
with," says Mr. Dulmage. "We’ve been very vocal, telling our customers that they need to be involved in the association. There are so many valuable aspects to it, especially for precision machining manufacturers."

"Some of the problems we hear about from members are not even oil-related," Mr. Jackson adds. "But if we think we can help them, we do. Or, we refer them to someone else who can help."

"Membership in PMPA has been fabulous for us," Mr. Dulmage sums up. "Today, a lot of our customers are located all over the country. To a large extent, that’s because of PMPA — because of the people we’ve met or the referrals by other members. If it weren’t for the association, we wouldn’t have some of our customers. It’s just amazing how PMPA has helped us spread out."

Northwest Oil Company is located at 1078 S. Metcalf Street, Lima, Ohio 45804.
Phone: (419) 224-8045
Toll Free: (800) 527-2072
Fax: (419) 224-2482
Web site: www.northwestoil.com