A while back I read this excerpt from the June 2002 bulletin on Cam2's website (www.cam2.com), and am curious as to its significance: "ADDITIVE COMPANIES (Over the last five years additive companies have consolidated from eight to only four.) Today, there are only four additive companies that can supply licensed additive systems: LUBRIZOL INFINEUM ORONITE ETHYL To our knowledge, almost all fully (API) licensed branded lubricants use one of these four additive systems. The expense to research, develop and license an additive system, and now do it every two years, has made it prohibitive for any one oil company to do alone. It is probable, that due to this tremendous expense there may be further consolidation of additive suppliers." (End of Cam2 comments.) After reading this, I assumed that motor oil producers purchase an off-the-shelf additive package for a given product they're formulating. But the VOAs on this board suggest that additive formulations can vary widely, with little simularity not only between different oil firms' products, but sometimes even between the individual brands under a given corporate umbrella. So my question is, are most additive packages acquired as a ready-to-go approved package, or is there cosiderable "a little of this, a little of that" chemistry R&D by motor oil producers? An analogy would be baking a cake from scratch while using pre-packaged, ready-to-go filling and frosting, as opposed to experimenting with ALL cake ingredients from scratch, with no set recipe. And I'm not sure how the licensing process interplays with this. Thanks!