José Luis Figueroa
Director General
Marposs Mexico
View from the Top

Italiand Metrology Expert Enters Queretaro Aerospace

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 13:31

Q: What led Marposs to change its processes and enter the Mexican aerospace sector?

A: Our business model consists of manufacturing unique products to customers’ specifications. The parts that we make for Safran cannot be used by any other company in the aerospace sector. Marposs entered the aerospace industry by acquiring a tooling company in France that manufactures for Safran Group and Bombardier. Now that these two aerospace giants have opened plants in Mexico, Marposs is using the same model to continue collaborating with these companies in Mexico.

Marposs Mexico started working for the aerospace sector in late 2016 but we expect the industry to represent 8-10 percent of our profits by the end of 2017. In the next five to six years, our operations will be divided 50/50 between aerospace and the automotive sector. We now have the necessary tooling capabilities to make gauges for our clients’ metrology needs in Mexico and are well-positioned in Queretaro to provide specially designed tooling. Our future plans include an expansion into the other four Mexican aerospace clusters.

Q: What challenges did Marposs Mexico face when entering the aerospace industry?

A: Entering the aerospace sector has been challenging because the technical specifications are greatly different from automotive, which is our core business in Mexico. Our goal is to meet the quality and delivery specifications for the aerospace sector while maintaining competitive prices. As Marposs Mexico extends its business from the automotive to the aerospace industry, it is necessary for us to change the way we work. To boost our presence, we have attended several aerospace events in Mexico alongside FEMIA, including FAMEX. FEMIA has been extremely helpful, introducing us to other companies through their B2B meetings.

Q: Marposs invests 10 percent of revenue in R&D. What are the company’s most innovative products to date?

A: In 2016, Marposs invested in reinforcing its new line of optoelectronics, which is hardware that converts electric signals into visible light or infrared radiation and vice versa. This product can be used to measure many kinds of parts. Marposs also invested in generating an in-process gauge for a grinding machine.

Following industry 4.0 practices, Marposs is creating and implementing a network that will collect data from machines related to the manufacturing process. This information can be easily communicated to managers and supervisors, analyzed and used to improve operations. This, in turn, improves output quality. Marposs’ many products to measure grinding machines’ output had to be individually connected to the machine’s CPU, but Industry 4.0 makes it possible to share all this information through the internet.

Q: How will Industry 4.0 practices benefit Mexican manufacturing and what challenges do you see preventing its implementation?

A: Industry 4.0 can help companies become more efficient and reduce their costs. Information can be processed sooner, effectively preventing mistakes. This will also save time and increase accuracy. Industry 4.0 will generate many opportunities and improve practices. Some Mexican business owners are already taking the initiative to incorporate these technologies and local branches are doing so at the request of their headquarters.

Q: In which areas must Marposs Mexico invest to develop its aerospace division?

A: Marposs Mexico is keen to grow its aerospace division and we are in a great position to do so. We will invest MX$10-15 million (US$528,000-US$792,000) in machinery for the new workshop and in hiring more employees for the aerospace division. So far, our automotive and aerospace divisions have worked together but due to growth in the latter sector it is now necessary to open another facility in Queretaro.