Makinovo Highlights Chihuahua’s StrengthsBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Wed, 06/09/2021 - 11:24
Q: Why should companies trust Makinovo with the design of their precision-machined components and what added value does the company offer?
A: Companies trust Makinovo because we have a talented engineering staff and strong manufacturing. Makinovo uses the same key indicators used by other companies, such as on-time delivery and low PPMS. But we try to distinguish ourselves by striving for excellence and by ensuring good communications with our customers.
Q: What support do you provide clients in terms of the engineering of new parts and what are the specific challenges you face in the aerospace sector?
A: The development and introduction of new parts is always a challenge and in the aerospace industry the challenges can be highly complex. For example, there are complex geometries, tight tolerances, strict material traceability requirements, and secondary surface treatments involved. To overcome these challenges, we carefully review all the engineering data provided by our customers and apply our multiple in-house manufacturing processes. Having strong, certified partners in our supply chains also helps.
Q: How does operating in Chihuahua benefit Makinovo’s operations in the aerospace sector?
A: Makinovo is a family business. Chihuahua is our home and being close to the US border gives us an advantage on imports, making it easier, for example, to import the many raw materials necessary to manufacture our products. This location also allows us to export more easily to the US and Canada. We own a sister company in Texas that facilitates Makinovo’s operations.
Chihuahua has one of the largest aerospace clusters in Mexico, which includes OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies. This allows us to work with different companies while having an integrated supply chain and offering different products for aircraft and helicopters. Chihuahua also offers access to a variety of raw materials, which benefits production.
Q: What are the main challenges Makinovo has encountered due to the pandemic and what are your expectations for Mexico’s aerospace sector?
A: The main challenge for us was to keep our operations running during this time and survive. It was a very difficult year for everyone in the aerospace industry. We were able to develop new products for other industries and sectors, such as the oil and gas, agriculture and medical industries. After one year of the pandemic, we have positive expectations for the aerospace industry’s recovery. We are hoping to restore our aerospace contracts by 4Q21 and we have even better expectations for 2022.
Q: How has the USMCA influenced the state of the industry and the company’s market decisions?
A: The USMCA improved trade and regulatory practices with the US and Canada. Most of the aerospace companies based in Chihuahua have their headquarters in the US or Canada, so the decisions made by these companies have a direct impact on Makinovo’s operations. For that reason, we are trying to comply with the USMCA’s regulations.
Q: Regarding talent, what are the advantages or disadvantages of operating in Chihuahua?
A: Chihuahua has a high level of education thanks to its major universities. Companies can find incredibly talented people locally. The biggest challenge stems from the fact that most of the workforce is focused on assembly and manufacturing and only a minor part of the sector performs R&D or develops new products. Mexico should invest more in its talent for the creation of R&D programs. Makinovo, for example, has developed an R&D program in collaboration with Chihuahua’s Institute of Technology and La Salle University.
Q: What are the benefits of your collaboration with FEMIA?
A: Being a member of FEMIA provides multiple benefits, such as allowing us to participate in different international events and to be included in an extremely broad network of aerospace companies. This gives us access to different OEMs, Tier 1s and the rest of the supply chain in Mexico.
Q: How does Makinovo contribute to the development of the local aerospace supply chain?
A: Makinovo is integrated with the local aerospace industry. We produce a variety of aircraft and helicopter parts, including engine gears, seat assembly structures, connectors, interiors and overhead bins. We also perform final assembly. In addition, we have collaborated with local institutes and created an exchange program with South Korea’s Jeju National University. Each semester, we receive students as interns at our facilities, which is how we contribute to education in our state. Although the pandemic paused the program, we expect it to resume in early 2022.