Manuel Mancera
General Manager
SpeQtrum Aerospace
/
View from the Top

Mexico's Aerospace Industry Needs Teamwork to Grow

By Antonio Gozain | Mon, 08/15/2022 - 16:00

Q: How does SpeQtrum offer low-cost solutions for the aerospace industry while delivering high-quality products?

A: To work in the aerospace industry, a company needs many quality and technical certifications that guarantee that production meets the sector’s standards. One of Mexico’s main advantages are its low operating costs and the highly-qualified administrative, engineering and technical talent. Besides these strengths, SpeQtrum trained some of its workforce in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, for three months. These individuals later traveled to Celaya, Guanajuato, to train the local operators. All training is now done in-house, which helps us to maintain low-costs.

Q: What strategies should the Mexican industry follow to compete with global aerospace leaders and attract more investment?

A: Teamwork has been critical to compete with international companies. We face a large challenge in producing some specialized supplies because every company has its own certifications and requirements. For example, we work with Boeing, which has specifications based on American standards but if we want to collaborate with Airbus, we need to comply with European standards.

This complicates the import of raw materials, especially for the volumes we need. By working together, aerospace companies in Mexico could identify similar processes and import raw materials in bulk, which will make us more attractive to foreign companies looking for flexibility and lower costs.

Q: What actions are being taken to address this situation?

A: Members of the Mexican Federation of the Aerospace Industry (FEMIA) have created a human resources training commission that aims to create this necessary alliance. However, the group is moving slowly. We can only meet monthly to show our progress and take suggestions to tackle the problems of the industry in Mexico.

The team is doing an excellent job. It is working to attract young people to the aerospace industry, while trying to take advantage of the existing talent and the tools to provide immediate solutions. It is working on these two axes that are critical for the aerospace industry.

Q: How does SpeQtrum collaborate with the local government to integrate its local supply chain in the Bajio region?

A: We are collaborating with the government of Guanajuato, the Ministry of Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Labor to invite higher education institutions to get acquainted with the aerospace industry. Our goal is to increase awareness of what the industry brings to the region and the world. Authorities understand that the industry is in the early stages in Guanajuato, so we cannot promise to hire hundreds of new employees per year. Due to our geographical position, we are also trying to integrate ourselves with Queretaro’s aerospace sector and bring talent from that state.

Q: How has SpeQtrum shifted its operations to address the changes in the aerospace industry?

A: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many lessons to all of us. Before the pandemic, we also faced a challenge with the Boeing 737 Max, which was the largest aerospace production line in the world as the most produced commercial aircraft of all time. The 737 Max was also our main client but it lost its certification and was grounded for over a year, putting a hard stop on our most important production line. Later, the pandemic landed a second hit. 

We rapidly adjusted our structure and developed a business development area that included engineering personnel, allowing us to eliminate unnecessary triangulation between engineering and commercial area during the quotation of new projects. We moved our engineering manager to the new department to provide our clients with answers to their requests within a 48-hour window.

Q: What new business areas is the company exploring?

A: We have delved into other industries to take advantage of our installed capacity. We began producing components for thermal control and sheet metal  forming, among many others. We diversified our customer base. We realized that there were many large opportunities available but we had to limit our growth because we had more projects than we could manage, so we decided to focus on existing clients and provide the proper service that every customer needs.

 

SpeQtrum Aerospace offers low-cost solutions to the industry. With locations in Fort Worth, Texas and Celaya, Guanajuato, the company specializes in aerospace assembly,5 axis machining and sheet metal fabrication, with proved expertise on supply chain management, lean manufacturing and project management.

 

Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst