René Trulin
Operations Vice President
Rymsa
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View from the Top

Oil and Gas Expert Branches out

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 11:08

Q: How has Rymsa adapted its experience in the oil and gas sector to the aerospace industry?

A: Operating in the oil and gas industry allowed us to weather fluctuations in the local economy without restraining growth. The oil and gas industry has contributed to our success but we are constantly diversifying. We have had our sights set on the aerospace industry for the past two years. In that time, we started implementing internal processes to comply with aerospace industry requirements and the AS 9100C certification, which is in progress. The correlation between the oil and gas and aerospace industries is not instantly clear but both sectors are similar. Some oil and gas areas have significant need for advanced technologies and have strict safety requirements due to the elevated risk associated with certain operations, which is comparable to the aerospace industry. Machining is another similar area between the sectors. Both industries require several different types of machining from simple units to the utterly complex, especially for deep-sea exploration and drilling in oil and gas. The materials used for these processes are extremely complex to machine and their tolerance requirements have become stricter, resembling the aerospace sector which also requires highly advanced materials and very low tolerances to create safe, quality pieces.

Q: How has diversification helped resolve the problematic acquisition of raw materials?

A: Most of our oil and gas clients are located in the US and are obliged to acquire raw materials only from their approved list of suppliers, which also are outside Mexico. This forced us to develop an internal infrastructure for imports, exports and certifications. By the time we branched into the aerospace industry we already had a series of certified suppliers and the internal certification processes to import raw materials. We have been unable to find the appropriate raw materials for the aerospace industry in Mexico but fortunately, nearly all our suppliers in the US have the appropriate materials. We manufacture parts to repair landing gears. Since we do not yet possess the AS 9100C certification, we are only manufacturing for Safran’s MRO but we will begin manufacturing for original equipment manufacturers this year. Our teams are speaking to several potential clients with whom we hope to work once we have the certification.

Q: What impact did RYMSA’s transition to aerospace have in terms of human capital?

A: Six years ago we implemented a training program for our technicians. We hired operators with a minimum level of knowledge and provided them with two or three months of theoretical training and another three months of practical training. Five to six months later we had our own fully trained team of operators. The creation of UNAQ made acquiring qualified employees much easier for us, as technicians were better prepared to join our company. Still, I believe UNAQ could work even more closely with SMEs because it is now set up to provide professionals to OEMs. It would be greatly beneficial for the sector if UNAQ developed technicians according to the needs of smaller companies.

Q: How are you approaching national and international aerospace companies to establish working relationships?

A: ProMéxico was developing a program for Queretaro’s aerospace SMEs to facilitate their export procedures. Under this program, several SMEs would be brought together to approach well-established aerospace companies as a group with a clear solution to their supply chain gaps. This program started with ProMéxico but was put on standby so the companies involved decided to continue on our own. We are now 10 strong and cover several different areas of the supply chain, including machining and thermal coating. We are banding together to increase our negotiating power with the government, the cluster and OEMs.