Ángel de Lope
General Manager
Kaeser Compresores de México
View from the Top

Optimization, Control and Efficiency Through Sam 4.0

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 10:27

Q: How does Kaeser Compresores complement Queretaro’s manufacturing industry?

A: Our engineering team evaluates each client’s needs to determine the appropriate compressor and system for them. Besides compressors, we also offer compressed air by the cubic meter. For this, we install the infrastructure according to required flow and air quality for a determined time and sell them as much as needed at fixed prices. This removes the complications of acquiring equipment, its maintenance, initial investment costs, the need for CAPEX and the depreciation of such for the client. This system is controlled through the Sigma Air Manager 4.0 (SAM 4.0), which allows us to monitor system performance throughout the entire project.

Mexico’s economy is facing a low point, leading us to diversify into areas that are receiving investment, namely automotive and aerospace. We inaugurated a Mexican aerospace division two years ago after analyzing the state’s industrial development, which had incorporated many companies including the two aerospace giants, Bombardier and Safran. The timing was perfect to become involved in the aerospace industry as a member of FEMIA and to participate in the Mexican Aerospace Fair, FAMEX, in 2015.

Q: What are the company’s strategies to gain market share in this space?

A: Kaeser Compresores is the only privately owned major compressed air company in the world so we do not worry about pleasing investors or sacrificing quality for profit. Having built an overall market share of over 47 percent in Mexico, according to the Mexican Association of Machinery Distributors (AMDM), we are now working with several companies such as Bombardier, Safran and Airbus Helicopters. Kaeser Compresores also installed all the piping for UNAQ’s testing laboratories. But we mostly manage contracts with MROs, such as pneumatic audits performed on Mexicana MRO’s air compressors for repairs and painting. We could potentially supply every aerospace company because all businesses use compressed air either to support the process or as part of the product itself. In the aerospace sector, our products are used in pneumatic tools in MRO workshops and for painting. Industries are turning toward compressed air as it costs less and does not require highly specialized staff like electrical systems. It will take a long time to find a friendlier energy source than compressed air.

Q: What competitive advantages does Kaeser Compresores offer clients over the competition?

A: In simple terms, our products provide more compressed air using less energy. Sometimes, compressors have the largest electrical motors in the plant and can represent about 40 percent or more of its total electricity consumption. Therefore, electricity savings in compressors are crucial to the competitiveness of manufacturing plants.

While our equipment is more expensive than that of the competition, the cost of any equipment over 10 years can be divided into 15 percent initial investment, 15 percent spent on maintenance over that time period, and 70 percent on power consumption. Our products provide much higher energy efficiency than competitor’s units so clients can recover their initial investment quickly. Sometimes it may be more cost effective to replace an older compressor for a newer version as maintenance costs increase and functionality decreases, especially if technological advances provide large energy savings.

Q: What new technologies is Kaeser Compresores introducing to Mexico?

A: This year we launched the newest generation of the SAM 4.0 in Mexico, the master controller of the compressed air station. SAM 4.0 implements an optimization algorithm instead of a control algorithm, which incorporates the most energy-efficient solution into every compressed air station. Simulations calculate the impact of possible control strategies, selected based on objective criteria like electrical power consumption, demand for heat recovery and the cost of maintenance, among others.

A large percentage of our yearly turnover is reinvested in innovation. About 10 years ago, we introduced the innovative oil-free air compressor now used by Safran for example.