Queretaro: Collaborative, Impactful Aerospace DestinationBy Sofía Hanna | Mon, 12/06/2021 - 15:45
Q: Hyrsa has been in Queretaro for around eight years. Why did you choose Queretaro and how has the state influenced your business?
A: Queretaro has a great deal of industrial potential thanks to its location and closeness to Mexico’s largest cities and to Mexico City International Airport. For the past 20-30 years, Queretaro has been growing faster than other international hubs. The state now hosts three of the largest logistics companies, which helps us guarantee fast deliveries. Most of our raw materials have been acquired from the US, so connectivity and fast response times are essential.
Q: How has Hyrsa’s role in the aerospace sector changed and what growth strategies has the company implemented?
A: Four years ago, the aerospace industry represented 35-40 percent of our sales; now it represents about 80 percent. To achieve this, we did a lot of market research and narrowed our focus to cut 60 percent of our products. The new portfolio was a better fit for our capacities and in-house knowledge. We became experts in a narrow series of products and materials, which allowed us to offer more competitive prices and get better contracts.
We are now exporting to the EU and the US. Our main competitors are located in the EU, the US, South Korea and Southeast Asia, among other locations. We are focusing on building our human capital with substantial help from Queretaro’s Aerospace Cluster and different universities. Focusing on human capital has been really helpful.
Q: With the arrival of new materials and manufacturing processes, what is the future of machining operations?
A: We are increasingly seeing and using new manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing, but most of the products we offer were designed over 30 years ago. The industry relies on these parts and technologies because it is hard to change old manufacturing practices. We will need to adopt those technologies in the future because they have a smaller carbon footprint, use fewer raw materials and require smaller manufacturing spaces. The transition is necessary but it is not imminent. Perhaps in the long-term most companies will use and rely on these technologies to reduce the environmental impact.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges SMEs face in Queretaro and how has the state helped companies overcome these challenges?
A: The state has been very helpful to the entire industry as it has provided opportunities and has helped train our human capital. Numerous aerospace events have been hosted in Queretaro and the next FAMEX will also be held in the state. This has helped the state gain international recognition for its aerospace capabilities. The government’s efforts to develop more technical universities have supported the training of more people for manufacturing industries.
SMEs face several problems in Mexico, such as the high rates of loans. For example, the cost of equipment and raw materials is the same all over the world but the rates of local bank loans are extremely high and that is tough on an SME. In the US, loans range between 2-6 percent but in Mexico, loans range between 4-20 percent. These rates make Mexican companies less competitive. At first, the country looks attractive but the costs of these loans affect the price of the final product.
Q: The state of Queretaro has a large participation of foreign companies. How has this impacted Hyrsa’s operations?
A: The large participation of foreign companies can be a risk or an advantage. At Hyrsa, we choose to see it as an advantage because companies coming from countries like the US or the EU have strong environmental and human rights policies. This gives us something to compare ourselves to and helps to speed up the consolidation of the same standards here. We can also become their suppliers in Mexico. We can learn from them and work with them.
Q: What are the company’s short- and long-term goals?
A: In the short term, we want to overcome the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector is recovering and more aircraft are being built. The industry is moving faster. One of our goals is to become an international reference for the aerospace industry, especially for companies in Mexico. Hyrsa represents Mexico and we have done a great job for our country.
Hyrsa Aerospace is a manufacturing company that performs high precision CNC machining focused on low volume and high mixing.