Certification to Strengthen Indirect SupplierThu, 09/01/2016 - 14:48
Q: What new projects are in the works for DC Gaskets?
A: Our gasket division continues to grow consistently in the domestic and international markets. We have also made excellent progress in other divisions. Many competitors manufacture the same products as we do but few have their own tooling workshop. We are also working on water-based adhesives and silicon-based coatings, as well as acrylic epoxy resins with a water base. Our R&D department is in charge of sustainable solutions and is pursuing a patent for silicon rubber production. We are one of the few companies in the world that integrates its own laminated graphite production and a rubber mixing plant. We have the second biggest rubber company in Leon supplying our operations, as well as other companies in the region in and out of the automotive industry. Similarly, we have a company that produces cardboard boxes for our packaging needs. We are working on the production of our own starch, which will be used as an adhesive agent for our paper and cardboard products.
This integration has brought us huge cost benefits and has helped us maintain close control over the quality of our products and operations. 2016 has been an excellent year for the company in Mexico. We are expanding our operations and opening more job vacancies to satisfy growing domestic demand. In terms of equipment, we just made an important investment in the rubber division, including eight new rubber and plastic injection machines specifically for our oil seals production. These new machines have increased our capacity considerably, adding more precision and efficiency to our process. We are in the middle of a certification process and have already established solid partnerships in the original equipment segment. Our Mexican facilities have been supplying Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies in the US for the past six years with a 0ppm standard and we even send components to Australia, Central and South America.
Q: What are your expectations regarding the development of the auto parts segment?
A: The general expectation is that the automotive industry will remain a fundamental cog in Mexico’s economic development. There has been excellent collaboration between the private sector and the government in Guanajuato, coupled with tremendous human capital availability. Mexican vehicle production and export numbers keep rising, as do sales to the domestic market. The auto parts sector has consequently seen significant development, especially in the Bajio region. The increasing number of different car models represents a challenge for all auto parts manufacturers. No one company has the flexibility or the volume capacity to satisfy the tooling demands of automakers. Thanks to INA, we have a clear idea of the most popular products in the market on which to focus our production.
Q: How much emphasis does DC Gaskets place on investment in R&D?
A: On top of our testing laboratories we have a whole department dedicated to research in each of our divisions. Many industries have remained constant throughout the years but companies in the automotive sector require perpetual innovation to stay competitive. Graphite components have proven to be an excellent alternative to regular latex and other fiber-based parts. This material is 99.9 percent carbon so it offers excellent thermal resistance and despite being more fragile than alternatives, it has enough physical resistance to be used in certain exhaust applications. Several companies are now testing their products with graphite components, and our research team is working on a recycling plan for the scrap produced.
Q: What are your growth expectations for the company in 2016?
A: We hope to see a 12 percent increase in sales and similar figures in production. The auto parts segment remains our priority but we hope to see major growth in our divisions. Our companies have developed a significant presence within the market and have expanded to the extent that we might have to start looking for new facilities. In the automotive segment the priority is to complete our certification process. Thereafter, we will be able to attract even more business in the US and the domestic market.