Changing Market Spurs Innovation, OptimizationBy MBN Staff | Mon, 04/01/2019 - 13:35
Q: How will USMCA impact growth in Mexico’s advanced-manufacturing sectors?
A: Considering that a high percentage of Mexico’s exports target the US market, having USMCA in place will have a positive impact on those industries even if some sections were modified compared to NAFTA. This treaty will offer OEMs the opportunity to continue producing in Mexico and exporting to the US, which will enable Marposs to continue marketing its measurement equipment for those clients.
Q: How will Marposs’s new Queretaro offices help the company grow in the Mexican market?
A: The bulk of our Queretaro operations will target the aerospace industry and the rest will cater to the measuring needs of local automotive companies. We expect to reach new customers in the aerospace industry as that sector develops locally. The company still has a long way to go in the aerospace industry but Marposs is gaining a solid presence thanks to its investments in Queretaro. On the automotive side, the Bajio region has become one of the most dynamic areas in Mexico thanks to the arrival of OEMs like Honda, Mazda and Volkswagen to Guanajuato. Marposs’ new offices in Queretaro will help the company remain close to these automotive clients and offer quality customer service.
Q: What are the main opportunities for improvement that Marposs has identified in Mexican talent?
A: We look for well-trained professionals with a solid education that can help us develop the capabilities of our company. Marposs sells technology, so having a strong engineering staff is important for our business. This is one reason why graduates from academic institutions like IPN are common among our personnel. Engineers graduated from Mexican schools have the quality level to support companies like Marposs. On the aerospace side, we have also hired some graduates from the Autonomous University of Queretaro who have experience working at aerospace companies, which means they have solid training.
Q: How has Marposs strengthened its offering for the automotive market?
A: Marposs Group has acquired companies such as Aeroel and Tecna to add more products to its portfolio. Our main goal for the automotive industry in 2019 is to seize the opportunities that these new products will provide. We will put in place several strategies to develop new equipment to measure glass, measure wires using lasers and perform leak tests for fluids and air. The purchase of Aeroel will enable us to supply manufacturers of electric harnesses with measuring equipment designed specifically for this application.
Q: What factors does Marposs look for when searching for new technological partners?
A: Marposs usually acquires companies that offer products that complement its product portfolio or are in the same sectors as Marposs equipment. Marposs is interested in companies that develop the technology that it needs to attract new clients and close more sales and that can help Marposs diversify its product portfolio. We need to find ways to launch new products in the Mexican market to strengthen support for our current clients, develop new applications for our clients’ processes and attract new clients.
Two decades ago, Marposs only produced dimensional measurement equipment but the company has evolved to offer many measurement applications for its clients’ operations. This eliminates the need of clients to look for various suppliers. In the case of Ford, for instance, Marposs used to only supply measuring equipment for camshafts, crankshafts and monoblocks but we now can also cater to die-cut components, doors and hoods.
Q: What is Marposs’s strategy to stand out in the measurement equipment market?
A: Clients look for industrial equipment applications that cater to their specific needs. Even in cases in which two of Marposs’ clients produce the same component, each company will have its own tailor-made solution. For example, the crankshafts used by one carmaker are radically different from those used by another, so the measurement applications that Marposs delivers must be customized for each. In that sense, Marposs becomes its clients’ partner because these companies trust that the solution provided by Marposs will meet the specifications required by their production processes. We are engaged with clients since the beginning of the production process and offer advice on how to measure parts.
Q: What role does Mexican talent play in the engineering of Marposs’s measuring solutions?
A: Marposs México has developed the capabilities needed to design and engineer the measurement application that clients demand. Our Mexican engineers are capable of working directly with customers to develop the equipment that meets their needs. With the support of Marposs’ headquarters, our Mexican engineers have become the interface between the company and its local clients. When supporting global accounts, Marposs México may take advantage of the previous work of our sister companies abroad to develop the measuring equipment that can measure the same components that are produced abroad. To that end, Marposs México may implement the exact same measuring solutions developed by Marposs Japan or Marposs China, for instance.
Q: How has the production of EV components in Mexico changed demand for measuring equipment?
A: There is a growing demand for measuring solutions for EV components as electrified vehicles are more commonly adopted. OEMs are also investing in the development of EVs for their line-ups and some will be produced in Mexico. This shift brings new opportunities for Marposs to develop new equipment that cater to the specific needs of these components.
Q: What gaps does Marposs’s Total Thermal Vision product line fill?
A: The production of die-cast components such as monoblocks and other engine parts entails the injection of molten metal into molds. However, for components to meet quality standards the temperature of the mold must be is homogeneous or the finished component will present pores and cracks. Marposs’ Total Thermal Vision (TTV) equipment enables companies to monitor the temperature of mold plates to ensure temperature homogeneity and prevent that issue. Marposs developed this capacity after acquiring Baraldi, which is an Italian company that supplies lubricants for molds.
Q: How do Marposs’ measuring solutions promote the advancement of Industry 4.0?
A: All of Marposs’ electronics are equipped with modules that enable Marposs measuring equipment to connect to the data networks of a manufacturing facility. The main point of Industry 4.0 is the ability to share information between machines and different areas of a company, such as the quality department, production managers and plants’ general management. Marposs works with client companies to empower their decision-making by offering clients access to information on their processes to correct potential problems and improve production in general.
Q: What are your projections for the growth of advanced-manufacturing sectors in Mexico?
A: Mexico is ready to grow but this growth will not only depend on the performance of companies and universities. All aerospace and automotive players, including the government, must be ready to go the distance to attract FDI. Mexico’s new federal administration, however, seems to be following a route different than previous governments, which has created some uncertainty for investment, waiting to see the first results. Previous federal administrations placed great importance on FDI attraction, which boosted the growth of Mexico’s aerospace and automotive sectors. If that policy is carried out by the new government, Mexico will continue to grow as a competitive manufacturing destination. The future development of Mexico’s advanced-manufacturing industries will depend on the decisions that this administration makes.
Marposs México is part of Italy-based Marposs Group. The company offers measuring solutions and supplies services and products that improve manufacturing efficiency and effectiveness in ensuring product quality