Alejandro Silva
Director General
Renishaw
/
View from the Top

Delivering the True Advantages of Industrial Metrology

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 16:20

Q: Which companies represent Renishaw’s main clients and how do you generate new business with OEMs in Mexico?

A: We are working together with a lot of Japanese subsidiaries with common customers, enabling us to offer worldwide solutions to their clients. Also, we have business with some German OEMs, specifically Volkswagen and Audi. We operate as a worldwide metrology company, which means that we get information from potential clients before they start their projects in Mexico. That way, we can inform our subsidiaries so they can pursue the business in each company’s home offices. When KIA announced a huge investment in Nuevo Leon, I sent all the information to our Korean subsidiary, so we could discuss the project directly. As a result, of the 100-150 lines they are bringing to Mexico, 80% will come with a Renishaw probe. Of course there was competition, but our early communications with KIA and Hyundai made securing the deal much simpler.

Q: What areas have seen the most growth in the company and what are the clients’ biggest interests at the moment?

A: Renishaw manages three different business units including industrial metrology, healthcare, and scientific research. Industrial metrology is our strongest division, bringing in most of our global revenue. Additionally, industrial metrology is further divided in Current Measuring Machine (CMM) products, probe heads and touch probes for CMMs, probes for CNC machines, calibration equipment, and our new Equator. Equator is a flexible, completely programmable gauge, used to measure parts between CNC machines, the manufacturing tool, and the CMM. This provides traceability to the process, resulting in successful measurements, as well as faster, leaner, and more cost-effective manufacturing.

Q: How has Renishaw grown in the Mexican market, and what does the company offer to its clients?

A: When we entered the automotive sector in Mexico, we had more basic operations used only for newly manufactured parts. 50 years later, the industry has become more specialized, quality standards have become stricter, and there is an increasing demand for luxury technology, so we now have a bigger role. Our technology is disseminated across the entire production chain, and our metrology equipment represents a standard in terms of quality control. We are able to measure a whole car and a whole chassis, helping companies to comply with dimensional accuracies stipulated in their designs.

Q: What are the main differences in terms of quality control between German, Japanese, and Mexican clients?

A: Renishaw has been in the US and Germany much longer than in Mexico. Renishaw Germany has over 20 years of experience, while Japan and the US have more than 30. Even though Renishaw has been in Mexico for the last 20 years, it has not been as a direct subsidiary since everything was always handled by other distributors. These players can offer the products, but they do not fully understand the technology or how to present it. Nevertheless, we are now working with our end users, which means that education has become part of our core strategy. The Mexican market knows about our products superficially, and a lot of people who know the brand only understand what we can offer at a basic level. Therefore, we are making sure that our clients know exactly what our equipment is capable of.

Q: What are the main objectives of Renishaw’s ongoing innovation processes, and what new projects are you planning to release in the market?

A: We have a few products in the pipeline, but our current technology is already able to test equipment accuracy and offer solutions to most quality problems. We also have products that calibrate machines to return them to their original presets.

Once you know the machine is perfectly aligned, you can insert the material and start the machining process. However, before and after you start, the tools need to be calibrated again. Our probes help operators and end users test and locate parts inside their equipment. That way when the process ends, they can make sure all the specifications have been met. Quality control is important for companies, whether they check one out of ten parts or ten out of ten. For that reason, making sure that every component is correctly processed is priceless knowledge, and probes are the worldwide standard to achieve that.