René Gronau
President of KOMET MÉXICO
KOMET México
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View from the Top

Greater Cutting Solutions Through Process Digitalization

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 10:34

Q: What makes KOMET such a competitive company in its segment?
A: As part of the CERATIZIT GROUP, KOMET is the fifth-largest company in the cutting tool business. Our objective is to move up to third by 2020, which we will do through both organic and inorganic growth. CERATIZIT GROUP has acquired several companies to complement its portfolio and integrate vertically in the area of cutting materials. KOMET was a perfect fit to boost the company’s offering and we will continue growing our presence, particularly in Asia and the Americas. Through our new partnership with CERATIZIT GROUP, we can offer a complete portfolio that includes everything from materials to high-precision cutting tools, standard and specialized tools and digitalization concepts in those regions.
Q: How can a cutting tool company harness the Industry 4.0 megatrend?
A: We have a learning process assistance system called ToolScope. While many companies work in process monitoring systems, KOMET’s ToolScope also tracks the tool’s position and speed, collects data on materials and processes and analyzes them to improve the overall manufacturing process and the result of the final component. Part of our strategy to grow in Asia and the Americas is to focus on the traditional cutting tool market, as well as Industry 4.0 and digitalization.
When implemented in a machine, KOMET’s system collects data on the component being produced, the machine in which ToolScope is installed and the parameters in which that machine operates. It is possible to upload this information to the KOMET cloud and help the system to learn how processes work and how to correct differences between tools and materials. Learning how a process works enables ToolScope to instruct machining centers on what the most appropriate parameters for a given process are. With the collected information, a future strategy to deal with the differences in materials can be developed, which translates into costs savings through prevention of tool breakage. The fewer tools that are broken, the more downtime is reduced.
Q: What is Mexico’s role in KOMET’s global operations?
A: As a manufacturing country, Mexico is preponderant for KOMET. Even before we became part of CERATIZIT GROUP, Mexico was already among the three main markets in KOMET’s global network. While India and China are growing swiftly, Mexico is right behind them. The country’s potential in the cutting tool market is approximately US$200 million and KOMET’s share amounts to around 5 percent of the total cutting tool sales. Mexico’s cutting tool market is growing between 2 and 3 percent annually, so there is still great potential to grow organically, perhaps to a 15 percent rate.
Q: A common problem in Mexico’s manufacturing industry is the difficulty in finding appropriate human talent. What is KOMET’s strategy to fight that problem?
A: KOMET MÉXICO invests continuously in training for technicians and specialized engineers. We have demonstrated that our engineers in Mexico not only have the same level as in other countries where KOMET has presence but, in some cases, are more advanced than others. As a matter of fact, our competition and clients sometimes steal our staff because of how well-trained they are.
KOMET has also signed an agreement to open a training center for technicians and engineers in collaboration with the Autonomous University of Queretaro, the Aeronautic University of Queretaro and the Technological Institute of Queretaro. A key challenge we have noticed is that engineering students tend to work during the week and study at night and during the weekends, which reduces the time destined for practical training. Our goal is to introduce the European concept of dual education within our company to cater to both the company’s and the market’s needs.