Gustavo Rojas
Director General
Grupo Gersa Monterrey
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View from the Top

Local Company with Global Quality

By Alejandro Enríquez | Tue, 03/31/2020 - 17:05

Q: What role does the automotive industry play in Grupo Gersa Monterrey’s (Grupo Gersa) operations?

A: The automotive industry has helped us to encourage other sectors, such as mining, to implement advanced automation technologies. Grupo Gersa offers products and services related to manufacturing systems that are necessary each time a new production line is installed. We focus mainly on the design and fabrication of robotic cells specialized in welding and material management. 

Q: What advantages do companies see in Grupo Gersa? 

A: Being local is one of our main advantages, as it puts us in a strategic position to meet any demand as soon as possible. Certifications are also important and we have several, including the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) recognition, which is given to companies with best practices that develop automation and control projects. Companies like ours have to be as near as possible to their clients while embracing global best practices. In aftersales service, our large employee base distinguishes us from other companies. It is difficult to find a company in Mexico that has 20 control engineers, which allows us to maintain an open schedule for our clients.

Besides the automotive industry, we serve the mining and glass industries. We were pioneers in mining by installing a robot in a mine 15 years ago. At that time it was difficult to convince them, but now that mine has 50 robots. In the glass industry, we developed a machine that controls 150 axes and collects all the information that comes from those axes, such as speed, acceleration, positioning and dependence of one axis on another. 

Q: As a technology integrator, how can you help companies embrace Industry 4.0? 

A: Sometimes companies want to implement Industry 4.0 technologies but are not prepared to integrate automation equipment designed to “talk,” which is the essence of this industry. Industry 4.0 implementations require machines to talk to you and translate that data into a valuable input to make key decisions. However, companies do not usually have the equipment to receive that information. To embrace this change, companies must prepare their staff with clear objectives and a clear vision of what it is like to play in Industry 4.0. There is a general misconception that just by implementing software you already are adopting Industry 4.0 but if the software is not connected to a machine, the virtuous circle is not complete.

To make the transition easier, we try to share our training programs with our clients. We even have simulation labs where we recreate robotic functions, which makes it easier to sell the project. When there is no simulation, anyone can destroy an idea. However, if you show a video, the idea is understood differently and more clearly. 

Q: What are the main gaps you have identified in the automotive supply chain?

A: There are different gaps depending on the company. With small companies, the gap is access to financing. Among larger players, the gap is the inability they have to train the people that manage their brands.

Q: What opportunities and risks does USMCA bring to your company?

A: Rules of origin are an opportunity because we will need to develop the local industry to stop buying from foreign markets such as China and South Korea. But there are also risks because growth and integration are not valid unless accompanied by certifications, cooperation and good practices. 

We want to build a trade bridge with the US. We offer services but we do not make projects there. For the time being, there are big challenges in Mexico and the overall picture is uncertain, but we are confident that we will be prepared to receive more and bigger projects. 

 

Grupo Gersa Monterrey is a Mexican company that provides solutions for the design, programming, manufacturing and installation of automated systems in the automotive, glass and mining industries

Photo by:   MBN
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst