Jorge Escarcega
General Manager of Mahr Corporation de México
Mahr Corporation
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Insight

Maintaining Traditional Methods is not Stalling

Sat, 09/01/2018 - 10:11

Although new technologies are constantly changing the landscape of the Factory of the Future, some traditional practices are still the best option for certain processes, according to Jorge Escarcega, General Manager of Mahr Corporation de México.
With over 150 years in the metrology market and 21 years operating in Mexico, Mahr produces measuring solutions for several manufacturing sectors, including automotive, aerospace and electronics. Some of its competitors have chosen to move on to X-ray, laser and radiofrequency technology but for Escarcega, tactile technology remains necessary for certain components. “Some of our clients produce drive shafts that must meet specific characteristics such as straightness, roundness and surface finishing,” says Escarcega. “These components are better suited for tactile technology.” Tactile solutions might be Mahr’s core business but the company does not shy away from the latest innovations in the metrology sector. “Visual solutions such as cameras, scanners and lasers can also ensure a good level of precision depending on the application at hand,” says Escarcega. Smart Factory trends are also within the company’s scope because “communication and data analysis are the next thing in the market,” says Escarcega.
To prevent measuring mistakes, Mahr is introducing wireless transmitters and receivers in its solutions. “Transmission technologies were not integrated into our measuring solutions two or three years ago,” explains Escarcega. “However, we are now implementing wireless technology even into manual solutions to prevent data annotation errors and similar issues.” The company is also preparing for the emerging trend in maintenance. “In the future, machines will tell operators when they need to receive maintenance and what specific part must be serviced,” Escarcega says. “We will be able to offer solutions that notify how many hours are due before it is necessary to change bearings or similar components.”
Mahr relies on its R&D department and the collaboration agreements it has with several universities in the US and Germany to remain versatile, technologically updated and to develop the technology it wants in the market. That being said, staying on top of every trend is a considerable challenge for any company. As a result, Mahr is open to collaborating with other technology developers, even with its own competitors, to deliver the best solutions to the client at the best cost possible. Just as in OEM partnerships like that between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, Mahr hopes to make the best out of the tough competition in the metrology market. “Our solutions must be able to attach to and communicate with other equipment and have open source codes so that they can be integrated with other technologies,” says Escarcega.
Mahr’s collaboration is not limited to equipment manufacturers. Remaining close to OEMs enables Mahr to participate in the initial stages of product design and to introduce its technology according to its clients’ needs. “Everything manufactured by automotive companies must be measured,” says Escarcega. “Therefore, companies want to know how they will measure their products from the conception of a project.”
Partnering with automotive OEMs has not been an easy road for Mahr, though. Before building its relationship with automakers, the company had to grow its operations enough to satisfy client demand and answer any request in under 24 hours. “In the last 10 years, Mahr has reached average double-digit growth in terms of invoicing,” he says. That led to an increase in the company’s client portfolio, as well as a strengthened operation in indirect sales through distributors. “The distribution network is still consolidating but we already have sales and technical service operations in all industrial areas of Mexico,” he says.