Metrology Center to Foster Talent, Technology, JobsSat, 09/01/2018 - 11:25
The need to reduce ppm rates, meet component specifications and increase machine uptime has led to an increase in demand for talented metrology technicians. Yet, supply has not grown in tandem, according to Óscar Morales, Director General of Grupo Mess. In fact, he says, it is just the opposite. “Metrologists have become scarce following the automotive industry’s growth over the last decade,” says Morales. “Mexico faces the challenge of talent graduating from universities being well-prepared but lacking practical experience in the use of equipment.”
Grupo Mess has spearheaded a triple-helix effort to train the calibration, maintenance and metrology technicians Mexico’s automotive industry demands. The company is a 100 percent Mexican metrology venture that started as a maintenance and calibration services business. It eventually began distributing equipment from several brands and later manufactured its own fixtures and gauges.
Before Grupo Mess’ operations, Morales says the manufacturing industry used to depend solely on equipment manufacturers to service their equipment. Since these companies often lacked presence in Mexico and there was no other option for maintenance and calibration services, equipment providers would often take their time to deliver. “There was a gap and nobody offered the service companies needed,” says Morales. “Grupo Mess seized the opportunity and filled that divide, which prompted equipment manufacturers to deliver faster response times.” The company eyes education, training and technological innovation as the next business area to explore and with over 80 percent of its operations focused on the automotive industry, it has decided to take the next step and build the Mess Metrology Center shoulder to shoulder with the Queretaro government, local clusters and several academic institutions.
The company’s metrology center has three main objectives, according to Morales: education, Industry 4.0 and additive manufacturing. “Grupo Mess wants to share its experience in the metrology business with Mexican students and graduates through the Mess Metrology Center,” he says. He points out that it usually takes four to five years of on-the-job experience for new recruits to get the hang of metrology equipment but Grupo Mess’ center could reduce that time fivefold. “We will both reduce training times to only one to two years and provide automotive companies with talent that can truly help the industry,” he says.
The Mess Metrology Center will enable the company to work on Industry 4.0 trends and develop new technologies. Grupo Mess’ interest in Industry 4.0 focuses on digitalization, reverse engineering and 3D printing. The public sector is collaborating in the center’s creation as part of its commitment to the region. According to Morales, the Queretaro government has agreed to help accelerate the center’s development to boost the creation of well-paid employment choices. Grupo Mess is also in talks with most universities in Queretaro as well as with regional clusters including INTEQSOFT, the Queretaro Automotive Cluster and research centers such as CENAM, CIDESI and CIDETEQ. “We want to work with academic institutions and clusters to develop Mess Metrology Center’s academic programs,” he says. “Creating synergies with these institutions enables us to develop things more quickly and with better quality.”
Morales says that companies have developed a taste for Mess solutions. He enumerates the company’s dependability, the variety of its metrology equipment options and the complexity of its maintenance and calibration services as key for Grupo Mess’ relationships with clients such as TREMEC. On customer care, Morales says Grupo Mess offers a 24/7 client support that enables the company to immediately answer client demands. “Being able to respond in the middle of the night or on a weekend when a client’s machine fails makes all the difference,” he adds.
While more companies have entered the Mexican market for machine maintenance and calibration services, delivering a more complete value proposition gives Grupo Mess an edge, says Morales. “There are many companies in the sector that offer lower prices but that also deliver less complete solutions,” he says. “Companies that require equipment servicing must pay attention to what services they need.”