Metrology Leader Directs Investments Toward MexicoMon, 09/01/2014 - 12:38
Quality assurance is one of the most important features to satisfy the needs of customers. The materials used and the labor employed must comply with the highest standards while companies rely on high-technology equipment and innovation to help ensure that these standards are consistently reached. The automotive industry has arguably developed the most advanced metrology technology in the world, a niche market in which Germany’s Mahr has found a solid line of business. “With over 150 years of manufacturing and selling a wide variety of dimensional metrology equipment, Mahr provides products ranging from the most basic and standard machinery to high-tech and specialized equipment,” says Jorge Escarcega, General Manager of Mahr Mexico. Despite its presence in other industries such as aerospace, Mahr’s central interest remains in the automotive sector, where it focuses on dimensional metrology for special measurements of form, roughness, length, and other parameters. “We have global agreements with the likes of Volkswagen, Bosch, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW, and in the US we are working together with Ford, Chrysler, and GM. We have agreements in Mexico for supplying products and solutions for which our specialized technicians provide 24-hour support,” explains Escarcega. Catering to such powerhouses, Mahr has developed measurement solutions for engines, transmissions, special shafts, and applications for users across the automotive industry. However, it also has the capacity to create special products the discerning customer. For instance, it has developed advanced equipment specialized in roughness measurement for Volkswagen Mexico, which is more advanced than the machinery used by Volkswagen in Germany, according to Escarcega. For GM, Mahr has designed specific equipment for measuring diameters, surfaces, and other dimensions used in transmissions and engines.
With more than 17 years in Mexico, the company’s pace of growth has been measured but it has seen its expansion pick up speed in the last five years. This has seen Mahr make Mexico one of the main focuses of its global vision, and it is planning on bringing more investment to the country as part of its long-term strategy. “We are investing alone and with other companies. We are also developing distributors and representative offices in different areas of the country,” says Escarcega. Mahr maintains close ties with its customers as evidenced in its agreements with Bosch, John Deere, GM and Volkswagen. The company is in constant communication with its clients’ quality, production, engineering and product development departments, allowing for its heavy R&D investments to be tailored to the market. In Germany, Mahr works with the University of Göttingen in developing new technology, and it has contacted ITESM, University of Nuevo Leon, and smaller technical universities in Mexico to start programs focused on metrology. Currently, no Mexican university offers former training in metrology but Mahr has not had problems in finding the right technicians. Escarcega links this to the quality of universities and schools in the regions where the company is present. “The programs or internships we establish help us to get qualified people that we are able to train. At the moment, we have students from the mechanical and electrical engineering program of the University of Nuevo Leon, but we also have people studying accounting and logistics that are being trained in the way the company does business in Mexico. These collaborations are a great experience for both the students and Mahr,” states Escarcega.
Even though the company seeks to keep expanding its operations in Mexico, Escarcega does not see itself becoming a particularly large player, preferring to retain its mid-sized nature. “The plan is to continue growing and we are looking to have just the right amount of people for the market,” says Escarcega. “Mahr is certainly betting on Mexico. We are focusing on the central and the northern regions, with a presence nationwide. We have sales offices and offer technical services in Guanajuato, Queretaro, State of Mexico, Mexico City, Puebla, Nuevo Leon, Sonora and Baja California, where. In Queretaro and Nuevo Leon, we also possess demonstration areas where we can show clients our equipment and where we can showcase certain special applications for our measuring services,” explains Escarcega.
Mahr is now preparing for the future in an ever-changing industry driven by innovation. From its headquarters in Germany, the company has began working with new market trends like nanotechnology, green manufacturing, and intelligent materials. Escarcega forecasts that these types of technologies will soon arrive to the Mexican market. To understand the best rate of technology release in Mexico, Mahr Mexico reports to the US and Germany on the trends that are taking place here, especially regarding the expectations of customers like Volkswagen, Ford and Bosch. “Very interesting times for the automotive industry are just around the corner. We are trying to keep our investments coming to develop and provide technology that will match the evolutions that we see taking place,” explains Escarcega.