Smoothing the Production ProcessThu, 09/01/2016 - 15:13
Q: As a multinational corporation, how important is the Mexican automotive industry for Klüber Lubrication?
A: Klüber Lubrication has been managing highly specialized products for the general industry for more than 30 years in Mexico, though we only began targeting the automotive market in the last 15 years. Particularly in the automotive sector, our lubricants are used in manufacturing equipment and in the internal components of the vehicle, rather than mass commercialized products such as engine or transmission oils. A car needs between 20 and 30 specialized lubricants for various applications, which need to be high-performance products to keep these components lubricated for their entire lifespan.
We supply our products directly to Tier 1 and Tier 2 manufacturers, so they can deliver components to OEMs with the proper lubrication. We do not have a relationship with aftermarket workshops or OEM dealers, since quality lubricants mean that few components need regular maintenance. In cases where the final client needs one of these parts replaced, our contact is directly with the supplier in charge of manufacturing the component.
Q: What advantages can Klüber Lubrication offer its clients compared to other competitors in the Mexican market?
A: We design our products in collaboration with the suppliers that are in charge of manufacturing all components. When one of our customers designs a new system to open a sunroof the company is already considering what type of lubricant it needs for the system to work correctly. Clients need to take into consideration the compatibility between the material they are using and the lubricant. This increases the component’s durability and helps it sustain extreme temperatures and humidity, avoiding erosion due to environmental conditions. Once we determine the right type of product for a specific part, the lubricant undergoes several tests to ensure its functionality following our strictest quality standards.
Our R&D centers are located in Germany, China, Brazil and the US. We sometimes have to test our products to adapt them to regional conditions but this is generally performed abroad.
As most of the vehicles produced in Mexico are exported, it is more straightforward to complete these tests in the country ofdestination.Allourproductsareapprovedaccordingto international standards, so any further adaptation is mostly related to the conditions of the product’s application rather than the nature of the product itself.
Klüber Lubrication has innovated to make its products and processes more environmentally friendly. Sustainability is one of our main priorities and that has led us to focus on eliminating the use of toxic substances. This is beneficial for both the user and the environment. Our R&D centers are keen to discover alternatives to heavy metals and other materials, which we have already removed from our production lines. The company’s processes have evolved to reduce pollutants and we always surpass the regulations established by the federal government thanks to our compliance with international standards. Delivering products that help our clients achieve greater durability and efficiency in their processes results in less product consumption. In that sense, our solutions might appear to be more expensive but their long-term cost is reduced as they are guaranteed for life.
Q: How has Klüber Lubrication’s global network helped it with local clients?
A: We mainly manage international accounts but we have entered a niche with local manufacturers. All new OEMs in the country ask some of their home suppliers to migrate with them to Mexico while they simultaneously look to develop a stronger local supply chain. This presents a unique opportunity for Klüber Lubrication, since we can introduce our products along with these companies due to our global presence.
Q: What developments does Klüber Lubrication expect in the industry?
A: Having become one of our main priorities, we foresee impressive developments in the automotive market over the next few years. Our goal is to become the leading company in specialized, high performance lubricants, solving our clients’ needs in the most efficient way possible.