Perfection is in the DetailsWed, 02/24/2016 - 09:15
George Eliot once said “great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Indeed, no one knows this better than Roxtec, a supplier company whose products and solutions, although seemingly insignificant, keep projects from grinding to a standstill. Cable and pipe seals branch out to almost every single energy project, and Alfonso Guarneros, Director General of Roxtec de México, is well aware of this. “We want to serve the whole spectrum, and we have major ambitions in the generation sector. We have identified opportunities in hydro and thermal generation, and we are even in touch with the Laguna Verde nuclear plant regarding a potential project.”
Roxtec’s strong presence in the industry is evoked in the wide range of applications and products it offers. The company provides equipment for several applications in solar power generation, and in wind generation, it covers from the basement to the canopy and wind turbines. Roxtec even stocks products for control rooms and outdoor cabinets for the geothermal segment. This flexibility has given the company the opportunity to work with giants, such as Iberdrola and Acciona. “Most of the equipment is imported, and Roxtec’s products are already used by the OEMs that are established in Denmark, China, Spain, and Germany,” Guarneros shares. EPC companies have become the bread and butter of Roxtec, and as such, the company is eager to maintain constant communication. “They are our main target, so it is important to predict their needs and be prepared for the future.”
Roxtec places innovation at the heart of its product portfolio, as it allows the company to directly tackle the biggest industry challenges. For example, in wind power generation, one of the obstacles lies in the turning of the nacelle, because the power cables hanging from the fixing point of the nacelle inside the tower are exposed to vibration, torsion, and constant movement. Traditional cable fixing methods fail to address these issues, but Roxtec’s system for loop retention has significantly extended the lifetime of cables, dampened the vibration, and eliminated the friction. “The rubber we use has a unique softness that does not damage the cable and provides the required retention, flexibility, and support,” Guarneros explains.
The incoming investments herald the development of new projects, all of which will require cables to be properly sealed, and this is where Roxtec will enter the game. Amidst the melee of boundless business opportunities, the company is eyeing the transmission and infrastructure sector as a crucial target. “In transmission, distribution, and electrical substations there are many components that need to be sealed in order to increase operational reliability,” Guarneros tells. The company is ready to offer its corrective sealing solutions for transmission lines. This particular activity is called retrofit and it provides a higher operational reliability to the end user. Potential customers weigh the benefits of retrofit sealing in two ways, operational reliability and protection of assets. According to Guarneros, it is not enough to be leaders in retrofit sealing, it is also important to understand the dynamics of the sector in order to predict clients’ future needs.
In the eyes of Guarneros, CFE is bound to see solid opportunities to invest in Roxtec in order to protect its assets. “In order to avoid energy losses, the energy stations must be optimized, and retrofit sealers will play an important role in their renovation.” Following the same lines of efficiency and reliability, the company is releasing new solutions. “We have a new product called UG that is for underground sealing against constant water pressure, which is ideal for power cables entering via foundations,” Guarneros describes. The seals are designed to be resistant to constant and even catastrophic water pressure, preventing humidity from damaging the equipment in a wide range of applications in the power and transmission sectors. Roxtec has also identified opportunities at the new natural gas compression stations, as many components must be sealed there, ranging throughout control rooms, engine rooms to outer cabinets.
As world leaders for modular sealing solutions, Roxtec will maintain its position by investing in research and development. “In fact we are opening a materials research center in Sweden. We find ourselves in a position where we constantly have to innovate in order to maintain our lead,” Guarneros comments. As it stands, most of the R&D is carried out in Sweden, Germany, and the US, so all the knowledge is then poured into Mexico’s engineering department and then tropicalized to the peculiarities of the Latin American markets. However, Guarneros has important plans for Roxtec’s Mexican subsidiary. “Mexico has a technical engineering department, but in the future we want this country to become Latin America’s technology hub for Roxtec.”