A Cut Above in the Steel SectorTue, 11/01/2016 - 15:28
Hypertherm started as a garage business and has since carved a path around the globe, delivering its innovative cutting and gouging systems to OEMs. The company now has a presence in over 93 countries, including Mexico.
The company´s Mexico Country Manager Takeshi Yamamoto says innovation is at the heart of Hypertherm. “We have a strong relationship with companies like Caterpillar that continually push us to provide more advanced technologies and better services,” he says. “Hypertherm does not traditionally sell to end users directly. We have distribution channels that work with the public and private sectors. Our customers are in many sectors, including telecommunications, power distribution and the railway industry.”
Hypertherm has a wide variety of technologies for cutting different materials and applications. In Mexico, most of the company’s business is in metal fabrication, with the majority of its customers focused on mild and stainless steel manufacture, from structural steel to heavy equipment and everything that is eventually cut or welded. The company says its products are used for constructing and repairing ships, skycrapers, trains, trucks, tunnels and even roller coasters.
In the local market, the company’s plasma systems for manual and mechanized applications are in high demand. “On the manual applications side, our Powermax systems are the leading portable air plasma machines with different capabilities to cut or gouge in the field or in the fabrication process,” Yamamoto says. “The Powermax30 Air has a built-in compressor that only requires electricity.”
For mechanized applications, Hypertherm’s SureCut Solution allows the industry to cut holes with plasma with a higher level of quality and precision that was not possible before. It involves the elimination of secondary operations to prepare the plate. Infrastructure projects that involve steel structures use plates for bolt mounting and Hypertherm’s technology helps save time and money without compromising the quality and reliability of the end product, says Yamamoto.
Yamamoto believes the industry needs to push itself more toward innovative solutions and that collaboration is key. “If the presence of a technical committee and the involvement of machine manufacturers were standard practice among the owners of infrastructure projects, best practices could be incorporated to increase productivity and narrow technology gaps,” he says. “A coordinated effort would be beneficial because many companies limit their offering based on the capabilities of their distributors, engineers or the final customer.”
Even though the final solution might be efficient, Yamamoto maintains that market dynamics do not always allow companies to adopt state-of-the-art technologies. The goal for Hypertherm, he says, is to continue developing efficient distribution channels that are capable of commissioning high-end technologies and to push for innovation.