Belt Solutions Help Meet Stringent Production GoalsWed, 10/21/2015 - 17:53
Several equipment providers in the Mexican mining industry saw swift growth during the most recent mining boom. The metal prices seen prior to 2013 actively incentivized mining companies to increase their production rates. This immediately impacted the demand for extractive and processing technologies that were needed to enhance mining productivity. In consequence, national providers expanded their operations as their sales soared. Naturally, as in all boom periods, certain companies grew too fast for their capacity while others embraced this growth while maintaining a solid organizational structure and without seeing the quality of their products suffer. This tight structure allowed Interbandas, a conveyor belt distributor, to achieve 34% growth in 2013 at a time when the broader mining industry was struggling. “For many years, we established specific commercial practices to grow our sales of conveyor belts and now we are reaping the benefits of those actions. We worked very hard to create this solid structural base for the company so that we would never have to compromise the quality of our services and products,” says Mauricio Santillán, Commercial Director of Interbandas. Further evidence that this strategy has paid off for the company is that it saw no drop in the Mexican mining industry’s need for conveyor belts when other areas of the supply chain were suffering.
One strong argument for this is that conveyor belts are an often overlooked but vital part of a mine. Interbandas has helped to reinforce this point by creating dedicated process engineering and quality enforcement divisions. “These two new departments are very innovative for a company like us since we are not manufacturers but brand distributors. Interbandas has focused on establishing the business foundations that can provide us with a competitive advantage in the mining market. This industry is very competitive, making it all the more important to acquire a commercial vision on how to stay ahead of the competition,” comments Santillán. “The success we currently enjoy as a family-owned company is largely attributable to our capacity to efficiently respond to the latest demands for mineral transportation technologies.” According to Santillán, one of the biggest challenges that mining companies face in their conveyor belt systems is the oversupply for this type of equipment. “Mining companies cannot go without the most advanced conveyor belts because this puts the continuity of their operations at risk. They need a provider that can ensure them top quality backed up with international certifications and that can perform maintenance at any time,” he remarks. “One of the biggest advantages Interbandas offers to its customers is the level of technological innovation of the products it distributes.” The company has been settling commercial alliances with some of the most renowned international equipment manufacturers, such as Fenner Dunlop and Martin Engineering, to ensure the impact of its solutions. Interbandas products have left a positive mark in representative projects such as Piedras Verdes in Sonora, San Felipe in Baja California and Ocampo in Chihuahua where it installed over 2km of conveyor belts. “We only partner up with first class companies, and our belts ensure that these mining operators can achieve their production targets without complications in Mexico,” comments Santillán.
This effort to provide reliable and efficient equipment is but one facet of Interbandas’ effort to become a one-source supplier of conveyor belt solutions for the Mexican mining industry. “It is essential for mining companies to have a provider that can deliver a wide array of solutions. This results in great benefits for our clients since they do not have to deal with an infinite number of equipment providers. The bigger the portfolio of products a company offers, the easier it is for customers to manage their operational logistics. We have long worked on creating a portfolio of solutions that could cover all the needs a mining company could have for conveyor belts, but this puts pressure on us to ensure that we become experts in each product and each solution in our range,” explains Santillán.
2015 could mark the beginning of a bright new chapter for Interbandas as it is ready to move beyond distribution and start manufacturing its own products. This logic comes from the company having seen areas of the mining market that are not being well-served with conveyor maintenance. “We have seen some opportunities in the market that we are ready to capitalize on. We believe we have the technical knowledge and mining experience to make and deliver a product that can optimize the ways conveyors are being maintained.”