Todd Elswick
Paul’s Fan Company
View from the Top

A Breath of Fresh Air for Mexican Miners

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 13:03

Q: Why is it important to have quality fans integrated into underground mining operations?
A: Paul’s Fans has been in business since 1958. When we started, we were a small company that did repairs and maintenance of ventilation equipment. Repair, reliability and production are our core values. Our products are some of the most productive fans in the US and all major manufacturing companies in the US use our fans. In mining, fans are the most important part of the operation and their reliability is essential. Working in a mine is a dangerous task, especially since there is little fresh air and there are many explosives being handled. Our fan is installed directly to provide fresh air and protect the workers from the contaminants that circulate throughout the mine. It may not be a short-term advantage, and it may not be a production advantage, but it guarantees the safety of the workers and promotes the quality of life of the company’s human capital.
We have fans with their original equipment and bearings that have been in operation for more than 30 years. This is one of the main advantages of using Paul’s Fans. If the mine conditions are good, our fans can also help decrease energy consumption.
Q: Why did the company decide to enter the Mexican market and what is its relationship with AMMMEC?
A: AMMMEC is our distributor in the Mexican market. I was first introduced to them by a trade mission sponsored by the state of Virginia. We have had a wonderful parallel relationship and we like that they have family values integrated into the company. We chose Mexico because we had visited most of the underground mining operations in the country and it appeared to us that the products they were using suffered from continuous problems and were not efficient. The industry was seeking a higher quality product. As a company with a great amount of experience in these products, we knew we could provide a better machine and fan to increase the productivity of these potential customers.
Q: What does Paul’s Fan Company look for in a strategic partner to expand its presence in Mexico?
A: One of our main objectives when looking for a distributor in Mexico is finding a partner that has the training, expertise and the manpower to provide service and maintenance when required. In the US, we are very responsible, and if there is a failure in our machines, we usually like to support our customers within a one-hour period. After many interviews and a good deal of research, we decided AMMMEC could provide the same quality to our customers here. We provide AMMMEC with training related to technical adjustments and troubleshooting.
Q: What types of products are offered in the Mexican market for underground mining operations?
A: Most of our products are available in Mexico. We have many models of Main Fans, which blow air directly out of the mine or directly into the mine. There are several models depending on the depth, size, site and the amount of equipment working within the mine. This determines the size of the fans and the required flows.
We also incorporate safety and emergency escapes into our fans, which is not currently offered by our competitors in Mexico. The escape feature is an elevator or basket that is incorporated into the fan’s air stream, meaning that the fan does not need to be altered for evacuation.
Q: What are the company’s goals for the Mexican market in the midterm?
A: We offer 100 percent in-stock parts, which means we can fix any of our products at all times. We are trying to standardize our products in Mexico to reach this 100 percent goal here and stock any part that a customer may need. Before entering the Mexican market, we did almost three years of extensive research because we required a strong partner to help us with our customers.