News Article

Critical Success Factors for Suppliers and Service Providers

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 10:01

Moderator: Gustavo Rodríguez, Operations Director for Mexico & Central America at Sumitomo
Panelist: Rene Valle Franco, General Manager Mexico of MacLean Engineering
Panelist: Ignacio García Albarrán, Vice-President Mexico & Central America and Director General Mexico of Cummins
Panelist: Richardt Fangel, Director General of FLSmidth Mexico

Rodríguez began by listing the three points this panel would discuss, technological development, operational safety, and the promotion of energy saving and sustainability. He spoke of how Sumitomo had a long reputation of supporting the mining industry and of technological breakthroughs in power transmission tools. Rodríguez stated the commitment of Sumitomo to the region as it will soon have three plants in Mexico (Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey). He then turned to Sumitomo’s technologies, highlighting how these could help companies significantly reduce energy consumption and increase operational safety by the removal of certain technical parts such as couplings. In closing, he stated that the safety and energy consumption reduction offered by Sumitomo’s technologies makes it an ideal partner for the mining industry, as evidenced by the success of these technologies after having been deployed in numerous Latin American jurisdictions. Finally, Sumitomo’s advanced aftermarket service gives it a real edge over its competitors, stated Rodríguez, adding that his company’s real challenge was to convince the mining industry to try something new. He then turned to the panellists to assess how each of their companies had helped the mining industry in terms of technological development.

Fangel then took the floor to introduce FLSmidth’s contributions to this field and analysed the critical success factors for suppliers and service providers. First of all, Fangel reminded the audience that while cost reductions are an integral part of the mining value chain, these cannot come at the cost of technological advances. FLSmidth’s own research believe that the responsibility for technological innovation will be transferred down the supply chain, increasing its overall speed. FLSmidth also sees the way to develop such technology in-house since it has integrated its entire value chain, from producing raw materials to operations and maintenance. Essentially, said Rangel, FLSmidth’s philosophy is to follow the equipment fro grave to maintenance. However, buying equipment is but 10% of the entire industry, and Rangel warns against buying Chinese products, which are much cheaper but post a far greater risk. To improve Mexico’s ability to manufacture and develop more advanced equipment, the country’s human talent must also be developed to create economies of scale, a process which companies like FLSmidth must be a part of. As part of this, FLSmidth has opened the FLSmidth Institute which works with universities and is in charge of planning the company’s sustainable future.

García Albarrán, from Cummins, started that one of the most important aspects in Cummins for mining was the fact that it supplies dozens of mines across the country while maintaining industry-wide uptime. Once Cummins signs a contract, its people will be in a mine 24/7 and will treat all the issues that come up, from installation to maintenance. García Albarrán stated that some people also didn’t understand what they could afford and Perforadora. Once a client has been convinced to purchase Cummins goods, García Albarrán is confident that brand loyalty or a brand loyalty switch will take place, given Cumins’ contributions to energy control and standards all around the world.

Rene Valle Franco took over the mic and introduced the wholly Canadian company, McEwen Mining. He addressed the technological gap that is opening up in the Mexican mining industry. McEwen Mining is convinced that understanding the operations of its partners is the only way to make a tailor-made equipment solution for each of them. Although McEwen’s equipment is manufactured serially, the company has sought to standardized the operations, the management, and the products provided by itself and its trade partners. This involvement has allowed McEwen to figure out how to best support its partners. Valle Franco then explained that this careful attention to the needs of the market means that McEwen is also able to give significant guarantees that its equipment and technologies will be delivered and installed perfectly right from the start, so as to keep operations constantly working. This dedication also reaches McEwen’s human capital, which are trained for maximum efficiency. McEwen’s commitment to working with its partners, Valle Franco feels, should be replicated by the industry to help its overall development.