Juan Antonio Martínez
Configuration Manager
View from the Top

Customized Filtering Solutions to Improve Performance

By Paloma Duran | Mon, 04/19/2021 - 17:13

Q: What innovative filter solutions does Sefar offer the mining market?

A: Our fabrics are manufactured through yarns made by our sister company Monosuisse, which has plants in Romania and Switzerland, and also in Queretaro. Additionally, we have manufacturing centers in more than 27 countries on five continents, where we make sure that these products meet the country's requirements, allowing us to have an important local presence with our customers. One example of these manufactured threads would be the bi-component yarns, which can at least reduce the surface adhesion of crystals and thus increase the service life of our fabrics. One of our main objectives has been to always create value for our clients and for this reason, we seek to increase their useful life and facilitate their management for operators.

Q: How long does the company's filtering solution last and how does it compare to others?

A: The type of mineral worked on will determine the filter’s durability. Normally, the replacement period for this type of mining process can range from four to six months. However, our solutions last much longer than the usual fabrics. We try to maximize the maintenance time and the useful life of these filter elements without affecting the overall performance of the mine. Instead of replacing them three to four times a year, we only need to do it twice, avoiding frequent operational stoppages. In cooperation with the mine we achieve lifetimes up to six months and at the same time we improved cycle times or moisture or better clarity.

Q: How does Sefar ensure that its customers see its products more as an investment than as an additional cost?

A: Sefar is a Swiss company, so our processes and products are very advanced. They are not the cheapest offer on the market. What we offer the entire mining industry and specifically to Mexico’s miners are competitive advantages and an added value that is connected to the useful life of the product. We carry out profitability studies so that we can demonstrate to the client that the cost of our products will be reflected within a certain period as savings in water or energy, product loss or increase throughput which will be much more important than what they currently save.

Q: How is Sefar tackling tailings issues?

A: We supply the entire mining sector, which includes ferrous and non-ferrous minerals and precious metals, such as gold, copper and silver. Our products have helped clients in tailings management. In 2019, we offered a mine in Hidalgo filter cloths for filter presses and increase their productivity by better cake forming and out of this reducing the cake moisture and better cake release. Our solution is a Filter Cloth that dewater the waste faster, making deposition easier. In addition, our solutions help reduce a company’s impact on the environment. What we are filtering is not only solid, but also liquid, so the higher the quality of the filtrate, enables the mines to recover and reuse more water in their process.

Q: What new technologies is the company incorporating to its mining portfolio?

A: We are continually developing new fabrics, especially for tailings, where we seek for better properties to elongate life time or of our fabrics. We have a team dedicated to the innovation and development of our products based on raw materials, yarns and weaving design. We try to provide and fulfil customers’ requirements, which are for sure different – cheap, long lifetime, better clarity, less humidity, easier mountable, better cake release but not all capabilities could be built in on product.

Q: How does Sefar position its products in the Mexican market?

A: We are well positioned; our market share is around 30 percent. In the near future, we want to be one of the leading companies in the mining sector by providing filtration solutions in Mexico, Central American and the Caribbean. We have an important national participation within mining clusters, especially in Sonora, Chihuahua and Zacatecas. However, we continue to seek strategic alliances to get closer to the principal mines in Mexico. Our strategy is to carry out more tests in several mines so that we can demonstrate the benefits of our solutions. Once validated, we can offer long-term agreements, which enables us to collect process data and failures to improve our product and customers process and achieve mutual benefits.

Sefar is the leading manufacturer of precision fabrics from monofilaments for screen-printing and filtration markets. Sefar products are used in a wide variety of industries, from electronics, graphics, medical, automotive, food and pharmaceutical applications to aerospace, mining and architecture.

Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst