José Alberto Leal
Managing Director
Cribas y Productos Metálicos
View from the Top

Customized Services Based on Efficiency

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 10:36

Q: As a mining supplier, what are your expectations for the demand and what factors do you think will be impacting it the most?
A: Mexican mining has always been strong and regardless of the country’s situation. The political climate we are facing should be solved in the short term and pave the way for continued growth of the Mexican mining industry in the mid and long terms. Locally, it will be key to work together with mining companies, suppliers and communities to ensure a win-win situation for everyone. We expect an increase in our synthetics at the end of 2019. We have seen them grow in the past, but we will look to consolidate them in the Mexican market to give our customers the greatest advantage.
Q: You have started to export your products to the US and South America. How has the experience of venturing into other markets been and who are your main partners?
A: This new venture into other markets has shaped our company. It has made us more professional, and more efficient. We have evolved from being a regional company to a national and now an international one that is looking to compete on the world stage. Our reach is now beyond North America, and we plan to grow to the north and south of Mexico to offer the same products and services we offer our Mexican customers. We always like to think of our customers as our main partners, but we also have strategic partners, with which we work together to reach further into North America and South America.
Q: What is your assessment of the main differences and similarities between these mining markets?
A: We have learned something over the years, which has differentiated us from our competitors: no two plants are the same. They can look the same, but they will behave differently. Being a manufacturer, and offering tailor-made screening solutions to our customers, we can give them the exact fit for their screening applications. We plan to continue this model that we have been using in the US and Mexico for our expansion to South America. The South American market is very similar to Mexico, and we will bring our expertise and service to those customers.
Q: After your experience in other markets, what have you learned that can help improve the service you offer to your customers?
A: We have learned that every customer is an important part of our company, and each must be treated as well as possible. We have improved our response time. When dealing with exports and long freight, it is key to reduce lead times, so we have started a campaign to reduce lost time in all our processes. Quality has also been improved due to these changes. Our customers expect the best quality from us, and as we go to more demanding markets, we always deliver quality beyond the its expectation.
Q: Due to demand, you adapted your offer to include polyurethane. What have been the main demands of the industry over the last year and how have you adapted your portfolio to meet these?
A: Polyurethane screens have been in the market for quite some time. The problem before was that they were either of bad quality, or very expensive. We came in to solve that. We also discovered that some markets or some applications are not ready for polyurethane screens, but are in dire need of polyurethane accessories. We have learned to offer the right product for each customer and application. We always work with our customers for our innovations. They are the driving force behind our research. Products like synthetic (polyurethane) rails, abrasion resistance plate screens, impact resistant dewatering screens, and others, have come into production due to customer needs. We plan on continuing that policy.
Q: Which certification programs has the company pursued and what is the added value that these can add to a supply chain company?
A: We are now a HARDOX Wear Parts center and partner. That means that we are part of a network of manufacturers that works only with this brand to deliver the best quality in abrasion resistance. We work together as a network to complement each other and solve problems for the customers in the region.
We are the only one in the network focused exclusively on screening media. It is a relationship where our feedback becomes a new product offering and their support helps us achieve more sales and improve processes and applications.
Q: How important is R&D for Cribas and what percentage of your annual turnover goes to this area?
A: There is no fixed budget for R&D. We have a group of engineers looking to improve products all the time. Not only are they making the products better, but designing new tooling to make them faster, for them to last longer, and make them less expensive to customers.
Q: What new materials or alloys are you using the most and why do these make a difference?
A: We are using a lot of Hardox 450 and Duroxite. These are high abrasion resistance plates that have given us an advantage over our competition. The Duroxite is the toughest material we have ever used. It will withstand temperatures over 800° with highly abrasive materials like iron ore.
Q: You have an exclusive contract with several international suppliers for the distribution of screens. How are these alliances helping your business?
A: We manufacture all screening media types. We have replaced our imports for locally manufactured products in most cases. There are still times where we will buy some products from other suppliers, but I would say that is around 5 percent of our sales. The alliances we do keep are helping us in our growth strategy. We have become a partnership where their name and our name give us strength in new regions to have better coverage of the market.
Q: What changes or modifications to the Mining Law do you think would be important for Mexico to continue developing its mining industry?
A: We believe that mining moves the country. Whether it is precious minerals, non-metallics, and even aggregates. It is the beginning of every process. We believe mining should be encouraged and available for local and foreign companies. All this while working with the communities where the mines are located, using international process standards and being planet-friendly to ensure we can do it for many years to come.
Q: How has Cribas performed in so far in 2019 and what have been the main challenges it has encountered?
A: 2019 has been a challenging year due to an economy that has been slowing down, yet it has also been a year where we have consolidate alliances we had made in the previous years and are now creating a stage for us to take the world head on. We are putting all our efforts into continuing our company’s growth. To achieve that, we need to work hand in hand with customers and suppliers to make it a win-win situation for everyone.
Q: Which are Cribas' largest clients and projects, and with what new companies does it want to work with?
A:  Our largest clients are definitely the mining operators in Mexico. They are and will always be our key customer. We want to strengthen our position in North and Central America, and establish ourselves in South America. We also want to increase our market share in industrial screening like recycling and agricultural applications.