Jaime González
Digital and Automation Business Line Manager for Mexico, Central America and The Caribbean
View from the Top

Digital Transformation to Set a New Standard in Mexico

By Pedro Alcalá | Tue, 03/30/2021 - 18:14

Q: As a supplier of technological solutions, how is Sandvik positioned in the Mexican mining industry?

A: Sandvik is a leading supplier in the mining industry. In recent years, we have worked to change the way customers see us. We not only want to be known as an equipment and aftermarket supplier but also as a supplier of technologies with mining application.

Q: What questions and concerns regarding technology and automation do you receive from your current and potential clients?

A: The key concern for the Mexican mining sector is safety and to ensure constantly improving working conditions. These are major considerations, along with increased profitability and better productivity, when implementing digitalization, electrification, robotics and autonomous or remote operations.

Q: How is your business line equipped to address those concerns?

A: Sandvik provides scalable solutions according to our customers’ needs and their operations. These solutions include My Sandvik Digital services with connected equipment, OptiMine, which incorporates analytics to optimize mining processes, and AutoMine, our solution for intelligent, tele-remote and autonomous operations.

Q: How does Mexico compare to other mining jurisdictions in terms of technological standards and adoption of new technologies?

A: Every country has different challenges and are at different stages regarding the implementation of new technologies. The Mexican market is betting heavily on technology and I expect strong growth in the coming years.

Q: How is Sandvik addressing the challenge of increasing awareness regarding alternative solutions?

A: Sandvik has numerous products and technologies that are ready for implementation in the Mexican market. Change management is a key factor in the implementation of new technologies to create awareness among users and to help them understand how these solutions improve working conditions by creating safer and more profitable operations.

Q: A key factor in automated solutions is the reduction in infrastructural changes and interventions, such as machines that can swap their own batteries. What is the best example of this from Sandvik?

A: Electric loading and hauling vehicles equipped with battery swapping systems require less infrastructure on-site and fewer interventions by the operator, providing greater efficiency and continuity in the operation, which translates into higher productivity. Sandvik’s AutoMine solution provides autonomous equipment operations for high-speed production, fewer downtimes and extra productive hours.

Q: What led to the AutoMine and OptiMine digital products winning the Frost & Sullivan 2020 Global Product Leadership Award?

A: I think it was the knowledge, experience and understanding of mining production processes to create solutions applicable to the industry. In addition, we strive for continuous development and improvements to our systems according to the industry’s evolution. Our goal is to fulfill our customers’ needs.

Q: How can digital products such as AutoMine and OptiMine best be promoted among operators in the Mexican mining industry?

A: The best way is to raising awareness of the benefits that our systems can provide. Improved safety and increases in productivity are some examples.

Q: What added value and significant savings can these solutions generate?

A: When using OptiMine and AutoMine, value and savings are achieved in a number of ways. These include: reduced exposure to hazards; mining process optimization; monitor performance versus schedule; fact-based decision-making; optimized operational costs; effective resource utilization; continuous operations; reduced damage and extended life time; and multimachine control.

Q: How do Sandvik’s technologies and services help operators meet their ESG compliance goals?

A: The integration of Sandvik digital tools and solutions can provide great support for complying with these regulations due the improved working conditions for personnel, the achievement of greater efficiency in mining processes and the reduction in the operation’s environmental impact, all of which are critical points for continuous improvement among our customers.

Q: What are your growth and development goals for 2021 in Mexico?

A: Our goal is to introduce the experience we have gained in other countries to help our customers in the digital transformation and implementation of our OptiMine and AutoMine systems to create international benchmarks for Mexican operations.

Sandvik is an engineering group in mining and rock excavation, metal-cutting, and materials technology.

Pedro Alcalá Pedro Alcalá Journalist and Industry Analyst