Julio Ramires
Director General
WEG Mexico
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View from the Top

Electric Motors Designed to Meet Specific Mining Power Needs

Wed, 10/21/2015 - 15:58

Q: What are WEG’s flagship products for the mining industry?

A: We have many products created specifically for the mining industry, such as special motors for the crushing process and conveyor belts. However, our flagship product is called WMINING. Designed to withstand the harsh conditions that arise in mines, the WMINING motor reduces electricity consumption while being robust and durable enough to handle all stages of the process from extraction to ore processing. Its design prevents solid or liquid matter from entering and delivers more hours of continuous operation, helping mines to improve productivity. We also have equipment such as medium voltage drives, soft starters, and generators that can be used for power cogeneration in mines, but our mining champion is WMINING. Our portfolio for the mining industry was created thanks to the efforts of our specialist engineers that are dedicated entirely to developing mining solutions. We receive constant feedback from clients which is analyzed through constant technical discussions. Based on this information, WEG engineers redesign our products to meet customer needs and take our technology to a new stage of design.

Q: How much tropicalization of WEG’s products is needed to suit the specific challenges facing the mining industry in Mexico?

A: WEG has assembly plants in Mexico, but we also carry out R&D in the country to design and manufacture specialized products for its mining industry. This was previously done in our R&D centers in Brazil, but due to the variety of environments our products face around the world, we have extended this capability to other countries. This has allowed WEG to cement its place a leader in the mining industry in Australia, Chile, Mexico, and South Africa. One of the most successful examples of our Mexican R&D was Petro Duty, a line of electric motors that was released for the oil and gas industry after we analyzed all of PEMEX’s rules and made a product to fit its standards. After Petro Duty found great success in the oil and gas sector, it was adapted to the Mexican mining industry in the form of WMINING. This shows how WEG produces standard products that can be adapted to the specific needs of its customers. We do not only adapt to legal requirements but also to environmental conditions present in each industry, such as variations in altitude and humidity.

Mexico has become one of the most important countries for us, so we are planning to invest US$210 million over the next five years to expand our production capacity in the country. This investment will allow us to manufacture our own components, reduce dependence on suppliers, and create more jobs.

Q: Which new products in WEG planning to introduce in Mexico?

A: One of our priorities is now to position our electric generator for gas turbines as part of an effort to push the use of cogeneration by mining companies. Cogeneration would help mines to reduce their energy spending and even sell off the surplus energy. Many mines in Mexico continue to connect to the CFE grid and generate electricity using diesel. Thus, WEG has to look at what energy solutions it could offer to maximize efficiency, improve power quality and reduce operating costs. For these energy advances to happen, we make sure that our customers understand the voltage unbalance that exists in Mexican power lines, and how this will affect the performance of each component used in every process. We are presently entering into alliances with Mexican companies that are devoted to power quality analysis of power quality. This will allow us to deliver very comprehensive and thorough report to our customers about the challenges they face in order to optimize their electricity consumption. When we help our clients implement a solution, we consider all these external factors so they can use our products to maximum efficiency. Another product that we are counting on to anchor our mining business is the W50. This motor was designed to reduce noise and vibration as much as possible, which leads to prolonged motor life. We are currently bringing the components over so we can start assembling the W50 here in Mexico from 2015. This product was originally released in Brazil to great success, making us certain that it will help revolutionize the way in which the Mexican mining industry operates.