Energy Supply Must Anticipate Power RequirementsMon, 10/21/2013 - 13:32
Mines are big consumers of energy and are usually located in isolated areas. Many mines are located off-grid, but even those that are on-grid tend to rely on a backup power supply in order to ensure that their operations will be uninterrupted. This backup will usually take the form of an engine generator, or ‘genset’, which is a fuel-powered generator of electricity. The main thing that mining companies are looking for in gensets is reliability; each time a mine loses its electricity supply the machinery stops, meaning that production cannot continue. “Reliability is one of the main services that Megamak provides, particularly because in Mexico we know that there are not enough electrical substations to deliver energy to meet all of the customers’ needs,” says Pedro Robles Hernández, Mining Manager at Megamak. “Customers want to make sure that our technologies are capable of supporting the electrical specifics, such as the energy conversion rate and the temperatures they are working at. Another common worry is the altitude, since it is very variable in this country and technologies need to be adjusted accordingly in order to perform at their best.”
Upkeep of the generators is important but also precarious; these are substantial pieces of equipment that represent significant value for a mining company. “Most mines in Mexico do not have access to the grid, so in those cases the powerhouses that we provide are the biggest piece of equipment on the mine site, since they deliver all of the crucial energy for the mining operations,” explains Robles Hernández. “If our customers do not have a good power source it is certain that they will run into a lot of problems. It is essential to keep track of the mining process and anticipate the power requirements, so that we can ensure that we provide the best solutions for keeping the operations running.”
Besides solutions for providing energy supplies to mines, Megamak also supplies engines and spare parts for cranes, trucks, drills and other types of machinery found on mine sites. “We have all that is necessary to support the equipment and we take complete responsibility for the correct functioning of it,” says Robles Hernández. Part of Megamak’s commitment to its customers is to respond immediately to any problems with the machinery, wherever in Mexico the customer may be. “Because we have integrated systems with an extensive database we are able to locate spare parts in any of our warehouses across the nation, then through our highly qualified distribution force we are able to deliver any requested product to where it is needed quickly,” says Robles Hernández.
Branching out into machinery from being focused solely on energy supply was a natural move for Megamak, and a logical business expansion considering the convenience for its mining customers of sourcing both types of products from just one company. “The two sides of the business are very complementary. Nowadays, companies understand the value of obtaining both services from the same provider. This reduces costs and minimizes planning in terms of logistics, since we are taking a big share of responsibility in the efficiency of the operations,” says Robles Hernández. Megamak works with other companies to innovate and upgrade the technologies that it has and keep improving its performance in this area. “We are always looking for the highest quality equipment that can help us to improve cost-efficiency. Having the right tools has always been very important for Megamak, but we also take into consideration how comfortable our customers are with what we are supplying them,” says Robles Hernández.
In the future, maintaining close relationships with its customers will remain a priority for Megamak. “Our efforts have to be centered on keeping and creating good relationships with customers, establishing agreements with them, and investing in people with technical skills, new technologies and spare parts. This is the strategy we are following to encourage the growth of the company,” says Robles Hernández, who is confident about upcoming opportunities to continue growing. “We are very well positioned, with several mining groups around Mexico, especially in the northwest area and in the Pacific, where we have been able to consolidate our business. At the moment our biggest customers are Grupo Mexico and Industrias Peñoles. By working on our relationships with those companies on a daily basis, we are able to help to make this industry more efficient and rewarding.”