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Ensuring Underground Safety Through Technological Innovation

Carlos Leigh - DSI Underground
Regional CEO Latin America


María José Goytia By María José Goytia | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Wed, 03/30/2022 - 13:01

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Q: Why is DSI Underground the best ally in the Mexican mining sector to reinforce progress while moving ahead underground? 

A: We are one of the oldest companies to implement these underground support systems in Mexico. We started operations in 2006 by locally developing products that the mining sector imported. We produce within the country, with Mexican employees and using local raw materials. Mexico represents an important part of our sales portfolio in the region, so it is a key market for the company. Another approach making DSI competitive is that we buy our steel in Mexico, where other players, from different countries in the region, normally import steel. We believe that our local production and its excellent traceability, in terms of quality control, is an attractive competitive advantage when partnering with our customers. 

Our past experience has consolidated our operational qualities. In Mexico, we have two business locations, in Guadalajara and Chihuahua, which allows us to cover the country’s entire territory. We aim to be the best partner and trust that our scope and vast experience allow us to provide the best service and quality.


Q: What sets DSI’s solutions apart from the competition?

A: The main difference between our competitors and DSI is that most of our competitors are solely distributors, whereas we are both producers and distributors. Because we produce our products in-house, we know them and we have a better capacity to adapt to unique client needs. Furthermore, thanks to our know-how as a producer, we have built extensive technical capabilities. This enables the company to provide technical advice and supervision to customers whenever they require. Nobody else in our segment can provide this level of technical consulting, which adds so much value to the service. Most products that our distributing competitors sell come from abroad; therefore, accessing the technical advice from the primary source becomes harder. We do not have this problem because we control our entire value chain locally.


Q: How can DSI Underground help diminish the main risks Mexican miners face when working in underground structures?

A: In the mining sector, the main concerns for our customers are safety and speed regarding operational cycles. We offer our customers a safer environment through our products, which feature high-level technology, excellent quality and the right materials to protect for some rock burst conditions or other rock failures that would create an accident. DSI’s technical advice also supports the company’s capacity to diminish risks, just like its capability to customize solutions.

We support the improvement of our products long after the sale, which is why we like to see our clients like our partners. DSI constantly improves its customer service for operations, development and commercialization. Building a close rapport with our customers improve safety, since we can act quickly when needed and prevent more risks. Our technical advice can also help in an operational cost reduction, providing them, not only with safety, but efficiency.


Q: What are the biggest obstacles the Mexican mining sector faces with its trend toward digitalization and the implementation of industry 4.0 tools?

A: The obstacles companies face depend on many variables, which might change between each stakeholder. DSI sees that its customers are willing to digitalize their operations. The company’s digital offer includes virtual reality training and assets such as hardware, software and communications infrastructure, so we can support our customer’s journey toward digitalization in multiple ways. It is our job to convince our clients of all the benefits of implementing digitalization strategies and moving efficiently when they ask us to move ahead.

Both in Mexico and other countries in Latin America, customers are taking environmental issues much more seriously. A push for sustainability accelerates the decision to acquire automated machinery in ways we did not see happen before. Digitalization is a great match for companies wanting to reduce costs and nurture a more sustainable environment.


Q: What strategies is DSI implementing to address its own sustainability goals?

A: Our primary strategy involves proximity to our supply of raw materials, which supports our drive to reduce both the company’s costs and its emissions. Secondly, we manage our manufacturing plants symbiotically by implementing systems that reduce water and electricity consumption. Of course, results are not equal throughout our entire operation. We achieve different results at different locations. But in the end, the goal is singular: to improve DSI’s efficiency through greater sustainability. Similarly, a relevant part of our environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy is how we support our employees by reducing the incidence of accidents and near misses alike. It is too easy to see a near miss as acceptable since nobody was injured, but we deem them to be unacceptable. The human component of ESG is crucial for us as the environmental element is also very important.


Q: What are DSI Underground’s main objectives for the Mexican market in 2022?

A: Usually, when we talk about achievements, we focus on growth. Nevertheless, maintaining our current customer portfolio is as important as getting new clients on board. One of our main goals is, therefore, to safeguard our current portfolio of customers and continue supporting them in innovative ways so that we can retain their trust on us. This is what creates long-term loyalty and confidence. Our second goal is to still achieve new growth, either through acquisitions or organic growth via our current partners. The latter is a key focus.


DSI Underground is a global company based in Germany that develops, produces and supplies underground support systems for mining and tunneling, improving the safety of people and the efficiency of mining businesses through a sustainable and cost-effective approach.

Photo by:   DSI Underground

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