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Analysis

Growth Market for Conveyor Belt Specialists

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:22

BATRINSA is an example of a company that has used its broader expertise to adapt and respond to the needs of the growing mining industry. Specializing in conveyor belts, the company was born 35 years ago in Monterrey, though it was not until recently that the company identified the opportunities in Mexico’s mining industry and decided to take them on. “When the company first started it was focused on providing services to aggregates producing companies, such as limestone, gravel and concrete. But in 2009 the market for aggregate materials was not doing very well; the prices were too low and the government, one of the main buyers, was not paying aggregates producers well. This company started as a conveyor components dealer, but now we are dedicated to providing complete solutions for bulk materials handling,” says Adrián Martínez Alanís, Trading Manager of BATRINSA.

Indeed, the main challenge in entering this new market had less to do with adapting the products that the company provided, and more to do with adapting to the new industry’s different approach to procuring conveyor belts. “Moving to servicing the mining industry represented a big challenge for us, given that miners have a very different way of thinking compared to aggregate producers. Many aggregate producers purchase parts and equipment at the lowest cost available, while miners tend to consider it to be more important to make a good long-term investment, even if it represents a higher acquisition cost. This makes sense because, given the high prices of metals, the highest cost for a mine is to stop its production, and nobody wants to stop a whole plant because of a broken part on one piece of equipment,” says Martínez Alanís. “That is why we are a perfect fit for the mining market: our products include the highest quality equipment, conveyor belts, idlers, pulleys and power transmission components. Regardless of whether our products are the cheapest on the market, they offer our customers complete reliability, allowing them to focus on increasing production rather than worrying about failures.”

Starting to supply to the mining industry turned out to be an excellent business decision for BATRINSA. Since 2009 the company has increased its sales significantly, in 2012 by approximately 50% compared to 2011. “Mining has become our core business,” says Martínez Alanís. “We are very enthusiastic about working within the Mexican mining market.” This passion for the mining industry has encouraged BATRINSA to gain an in-depth understanding of the needs of its mining customers, and the company is proud of the holistic service that it provides. “A lot of companies only offer and sell components, but we go further than that. Some of our success stories include optimization projects, in which we increase the production of our customers’ current belt conveyors by simply changing some of the critical parts instead of changing the whole system. Every mine wants to produce more tonnes per hour, hence we have been quite busy,” says Martínez Alanís. Another area that remains important for the company is its work in transportation at ports. “We represent a brand of conveyors called Superior Industries that manufactures radial telescopic stackers, which work perfectly for loading bulk materials onto vessels. These types of conveyor belts are being used in the Port of Guaymas, Topolobambo and Mazatlan to load copper and iron ore, as well as other products such as fertilizers, wheat and corn. We are involved in the ports’ operations, participating in the design, selection, and supply of these systems,” explains Martínez Alanís. “BATRINSA’s intention is to continue expanding into different industries, according to the opportunities that arise and the company’s aptitude to fulfill them, both to grow and diversify the company’s portfolio,” he says.