Guaranteeing the Supply of Abrasion Resistant SteelMon, 10/21/2013 - 11:30
The introduction of abrasion-resistant steel plates to the mining industry was one of the most revolutionary developments of the sector in the past century. The composition of these plates allows the material to be ductile and thus enables it to adapt to a broad range of mining equipment. Their hardness makes them strong enough to resist the highly abrasive mining processes and give the material a considerable resistance to impact. Nowadays, all kinds of machinery – from conveyor belts to crushers and truck beds – are protected by steel plates, reducing costly breakdowns and delivering substantial productivity gains.
Adolfo Yescas’ wide experience in the steel industry led him to create his own company over a decade ago: Transteel & Metal. This Mexican company is now the nationwide supplier of Ford Steel products in the country, such as the exclusive line of anti-abrasive 400, 450 and 500 steel plates, which have many uses in the mining industry. Yescas comments that it was the company’s commitment to the industry that prompted Ford Steel to partner with Transteel & Metal. “It took Ford Steel some time to enter the Mexican market. They had not found an appropriate commercial ally, but they saw our commitment to service while we were working on a project with Grupo Mexico, and they decided to offer us the national distribution license in Mexico,” Yescas recalls. “Ford Steel got interested in us because of the supply strategies we have built with our clients and because of our intention to enter international markets, such as the US – where Ford Steel has not yet entered the mining sector.”
Transteel & Metal bases its business strategy in two main differentiators: the quality of the company’s products, and its personalized supply and cost management services. The company carries specialized products depending on their application within the mining industry. Its Wearalloy and Mangalloy super-block, super-clad, super-chrome, and nickel chrome plates have all been tested and perfected in order to optimize their performance and the safety conditions. “Our anti-abrasive plates have a better performance than other similar products offered by our competitors. Our clients demand that we perform a series of tests and comply with international standards. We give them those quality guarantees,” Yescas says. In order to optimize the performance of its products, the company monitors the welding and installation parameters of plates in mine sites, thus ensuring that the electric amperage and heat exposure during this process maximizes the plate’s life inside the equipment. Moreover, Transteel & Metal reduces the risk of volatile operative costs by offering fixed prices.
Even if the price of steel varies, Ford Steel and Transteel guarantee a fixed standard cost, giving clients a long-term financial advantage. Additionally, Transteel & Metal has an operating strategy designed to fit the logistic and financial challenges mine operators face regularly. “In the case of a mine we served in Nacozari, we saw that the company had serious supply problems. It took them 45 days to receive the material, so we took some time to thoroughly analyze the demand, delivery points, and all the variables inherent to the mine’s operation. Then we designed a strategy which allowed the company to eliminate its spending on steel stock, while ensuring timely delivery with no risk of stopping the production line,” Yescas recalls. “Our comprehensive service attitude and focus on solutions convinced our client that we offer a lot more than steel.”
The philosophy behind this strategy is captured by its ‘no downtime policy’. “We offer these services 365 days of the year. Our stock management, delivery timelines, and the ownership of our own transportation fleet back the availability of our products,” Yescas explains. The company also supports this comprehensive service policy by constantly communicating with mine operators. This allows Transteel & Metal to plan ahead and anticipate any change in the grades, volume, and requirements of the steel demanded in a mine. “Our employees’ knowledge is very extensive, and enabled us to identify areas of opportunity in our clients’ use of steel products. On one occasion, we observed that a client used hot rolled steel plates for the fabrication of cylinders welded from the inside. We customized a capped hot rolled steel plate. This material contains carbon sediments that enable a better and more efficient welding,” Yescas mentions. Thanks to the company’s business model, Transteel & Metal is now providing steel products to many mining companies in Mexico. Yescas has noticed that other steel product providers have sidelined the industry even though the sector offers great opportunities. “We understand the mining industry’s requirements, we recognize the vision of its executives, and we are consolidating our business in order to offer them comprehensive services regarding the procurement, use, and maintenance of steel in their operations,” he adds.