How German Technology Can Contribute to Process Optimization?Mon, 10/22/2018 - 12:30
High-grade projects in Mexico are becoming increasingly tougher to find and the industry is starting to realize the importance of investing in analytical tools that can provide faster and more precise results, say Danilo Bittar, Director for Latin America at Bruker AXS, which specializes in high-performance scientific instruments and analytical solutions to explore materials at the atomic level.
“We target medium and large companies as the initial outlay for our high-end solutions is not cheap,” he says. “But smaller companies are also beginning to show interest in our entry level fit-for-purpose solutions as they see the value the investment can provide to their operations in terms of analytics, particularly now that the industry is facing tighter environmental and safety norms.” He adds that, typically, the savings achieved by using X-ray mineralogy in the mine and process plant lead to less consumption of energy, chemicals or wear parts and increases recovery grades. “This typically pays back the initial CAPEX within months,” says Bittar. “Commodities that benefit most from our X-ray mineralogy solutions are copper, gold and polymetallic ores.”
The company is well established in other sectors and is seeking to consolidate its position in the mining sector. “Bruker is already collaborating with large players in the country, such as SGS, and helping them improve the quality of their services,” says Bittar. “We can provide robust tools that can withstand long hours that are common in operations.” The company can adapt to a wide range of needs from high-end fully automated laboratories to benchtop analytical tools that can be installed in mobile laboratories or trucks. “These mobile solutions are ideal for the mining industry as they can reduce costs by bringing laboratories closer to mining projects and provide results at quicker turnaround times, rather than sending samples to centralized laboratories.”
Despite the technological advances the company can provide, Bruker has found resistance in the traditionally conservative Mexican mining industry. “It will take time to change the mindset of the industry but we are prioritizing the mining market as one of our Top 5 sectors,” explains Bittar. “We already have key installations in other big mining companies in North America, Chile and Peru. We want to expand in Mexico as it has an attractive GDP.” The company has a positive outlook for the 2018 and Bittar is sure the mining industry will contribute positively to its global revenues. He believes the company’s background in German engineering can complement the needs of the sector well. “We have the best analytical precision in the market,” he says.
When it comes to automation, the company is establishing key alliances to maintain its competitive edge. “We are staying up-to-date by nurturing our relationships with companies such as FLSmidth and other integrators that incorporate Bruker instrumentation such as the D8 Endeavor dedicated minerals analyzer, the S2 Puma and the S8 Tiger elemental analyzers into their installations,” says Bittar.
As a new administration enters the country, Bruker would like the incoming authorities to address an issue that is widespread in the Latin America region. “Bureaucratic processes need to be simplified as these problems and delays are impacting investment,” he says. “To improve the GDP in the region, we need to improve these processes and tax issues. Added to high costs, all these factors are making small and medium companies think twice about investing in technology.”