Guillermo Briseño
Managing Director
Donaldson Latin America
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View from the Top

Innovation in Air Filtration Systems

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 15:55

Q: What role does Mexico play in the global strategy of Donaldson International?

A: Donaldson International’s technological research and development is mostly carried out in the US, with some also being carried out in Europe and Asia. The Mexican office functions mostly as a manufacturing and commercial unit for Mexico and Latin America. As for the OE projects, we work with almost every single mining company that has operations in Mexico. Donaldson Mexico is no longer known as Donaldson Mexico but as Donaldson Latin America, given that we are responsible for developing markets from the Rio Bravo to Patagonia. We manufacture locally because we are able to keep manufacturing costs low in Mexico, and because from here we have access to the western and eastern countries in the Americas, thanks to the Port of Altamira in the Atlantic Ocean and to the Port of Manzanillo in the Pacific Ocean.

Our accelerated growth plan was developed locally three and a half years ago, and then duplicated. We decided to challenge ourselves to think differently, in order to seize the opportunities provided by our proximity to the suppliers, the market, and the resources that are available to us. The business case was approved by our headquarters and the results have been positive, with 26% growth in 2011, 31% in 2012 and 21% in 2013. In three years we have doubled the size of the company and we have brought a more aggressive way of thinking and approaching to the work that we do.

Q: What characteristics make your technological solutions stand out from those of your competitors?

A: Our company is focused on profitability and return on investment: this is how we compete. Since 1915 our engineers and innovation centers have been working to look for new areas in which to reduce costs. We provide filtration solutions for companies, specifically in mining, agriculture and construction. These are industries that are very demanding in their technical requirements. Our filters are reliable, efficient, price-competitive and environmentally friendly. In terms of service we always maintain a close relationship with our customers so that we can develop specific solutions that best fit their requirements.

Q: How does Donaldson Latin America complement its existing state of the art manufacturing facility with the other services that the company provides to the industry?

A: Donaldson participates in two segments of the filtration industry: the engine side of the business relates to diesel engine performance, which is a critical part of our products. Our access to the market is via distributors. We train distributors via our Donaldson University program to be experts not only in Donaldson products, but in foundational filtration knowledge as well, and we complement that with supervision. A significant part of our business is industrial, servicing all of the equipment used in the production process in different industries. In mining this is the stage at which mining companies use processing plants to produce the minerals. We have the equipment needed to filter the pollution that is created at those processing plants, which tend to be dust collection units or systems that compress air or generate electricity. Both areas of the business are developing very well within the mining industry; this industry has strong dynamics, therefore we need to keep developing new products and solutions for the market place. Another service we provide is the supply of spare parts. Our distribution center in Mexico services Latin America. If an emergency occurs in the operations of our end users we are able to provide urgently required filters in less than 24 hours. A very basic rule for us is to be close to our customers and supply what they need as quickly as possible.

Q: What is Donaldson’s commitment to the environment and what is or have been the results of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification?

A: Sustainability is at the core of everything we do. We are fully committed to the environment in our manufacturing, and all of our sites are ISO 14001 certified or in the process of becoming so. The furniture we use is made from recycled material and it comes from within 60km, minimizing transportation requirements and therefore meaning less pollution. We make the commitment not only to fulfill environmental regulations but to exceed them, while all the time protecting our customers’ equipment, the environment and improving people’s lives.