Erasto Enriquez
Director General
Grupo Vysisa

Innovation in Conveyor Belts

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:19

In the same way that conveyor belts transformed the industrial revolution, they have also transformed the mining industry. Minerals have to be transported and fed through different processing equipment at different locations in the mine. “Conveyor belts have proved to be cheaper per transported tonne compared to truck transportation, plus it requires less investment and the logistics are easier,” highlights Erasto Enriquez, Director General of Grupo Vysisa, a conveyor belt provider with over 30 years of experience.

Grupo Vysisa was born when Enriquez and his partners started commercializing and selling conveyor belts to the cement plants around Mexico City. “We had the advantage of having the technology and commercial knowledge, as well as the expertise. The mixture of these elements gave us a different vision for improving the business. Little by little we started acquiring more equipment for our operations, such as vulcanization machinery and transportation vehicles, and hired more personnel,” he recalls. The turning point came when the company started doing hot and cold vulcanizing, because it was the only company in the country that managed both types of vulcanization processes. The company focuses on transportation for both dry and wet processes. “Our products lower the transportation cost per tonne, whether it is dry mineral by conveyor belt or wet mineral by pipes and pumps, for which we provide coating to extend its useful life,” Enriquez explains. In order to develop the company in its early days, the group requested help to train its personnel from the German manufacturer Rema Tip Top, one of the brands that it represents, and together they developed the first generation of conveyor belt vulcanizing technicians in Mexico. Grupo Vysisa understood the importance of keeping its staff up-to-date and giving them the best possible training. “The products we sell are expensive and we cannot take the risk of selling such a costly product and implementing it incorrectly. Neither can we sell a bad product and implement it correctly. Our strategy is to always remain up-to-date with the best products and technicians, in order to guarantee performance,” Enriquez says. It is for this reason that Grupo Vysisa concentrates more on preventative maintenance than on corrective maintenance, because it translates to greater efficiency and lower operation costs for its clients. Among Grupo Vysisa’s success stories in the mining industry is the project it worked on with Minera Autlán, on which it implemented what was, at the time, the longest conveyor belt in a Mexican mine. The belt was over 4,000m long, had only one conveyor, and was built in a record time of eight days. Another highlight for the company was on the Nacozari copper project in Sonora, where it installed the first steel cable ties created in the mine on a 1,900m main conveyor belt. Currently it is working on two projects at Peñasquito. For Enriquez the mining industry provides stability, opportunities and at the same time growth, though the latter depends on both political circumstances and what is happening in the global economy