Luis Quintana
Co-Director
IPEC Ingeniería
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View from the Top

IPEC: Understanding and Optimizing Hoists

By Paloma Duran | Tue, 12/14/2021 - 08:53

Q: How did market dynamics in 2020 impact your business plan?

A: During a Mexico Business Events conference, the President of Bank of Accendo mentioned that there would be an important change in trends due to the COVID-19 pandemic and IPEC experienced this. Most of our work is generally implemented in major CAPEX projects but due to the pandemic budgets were altered, and many were put on standby. Last year, we finished several projects and reached out to our customers to make sure they had all the proposals, technical documents, and everything they needed in hand to successfully start operations when the external and internal conditions allowed. This year, IPEC hopes to resume several projects that were halted.

 

Q: How did your project with Grupo México develop and what was the value proposition you offered to execute this project?

A: San Martín mine in Zacatecas resumed operations in 2018 after a multiyear pause. The double drum production hoist on the surface needed a complete refurbishment and update before the plant could be restarted. IPEC-Tiley was contracted to execute this work that included new motors and drives, reductors and gearsets, service and emergency brake systems, safety systems and controls, among other components and systems. It was a large and complex endeavor, but we are very proud to have participated in it and plan to offer the same service to other mines of the Group as well as to the rest of the Mexican market.

In conjunction with our partners at Tiley, we have visited several mines that use hoists and carried out preliminary assessments of their conditions to issue recommendations and emit proposals for the areas of opportunity that we identify. Most mines could benefit from the best practices used in other jurisdictions in terms of safety or productivity and we leverage our extensive experience to offer a suite of solutions to attain these goals. Our advice has helped customers avoid costly downtimes and repairs, optimize planned system changes and expenditures on components or increase their overall hoist productivity by significant margins.

 

Q: How does the Mexican hoist legislation compare to other jurisdictions and how is IPEC advising its customers on this matter?

A: The Mexican legislation regarding hoists still lacks several details in comparison to other jurisdictions, such as Canada and the US. However, we strongly recommend our customers to build their systems and operate their hoist plants using the same methodology that we implement in other markets not only for future proofing their operations but to have safer and more efficient hoist plants. We have found that the  worldwide experience that we offer  quite attractive and we receive a growing number of invitations to participate in different hoist projects.

 

Q: What is your relationship with Tiley and why did they choose you as their Mexican partner?

A: We met the team of engineers representing Tiley at the Las Vegas MINExpo tradeshow in 2016 and had a great connection when we discovered that we had very similar goals regarding business expansion. IPEC wanted to work with additional foreign companies that are leaders in their niches in the mining industry. Tiley was interested in finding a company that had good insight into the Mexican mining market, a stable client base and the right philosophy to work with foreign entities. Moreover, they explained that they wanted to replicate a market penetration approach that they used in Peru with the goal of making hoisting safer and more productive in Mexico.  

 

Q: How are you educating your customers about the importance of updating hoists with better and safer technologies?

A: Since Mexico does not have a registry of hoist plants, we must rely on information published by the mines or word of mouth to find out where hoists are located and get access to do the preliminary assessment mentioned before.

In our trajectory together, IPEC-Tiley has visited over thirty hoist plants in the country and gained the trust of the engineers and operators in charge of them by demonstrating knowledge on the equipment from experiences in mines around the world. Our approach is one of open communication in which the personnel is encouraged to ask all the questions they may have and tap into our experience with hoisting practices in other counties. The relationships that we build is strengthened when the advice given is implemented and positive results are evident.

Furthermore, with the popularization of videoconferencing we plan on organizing seminars for universities and professionals to share our knowledge on the matter.

 

Q: What are your ambitions for 2021 and how would you measure that success?

A: Our ambitions are to continue to expand the reach of the products and services that we offer, either from IPEC or Tiley and the other foreign companies we represent in Mexico: McLellan, Stellar, Polaris, and Abacus. The success will be measured in the number and quality of leads and prospects for the diverse project portfolio that we can offer, which is not an easy feat given the uncertainty brought by the pandemic and the disruption to the landscape of every industry around the globe.

Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst