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Analysis

It Is the Belts that Bear the Brunt of the Operations

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:29

Interbandas has been supplying conveyor belts to the mining industry for over 25 years. With seven branches in Baja California, Sonora, and Chihuahua, the company’s expansion strategy is currently focused on Zacatecas and Sinaloa, where it will begin operating in the last quarter of 2013. “When we open new branches we immediately offer our full range of services, which differentiates us from our competitors, who often open new markets with only one or two salespeople. This is a solid expansion strategy, and we believe it strengthens our market position,” explains Mauricio Santillán, Commercial Director of Interbandas.

On conveyors it is the belts themselves that bear the brunt of the operations, therefore they are prone to wear and tear. The direct contact with the product is absolute and constant; the rock sits directly on the conveyor belt, unlike a bearing or a motor, which have more protection. In order to minimize downtime resulting from conveyor failure, Interbandas provides preventative and predictive maintenance. According to Santillán, a belt’s lifespan depends on the material it is made of, the time it has been in use, and the maintenance it has received. A good material and maintenance combination will guarantee that the belt will last as long as it is supposed to. There are belts that can last up to a month in strong applications, others last just a week. “We do not wait for a belt to break or stop working. We work with mining companies to analyze the lifespan of the equipment and make timely decisions.Our sales team and field technicians visit the mines and perform durability studies on the conveyor belts, so that the user is able to program changes to the machinery into their maintenance schedule,” he details

Interbandas has commercial alliances with Fenner Dunlop, Sampla Belting, Ibel Service, Martin Engineering, and Flexco, among many others. 100% of its products are American, and these alliances provided the company with access to advanced technical knowledge. “Our commercial allies have been in the market for a long time, and they have helped us offer quality products to our clients, and their training of our staff enables us to provide a high quality service,” highlights Santillán. He goes on to say that the company does not currently commercialize Indian or Chinese brands because, though these brands may offer good quality, this quality often lacks consistency. In 2012, Interbandas grew 34%, because of the many mining projects that began operating that year. “We believe that we will finish 2013 with similar growth figures. Investments in technology, human capital, and expansion with our new offices in Sinaloa and Zacatecas, will help us achieve this goal,” remarks Santillán. Interbandas is putting its efforts into producing its own products, so that it can be less dependent on foreign brands. “We believe that Mexico has the capacity to develop good technicians, and new processes and services. The market is still being developed and has huge potential,” he adds.