Leading the Market in Weighing TechnologiesMon, 10/21/2013 - 15:58
Q: How has Mettler Toledo created and tailored its products for their intensive applications in mines and mineral sample analysis units?
A: Mettler Toledo is looking to create high tech equipment with the most simple user interface. Our role as consultants also allows us to offer a tailored set of solutions to each of our clients, regardless of their size or the stage of operations they are at. Our latest application is a system that allows our clients to make particle-level measurements without removing the mineral from the production line, thus allowing mining companies to gauge the quality of the mineral without resorting to the time-consuming process of conducting sample analyses. This equipment brings our customers time and cost savings, given that it can take measurements during the grinding process. While our competitors are still sending samples to a laboratory we are already measuring during the process itself. Thanks to our One Click© interface it has become very simple for the operator to perform the job, simply by clicking on a button in the measurement scales. We have done with analytical instrumentation what cell phone companies have done with touchscreen phones and tablets: we have developed a very advanced technological product and presented it in a way that is very easy to understand, and with a very intuitive interface. All of our equipment is able to provide accurate data, which can be printed or sent to a database platform.
Q: How is your integrated solutions approach benefitting your customers?
A: By offering integrated services, from logistics to complete laboratory or mine processes, we have made it very easy for our clients to control, perform and grow their operations. Having this mixture of services is an advantage for our customers. Mettler Toledo provides a product service that allows its clients to measure from 1 microgram to 320 tonnes of material. We often summarize our unique weighing capacity with the phrase: “If your need is there, we have it; if your need is not there, no one has it.” The fact that the national “Kilo-Standard”, which is in the National Metrology Center (CENAM) in Mexico, has always been in Mettler Toledo mass comparators reinforces this point. The integrated service we offer means that our clients will only have to deal with one company offering services, from the simple micro-mass measurement scales used in basic and startup mining, through large scale weighing of trucks and loading machinery, to precise analytical measurements such as acid-base titration. Mettler Toledo solutions are also interconnected with the aim of making it simple for users and those performing maintenance it, and we assure you that our equipment is adaptable to the scale of each of our customers’ growth. As with any technology Mettler Toledo equipment does require maintenance, and our goal is to continuously extend the life cycle of our equipment.
Q: How does the training of both your technical staff and your customers’ operators contribute to eliminating the mismanagement of advanced instrumentation?
A: Almost everyone in our sales force is an engineer, or is specialized in a technical area. Mettler Toledo Mexico currently has around 240 members of staff on its team, of which around 170 are on the mine sites close to our clients, understanding their needs, offering them the most suitable equipment, and training their personnel. We learn a lot from the operators, and our job is to then match the experience they have in handling minerals with our state of the art technology, with the aim of delivering tangible benefits. We strengthen this approach with product and service offices in Monterrey, Mexico City, Ciudad Obregon, Guadalajara, Puebla, Queretaro, and Coatzacoalcos, in addition to our head office in Mexico City. This gives us a regional advantage, as each of these regions specializes in different industries such as automotive, oil and gas or mining, allowing us to use our resources more efficiently.
Q: How has Mettler Toledo innovated its products and services in order to meet the increasing need for analytical instrumentation among mining companies?
A: Mettler Toledo invests a lot of money in research and development with the objective of coming up with new tools. This strategy has worked well, increasing the gap between us and our competitors that are trying to follow our innovations and best practices. Mettler Toledo has the second largest and most important metrology laboratory in Mexico. Not only do we serve as a reference for many laboratories that are being set up now, our publications also provide examples of best practices for acid-base titration, weighing, laboratory design, and management. As an additional service we provide the certification for our clients’ equipment, and we complement this with client-specific seminars in which we establish and assess the company’s evolving needs.
Q: How does Mettler Toledo Mexico benefit from being part of an international corporation with experience in different markets around the world?
A: Mettler Toledo is a US$2 billion public company listed on the NYSE. Toledo has been present in the Mexican market for 65 years, historically specializing in weighing equipment. 20 years ago the company merged with a Swiss company to become Mettler Toledo, diversifying its products and service portfolio and splitting into five divisions: laboratory weighing and analytics, weighing as an application for heavy equipment, production line analytics, product inspection, and retail. Mettler Toledo’s market approach consists of sharing international best practices. Our sales and engineering people spend most of their time in our clients’ facilities, laboratories or mines, learning from them and understanding what the real market need is.
Q: What are the main opportunities that you have identified for Mettler Toledo in the Mexican mining industry?
A: Thanks to the broad range of products and services that we provide we can support mining companies at almost every stage of the mining value chain, participating in the exploration, sample analysis, extraction, mineral beneficiation, chemical separation and remediation phases of a mine’s life cycle, both in laboratories covering the chemical analysis, and at the mine sites themselves. Mining today is much more competitive than it used to be, and companies must invest in better and more specialized equipment if they are to stand out from the competition. Mettler Toledo sells every item related to measurement systems that can improve our clients’ processes, and we complement this product offering with a team of consultants that not only offer software or hardware, but experience too. The Mexican market is full of opportunities for the implementation of advanced technology that will help to improve mining operations.