Pioneering the Foundations of MiningMon, 10/22/2018 - 17:01
Contrary to popular opinion, Sergio Bartolomé, Director of scaffolding company Layher Mexico, says that Mexican miners are not resistant to new technologies. On the contrary, they are very receptive to innovation but it has to be directly linked to production gains. The problem lies with auxiliary tech that companies like Layher provide. “In terms of auxiliary technologies that seek to increase safety, although it may be innovative and incorporate new technologies, there is not a great acceptance of this equipment,” he says. “We provide auxiliary services in scaffolding, so the innovation and efficiency this offers does not tend to be taken into account.”
Fortunately, many foreign companies see the value of these products, which helps when convincing local players of the value of a product. For example, Layher has worked with Goldcorp in Chile, Peru and Australia and Bartolomé says this helped it secure a contract with the operator at the Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas. “Some local companies have yet to fully accept this concept of increased safety and efficiency through auxiliary services,” he says. “But we have been able to secure business with companies that prioritize innovation, such as Industrias Peñoles.”
Layher’s focus on innovation has made it the premier scaffolding company on a global level. The Allround system is a modular scaffolding system that offers greater versatility than any traditional systems. Originally developed by the company in 1974, it can be constructed faster than most systems and used in complex layouts. By now, Bartolomé says the technology has been replicated multiple times, which is what makes it so important for Layher to continue innovating in order to stay ahead of the pack.
The company’s newest Allround system is innovative in terms of its materials, according to Bartolomé. The system is called Lightweight because it is lighter yet more resistant, meaning it can be assembled and disassembled more rapidly and even less effort is required for transport than the previous version. This technology was launched in 2013 but Layher has been consolidating it over the last four years to improve the quality of the steel. “The more resistant and lighter we can make the it, the more time can be saved in assembly and freight,” he says. “As the pioneer of the Allround system and market leaders, innovation is permanent and our investment in R&D each year is significant. We can almost guarantee that any new product we launch will be replicated by competitors within a few years.” With so many competitors on its heels, Layher is always thinking about the next step.