Promoting Safety Around High-Pressure EquipmentWed, 10/21/2015 - 12:15
Q: What advanced power transmission and fluid transfer solutions does Gates offer the Mexican mining industry?
A: We have always been close to the Mexican mining industry, a fact which is reflected in our business relationships with major mining companies such as Industrias Peñoles, Grupo Acerero del Norte, and Grupo Mexico. Through these ties, we noticed a necessity to overcome production rate and service challenges in the industry. This is why we work closely with our distributors, as they help us to understand our clients’ equipment and maintenance needs. They also enable us to offer improved technical recommendations, and help customers to prevent downtime through the use of our products. Our distributors’ technical staff visit mines in order to assess the conditions of our clients’ equipment. They make recommendations that help reduce costs and provide training to increase mine safety and productivity. Above all though, our product portfolio is primarily responsible for our success in Mexico. Our industrial belts, couplings, and hydraulic hoses can improve efficiency throughout the mining supply chain in all types of mining operations. These products can be applied to pressure systems ranging from 2,000psi to 6,000 psi, covering the equipment needs of our clients in the mining industry. We now have a new generation of couplings called MegaCrimp® Couplings. These couplings have an extra security system that prevents any leaks from mining equipment. Additionally, our hydraulic hoses are reinforced with two to six steel wire braids, making them almost as strong as a steel tube.
Q: Gates has three plants in Mexico. To what extent do they suffice to service the Mexican industrial sector?
A: We have been expanding our plants in Mexico for many years in order to remain competitive. Less than half of our production goes to the local market, while the remaining portion is exported to several markets, such as North America, Asia, and Europe. We have three plants in Mexico. One plant, located in Toluca, produces V-belts for the automotive and industrial market. The second, located in Atlacomulco, is where we manufacture hydraulic hoses, couplings, and adaptors. It supplies the mining industry with the products it requires. Our third plant, located in Lerma, focuses exclusively on hoses.
Q: How do your hydraulic solutions for low, medium, high, and extremely high pressure applications reduce the risks of injury which can stem from using such equipment?
A: If the pressure requirement for a piece of mining equipment is 2000psi, we are able to provide products that double that requirement. This directly increases the safety of mine workers. In underground mines, leakage can lead to contamination. The G6K hose is used in many underground and open-pit mines and is capable of withstanding ultra-high pressures of 6000psi, thus avoiding any type of leaks potentially caused by such pressure. We constantly provide training on how to properly use and install hydraulic assemblies since the turnover of mine workers is often quite high, which means knowledge is lost
Q: How have Gates’ V-belt solutions evolved to better service heavy-duty industries such as mining?
A: After all these years, the product that John Gates designed is still the highest performing belt in the market, and remains the most trusted product used in a mining operation due to its established reliability. The core component of the belt is a patented cord which is specially treated to resist and exceed the minimal requirements for mining applications. The cover of the belt can perform in high temperatures, and is oil and ozone resistant. There are cheaper products out there that cannot perform as well as our products, so they end up proving more expensive overall.
Q: What trends has Gates been able to identify in terms of the evolution of the Mexican mining industry?
A: From 2010 to 2013, the mining industry showed consistent growth for Gates. From the second quarter of 2013 to the end of the year, mining production went from stable to a slight decline. In the first quarter of 2014, our sales operations were quite slow, but from the second quarter onward, mining companies again started to grow; we expect this trend to continue in 2015. Since the mining industry is important for Mexico, it is important for suppliers and service providers to come up with innovative ways of supporting the mine workers every day, wherever their mining operations are situated.