Ernesto Pérez
Senior Sales Account Manager
PPG Protective & Marine Coatings
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View from the Top

Setting a New Standard for Coating Systems

By Paloma Duran | Tue, 05/11/2021 - 12:36

Q: What benefits do your systems provide the mining sector?

A: PPG understands the importance of offering a specialized portfolio for each business segment and, in particular, its priority industries. For instance, our mining portfolio specifically meets the industry’s challenges. It is very well adapted to the extreme conditions present in different mining processes like beneficiation plants and refining plants. We carry global and local products. That has allowed us to gain a greater knowledge of mining’s aggressive conditions and this imbues our offering with true value for our clients. Our products include chemical tank lining systems, secondary containment systems, high temperature systems, fire retardant systems and traditional protective coating systems. We are ensuring the integrity and safety of operators and facilities, up to 25-year-plus longer useful life and reductions in maintenance and repairs. In addition, we offer fast-drying high-performance coatings, which increase productivity. If any equipment needs to go out of operation for maintenance or repair, then it will return to service faster. I would say our principal added value is that our products are sustainable, thanks to our coatings technologies.

Q: How does the company ensure that its products are adapted to different environmental conditions?

A: Our infrastructure and global presence, with operations in more than 80 countries, allows us to offer several options. This has given us the experience to introduce new technologies and solutions. We have different international segment leaders, and we meet to agree on our portfolio and establish best practices within the segment. This also ensures that our portfolio performs outstandingly in each of the mining areas. Similarly, our field technical service team is dedicated to personalize each project. This team visits facilities and analyzes all the environmental, climatic and process variables so we can provide tailored and precise solutions. In addition, we offer training to ensure that our products are well adapted to the processes and we have a structure that analyzes trends and business processes to discern new strategies and solutions.

Q: What are the main differences when working with mining companies in Mexico compared to Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere?

A: The mining sector has a very important diversity of global companies and this makes the operation in Mexico very similar to other parts of the world. These companies take their good practices to all the places where they operate and in developing countries such as Mexico, they have a greater space to contribute in matters of security, community development and technological implementation. We have noticed very subtle differences, especially in market issues, since each region markets always behave differently depending on the economy, culture or the consumption habits. Perhaps the most notorious difference is the opportunity to develop a stronger regulatory framework for the protective coatings projects. Now we see different coating manufacturers position products with polluting technologies and low performance on the market. We believe the protective coatings have to perform in a stricter way for this sector to reach higher standards and ensure they are environmentally friendly. We are in contact with top stakeholders and engineering companies in the supply chain so we offer certified coatings, although they are not mandatory in Mexico but can undoubtedly set a trend. We want to guarantee quality, safety and sustainability. In other market issues, in some occasions it is seeks to reduce costs in projects, which is why changes are made in the specifications and this could reduce the quality of the materials that are used. In other regions, the specification is strong and no change is allowed, even if it is well justified, thereby ensuring the best quality for projects. A negative effect that we have seen in a very particular way in Mexico, is that the Mining sector can sometimes be seriously affected by political and social factors. We have seen large companies withdraw investment from the country due to these types of details.

Q: How does the company guarantee a closer outreach with its clients?

A: One of PPG’s guiding principles is to generate value for our clients, and that means establishing a close relationship with them. To achieve this, we have developed specific strategies for each of our segments. The main concept is to understand the needs of our clients. We have experts in the sector who develop these strategies by segment and then specialize even more by region to ensure proximity, and thus position ourselves as advisers and strategic partners. We also have a commercial structure with assigned responsibilities to meet our clients’ time needs and generate value. In addition, we follow up to establish a rapport with our clients throughout the entirety of the project, from its planning and designing stage to its execution.

Q: What success story can you share?

A: We have been close to Grupo México and Peñoles for a number of years. Peñoles has an important project in its Juanicipio gold mine where we work as infrastructure providers and equipment manufacturers with protective and special coatings that help productivity for applicators, performance for mines and to extend facilities´ service life. With Grupo México, we are working on the expansion of its zinc plant in Buena Vista del Cobre, where we have positioned ourselves as a benchmark, working closely with its engineering and construction team. This has allowed us to participate as suppliers of coating systems and create long-lasting synergies.

PPG Protective & Marine Coatings has more than 130 years of experience in the development and supply of paints, coatings and materials. The company serves several industries and operates in more than 70 countries. It specializes in the construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets.

Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst