Leopoldo Castillo
Mining VP
Schneider Electric Mexico
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View from the Top

State of the Art Power Solutions

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 17:36

Q: What were the opportunities that Schneider Electric identified in the Mexican mining industry?

A: Mexico’s mining history and the latest developments in the industry have attracted many foreign investors to the country; today, 60% of production is carried out by Mexican companies and 40% by foreign companies. Competition levels have increased and companies are looking to bring costs down by introducing solutions to make their operations more efficient. This market is attractive for Schneider Electric, given that the energy consumption of the industry represents a large amount of the country’s overall consumption. We are looking to supply the most efficient electric solutions by providing our clients with safe, reliable, productive and green energy.

Q: How does Schneider Electric optimize its portfolio of solutions for the mining industry?

A: To understand what the industry really needs, dialogue with our clients must be taking place at the management, operational engineering and design levels. It is important to understand the operational challenges and the technologies that are currently being used throughout all processes in order to design solutions that will best respond to the specific needs of a project, thus contributing to significant savings on energy consumption while also optimizing processes. We have a global competencies center where we develop different technological solutions for mines, while in Mexico we have an engineering center managed by our technical specialists, “The Solution Architects.” They are responsible for contacting our clients to understand their specific needs and making sure that Schneider Electric’s solutions are developed to fulfill them.

Our solutions range from the energy supply itself to the control of it. In the area of energy supply our low-tension distribution boards provide our clients with the most reliable and appropriate energy supply for their systems. Once the energy is in place it is then transferred to production through engine control centers, which receive measured and optimized energy flow. All of the information coming from the sensors in our equipment is constantly monitored through easy to use and intelligent terminals. Information is collected through the systems and automation processors, to then be uploaded onto the broader system. There are different types of monitoring systems, such as the industrial computer system that offers a real-time graphic visualization solution that is easy to operate, design and maintain, and makes information available for operators, maintenance personnel, or managers to make the right decisions with the aim of process optimization.

The fact that our technology can interact as one unit really sets us apart from our competitors. Schneider Electric’s market positioning is strengthened by its complete range of field and administrative solutions. Given the challenging and remote locations where mines are located, it is mostly the case that mining companies are obligated to generate their own power, which provides an excellent opportunity for us to prove the value of our technology. We are able to bring our technology to the most remote areas, and for the most extreme access situations we can integrate predictive maintenance and surveillance systems into the technological platform in order for management teams to have real-time information for decision making. We aim to provide the best and most reliable energy solutions, avoiding interruptions to the flow of electricity. Through our technology we are able to monitor all data on an engine and identify any abnormal energy consumption, fix any problems and bring the machines back to optimal efficiency.

Q: How is PlantStruxure providing operators with information that can make their processes more efficient?

A: PlantStruxure is a process automation system for the mining industry that maximizes equipment lifetime. It is incorporated into the design and development of a mine installation from the start. The software allows the designer to set all parameters in the system, making it easier for the engineering operator – who does not have to calculate any formula – to identify the most productive solution.

Q: How will the company achieve continued success and growth in the coming five years?

A: Our value proposition relies on our complete and modular solutions. We provide solutions that can adapt to a company’s growth, and which are capable of being integrated into all areas of the operation.