Javier Padilla
General Manager
Bray Válvulas de México
rodrigo garza
Rodrigo Garza
Branch Manager
Bray Válvulas de México
View from the Top

A Well-Chosen Valve Is a Safe Valve

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 13:33

Q: Bray works with a broad range of industries. How are you positioned in the mining sector?
JP: Mining is an important market for us, not only in Mexico but worldwide. As a global company, we have divisions in countries such as Canada, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Peru and the US, where mining activity is high. For instance, the Australia mining segment represents 90 percent of our activities there; in Chile, our subsidiary works almost only in this sector. In Mexico, 30 percent of our activities are dedicated to mining. For this economy in particular, the evolution of the market will depend on metal prices, mainly copper. Given our involvement in lixiviation processes, the company’s activities depend on its price. When investment is deployed into the sector, mine expansions take place and we can participate in those projects. Our products relate to exchangeable consumption, meaning that if you install a valve and it is defective, we can replace it.
Q:  What is the role of valve systems in the development of successful mining operations?
JP: Mining processes are very sensitive. For example, many acids are involved in lixiviation, which leads to corrosion. This is important for environmental reasons: If a valve fails, an entire ecosystem can be polluted. The market has many valves that have different levels of quality. We manufacture high-quality valves because poor valves not only threaten the environment but also the operator. If a specific valve is designed to carry a certain product, it should execute this process based on those conditions and be subjected to a certain amount of pressure, and hence we should overestimate the conditions. Our valves comply with the necessary certifications, providing our clients with the security they need.
RG: Our job is not just about offering the best product available in the market, but helping our clients select the product that best suits them. We manufacture a combination of materials that is quite extensive. When talking about security, a well-chosen valve is a safe valve.
Q: What project best highlights the company’s leadership in the valve segment?
JP: We worked with Grupo Mexico in the ESDE III project in Cananea, which is the largest lixiviation plant in the world. We provided the majority of the valve system for this project. The project started operations in 2014, and to date we have not had a single complaint. This is a big achievement given the system has been working under aggressive conditions for over five years.
Q: Bray develops its products in close collaboration with its clients. What has been the result of this strategy?
JP: We have a client-oriented focus, and our products have to withstand corrosion and abrasion. The company has its own laboratories and works together with our clients to conduct tests in real facilities. We have developed very specific products, such as butterfly valves with internal ceramic coatings, as well as knife-gate valves with special rubber sleeves to deal with abrasion. Many of our products are applied not only in the mining industry, but also in other sectors, such as the petrochemical industry.
RG: We always consider our client’s feedback. Bray’s industrial and product line managers help us integrate user feedback into our products. Much of this process starts from the sales area, passes through our design division and works hand in hand with our manufacturing and operation areas.
Q: How has Bray innovated its offer in the market?
RG: In 2013, Bray acquired a new division known as VAAS to enter the knife-gate valve segment. These are applied in applications such as slurries and sludges that contain a large quantity of solids. These valves are commonly used in mining processes and we have them installed throughout the country, with a focus on Sonora. In 2017, we also acquired the AMRESIST line for use in the Americas. This valve is coated with PFA teflon, which is used for severe acids and bases, and is manufactured in ball and butterfly type models.