Data Analysis Provides New Approach to PreventionWed, 01/20/2016 - 12:13
Securing the services of a highly diversified international company can be like walking through a maze. For instance, each division of GE has its own terms, conditions, and ways of doing business. In today’s market, it is difficult to find a company that could deliver a complete solution that integrates different GE areas. Fortunately, this is exactly what is offered by MEXMOT, a company formed in 2004 by three GE employees who wanted to provide system solutions for the electricity sector. MEXMOT is the distribution channel with the largest amount of GE products in Mexico, as it represents several GE divisions, such as GE Energy Connections, GE Bently Nevada, and GE Grid Solutions, among others.
José Ornelas, Director General of MEXMOT, explains that the company has two approaches to doing business. The first involves the supply of products, and it represents 20% of the company’s revenues, while the second consists of integrated solutions that comprise the remaining 80% of the business. Although MEXMOT’s main strength lies in power generation, the company also has a strong focus on the digital side, which some have labeled as the fourth industrial revolution. MEXMOT has an engineering base that is mainly focused on programming, control, protection, and measurements. These technicians and engineers receive their training directly from GE, who is always behind everything MEXMOT does. In fact, GE informs MEXMOT about any projects in which it could participate or technologies it should look into for future applications.
In the digital services area, MEXMOT is migrating towards preventive maintenance through data analysis. “Even though most companies already include SCADA and automation in their processes, GE is one step ahead,” Ornelas proudly states. He explains that GE is currently focusing on using software and algorithms to process data and carry out a precise and extensive analysis that can identify certain behavioral patterns in components or critical equipment. The gathered information is then used to plan maintenance or the replacement of a part in order to prevent accidents or malfunctions that could result in downtime. Ornelas emphasizes that this is an area in which his company is increasingly participating hand in hand with GE.
For the oil and gas industry, MEXMOT offers services related to SCADA systems, automation, turbine control, engine control, and vibration monitoring systems, for which the company relies on Bently Nevada. These services are provided to every area in which PEMEX operates, from production to refining, and MEXMOT can work directly for PEMEX and other times through a contractor or an EPC company. Ornelas points out that MEXMOT can provide a solution to a problem or process and work all the way to procurement, installations, and kick-starting a piece of equipment or system. One of the company’s flagship projects in the oil and gas industry involved working alongside Amec Foster Wheeler in the Francisco I. Madero refinery. “The project was intended to modernize the cooling towers and we supplied the control mechanisms for medium and low voltage components, particularly medium voltage metal-clad switchgear,” Ornelas explains.
In spite of MEXMOT’s capabilities and expertise, Ornelas claims business in the Mexican oil and gas sector has become difficult. “Right now there is a lack of knowledge regarding PEMEX’s structural changes. The fact that we do not know what the final structure of PEMEX will look like has hindered projects in this sector. We are aware that large foreign investments will enter the country, but we have not yet identified any niche opportunities.” Ornelas is confident that the entry of new companies will create promising business opportunities for MEXMOT, and he is especially excited to work with international players due to their operating culture. “As a company that represents GE, we are used to working under international standards, and it is easier for us to follow an API or Exxon standard than a PEMEX norm,” he comments, adding that several PEMEX norms are not aligned with international guidelines, which creates some confusion among contractors.
Even if the oil and gas industry is going through a turbulent time, MEXMOT can rely on GE to continue its activities. “In addition to developing technology and innovations, GE is also financing projects, particularly for PEMEX and the oil and gas industry, by using its financial arm to increase its participation in the market. By financing projects, GE is creating job opportunities for us. In turn, the fact that we integrate several GE areas in our solutions helps GE’s financial arm plan an integrated financial solution,” Ornelas concludes.