Gaskets and Bolts Produced Locally for Regional GrowthWed, 01/21/2015 - 14:52
Lamons, one of the largest gasket and bolt suppliers in the world, is opening a new plant in Mexico. The purpose of this new investment is to ensure a greater production capacity in order to supply both the Mexican and the US markets. Located in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, the plant will manufacture studs, a highly demanded product on both sides of the border. Mauricio Bielaz, Sales Manager for Latin America of Lamons, says that Mexico is attractive to companies in terms of production. The site of the company’s new plant in Reynosa will be particularly attractive, given its close proximity to the US border and its access to the Mexican and Latin American market. The country has experienced growth in the last three years, particularly in Lamons’ area of expertise. If this trend continues, Bielaz predicts that Mexico will become one of the most important markets for his company. Lamons’ new manufacturing strategy began with staff training in its Houston facilities, and the company was also expected to begin producing its spiral metallic gaskets early this year. Alongside these advancements, Lamons is looking to expand its presence in Mexico by participating in major events and informing people about its products and services, while also aiming to establish alliances with other companies operating in this country.
“We have the ambition to provide direct support to PEMEX while growing in the national market. Along the path to accomplishing this objective, Lamons will benefit from its differentiators, since the company faces little competition in terms of quality and services,” says Bielaz. “Furthermore, Lamons benefits from the fact that it has a 50% market share in the US, and many American companies that are already working with Lamons in the US will enter Mexico as a consequence of the Energy Reform, giving Lamons an important platform to grow in Mexico.” Although Lamons does not work directly with PEMEX as of yet, it has provided technical information support to IMP and occasionally assists PEMEX through its engineering department. The company is currently working with PEMEX Procurement International at its new base in Houston and is waiting for more changes in the Mexican oil and gas industry in order to devise its next steps. “Our objective is to operate with PEMEX in Mexico the same way we do with companies based in the US,” tells Bielaz. “Lamons’ technologies can improve productivity and extend the life of a rig or a well. Applying the proper torque or using the correct type of metal in gaskets is the kind of engineering support that Lamons provides. We work with EPCs to train people on the use of our products. In this manner, they can make the best of our materials and solutions.” Bielaz explains that EPCs often possess general engineering knowledge but lack specific expertise on sealing. For this reason, Lamons’ engineering department works with engineers in EPC companies to find solutions for challenges related to sealing. Two years ago, Lamons acquired a manufacturer of isolation kits providing cathodic protection. As a result, it developed a product called FireSafe, which provides cathodic protection for offshore operations. Additionally, the company produces studs coated in xylene, a component used to protect against corrosion.
In the downstream segment, Bielaz says Lamons could play a more active role by working closer with companies to enhance the performance of all aspects relating to gasket and studs engineering and new developments. “It is imperative that we transfer this knowledge because the use of gaskets and studs is of utmost importance in refineries. If gaskets are incorrectly used or applied, disasters can occur, which our company wants to avoid at all expenses,” Bielaz comments. In line with the company’s “Sealing Global, Servicing Local” motto, Lamons has offices located near refineries to provide immediate solutions to its customers. Bielaz says that projects drive the demand for a product. “For instance, the refurbishment and revamping of refineries in Mexico, as well as the construction of new gas pipelines in Mexico and the US will increase the demand for Lamons’ products. Maintenance of the brand’s tools will also play an important part in the demand for Lamons’ services.” Finally, Bielaz claims that the competitive prices of his company’s products give Lamons a significant market advantage. “Our products are necessary and the materials we provide are absolutely required by the industry. Whether oil prices go up or down, plants will not stop producing and they will always require maintenance.” While the first quarter of 2015 was rather slow, he is confident in saying that the drop in oil prices has not affected the company’s operations.