Victor Fuentes
Senior Sales and Marketing Manager
Mitsubishi Electric Automation Mexico and Latin America
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View from the Top

New Automation Concept an Answer to Industry 4.0

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 10:28

Q: What new technologies or services is Mitsubishi Electric Automation introducing into the Mexican market?

A: While increasing our presence through traditional distribution channels for our products, we are pushing to popularize our e-F@ctory concept, which is Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s answer to the Industry 4.0 trend. Through e-F@ctory, our goal is to provide customers with proven and reliable solutions that can help them become more efficient in industrial processes, reduce capital investment requirements and increase the reliability of their processes.

Q: What benefits can e-F@ctory provide to the oil and gas industry?

A: The virtue of e-F@ctory is that it can measure equipment of any size so clients know exactly where they are losing energy, and therefore money. We believe that small actions can generate great changes, and while monitoring the life cycle of a motor in a facility with thousands of systems may seem like a very small action, the improvement in the overall system is huge by avoiding downtimes and losses resulting from the monitored element. While the most well-known area for the implementation of e-F@ctory is in production facilities, such as refineries, it can also be included in oil and gas production rigs or even in offshore housing units. We are already working in offshore facilities with the e-F@ctory concept by using SCADA to measure the use and control of HVAC systems in housing platforms.

Q: What specific benefits can the midstream and downstream sectors enjoy through e-F@ctory?

A: In the downstream sector, there are many of pieces of equipment, such as coolers, heaters and compressors, that work 24 hours a day for the entire year. Since the operators of the facilities are focused on keeping the plant running, they do not pay too much attention to the energy waste from that equipment. But even a small waste of energy can translate into major losses when a piece of equipment is running all day long.

Q: What is Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s approach to creating long-term relationships and how do these contribute to the company’s growth?

A: One of our core values is trust and based on that we create long-term relationships. The trust-based relationship goes both ways, and we only work with companies that hold the same values as us. This is because we will never jeopardize the company’s name or reputation. We have Japanese DNA and such an approach to business is in our blood. Thanks to the long-term trust we create with our customers, we have worked with many companies in Europe and the US that are just entering Mexico, which further increases our business opportunities in the country. While our presence in the Mexican oil and gas industry is relatively new in the area of services, our products have been used in the country’s oil and gas facilities for a long time. In 2021, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation will turn 100 years old, which is a clear statement of the long-term vision that the company follows for all its activities. Our commitment to the country is not only focused on how our business benefits but also on the improvement of the entire industry.

Q: What is Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s take on cybersecurity risks?

A: Every automation provider focuses on connecting systems and automating processes but few are focusing on cyber-security issues. The more connected and automated processes are, the higher the cybersecurity risks because although a piece of equipment may be extremely safe, as soon as the data it measures or manages is on the web it is exposed to cyberattacks. We have a strong focus on R&D and ensure that our clients are always backed up by the Mitsubishi Electric Automation brand. Mitsubishi Electric has R&D facilities in the US, Japan, China and Europe and invests over US$2 billion per year so our specialized engineers and scientists can deliver the best technologies, always emphasizing the resiliency and security of all processes.

Q: How does Mitsubishi Electric Automation help in the development of Mexican human capital?

A: Mitsubishi Electric Automation has a university support program in which it provides, free-of-charge, new equipment the universities can use in their programs. In 2017, the company invested approximately US$250,000 in the program, which not only included equipment but also advisory and training through a “train the trainer” scheme. Under that scheme, we offer free training to teachers on how to install and use the equipment, both at our facilities and at their universities. We believe in the talent and capabilities of the Mexican workforce, which is why our efforts are focused on developing Mexican human capital to meet the challenges brought about by an ever-changing industry with increasingly complex technology systems. The trust in Mexican talent is clearly reflected in the fact that strong automotive and aerospace industries have been established in the country. This trust continues to grow with more and more companies aiming to install facilities here.

Q: How does Mitsubishi Electric Automation ensure that all of its products and services are of the highest quality?

A: We are a global partner and a local friend. Exactly the same technology and quality that we provide in Mexico is offered in every country where we are present. This is ensured by having our products manufactured only at Mitsubishi Electric factories. Other companies may outsource the manufacturing of their products and then simply stamp those products with the company name. We never do that. For Mexico, all our products are produced in Japan. There have been cases when Japanese production cannot cope with the demand, meaning we have had to import components from China, but even then, all the components are manufactured at Mitsubishi Electric factories, following the highest quality standards we demand from all our facilities.

Q: What are Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s goals for the short term?

A: Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s main objective is to increase its market share in Mexico by 10 percent by 2022. The strength of the company is clearly reflected in the fact that we are signing more and more authorized distributors on a yearly basis. The increasing number of distributors results in a direct increase in our sales, which in turn increases our market share. For the 2018 fiscal year, we are forecasting double-digit growth.

 

Mitsubishi Electric Automation has over 30 years in Mexico. It is a subsidiary of Japan-based industrial giant Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, which operates across several industrial markets with an automation product line.