Marin Engineering is developing techniques and technology to improve efficiency and safety.
Could you give us an introduction to Martin Engineering in Peru?
Martin Engineering started operations in Arequipa in 2010, and now we are located in Lima to serve Peru’s different regions as well as the other countries in the Andean Region. We have grown steadily over the last years. We have several plants around the world, but here in Peru we buy products from our U.S. plant and we do some assembling locally.
We have two main business lines in material handling: one is dust management, which includes dust suppression and containment, and the second one is flow aid solutions, including air cannons and vibration tools. Our solutions allow the operator to reduce the number of people working around the belts, as cleaning becomes easier, and the overall operation of the belt becomes more productive and efficient.
As a specialist in material handling, could you also enter the market of mobile equipment?
Martin not only offers solutions to prevent ‘carry back’ in conveyor belts, but also for haulage trucks and other equipment items like front-loaders. We have an anti-corrosion plate called Arcoplate that prevents the material from staying stuck to the tray. All across the region, the trend is to repair the trays and extend their life, and this is a solution that can help in this respect. We do not offer it in Peru yet, but we may do so soon.
How important is Peru within the Andean region?
We have seen steady growth in Peru and Colombia over the last years; these are our two main countries in the region. 70% of our clients in the region are mining companies, and cement companies are our second largest business. This year we have a big focus on the cement business, where there is room to improve processes. Our solutions are very well designed, they are maintenance-friendly, and they increase safety. Also, we have a very well trained workforce with a strong commitment to the company. We have 30 people here and the focus is for everyone to visit clients and have a service mindset. 70% of the people are constantly in the operations.
What is the role of innovation in improving productivity and safety?
We have a research and development center in the U.S., called the Center For Innovation (CFI), where we constantly look at how to reduce to the minimum the maintenance stops for the belts. We provide cleaning solutions that can be used even while the belt is working. This is not easy, because you need to put safety first. With regard to the air cannons, they are designed to be highly energy-efficient, but at the same time we are designing some accessories that facilitate the inspection of the equipment without having to enter the pre-heater, and without having to stop the plant. This way you increase safety and productivity.
We work on three main pillars: maintaining a cleaner environment, having cleaner equipment, and having less people working around the equipment, in order to have a safer, more efficient and more productive operation. Also, containing the material within the belt, you increase the durability of the equipment and the reliability of the whole system.
What are the prospects for Martin Engineering in Peru?
Peru will continue being a mining country: we expect the business-friendly policies to continue over the next years, and overall as a country we should see an increasing industrialization process, where we add more value to our resources and we do not just export raw materials. The mining industry will continue to invest, although not to the levels we have seen over the last five to six years. We will continue seeing new technologies, better equipment and a general trend towards more efficiency, that will allow the operators to lower their costs and increase production volumes. Brownfield expansions are less risky than new projects, and this is where we want to be as well, working hand in hand with our customers to help them expand their volumes efficiently and safely. The message we want to convey to our clients is that efficiency is best achieved not by just cutting costs but by investing smartly in the best productivity, safety and maintenance solutions.