Galvaprime explains the market for supplying metals to Mexico’s manufacturing sector.
Could you provide an overview to the company’s history, main activities and any recent updates?
First of all, I am excited to announce this year was our tenth anniversary; we are truly thankful to all of our commercial partners for this enriching experience. We are looking forward to keeping on serving and assisting our customers in the long run. Galvaprime continues to focus on the industrial market and the main industries we serve are automotive, appliances, heat ventilation and air conditioning and electrical equipment. Recently, we made an important investment into new equipment from Europe, specifically cut-to-length and slitting lines, which has given us more capacity. In fact, we practically doubled our processing capacity to 180,000 mt/year. Now we can process wider widths and thickness and focus on advanced high strength steel, up to 1600 MPa, which is used a lot in the automotive industry. We have also expanded our facility by 7,000 square meters along with more cranes in order to increase our storing capacity.
We have been keeping up with orders from the automotive industry which is booming and looks set to keep growing with many investments in the pipeline despite risks like the NAFTA renegotiations. Over the last year, we have expanded our product portfolio to the commercializing and processing of pre-painted materials, aluminized, electro-galvanized materials, stainless steel and metals such as aluminum. Our focus continues to be in the automotive and appliance segment, nevertheless we serve some special products for the construction segments as well.
How advanced is the technology and equipment Galvaprime uses?
We focus on innovation and using high-end technology equipment. All of the equipment we have bought since 2010 has been brand new equipment mostly from Europe so that we can guarantee good flatness, squareness and to meet the requirements of ‘Class A’ exposed materials for the automotive industry. We have also made significant investments into information technology. We are working arduously to keep our customers well informed with respect to their orders and deliveries.
Automation is transforming the industry. Are you focusing on this trend as well?
Our goal is all about productivity and we are aiming to be the most efficient service center in Mexico that guarantees top quality while being competitive. Therefore investments in technology and automation of lines are key factors for Galvaprime. We have also invested in measuring instruments to control the thickness of material while processing materials in our slitting line. In addition, we have installed new automatized equipment on our slitting line to increase productivity.
Have the number of service centers grown in recent years in response to industry trends?
We have seen a significant increase since 2013. A lot of Asian companies, in particular from Korea and Japan, have set up businesses in the Bajío region, which is also an important region for Galvaprime. Multiple service centers are focusing on the automotive industry due to its higher growth rates.
Overall, there are too many service centers in the market but it depends on the end use. For automotive and home appliances there is not an overcapacity, whilst in commercial and construction industries there are a considerable amount. Nevertheless, we may be getting to a point where there is overcapacity for automotive and appliances.
What are some of the specific requirements of the automotive sector?
The trend is to move up to third generation, advanced ultra-high-strength steels. This is so that the industry can produce vehicles with lighter weight and thickness with the same or even better performance. Currently, there is a lack of such steel production in Mexico, however investments are been made as we speak, so shortly we will have more availability. Currently around 1.2 mt/y of steel is imported from around the world for the automotive industry in Mexico.
What is your vision for the company in the next five years and what has been your most rewarding achievement so far?
We want to keep focusing on the automotive and appliance industry, working with Tier 1 and 2 clients, processing high end products and improving our processes to become more efficient. We are also exploring the opportunity for metals, given its uptake in automotive is increasing by almost 10% annually.
It has been very rewarding to experience the growth we have had with respect to our workforce, from five employees 10 years ago to almost 100 today. Our collaborators’ talent is what has got Galvaprime to where it is and really differentiates it from other players in the market. We are truly committed to our people and to Mexico.