"In the medium term, our focus will be on after-sales with the construction and implementation of workshops and warehouses to be able to provide support according to the fleet that we have in the country."
Can you provide an overview of Liebherr's activities and growth in Peru in the past two years?
Liebherr Peru started operations at the beginning of 2019; before that there was a representative office since 2014. Currently our main project is a truck test with the first two T284 model of 400-ton capacity. At this moment, the majority of our resources are focused on the assembly so as to start the test in the following weeks. This test will be performed in one of the most important operations in the market and will serve as a showcase of Liebherr’s product and the quality of our technical support. Our mining product range is trucks from 100 tons to 400 tons with electrical drive systems. We also have hydraulic shovels ranging from 100 tons of operation weight to 800 tons. The most important product for us is the 400 ton truck. Almost all new mines and projects in Peru are requesting this size. In the medium term, our focus will be on after-sales with the construction and implementation of workshops and warehouses to be able to provide support according to the fleet that we have in the country.
How did the pandemic affect Liebherr's operations and how has the company adapted?
It had an important impact because it paralyzed the entire operation in Peru when we were starting to assemble the first trucks in the country and we had to evacuate our team from the mine site. This situation affected us a lot, but we managed to keep all the employees without any work suspension or limitation. We established a work plan during the quarantine and, in the case of technical personnel, we trained them virtually in conjunction with the factory. The virtual platform that Liebherr has is particularly good in the technical training part. We have already restarted activities but, as far as possible, everything is handled virtually. The people operating in the mine work with all the sanitary protocol and distancing measures.
In terms of innovation, what new smart technologies and solutions from Liebherr do you think have good potential? Do you think we are far from automated digital mining in Peru?
The latest trend in the market is autonomous technology. Liebherr’s difference is that it offers an open autonomous system that allows greater flexibility, because it can integrate with other autonomous systems. If the mine has an autonomous system ‘X’, our trucks can be integrated into that system without having to change the whole package for the entire mine.
Compared to Chile, Peru is a few years behind in automation. Chile already has at least one project with autonomous trucks. There is a lot of interest from some mining companies in Peru, but we are still beginning to study these alternatives. There is currently a mine under construction in Peru that is bringing a fleet that is going to be autonomous.
The mining truck market in Peru is very competitive. What is Liebherr's strategy to penetrate this market?
I think after-sales and product support is very important, because in the end the trucks have the same load capacity as the rest of the brands, but the quality of support that you can provide is key for the customer. Without this, you can sell a product, but you cannot have a long-term relationship and, in the mining industry, having a long-term relationship is fundamental. We have a very good product and we have to show the quality of support that we can provide in the country.
What are the safety features of Liebherr’s T284 truck, and how important is health and safety to the company?
The issue of security is extremely important to us. In our mining division we have six pillars: safety, productivity, efficiency, reliability, customer support and environmental care. In these times of pandemic, safety has been one of the points to which we have given more emphasis, especially with the people we have in the mine. The T284 truck has many protection systems; a dynamic braking system, good ergonomics to facilitate the operator's work and the option of anti-fatigue camera and other systems that mines may have.