From regional leadership to national exposure, Construplan has built its portfolio with the most important national and international clients in the construction industry. A company with a clear vision, Construplan has built a deep foundation, as Susana Baumann reports.
Construplan S.A. de C.V., a company founded in 1980 in Hermosillo, state of Sonora, has evolved from being a leader in the northwest region of Mexico to becoming one of the most important conglomerates in the republic. Its founders, Alfonso Reina Villegas, engineer and Luis Cecco Peralta, CPA, started with a clear vision to offer integrated construction services that adhere to quality, time and cost expectations.
The secret to its success, according to Jos‚ Manuel Espinoza, engineer and manager of the Tijuana Division, has been the founder’s goal to build a strong organizational structure oriented toward continuous improvement, safety and productivity as well as respect for and protection of the environment.
“The key to our company’s success has been our constant self-evaluation, defining problems and looking for solutions that would continually increase competence and capabilities, which we pass on to our clients.” Espinoza said.
The company’s six divisions include urban infrastructure, highways, heavy construction, electromechanical works, gas, and industrial buildings. With projects ranging from $15 million to $120 million, and clients such as Ford Motor Company, Petr¢leos Mexicanos, El Paso Energy and Fording Coal from Canada, Construplan looks confident toward future growth.
The company’s main mission is to offer integrated services to any type of infrastructure project based on its impressive heavy equipment inventory. Its approach to any job is to first assess the technology the job would require, and take the necessary steps to fulfill that requirement. “We do not spare efforts or investment in technology that would facilitate our work and at the same time would allow shorter turnaround times and cost effectiveness for our clients. That has been our edge in every project, and our clients know we are their best option because we apply this work criterion,” Espinoza explained.
The urban infrastructure division has subdivisions specialized in different projects such as construction of schools and community service areas, public building and project administration; roads, which includes boulevards and avenues, sidewalks, and curbs; the hydraulics subdivision, in charge of drinking water distribution systems and piping; aqueducts, storage tanks, booster pumping systems and concrete ditches; and the sanitary drainage subdivision that covers sanitary drainage, culverts nets, pumping drains, collectors, discharge sewer lines and leaching pads. Among the most important projects for this division are Los Lagos Residential and Golf Club with Kiewit/Mazon Constructions, La Jolla Residential Complex asphalt pavements and infrastructure, NYCO Minerals administrative headquarters, Laguna del Mar Tourist Resort and Hermosillo City Hall.
The pavements and highways division, contributing to Sonora’s state roadwork infrastructure since 1980, has now expanded to Baja California and Chihuahua. An experienced team using specific technology for highway construction is in charge of design, layout, construction and maintenance of highways, stabilizing with asphalt emulsions and with Portland cement or lime.
The company has also introduced innovations and improved techniques in the processes of pavement recovery, micro carpet, colored pavements, as well as electronic leveling and asphalted carpets. The equipment includes tractors, frontal lifters, compactors, pavement equipment, asphalt plant, crushing equipment, and asphalt recovery machine, among others. “This equipment allows us to work in any circumstances or type of weather, without dragging the schedules due to bad conditions or unexpected obstacles,” said Espinoza.
Construplan’s very specialized group of professionals with expertise in the use of state-of-the-art technology and machinery for the construction of high quality roads and highways has participated in projects such as the extension of the Tijuana airport’s runway, with a budget of $23 million. The company has also achieved the extension of international highways in four lanes. “We also participated in project development with other residential construction companies,” Espinoza said, “We utilize quality control laboratories for asphalt produced in our own plants, as well as classified materials according to S.C.T. standards and specifications.”
The heavy construction division has the necessary equipment and excellent operational conditions to approach leveling and compacting work such as platforms in industrial parks and infrastructure, leaching pads for gold ores, reservoirs, channels, and ditches. In addition, Construplan has special permits to perform and control the necessary explosive material dealing with rocky terrain. The equipment includes tractors, frontal dockhands, conformers, compacters, paving equipment, asphalt plant, grinding equipment, and asphalt recovery equipment. The most important projects in the heavy construction division were the Milpillas project and the Herraduras project for Grupo Industrial Pe¤oles, as well as a dirt movement and industrial platform for Magna Formex industrial plant at the Parque Industrial Dynatech.
The electromechanical division supports different integrated projects, such as installation of special equipment and lines, mechanical equipment assembly, electric and automated equipment assembly, testing and instrumentation, and high and low pressure piping lines. Most significant in this division is the multi-annual contract with the Ford Motor Company assembly plant, for which Construplan performs project management and subcontracting. “We have worked with Ford for many years now, in internal maintenance of its plant.
Every time they change a model, we come in, usually during night shifts, to make all necessary changes in the assembly lines such as robots and equipment. We operate with them 365 days a year, without disturbing the regular development of the work day,” Espinoza explained.
The company also built the electric substation in Ciudad Ju rez for Grupo Abengoa, a Spanish technological giant that develops sustainable projects in infrastructure, environment and energy. The group reached sales of two billion in 2005, reflecting its presence in more than 70 countries worldwide.
The gas subdivision has followed the country’s development of natural gas lines such as different diameter pipelines, state-of-the-art technology compression stations, and distribution lines in urban areas. “We have built natural gas pipelines for international corporations in record time, according to strict international quality and safety standards. Likewise, we have responded to challenging projects due to our capabilities to build compression stations with very strict project programming. This type of work requires quality assurance systems to guarantee the construction under international standards specific to this kind of job,” Espinoza assured. The company has obtained the ISO: 9000 certification to ensure accountability.
Gas pipelines are complex systems that interact with other utilities such as water, sewer, telephone and electric infrastructure. Specialized professional staff and operators and adequate equipment have allowed Construplan to achieve high productivity without diminishing quality, attaining satisfactory results with its clients and final consumers. Some of the projects developed by the company include 62 kilometers of natural gas pipeline for NYCO Minerals; the gas compression station for BE&K Houston in Naco, Sonora; the gas compression station in Naco, Sonora for El Paso Energy, and the one in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, for El Paso Energy and PEMEX.
Lastly, the industrial construction division offers full service in the construction and reinstatement of industrial processes enterprises. Integrated services in dirt movement, civil work and heavy foundations, steel structures, stainless steel and carbon steel piping installation and testing, mechanical facilities, installation of mills and industrial process equipment, conveyor belts for ore transportation, crushing and screening plants for ore, electromechanical and automation and electric work, testing, and plant startup are offered. Clients in this division include NYCO Minerals for Fording Coal of Canada, Ford Motor Company, Magna, Grupo Pe¤oles and Union FENOSA ABB and Alstom Power.
Additional clients include Alliant Energy, Grupo M‚xico, Inmobiliaria Elga, SCT, Caminos y Puentes Federales, Comisi¢n Federal de Electricidad, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pac¡fico, Grupo URBI, Comisi¢n Estatal de Servicios P£blicos de Tijuana, Promotora de hogares, and Provida.
INDUSTRIAL SAFETY & QUALITY ASSURANCE
Safety is the company’s number one priority and has become a philosophy with all employees. “Zero Accidents” and the procedure “Zero Tolerance” are tools that help the company to reduce incidents.
“We have been recently honored with the Q1 quality certification granted by Ford Motor to its suppliers, becoming the first business in the country to achieve this certification,” Espinoza explained.
The quality one manual defines the form in which the company works to comply with the mentioned standards. The objective of this manual is to describe the established guidelines by the organization to ensure its quality system.
“Together we work so that this policy is understood and established at all levels. This is achieved through publicity in strategically located posters in the main area, explaining the policy as part of the personnel’s training program, and addressing it at meetings of the administrative council as well as the quality committee,” said the general director.
The company is also certified by the Institute of Standardization and Certification, a quality one management system certification agency of the Mexican accreditations system. Construplan maintains and implements a quality management system according to ISO: 9001-2000.
For these reasons, the company was awarded with the Lieberman Award in 1998 for the Best Project by the Mexican construction industry chamber related to the fast-track project performed for NYCO Minerals in a record time of 18 months.
“Our personnel are expected to work with honesty and professional responsibility, team work and accountability. The company rewards loyal people,” Espinoza concluded.