By keeping up with industrial standards on a global level, Habilitaciones y Servicios Industriales S.A. De C.V., a Mexico-based manufacturing company specializing in plastics and industrial packing, has been able to play on the international court and receive an increasing amount of orders from world-class clients. Rachel Hartman reports.
How do you keep a client like general electric satisfied? By complying with industrial standards, training your personnel well, and surpassing the customer’s needs time and again, says Jaime Carrera, engineer and general director of Habilitaciones y Servicios Industriales (HSI). Since 1977, this Mexican manufacturing company has used these methods to build lasting relationships with local, national and international clients.
Habilitaciones y Servicios Industriales manufactures products for top-name companies in a number of industries. The company’s operations include the production of plastics, industrial packing, wood pallets and crates, precision parts and molds, and metals.
HSI also participates in the engineering and design of machinery and equipment.
HSI is a family company in which new generations, two sons and one daughter, are completely involved watching the growth of the company in every way. Combining the experience of its owner and the new ideas of the younger members has turned into a successful formula.
Jaime Carrera founded HSI in 1977. “Our first processes involved carpentry and industrial packaging,” he recalls. The wood pallets and crates that the company started creating in this division are still made today. “The area is still active and has had constant growth over the years,” Carrera notes. The company currently makes 17 different styles of wood pallets.
During the past 31 years, company officials have added more manufacturing processes at HSI. One of these involved the machining area, a field in which the company designs and manufactures machinery and equipment, spare parts, dice and similar parts.
Today, the portfolio of operations at HSI also includes a great deal of plastics. For more than 20 years, the company has manufactured injection and blow molding products. It creates plastic cans and solid plastic parts for several different international clients. Some of its plastic containers are used to hold materials in the explosives industry.
For the health industry, HSI provides precision parts and molds for well-recognized customers. The company brings in experts that have training at an international level for some of this work. These workers manufacture precision parts and molds for processes such as injection and blow molding. “We make over 170 types of plastic components at the CNC Department. These are used in the internal structures of medical equipment such as X-ray machines, MRI equipment, and ultrasound machines,” notes Carrera.
The company is also involved in deep draw manufacturing. In this division, workers transfer presses used for the manufacturing of aluminum parts and other materials. “We make aluminum containers in different sizes that are used in the explosives industry,” says Carrera.
When Carrera first started HSI, he set up shop in the city of Torreón. Today the company consists of two plants and is still located in this northern city of Mexico. “We’re just 400 kilometers from the United States’ southern border,” says Carrera. The company is located near major highways, which makes distribution and exporting easy.
HSI currently employs 250 workers at its two plants. One of the plants focuses on industrial packaging, and covers an estimated 6,500 square meters. The other plant takes up 5,000 square meters. This second facility is where deep draw manufacturing,
precision parts manufacturing, injection and blow molding of plastics, and machining take place.
Carrera did not just take HSI and expand the types of products and services that it offers; he has also continually sought more clients and opportunities. He spotted both of these in the international sector. “Ninety percent of our production is geared for
exporting,” he explains. “We export on both a direct and indirect basis. Currently, we send products to the United States, Canada, South Africa and Australia.” The company also has plans to begin exporting to France in the near future. Other plans include expand and invest in the US to have a corporate office there.
Dyno Nobel, General Electric and Alcoa Fujikura are among the company’s top clients. To serve its international customers and continue to renew contracts year after year, Carrera says the company focuses on offering high quality at a low cost. “We’ve achieved this by combining highly trained personnel with updated technology in our processes,” he explains.
Carrera describes HSI as a strategic provider. By offering just what clients need, the company has been able to take on a great deal of orders and work. A quick review of the increase in sales for the company reveals how this strategy has been effective. From 2004 to 2005, the company’s sales increased by 15 percent. The following year, they went up by 95 percent. “This really was an extraordinary period for us,” notes Carrera.
Since then, the company has continued to see growth in the double digits. From 2006 to 2007, sales increased by 21 percent. In 2008, company officials expect to see yet another growth rate of 15 percent.
“We’re one of the top companies in Mexico when it comes to providing injection and blow molding plastics for explosives,” says Carrera. In the plastics division, the company has the capacity to process 1,100,000 kilograms of materials on an annual basis.
The company’s other operations also have increased production levels in recent years. The deep draw division produces an estimated 37 million pieces each year. The company makes 150,000 wood pallets annually, and manufactures around 200,000 items in the machining division every year.
Carrera credits this growth to a longer client list, customers that ask the company for more orders, and an ongoing effort to meet industrial standards. In 2002, HSI was classified as a company working under the quality standard ISO: 9001-2000. Since then, the company has created a team of experts to oversee the quality controls in each procedure and division.
“The quality certification has been a pillar for us,” notes Carrera. “It has opened up many possibilities for us to work with companies that operate on an international level. It has also enabled us to secure long-term contracts.”
In the packaging area, HSI exports many wood pallets, crates and boxes. All of these products are treated according to the SEMARNAT 144 international norm. They are delivered with a heat treatment certificate. This procedure helps eliminate the spread of
pests as the wood travels from country to country.
The company is currently working toward receiving another important certificate in Mexico. “We’re on the way to being recognized as a ‘clean company,’” explains Carrera. The Mexican government awards this certificate to companies that are complying with environmental standards. “It will show that we’re doing our part to keep the environment clean, and that we handle our waste products in a responsible way,” he says.
During the next years, company officials feel that meeting these industrial standards will be reflected in revenue. “We want to increase our sales by at least 15 percent during the next three years,” says Carrera. He expects to see growth in a number of divisions at the company. “We’re a company that incorporates a variety of processes to serve diverse clients,” he adds. This allows HIS to spot opportunities in different industries on an ongoing basis.
Future plans also include a joint venture with a company based in the United States. “We’ve found that Mexico offers great opportunities for businesses, and this has led to a joint venture for one of our processes, with GEM Manufacturing Inc. an American company,” says Carrera.
GEM Manufacturing’s unique partnership or teaming agreement with HSI involves the manufacture of blasting caps used in the commercial mining industry. Acting as a single supplier, Gem and HIS work in cooperation to satisfy customer demand and simplify the supply chain. Products manufactured by Gem Manufacturing in the U.S.
and by HSI pass through HSI’s Torreon facility where they are packaged and held for distribution to the customer’s Torreon operation.
The success of this partnership is a testament to the progressive thinking and creative problem solving customers have come to expect from critical suppliers. Sharing technology, equipment and localized labor resources result in total lower cost, improved response time and better utilization of resources.
Gem Manufacturing produces precision deep drawn metal products, stampings and assemblies for domestic and international customers in a broad range of industries including automotive, electrical, commercial mining/demolition, fire protection and building products. Gem combines a solid history of proven U.S. quality and craftsmanship with the ease, efficiency, and flexibility of global locations including a partnership with HSI in Mexico, and solely owned facilities in the United Sates and Vietnam.
By keeping up with quality controls at an international level, HIS officials feel confident about the coming years. Offering satisfaction, time and again, has brought the company through its 31 years of operations. And these guidelines will take the company to the next step during this century.