This is an excerpt of the 2016 edition of Mexico Aviation & Aerospace Review. If you want to get all the information, plus other relevant insights regarding the Mexican aerospace industry,
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Exclusive interview with Fernando Ramos, General Manager of Exova de México.
Q: How did Exova start working with Boeing?
A: While testing the FPI Hamilton for Noranco, the company asked what we would need to do to obtain Boeing’s approval. Noranco was eager to begin testing Boeing parts in Monterrey to avoid the costs incurred from sending them to Chihuahua. We had to work closely with Noranco and with Boeing for the certification because we are fairly independent from our US counterparts. Exova’s offices in the Chihuahua location receive support from 100 laboratories in the US but in Monterrey we are much more isolated.
Boeing audited our processes and personnel and in December 2015 it approved our facilities for mechanical and nondestructive testing (NDT). This approval helped us gain another contract with Noranco for Boeing and opened doors to more clients such as Senior Aerospace, which is based in Saltillo. We are the only company in Mexico that has Boeing’s approval. Anyone in the supply chain that is interested in securing sales to the OEM needs to look into working with us.
Q: What is the scope of Exova’s testing abilities for Mexican manufacturers?
A: Several laboratories can perform mechanical testing and alternative labs can manage NDT. Exova can offer both as well as metallurgic testing, which makes testing much simpler for our clients. We also have the advantage of having a network of laboratories in the US, Canada and in Europe, making chemical and composite tests available to clients even if we do not have the facilities in Mexico. We have several locations in the US and Canada that we can offer as part of our network and can guarantee a very fast turnaround despite transportation times for items to locations outside of Mexico. Our costs are more competitive than those of our competitors and we are global experts. The company’s excellent technicians and knowledge can satisfy specific customer requests.
Q: What proportion of your business and forecasted growth is represented by mechanical, NDT and metallurgic testing?
A: To date, the ratio is 60:30:10 of mechanical, nondestructive and metallurgic testing. NDT is expanding at an unprecedented rate, as one of our customers requires a growing number of parts to be tested. In this area, we are actually taking business from our competitor. Another company based in Monterrey was sending parts to our laboratories while their partner in Houston had been sending parts to be tested in Pennsylvania. We pointed out that we could test those parts here in Mexico and it would be more cost-effective for them to send all their materials to our Monterrey facilities, which they started doing. We have the strongest competitive positioning in NDT and have expanded our abilities in that area, especially to process more efficiently. Exova is confident it will gain a share in all these segments. As the aerospace industry expands, our growth is inevitable.