By John Miller, editor, The ASIA Miner
AT a time when many mining suppliers are going backwards owing to the mining downturn, Weir Minerals believes now is a great time to invest and create opportunities. With this proactive approach Weir is not only pursuing growth opportunities in the downturn but will be in a stronger position to gain maximum benefit when the good times return.
Weir Ricardo
Weir Group has appointed Ricardo Garib as divisional managing director for Weir Minerals Division.

 

New divisional managing director for Weir Minerals Division Ricardo Garib says that in difficult times companies must invest in development to secure the future and Weir has always done this through product development and expansion. “Weir has emerged from each previous cyclical downturn stronger because it invests in its people, its products and in serving its customers.

Weir Ricardo on site
Ricardo wants to help transform Weir Minerals from being the leading pump, cyclone and valve supplier into providing a complete package of wet and dry solutions for the transportation of minerals, slurries and other products of mining.

 

“While mining is in a downturn the construction and aggregates markets are growing and Weir is serving these industries with existing and new products as well as expanded offerings from acquisitions.” He says this policy has made Weir more sustainable through economic peaks and troughs.

An example is the acquisition of Trio Engineered Products which enabled Weir to build its business and expand its range, providing customers with a more complete solution. “It has been a game changer for Weir in terms of serving the dry comminution and aggregates areas.”

A mechanical engineer, Ricardo led Weir Minerals’ operations in Latin America from 2001 to 2015 having previously been managing director of the business in Chile. In South America he was also vice president of the Association of Industrial Mining Suppliers and an elected counsellor for the Chilean Federation of Industry. He took up the new role this year, which involved moving to the division’s base in Australia.

“I have been involved in the pump industry for more than 30 years and with Weir since it acquired Warman in 1999. It has been an exciting and interesting journey with Weir as the company has grown through acquisitions and development of new products.

“Weir Minerals has five regions – Asia Pacific, North America, South America, Europe and Africa. There are similarities between South America, Africa and the Asia Pacific as each has a strong focus on mining while North America and Europe also service a large industrial market. We need to tailor our business to effectively service the different needs of each market, and I see my role as being able to work with customers to provide a comprehensive service.”

 

Customised service

Ricardo says providing customised services is particularly important when markets are depressed so that customers can optimise operations to increase production without going to great expense.

“I want to help transform Weir Minerals from being the leading pump, cyclone and valve supplier into providing a complete package of wet and dry solutions for the transportation of minerals, slurries and other products of mining. This includes constantly improving what we already do well and introducing new dry comminution solutions.

“The process involves developing the culture of the company and the mindset of those within it as well as of our customers. Internally, this will not be an issue as Weir is already strongly customer focused and has been constantly evolving. It’s about making maximum benefit of these qualities. Everyone has been keen to take part in the evolution and help develop better solutions while customers are always striving to obtain better value.

Weir RG visits Africa
Ricardo Garib says, “It is imperative that we spend time with customers at their sites so that we better understand their needs and develop custom-designed solutions.”

 

“It is imperative that we spend time with customers at their sites so that we better understand their needs and develop custom-designed solutions. It’s not a one-size fits all approach, it’s about listening to customers, understanding their processes and unique situations, and providing the right solutions.

“It is important that Weir has a local presence wherever possible and particularly in countries where mining is strong. We are opening new service centres, including in southern Peru, northern Mexico and Sweden, and are expanding our presence in Canada as well as Russia. This is being done with the customer in mind, so we can better service their requirements.

“As far as the Asia Pacific is concerned we are expanding our presence in Malaysia and Indonesia and are closely monitoring mining in other emerging markets, including the Philippines and Mongolia, where we have a service centre but may need to expand in the future. We have also just opened a new technical centre in Melbourne, Australia.”

 

Point of difference

Weir’s competitive advantage, Ricardo says, is not only its superior product but also the passion of its people – those in the field, in R&D, in manufacturing and in administration. “They are all customer focused, are proud of what they do and are determined to help the company grow. They are all part of Weir’s development process and their input is not only welcomed but sought after.

“It is not just supplying product, it’s a total package of understanding what customers want, designing and building products specific to their needs, installation, and ensuring equipment keeps running efficiently, providing the customer with maximum value.

“Weir has a fine reputation which we have worked hard to establish and have to continue working hard to stay ahead of the rest. We see ourselves as being our main competitor and we constantly try to outdo ourselves, utilising our experience, our customer focus and adopting the best technology available to develop better products and better services.”

 
 
 

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