EMSNOW Executive Interview: Luis Fernando Gazcón, KYZEN Corporation
EMSNOW caught up with Luis Fernando Gazcón, Regional Manager – Electronics & Industrial México & Latin America, KYZEN Corporation to learn more about their business in Mexico, as well as his insights into that increasingly important region.
EMSNOW: Tell us about yourself and KYZEN’s operations in Mexico.
My name is Luis Fernando Gazcon and I’ve been the Regional Sales Manager for Mexico & Latin America at KYZEN Corporation for the past 7 years. At KYZEN, we design and develop award-winning, environmentally responsible precision cleaning solutions for the world’s manufacturing processes. In Mexico we have strategic commercial partners like SMarTsol Technologies with whom we’ve developed a complete distribution network capable of delivering the best cleaning solution to every corner of the country. Having as well a Cleaning Laboratory available in Guadalajara with New Applications Development and Analytical Capabilities to locally support our customer base in Mexico.
Also, I was lucky to have been elected in the past year as the President of the SMTA Mexico – Guadalajara Chapter, which in my opinion is currently one of the most important forums for the electronics manufacturing industry in México, organizing Technical Forums and Expo events in the main industrial areas of México.
EMSNOW: What has your experience been during the past several years with the pandemic in Mexico, what was the impact on your business, and how are things today?
The pandemic came to revolutionize our industry; it was the same here as everywhere else with the lockdowns of complete regions of the country which impacted directly our economy. Today the industry I would say is operating at 100% in terms of all the companies being open and running, but we are still struggling with delivery times and component and material shortages. And all that is meant to continue through all of 2022 and part of 2023, according to experts, until it stabilizes. We’ve experienced one of the highest inflation rates of the last decades, 7.5% for the conservative ones and the most extremists claim up to 11-12%. This is not something exclusive to Mexico, as many other nations are struggling with the same issues; and these are expected post-pandemic effects.
EMSNOW: How has your team been handling the materials shortages? Are you able to support customers in navigating these disruptions? What are you doing to prevent production shut downs?
Component shortages as you all are aware have impacted every single corner of the planet, and I am not only talking about the electronic components shortage which is what we’ve seen most evident in our industry so far. At different levels, the world’s logistic capabilities have been compromised causing different raw materials to become scarce. KYZEN was not the exception. We’ve been planning ahead to prevent running out of our basic raw materials. In the chemical world, most of the base ingredients have increased their costs considerably in the past year, combined with the transportation costs going through the roof it has been a challenge to all of us. KYZEN Team has done a tremendous job in sourcing our required raw materials which has allowed us to guarantee all our order deliveries without disrupting the supply chain for our customers at any point. Of course this has not come without some downside; due to the current conditions we’ve had to perform adjustments to our products prices, always keeping in mind our customer’s requirements and needs.
In Mexico specifically, we are very lucky to have as our commercial partner one of the strongest supply companies for the electronics’ segment, SMarTsol Technologies. With their help we’ve ensured a continuous supply and stock for all our customers in Mexico available in all their warehouses strategically located in the most important manufacturing areas of Mexico (Guadalajara, Queretaro, Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez & Monterrey).
EMSNOW: What are the primary markets for KYZEN in Mexico currently? What about in Latin America?
In Mexico we’ve been focusing in two different market segments which internally we define as EAC (Electronics Assembly Companies) and MF (Metal Finishing). Electronics Manufacturing has been our main focus for KYZEN Corporation; it’s been the core of our business since the company was founded in 1990. In the Metal Finishing, or what we like to call the Metal Transformation Industry world, KYZEN has been growing its presence and strengthening the brand, especially in the Re-manufacturing Industry Segment, which has been booming in developing countries especially. It is an area where we all should be looking, especially with the materials sourcing issues we’ve been experiencing The Circular Economy is the focus of most developing countries’ governments.
EMSNOW: How do you see Mexico benefitting from some of the global shifts occurring during the past few years? What is the main advantage Mexico brings to the table for North American electronics manufacturing? What changes have you seen in the ecosystem there in the past few years?
In my opinion, Mexico is in a very advantageous position now. The world’s industry has been forced to rethink the way everything was being built and handled. Under current conditions it just does not make sense to have a CM company producing your supplies/products in Asia when the main consumer markets for you are located in Europe or North America. Now everyone is looking to relocate their production to a more convenient geographical location and with the US one of the greatest consumer markets on the planet, Mexico became once again a very attractive option for all the big CMs, offering competent and competitive specialized labor and having all the facilities from the government with treatments like TLCAN already on the table waiting to be utilized. We have started to see this effect already, when massive Asian/Chinese companies like QUANTA, FOXCONN, PEGATRON have decided to open new facilities in key Mexico cities, and more that are coming.
EMSNOW: How do you see the industry changing in the next 5 years? What new markets will open for manufacturers in Mexico?
Historically Mexico has been specializing and strengthened in the Automotive Industry, and definitely that is one of the core industry segments that will remain and grow significantly for the upcoming years in the region. We’ve seen more and more important EV Brands that consider Mexico for the manufacturing of their electronic components, companies like TESLA, RIVIAN that are growing exponentially and bringing new projects to several regions of the country. As I said before, we are looking at a big migration of the principal Asian Electronic Manufacturing Companies into Mexico.
EMSNOW: In your view, what are some long-term solutions for the supply chain disruptions we are seeing now? Does North America need to become more regionally self-sufficient?
I think what we are missing in North America is precisely that self-sufficiency in terms of semiconductor components and specialized microelectronics processes that historically has been concentrated in Southeast Asia and China mainly. We have started to see that shift already and even some important investments in Semiconductor Fabs that will be brought to Texas in USA, but it is definitely going to take time for these new sources to be up and running, and the reality is that those investments might not be enough. We should be asking our leaders, as one of the most important Electronic Manufacturing Regions of the continent, how should we be promoting, fomenting, and attracting those massive investments for High Tech Fabs into the country/region and achieve that self-sufficient objective that could bring us leverage vs the other EAC regions. It is a shared responsibility of the triumverate of Industry, Government, & Universities.
EMSNOW: Do you have anything else you would like to say to EMSNOW Mexico’s audience?
I would like to take advantage of this forum to let the entire Electronics Manufacturing Industry in Mexico know that at the SMTA level, we are also working for you all, in a constant search to offer better technical content to be able to share the industry knowledge accumulated from all our fellow engineers’ and researchers’ experiences. We promote and generate forums and spaces where we can bring to you the ultimate technologic trends, with the goal of always to strengthen our Electronics Manufacturing industry development in Mexico.
I am glad to announce that the top 3 SMTA Chapters currently operating in Mexico:
SMTA Juarez Chapter,
SMTA Querétaro Chapter and
SMTA Guadalajara Chapters
We all are joining efforts and will be collaborating & cooperating closely in the following years that come to consolidate SMTA Mexico as a united front who remain inspired and committed towards educating, training, empowering, growing and strengthening the ties of all our Electronics and related Industries in México.
Always support your local SMTA Chapters and do not stop participating in all the events that we are planning for you in 2022!