Multotec’s facility in Brazil will focus on the production of rubber and polyurethane screen panels, samplers, and spirals

Multotec has recently expanded its operation in Brazil with the opening of a manufacturing facility that enables the company to bring its manufacturing capabilities closer to its customers in the country, increasing its speed to market and enabling it to better serve the local mining sector.

Located in the city of Contagem, in the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais, the manufacturing facility is within close proximity of a multitude of iron ore mines that require an extensive range of mineral processing equipment for their plants.

Growth area

Multotec Brazil Country Manager Anthony Artin explains that with Brazil being the world’s second-largest iron ore producer, the company identified the country as a potential area of growth many years ago. Although initially overseen by Multotec Chile, it was decided to open a sales office in Brazil in 2019.

“The dynamics of Brazil are very unique as it is the fifth biggest country in the world, with the sixth largest population. It has strict and complex import regulations,” says Anthony.

On local soil

He explains that feedback from clients emphasised the importance of localised sales and manufacturing in Brazil. Commercial and legislative requirements prompted a shift in Multotec’s approach, transitioning from a sales office to establishing a manufacturing facility in the country. He mentions, “Our clients highlighted the significance of Brazil for Brazilians, emphasising the need for local manufacturing facilities to cater to this market.’’

The facility focuses strongly on screening media, using compression moulding for the production of rubber screen panels and also hand-casting polyurethane (PU) panels. However, customers are increasingly requesting other products too, such as samplers and spirals that are used in mineral processing and separation.

“There are currently two bays in the manufacturing facility. One is used for stockholding, assemblies, and shipping, while the other is used for fabrication. Fabrication is undertaken in two areas, with presses used for compression moulding of rubber and hand-casting moulding PU tables, alongside a PU preparation section and ovens,” says Anthony.

Increasing manufacturing capabilities 

He notes that the facility has the capacity to produce 15-20 tonnes of elastomers per month and employs trained people in manufacturing and in stores, shipping and receiving. Plans are in place to increase the factory’s manufacturing capability in terms of injection moulding and more compression moulding, and that more machines will be incorporated into the operations – resulting in more people being employed in the future.

In addition, the premises contain an office that is currently staffed by commercial, sales and administrative people, and having the office and manufacturing facility in one location is an added advantage, according to Anthony.

The same goal

“It is beneficial having the people who sell the products located in the same space as production. They can thus understand the intricacies of the product and the processes that are involved in the manufacturing of the equipment. The ultimate goal is to have a fully localised branch. We want to have an all-Brazilian team, working for Multotec Brazil. Local partners and suppliers are key to us as we rely on local raw materials to deliver completely locally manufactured products.”

While the company’s focus has been on establishing the manufacturing facility, Anthony says that it has already applied for an extension of its environmental licence to ramp up its monthly production as it takes advantage of Brazil’s current lithium boom which presents considerable opportunities in dense medium circuits.

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