As Mexico increases its manufacturing base, more metalworking and welding services are needed. Metal cutting is by default, one of the most demanded service in the metalworking sector; a variety of cutting machines are in service today going from water jet, EDM, plasma, and laser, among many others. Plasma and laser cutting processes (for carbon steel) as well as some welding processes require oxygen to function properly. Other processes in industries such as the medical, chemical, combustion and gold mining, also use oxygen at an extended level. The difference between all these industries resides is their requirements of purity of the gas.
Even though Oxygen exists in a proportion of 21% in the air we breath, it has to be separated for industrial use. Some separation processes exist that are totally physical, that is, they actually take O2 from the air by pressure swing adsorption (PSA); other processes involve distillation, electrolysis, etc.
Are there enough resources in Mexico’s industry to supply oxygen? Yes, the major suppliers of industrial gases (not just oxygen) are PRAXAIR, INFRA, Air Liquide and AOC. These companies are fierce competitors among them and some have extended their distribution capabilities to cover greater territories in Mexico; in addition, they have aligned their prices to gain the greatest number of customers.
Foreign competitors in Mexico must come to offer cost effective solutions under $0.55 USD/M3 ($10 MXP/m3) to be competitive or supply directly to companies outside the distribution channels of the larger industrial gas suppliers.
Oxygen vs. Hydrogen
Our contact at one of these large supplier companies noted that oxygen is lees demanded than Hydrogen when it comes to manufacturing. Specifically when oxidation is an undesired
Are there manufacturers of ASUs in Mexico? Our search for manufacturers did not produce many results. We found two companies that are subsidiaries of foreign companies and neither one seem to have manufacturing activity in the country: Airsep and Oxi Air.
Foreign manufacturers of ASUs may partner with local manufactures/integrators bearing high technical capabilities to design, manufacture, install and commissioning of ASUs. These type of partners also have the ability to provide after market service; although, may or may not be devoted to the specific industry. Target markets must be populated by user industries:
Northeast Mexico: Automotive, Aerospace, Appliances, Paper, Plastic, Glass, food and Beverage.
North Mexico: Mining, Automotive, Aerospace, Electronic.
Bajio Region: Automotive, Aerospace, Electrical, Food and Beverage, Agribusiness, Electronic.
Gulf Coast: Petrochemical, Oil and Gas.