The ribbon was cut by Otto H. Suhner – Chair of the Brugg Group Board of Directors – in the presence of Antoinette Vigil and Steve Jenkins from the Sandoval County Economic Alliance. The new hall, which uses the latest generation of machines to make protection systems based on high-tensile steel wire and steel mesh, began operating at the end of March. We interviewed Pierce Runnels – General Manager at Geobrugg North America – and asked him to provide some background information about this expansion of the production facilities:
Brugg: What have been the main milestones for Geobrugg North America over recent years?
Pierce: In 2014 and 2015, we worked hard to increase our production capacity, to implement LEAN measures, and to substantially improve many of our factory processes.
Brugg: How many employees does Geobrugg North America currently have?
Pierce: At the moment, we have 30 employees – of these, seven are based in the office, thirteen are based in Production, and ten are based in Sales.
Brugg: How would you describe Geobrugg's market position in the US – including with regard to competitors?
Pierce: In the US, we are the market leader in natural hazard avoidance. We are also making strides on what is a very promising market in Mexico. Here, there is huge potential not only relation to natural hazard avoidance but also in the area of mine safety.
Brugg: And so that's why you needed a new hall?
Pierce: Exactly! We are expanding our capacity so that we can better serve the domestic market – but it also means that we can help out if bottlenecks occur in other parts of the world. By constructing this main plant for America, we are also able to respond to the rallying cry of “Buy American”, which is being heard more and more often.
Brugg: What new possibilities are being opened up by the new production capacity?
Pierce: Thanks to the first of the latest generation of machines, we are now able to offer the US market a lightweight mesh that is fully competitive, particularly in the form of DELTAX. Last but not least, we have the space to increase our production capacity again in the future if need be.