Located in the southern area of the city, Lexmark is a unique company in the region: it is one of the four campuses of the company in the world, dedicated to supply printer cartridges for the entire American continent, from Canada to Argentina. In exclusive interview for Mexico Industry, Guillermo Gallegos, general operations manager of Lexmark Cd. Juarez, shared all the particularities of this company which has little more than 22 years in the region.
Originally, Lexmark started operations on April 1996 in a different location than the one they currently have. The construction of the plant started in 1995, but ten years later the company moved to where it is located right now. On a first sight, the facilities do not seem to be large; however, Lexmark Cd. Juarez is in fact an entire campus of 100 acres, with 800 thousand square feet of construction and ten buildings. As company, Lexmark locates its campuses and plants in strategic places worldwide to supply its customers’ needs. The Juarez campus has an ideal location just in the middle of North America and Latin America, which gives them the easiness of crossing material to fulfill cartridges, as well as to export finished products.
Even so, the manager considers that the reason why this region was chosen to settle a campus is the qualified workforce, since the complex is the plant that more cartridges manufacture worldwide, according to Gallegos. In addition, the plant is also the largest in number of workers: its number of employees ranges between 2 thousand and 2,500 in total per year.
The main components of a cartridge are plastic, tonner and technology components. The company obtains the plastic, labels and packaging material, from local suppliers. In total, Gallegos considered that from the total of materials used to manufacture their products, from 15 to 20 % are provided by regional companies.
The process of manufacturing cartridges is as follows: the plant receives the components from the United States and China, they manufacture the cartridges base with plastic; they assembly the cartridge, which is a very manual process; and afterwards they place the tonner, which is also manufactured at the campus; and then they test the product. Finally, if the product is functional, they packaged on pallets where 270 cartridges are fitted and sent to its respective destinations.
Logically the company has the required technology to manufacture its products, which is electrophotography technology (IPT.) Moreover, the campus has 35 to 40 production lines.
For Lexmark Cd. Juarez, certifications are important, they have: ISO 9000, ISO 14000, OHSAS 18000, clean Industry and R2 (responsible recycler.)
For the company manager, Mexican workforce is highly qualified, “They suit and adjust to any technology challenge placed in front of them. They are always willing to learn,” he explained.
Employees from all Lexmark Cd. Juarez levels receive training to perform their work. For employees recently starting to work takes about 2 to 3 weeks being familiarized with the cartridges manufacturing process, which supposes a high level of demand.
The company has several projects for the future. One of them is the creation of three new cartridges that will be replacing the current ones.
Finally, Gallegos shared that the company has a strong sense of responsibility with the community. In addition of recycling, the company has remanufacturing plants of used cartridges and water treatment plants. In addition, every month they take reforestation activities, clean parks and public places around the campus (where most of their employees live,) economic donation to refuges and activities to paint schools. “We have been working with Fondo Unido since 2006, who seek helping the community,” ended the manager.
Lexmark Cd. Juarez
Start of Operations: April 1996
Number of workers: 2250
Origin: United States
Products: Printer Cartridges