In the world of manufacturing, a shift is occurring. Today, many firms that employ advanced tecnologies are moving manufacturing operations south of the U.S. border. A country that was once best known for producing low-tech, low-value products such as texties is increasngly becoming widely recognized as a premier producer of luxury cars and parts for the demanding global aerospace industry. As the global marketplace evolves, high-tech manufacturing in Mexico, and the capability to design, develop and produce sophisticated goods there will become increasingly commonplace. Ciudad Juárez is one of the cities at the forefront of this development.
Much of the new high-tech manufacturing in Mexico that is making its way into the country via foreign direct investments is also situating itself in South Central states such as Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, Aguascalientes, Queretaro and Puebla. On the border, Ciudad Juarez is home not only to Delphi Automotive’s manufacturing operations, but is also the location of its third largest global technical development center. The capabilities present in dedicated laboratories at Delphi’s automotive manufacturing in Mexico tech center in Ciudad Juarez include:
- Calibration Testing
- Analysis Engineering
- Durability Testing
- Failure Analysis and Testing
- Finishing Testing
- Fuel Analysis and Testing
- Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerance Training
- Lighting and color analysis
- Metallic Materials Analysis
- Rapid Prototype Development
- Vibration Testing and Analysis
In addition to high-tech manufacturing in Mexico done by large organizations such as Delphi Automotive in Ciudad Juarez, smaller firms located in the city, such as AMN International, are beginning to manufacture cutting edge products such as 3-D printers. AMN is a small Mexican owned company that has developed a plastic injection mold based technology that can reproduce items simply by entering their photos into a database. Using a picture, the 3-D printer can make the calculations to replicate just about anything.
This transformation from simple operations to high-tech manufacturing in Mexico is progressing steadily, as manufacturing companies, both foreign and domestic, establish operations that incorporate new manufacturing know-how, techniques and equipment into the country’s industrial base. A necessary prerequisite that is required to continue and expedite progress in this area is the creation of a readily available pool of highly skilled labor.
In response to educational exigencies, the country continues to effectively upgrade its workforce from a relatively low-skill labor pool to one that is possessing of advanced manufacturing knowledge and technical expertise. Ciudad Juárez home to a training facility geared towards accomplishing this aim. The Training Center for High Technology (CENALTEC) is located in the city. Although this educational institution was originally established in the city to educate workers for the resident plastics, automotive, electronics manufacturing in Mexico and other industrial sectors, in 2006, its success resulted in an expansion aimed at accomplishing the same mission in the City of Chihuahua. Since that time, CENALTEC) has added aerospace and medical device manufacturing to its educational repertoire. Today, at least one third of Ciudad Juarez university and training center graduates focus on electrical engineering or computer science.
At present Ciudad Juarez is one of a number of preferred locations for high tech-manufacturing in Mexico. As one of the 10 largest manufacturing centers in North America, with nearly 200,000 manufacturing professionals in more than 400 facilities, this region has seen a marked increase in the production of sophisticate products for both domestic consumption and export to all corners of the globe.