IT Published

We talk to Rene Silva, Sales & Service Manager for Mexico and South America about life at ItalPresseGauss

It’s no exaggeration to say Rene Silva is passionate about die casting equipment.

It was the subject of his university thesis and now, 20 years later, it’s the reason he still loves hitting the foundry floor to support ItalPresseGauss customers (including getting his hands dirty!). 

Hello Rene. So, it seems you have always had an interest in die casting?

I have. I’m not sure what it is exactly – the processes, the possibilities, the technology. It’s just all really interesting to me. And, in fact, it was this interest which led me to ItalPresseGauss. The thesis I had chosen at university involved me visiting a die casting foundry and it’s there I met an ItalPresseGauss agent who talked me through a lot of the technology and introduced me to the wider team.

How long ago was that?

That was about 19 years ago, and I ended up joining ItalPresseGauss, first as a service engineer, then project manager, and now I head up the sales and service team for our customers across Mexico and South America

What does your current role involve - for example what does an average week look like?

In general terms, I am responsible for handling new project requests, spare parts inquiries and servicing needs. I also work proactively to make sure customers are aware of the latest innovations and equipment upgrades our technical engineers have developed. 
As for what an average week looks like, that’s very difficult to answer - each new week can be so different from the last. It’s not surprising that this is the case when you consider the wide range of customers we have in this region. One day I might be helping a foundry upgrade the ItalPresseGauss die casting machine they have relied on for the last 15 or 20 years - perhaps with software enhancements - and on another I could be working with a customer where we have supplied multiple fully automated cells, to help them adapt their set-up to meet evolving needs of their customers. Perhaps where there is demand for a new type of part or the need to adapt an existing part.

What kind of changes might be needed with the example you just mentioned? 

Oh, it depends entirely on the customer and the part in question. Not to mention the specific aluminum alloys used. For example, I had one customer – a supplier to the automotive industry – who contacted us recently because they needed to change a mold as part of a new project. We went out to visit them, looked at the specific requirements around the new part and subsequently modified both software and hardware to optimize their Italpresse equipment production.

When a customer’s set-up changes in this way, do you provide training on the alterations/upgrades?

Yes, for sure. But what we also offer is a wider network of support. For example, as our technology integrates so well with other machines and devices, I have built very close relationships with third-party equipment suppliers, so can offer recommendations that go beyond ItalPresseGauss.

Additionally, because we have such as diverse range of customers, I can often bring together different die casters that have no conflict of interest in terms of what they are producing/who they are supplying, but who do have key production elements in common in terms of the alloys and equipment they are using. This is quite a powerful resource that our customers appreciate. 

One thing I would say is that there is an impressive degree of in-house knowledge. Very rarely do customers contact us not knowing what their issue is - whether it stems from a faulty mold or, for instance, alloy temperature. The guys on production lines really know their processes and as a result, we aren’t often called to diagnose issus. We are called on…relied upon, to help solve whatever the challenge is by drawing on our experience in aluminum die casting and by suggesting the right ItalPresseGauss answer for their specific situation. 


“Customers trust us, and they trust our equipment. They know we will be there to help whether they are installing a new machine or have been a customer for years.”

Do you think tailoring solutions in this way is what appeals to customers most? 

To a degree, but I think it’s more than that. Mexico is not unique in the fact that price pressures are a huge decision driver. Perhaps the most important driver, but customers need to understand their total die cast operating cost overtime. At ItalPresseGauss we do just that, we show savings through our entire value proposition including equipment reliability, minimal downtime, mold change out speed, local availability of spare parts and service teams ready to respond in emergencies. So why do we have such a strong customer base in the region? Because our customers look at our equipment and services in terms of the total value provided. 
The casting quality and impressive service life of our machines mean higher productivity over a longer time period…decades in fact. All of which is supported by a local team with local market experience and deep industry knowledge, and the resources of an international supplier – whether that’s in terms of parts availability or R&D.

When you say you’ll “be there” do you mean on site or remotely?

Whatever is needed. We have the ability to support remotely for sure, but we also love getting out to sites and working directly with customers. 
And that’s not just on the service and maintenance side either. I think I probably spend most of my time in the field visiting customer sites, to check on the progress of projects and just to see what else we can do to help. In fact, you will often find me assisting customers and working on machines to support customers anytime I can. (while my role now is in sales, as a former service engineer, I can’t resist helping out and getting my hands dirty!). 
I think working in this way helps customers see we are essentially an extension of their team that they can call on whenever they need us, and whatever they need us for. For me, that’s probably the most rewarding thing about the job. 

Thank you Rene