“Balaguer rolls and machines are 99% exported directly to 130 countries into 5 continents. Balaguer has been working for 5 years already on designing an aggressive expansion plan, which is focused on Africa and Asia. New challenges for us will be to complete Balaguer expansion in Turkey and India. The Board of Balaguer Company decided to invest in Turkey and India last year, following the success of Balaguer sister companies located in Poland, Brazil, and China.”
The Spanish company Fundiciones Balaguer S.A. is a family business founded in 1916 that develops the casting and machining of centrifugal casted rolls for flour milling industries, compound feed, soybeans, coffee, chocolates, paintings, salt, biscuits and chemical. With more than 100 years’ experience, Balaguer Rolls offers reliable products. Being world leader in manufacturing centrifugally chilled cast iron rolls for the food processing industry, it exports 99% of its production to more than 130 countries in the world.
David Balaguer, Sales Director of Fundiciones Balaguer S.A, gave an exclusive interview to Miller Magazine on their innovations, vision and future plans. Emphasizing their focus on the innovation, he said that the company has invested every year at least 40% of its annual income for the last ten years. Speaking of their expansion plan in Africa and Asia, “New challenges for us will be to complete Balaguer expansion in Turkey and India. We decided to establish our operations in Turkey and India in order to become a key part of the food and non-food processing domestic market in these two great countries.” he explained.
Here is the full interview with David Balaguer, Sales Director of Balaguer Rolls:
Balaguer Rolls has over 100 years’ experience in the sector. Could you please provide us with some brief background information on your company and its activities? What kind of role and place does Balaguer Rolls in its sector?
Balaguer Company has started its operations in 1916 as a small family company, which was active on casting parts, manufacturing by static casting technology. Soon the company entered the automobile industry by supplying sleeves for engines as well as static rolls manufacturing for steel, rubber, and textile industry. Around the 1940´s, the centrifugal casting process was implemented at Balaguer Company; the food processing rolls entered into Balaguer top range of products; however, static casted rolls remained available during this period of time. 1960 was the date when Balaguer owners decided to become 100% specialized in spin casted rolls manufacturing for the food processing industry. In 1997, Balaguer Company set up a brand new manufacturing plant at Onil-Alicante which increased its annual production capacity by three hundred percent. During last twenty-year, the company has grown from forty to two-hundred six employees, increasing its business by six hundred percent; thus, it has become the world reference on intensive quality milling rolls.
Could you tell us changes in your industry on that long journey? What do you owe your success to?
There have been several changes along this long period: Industrialization, wars, globalization, information technology, new ways of doing business, and great changes. All these have required a quick transformation in order to adapt our company to new scenarios and new game rules. Actually, your success depends on how you adapt yourself and even how you anticipate new scenarios. Balaguer Company’s success has been driven by a continuous achievement of excellence on the products we manufacture, a continuous respect for the human resources who have shared this long trip with us so far, a continuous respect for the milling market, and listening, researching, and developing new techniques; others follow the wake, Balaguer creates it.
Can you give us some information about the products and services that you provide?
At present, Balaguer Company manufactures rolls for food and non-food processing industries, rolls made either by centrifugal or static casting. Every roll we make for food processing industry is made by spin casting. We are able to cast rolls up to 16 Tn/Pc. Our rolls are cast on our foundry, which is based in Onil-Spain. Different qualities and casting materials are available depending on the roll application made by nodular iron, chilled cast iron, indefinite chilled iron, and stainless steel. Until now, Balaguer Rolls has been investing in several service stations located at Brazil, Poland, and China. We offer local rolls service to end-users market.
What are the outstanding features that Balaguer Rolls presents to the customers? What can you say about the innovations and solutions that you have brought to the milling industry?
Balaguer means excellence. We give our clients outstanding products with exquisite service. For the last ten years, Balaguer has invested every year at least forty percent of its annual income in order to continue growing and becoming the world’s most technologically advanced rolls foundry. We give our clients a ten-year guarantee on the rolls we manufacture and the warranty of being able to reach Balaguer 365 days a year and 24/7.Clients look for reliable suppliers, and we just give them the best solution from a supplier they can fully trust, which they can expect it will be there in the long term.
Can you give us some information about your facilities and production capacity? How many people do you employ?
Our foundry based in Onil-Spain has been on continuous upgrade during the last decade, especially after introducing back static casting technique on Balaguer range of products. Balaguer headquarters cast last year twenty-two million kilograms, with a maximum annual capacity of thirty million kilograms. By early 2018, the number of Balaguer Group employees reached three hundred.
Where do you export your products? How many countries are you currently exporting?
Balaguer rolls and machines are ninety-nine percent exported directly to one hundred thirty countries into 5 continents.
Balaguer Rolls is ambitious in innovation and announced the achievement of the Optical Fluting Test. Could you tell us about this achievement? How does this technology work?
Our patented Optical Fluting Test is the world’s only device that is able to check rolls fluting profiles by optical vision without roll contact. By just pressing a button, our clients get a certificate, which will show the existing fluting profile of a specific roll, showing the possible deviation compared to the original fluting parameters as well as showing the percentage of flutes wear in order to help millers to take the exchange rolls decision at the most suitable and cost-effective time.
Are there any other innovative solutions or projects that your R&D department is working on? What will your R&D department offer to customers in the coming period?
Balaguer’ R&D department keeps itself continuously busy on innovations as Balaguer is aware of the fact that the best way to maintain the company on track after 100 years is by reaching the excellence every day. Our know-how is our weapon, and it is the most valuable asset of Balaguer Company. New products and solutions will be soon launched to the market, and it is the innovation that will maintain Balaguer Rolls Company a step ahead from others.
The rollers have a critical role in grinding the raw material. How does it affect the yield? What do your rollers offer for the millers?
During grinding, the rolls become dull; under this situation, the miller will increase its force on the rolls that will lead an increase in power consumption and ash, and consequently, the cost of grinding /Tn will increase. This fact will reduce the yield. Balaguer manufactures rolls that will reduce the yield reduction under this scenario by providing long-lasting even cast materials, prime quality rolls, with ten-year guarantee. The greatest OEMs around the world fit Balaguer rolls on their roller mills, and they trust Balaguer quality to be part of their own project.
Looking to the future, what do you believe the challenges and opportunities are for your company?
New challenges for Balaguer Company will be to complete Balaguer expansion in Turkey and India.
What are your future targets in your operating market? Could you tell about your future investment plans?
Balaguer Company has been working for 5 years already on designing an aggressive expansion plan, which is focused on Africa and Asia countries that have economies growing rates next to +9 percent, together with factors such as modification on food habits or growing populations. These factors make these markets the right ones to develop or improve Balaguer presence.
The Board of Balaguer Company decided to invest in Turkey and India last year. The company decided to establish its operations in these two countries in order to become a key part of the food and non-food processing domestic market in these two great countries, following the success of Balaguer sister companies located in Poland, Brazil, and China. Balaguer Rolls Turkey will be soon a reality; India project will be completed by 2019. The whole Balaguer team is very excited about these new projects, which have been researched and developed by an outstanding group of experts and engineers at Balaguer Group of Companies.
Is there anything you want to add and share with our readers?
Balaguer is proud and thankful to the worldwide food processors that have trusted and supported us for more than 100 years so far; however, Balaguer Company believes that the way to success is always under construction… This is the reason why we keep going, thinking on new ideas, researching, innovating, investing, listening, and learning every day for the benefit of the industry and our world.
We also suggest you to read our previous article titled "“Inspection is not an extra cost”".