Dust Collection in South America with Sergio Flores – Dusty Jobs Podcast – S3 E5

Jul 22, 2022

In this episode of the Dusty Jobs Podcast, Tomm Frungillo fills in for Donovan and talks to Sergio Flores. Sergio is the President of PrimeLines. Sergio talks about what the different industries PrimeLines works with as well as the different brands they represent. PrimeLines is a new Rep for Imperial Systems in South America with a focus on Mining in Peru and Chile.





Narrator: Welcome to the Dusty Jobs Podcast from Imperial Systems. Industry knowledge to make your job easier and safer.

Tomm: Welcome to the newest episode of the Dusty Jobs Podcast. My name is Tomm Frungillo, director of sales and marketing for Imperial Systems. I’m going to be sitting in for Donovan on this episode, who normally does these. I’d like to welcome Sergio Flores from PrimeLines. Sergio is our rep in South America and other parts of Central America eventually, and probably the Caribbean, and maybe even Mexico at some time in the future. Right now focusing on mining and a few other industries within Peru and Chile and other areas of South America where mining is a large, important industry. What I would like to do is start out by, of course, welcoming you here to Mercer, to Mercer, Pennsylvania, to Imperial Systems.

Sergio: Thank you Tomm.

Tomm: We’ll talk a little bit about your background and the industry, and just your history professionally, where you came from, and what got you to PrimeLines.

Sergio: Hi Tomm. Good afternoon. I am pleased to be here. Like you said, my name is Sergio Flores, president of PrimeLines. We are a manufacturers rep company based in Miami. We have branches several countries like Panama, Columbia, Peru, and Chile, plus our headquarters in Miami. I personally am a mechanical engineer. I’ve been in this business for over twenty-five years mostly doing HVAC, which includes ventilation and industrial applications for HVAC. 

Our main markets are the countries that I mentioned but mostly heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, but in some countries like Peru and Chile there’s a heavy mining industry where we have some experience. We have a very qualified engineer based in Peru, Carlos Aliaga. He is our partner for the industrial sector in Peru. Now we just opened a branch in Chile, which has a very well developed mining industry. Actually, it’s way older than Peruvian. Our plan is to branch into the Chilean mining industry using the experience and the history we have in Peru.

Tomm: Yeah, it’s really very interesting stuff, and I know that you’ve been doing this a long time.  Carlos, who you mentioned, your main industrial engineer, has also been doing this a long time. I know he is very qualified in designing dust systems for mining and other industries. He’s been with you how long?

Sergio: Actually, three years. 

Tomm: Three years.

Sergio: Actually, Carlos is a partner. 

Tomm: He’s a partner in the business, okay.

Sergio: He is a business partner as well as Juan Carlos. The difference is Juan Carlos in Peru he takes care of the commercial side of the business. Carlos takes care of the industrial side of it. But they are both partners.

Tomm: Okay. Good to know. I know previously I did one of these podcasts a little bit more on the technical side of mining and how dust collection fits into mining and its nice that within your organization, of course, you understand this. You have a gentleman that can design for these things. I think it’s important as we move forward that basically the people that know Imperial Systems or that are learning about Imperial Systems understands that we have local representation there with knowledgeable people in the industry.

Sergio: I think it’s important to let the customers know that these are products or equipment that once they buy they’re not going to be orphaned. There’s going to be somebody local to look after them and to provide after sales support. It’s the same thing as coming to Miami or sending an email to Miami. You buy something and once it gets there nobody knows how to install it, how to service it, how o maintain it, so that’s what we’re offering to the customers in all these countries. That’s why we believe in having local presence in those markets where we want to sell.

Tomm: That’s important for us too, obviously.

Sergio: In our company we are all engineers. We are all mechanical engineers, and we know what we’re doing. We’re not just moving boxes out of Miami.

Tomm: Very critical and important point of all this. I think the other thing that PrimeLines brings being that you all are engineers is that you can bring a turnkey…

Sergio: Solution.

Tomm: …solution to the customer, to the marketplace, including design and of course equipment. We would work with you on installation, servicing the sale, aftermarket, the whole picture, cradle to grave, is something PrimeLines can offer. 

Sergio: Actually, we try to become the consultant’s consultant. It’s very common for us. It’s our everyday job to get a call from the local consultants asking for technical support or some end customer to send us all the drawings done by their consultants for us to check everything before they buy. That creates kind of a commitment between the customer and us, a supplier. Sometimes we do the sign without charging a dollar for it in exchange for getting the purchase order.

Tomm: Yeah, I always found it interesting that theres a lot of the big engineering firms that are involved in mining. The Bechtels, and the Flores, and many different companies, and they have a lot of very good engineers of course that work for those companies, but not many of theme are good dust collection engineers. Right? It’s not something that they teach, really, in engineering school.

Sergio: You don’t learn that in college. 

Tomm: Exactly. So, those companies, as big as they are, as qualified at they are, they have to rely on companies like you to make it really come together. That’s that void that you fill.

Sergio: We offer solutions. 

Tomm: So, it’s exciting for us to have a presence like you down there representing Imperial Systems. I know most of your other lines have more of an HVAC presence I guess within your company, but you do have, for example, why don’t you talk a little bit about the other lines that you have.

Sergio: Yeah, our main product line – actually the one that motivated me to found this company, to create PrimeLines is Greenheck, Greenheck Fan Corporation. It’s a company that this year is celebrating their 75th anniversary. They started as a fans manufacturer but they have been diversifying now. They make dampers, fire dampers, control dampers, all kinds of fans, industrial, commercial, residential. They make architectural louvers. They make air handling units, energy recovery ventilators. It’s a really big corporation that represents maybe forty or fifty percent of our total sales. 

That’s on the air side. It’s very common, especially in the domestic use market, it’s very common that a manufacturer rep is on the air side and a different company is on the water side. They are very specialized, very focused. We are on both sides. We are on the air side and on the water side. So on the air side we represent Greenheck and some other brands like Price Industries for air distribution, but on the water side we have very recognized brands like Taco or Bell and Gossett. They have been in the market for over 100 years and they are really premiere brands I would say. Those are, let’s say, our anchor lines. Then we have some other companies like Polaris Heat Exchangers. We have Imperial Systems. We have Eurovac. We have Mesan. Mesan USA is a cooling tower manufacturer, also part of our group. So we try to cover all the areas in our industry to provide a total packaged solution. 

Tomm: It makes a very strong position, I think. Something I think we’re going to do quite a bit – I know we talked about somethings that I’ve been reading recently about projections in mining for Latin America and South America. Mining follows a pattern of hills and valleys. Several industries do, but mining especially. So, there’s a buildup and a lot of activity and then things kind of fade down and I think it’s like a five to seven year period between those hills and valleys. 

Sergio: It depends on the commodities market, right?

Tomm: Right, yeah, and the demand of those products right? Depending on what’s going on in the world economy. The projections I saw were for 2023 and 2024 to be very strong years in mining after coming out of a valley and starting to build back up. So I think our timing is very good working together and understanding what we can do with Imperial equipment and the CMAXX dust collector down there on all of the mining applications – the primary crushing, the secondary, tertiary crushing, conveying, screening, all of those things we’ve talked about before that require dust collection. I think our timing is going to be very good right now.

Sergio: I think we came together at the right time. After the visit today I notice that your product has some specific features that we can use as spec lockers.

Tomm: Yes.

Sergio: If we can get into the specs with your product its going to be relatively easy to secure an order. 

Tomm: Yeah, and we do have several of those with the CMAXX collector and they’re not just gimmicks. They’re things that make the operation or the maintaining of that collector much better.

Sergio: There’s really functional.

Tomm: Exactly. I appreciate your time here today, and I know we have a lot of things to go over and a lot of things to plan for. I know we talked about the different countries that we will focus on but I think mainly its Peru and Chile right now, and then eventually just kind of expand that out as we grow and then also mining being certainly the number one focus right now but there’s a lot of other industries down there that we can approach with the equipment line that we have, and with the knowledge that you have.

Sergio: So I’m very excited about this partnership. There’s only one way and it’s going to be up. 

Tomm: It’s going to be up. It might take little time, but it’s definitely going to be up. I’ve done a little bit of this before, as you know, and you’ve done this before too. I think we’ve got some solid things behind us to allow us to grow.

Sergio: We have a strong foundation to build on. 

Tomm: So, again, we appreciate your time coming in, and we’re looking forward to working together. 

Sergio: Thank you Tomm.

Tomm: I’d like to thank Sergio. If you’d like to learn more about Imperial Systems you can visit our website. Also our YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tik Tok now. We appreciate everything that the folks that watch these podcasts and comment on them we appreciate that and look forward to the next one. 

Sergio: Thank you for the opportunity Tomm.

Tomm: Thank you Sergio.

Narrator: Thanks for listening to the Dusty Jobs Podcast. Breathe better, work safer.