VIAKEM’s mission is offering integral solutions to the chemical industry. Based on this central objective and a clear definition of its long term goals, company efforts are oriented towards development, production and commercialization of the highest quality chemicals available in the market.
As a part of its integral offering, VIAKEM provides its customers with consulting and technical services for application of VIAKEM products to their transformation processes. These customers participate in diverse industrial markets such as manufacture of petroleum products, agrofinechemicals, fragrances, pharmaceuticals, detergents, and more.
In order to successfully participate in the global market, VIAKEM applies Total Quality Control (TQC) concepts and techniques in all of its manufacturing and administration processes. It permanently optimizes its distribution channels and maintains a special focus on customer service to ensure total customer satisfaction.
To summarize, it can be said that VIAKEM is a group of quality people doing world class chemistry.
VIAKEM plant are located in the Nuevo Leon’s metropolitan area, Mexico, recognized as the country’s industrial heart and an important technological development center.
VIAKEM has his productive plant in San Nicolas de los Garza, where it manufactures and commercializes a wide range of products for its customers around the world. Additionally, the company has commercial offices in Mexico City and Guadalajara, to serve an important portfolio of clientes located in the mexican central and south regions.
The quality system operating at VIAKEM meets the requirements specified in the world’s most widely recognized standard: ISO-9001:2008.
This way, VIAKEM offers its customers a quality warranty backed up by the International Standards Organization.
ISO-9001:2008 certification number MQA 4001348 granted by Lloyd´s Register Quality Assurance Limited.
VIAKEM, quality people doing world class chemistry.
“To guarantee that the customer consistently perceives a greater value according to his own measurement indexes. Being a quality company, which implies quality in associates, administration, products, services, plant, equipment and economic results. It is mandatory for associates in VIAKEM to apply TQC in all of their personal and work activities”.
Occupational Health and Environmental Policy
“To conduct all operations in such a way as to guarantee safety and integrity for personnel, the community and our clients, as well as protecting the environment. In the framework of the TQC philosophy, health, safety and environmental protection are as important as production, quality, cost and morale. We consider that all injuries, occupational diseases and incidents impinging upon safety, health and the environment can and must be prevented”.
A technological change in gasoline refining methods put an end to the utilization of lead oxide as a sulfur eliminating agent. Having lost its main market, Convertibles Monterrey was forced to close.
In the commercial sector, they sterilized and packed Kremo wheat breakfast cereal and conducted purchase – sale activities and commercial representation of all kinds of products related to cream of wheat.
In the industrial field, Mercantil Fernández purchased raw litharge from Minera y Metalúrgica Peñoles foundry operations and milled molten litharge, and then sold it to potters, battery manufacturers, and others. Producing minium and lead oxides was the first diversification of the company that was to become Mexico’s leader in this field.
The scenario at the onset of World War II proved favorable for Mercantil Fernández exports. Construction of Plant 1 began in 1940 and an oven to produce minium (PB3O4 ) was installed. Minium is a special variety of lead used in pottery and anticorrosive paint. It pertains to the yellow and chrome orange family (inorganic pigments).
Also in 1940, Rafael Fernández Ruiloba joined the firm. The original commercialization and representation areas were liquidated and all available resources were devoted to production, commercialization, research and development of oxides and pigments from lead.
Rafael Fernández Ruiloba developed the Barton reactor in order to expedite the production of special leaded litharge for the car battery industry, high purity yellow litharge and minium for the pottery, leaded glass and anticorrosive paint industries.
In 1948, research began to enter the agricultural insecticide market. It was back in 1948 too, when Rafael Fernández Saldaña’s youngest son, Jorge Fernández Ruiloba, joined the company. Jorge had a degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University in Indiana, and developed the first chrome yellow pigment line in 1950. This brought about the first synthesis processes that turned PYOSA into a chemical specialty company with internally developed processes.
Agrochemicals production started in 1948 and reached the broad market in 1950 with the manufacture of agricultural insecticides based on calcium arseniate. Insecticidas Cruz Negra was incorporated in 1951. The company’s objective was to manufacture, transform, commercialize and industrialize all kinds of insecticides, fertilizers and their derivatives.
In 1953, engineer Erick Simon Lehman joined the company. New products were developed based on his knowledge. In 1954, new technological development work started to complete the line of lead-derived pigments. Also in 1954, PYOSA had a shipping railroad line.
During the fifties, a higher degree of technological development was available; the Mexican industrial culture emerged as a result of a period of great stability and real growth. PYOSA sales increased by a factor of 10, and product development was evident in organic pigments such as azoic yellows and reds as well as certified food grade colors.
PYOSA workers union was created in the 1957 – 1959 period and the first collective work agreement was signed. The employee dinning room was established and Unión Magazine was published for the first time, this is PYOSA’s internal information organ.
In the early sixties, a 43 hectare tract of land was purchased in the metropolitan municipality of San Nicolás de los Garza. Plant 3 would eventually be established on that property. Late in 1961, part of this land was allocated to install a plant to produce colors and ceramic frits. This way, Colores Cerámicos Mexicanos was founded in a partnership with the American company O’Homel Corporation, which would later sell their shares to PYOSA. In 1962, the firm’s first analysis laboratory was established.
Direct colorants manufactures by PYOSA were for cotton and wool applications, but polyester and nylon became the fashion in the sixties and they called for dispersed colorants. This is why, in 1967, PYOSA established a partnership with the American Aniline Corporation in order to establish a commercialization operation for a product line for the textile industry. This operation was named Anilinas Panamericanas and was located in the state of Mexico.
In 1968, dispersed colorants began being produced at Plant 3 and, by 1969, dispersed colorant production led the company to develop solvent colorants for Pemex to differentiate greases and oils and, later on, for gasoline too. In 1971, Insecticidas Cruz Negra was liquidated.
In 1977, the Facek Unit was created to produce chemicals, intermediate products and agrochemicals. Also in 1977, Engineer Alberto Fernández Garza (the founder’s grandson) was appointed CEO.
Late in 1977, the first organizational diagnosis was conducted based on Ichack Adizes principles. This management technology became the basis of PYOSA’s organizational development, thus establishing a product-focused structure by 1979: Lead Oxides, Pigments, Textile Colorants and Chemicals.
By 1980, PYOSA’s workforce exceeded 1,000 associates. Anilinas Panamericanas moved to PYOSA’s new commercial offices in Mexico City.
Late in 1983, in a quest for choices to achieve excellence at top management levels and through application of Adizes theory, a diagnosis was conducted to obtain and formalize each business unit director responsibilities and commitments. In mid 1985, Boston Consulting Group concepts were introduced, mostly in commercial areas. This model shows the way to become strategically positioned in markets.
In 1987 the decision was made to utilize MRP-II in order to improve production management, reduce inventory costs and maintain a high level of customer service. The implementation of this management tool took 24 months of work, including installation of a satellite based communications network that was necessary for system operation. A few months later, PYOSA became the first Latin American firm to achieve MRP-II Class A User classification.
In 1989, Esmacer S.A. de C.V. was founded, as a result of a joint venture of Colores Cerámicos Mexicanos and Gruppo Colorobbia, from Italy. The objective of Esmacer was to offer their customers the added values of design, consulting and technical support in the use of ceramic frits to manufacture products such as floor tiles and coatings.
In the early nineties, PYOSA faced dramatic changes that were brought about in the world economic scenario. Market globalization was imminent. The challenge facing the company was being flexible enough and highly productive without compromising its customer service levels. Under this context, the company made the strategic decision of adopting Total Quality Control (TQC) following the Japanese model. In order to do so, PYOSA hired the consulting services from the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers through Dr. Ichiro Miyauchi.
By the end of 1992, the new Research and Development Laboratory built within the premises of Plant 3 was opened. A select group of researchers, engineers al other personnel specialized in analytical chemistry was assigned to these facilities with the purpose of expediting the offer of new products to a growingly demanding market.
In mid 1993, with the assistance of EDS consulting firm, a plan was established to make strategic use of information technology. As the main outcome of this action, early in 1995, SAP computer system was implemented at PYOSA to manage company resources. PYOSA was one of the very first companies to use this system in Mexico.
Early in 1996, Ftalmex, S.A. de C.V. came into existence as a result of a joint venture between PYOSA and the Japanese firm Toyo Ink Mfg. This company is oriented to produce green and blue pigments derived from copper ftalocyanine as well as carbazol violets to supply the geographic zone included in the newly signed North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
A year later, Pyosa Oxides S.A. de C.V. was created, as a result of a joint venture between PYOSA and the French-German company Penarroya GmbH. Its objective is to manufacture and commercialize lead oxides globally, using European leading edge technology in their manufacture.
In 2001, “PYOSA 21st Century” vision was established. The dawn of a new millennium poses major challenges in a highly competitive market. However, excellent growth opportunities are envisioned.
In the following years, true to its vision, VIAKEM implemented actions to transform itself in order to offer its customers more and better solutions, not just through products but by integrating added value services too.
This way, VIAKEM history is being written through its daily effort to achieve excellence based on hard teamwork, just as the company founders did more than 65 years ago.