Alaflex has had a rich history of innovation since its founding in 1980. As a leader in flexible tubing composed of thermoplastic materials, the global company has devoted itself to perfecting the engineering process of high-quality hoses. With over 40 years of experience, Alaflex has exceeded expectations and earned the trust of distributors and end users world-wide. Its investment in providing products tailored to specific applications, and ability to offer new technology driven innovations, has made it continually sought after in several markets.
Hose + Coupling World had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Ramon Aladro, President of Alaflex, concerning the success of the company’s recent expansions, its continued commitment to growth, and its dedication to engineering solutions that meet the ever-changing needs of its clients.
By Angelica Pajkovic
Alaflex origin dates to the 1980s, when Mr. Aladro Sr., an engineer from Mexico, began manufacturing spiral reinforced thermoplastic hoses. Although the technology had been developed in Europe years before, it had not yet made its way into the Latin American market.
“Mr. Aladro Sr. assessed the market and chose to begin manufacturing PVC pipes,” explained Mr. Aladro. “This endeavour was considered high risk. As Latin America was accustomed to different products at the time, there was a lot of effort needed to commercialize the new hose technology and make it sought after by the local demographic. Alaflex is therefore considered the pioneer of PVC products in Latin America.”
Over the past 40 years, Alaflex has grown significantly from a small family-run facility to a private equity manufacturer with locations and representatives around the world. Headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico, the company’s infrastructure is made up of four production plants, which together add up to 30,000 m2 of manufacturing space.
“In addition to its production facilities located in the state of Hidalgo, Alaflex has a number of warehouses strategically located to service the complete Mexican Republic,” stated Mr. Aladro. “Our reach is quite far, both within Latin America and internationally. 70% of our sales are concentrated on exports to the United States and North America. Our international presence in the hose market is one of our primary priorities.”
From the beginning, Alaflex stood out from its competitors due to its willingness to take progressive risks in the hose industry. The ability to offer new, safe, and flexible products that combine strength and power with user friendliness and intuitiveness showed costumers that it could be counted on to satisfy any of their hose, or tube processing, needs.
“With so many types of hoses in each division, it is difficult to focus on just one,” stated Mr. Aladro. “In the electrical division, for example, we have 10 different hoses, all designated for different use and applications. A recent development in this division was the introduction of low temperature electric hose, which are designed for places like Canada and Northern America.”
To exceed the expectations of its customers, the company is constantly adding new dynamic hose products to its lines. Using the expertise of skilled engineers, high quality raw materials, and the most advanced technology, the company produces reliable solutions for the most unique applications. Its entrepreneurial spirit has simultaneously led it to
develop of a series of its own patented technologies.
“We developed a line of products, known as specialties, 5 years ago, and have been perfecting it ever since,” explained Mr. Aladro. “Our goal is to adapt with the markets, and make sure that the product we produce align with the technologies that other countries around the world are using. One of the ways that we are able to achieve this, is by using different raw material and formulas to make up the composition of the hose. These materials include PVC, Polyurethane, EVA, and a hybrid of the three. Once we have the required specifications from the client, we can customize the hose to meet the exact
needs of the application.”
One of the most recognized products to come from the Alaflex brand, is its patented hybrid hoses. “We offer hybrid hoses that are made of polyurethane, steel or copper wire, and PVC,” explained Mr. Aladro. “The interior of the hose is polyurethane, which provided the hose with higher resistance to corrosion, harsh chemicals, and high temperatures. Then we reinforce this hose with steel wire to give it resistance to various pressures. Finally, we cover the internal structure with the PVC, which acts as an anti-shock layer and protects
the unit from daily use and wear and tear.”
To ensure that its products will satisfy the needs of its various clients, Alaflex is diligent in meeting all the technology standards put forth in Europe and North America each year. It does so through the continuous improvement of its quality management system, controlled processes, and investment into new equipment and technologies.
“For us, quality assurance starts right at the beginning. We have our own raw material plant for many of the products we carry. Any product that requires material that we cannot produce ourselves, we buy from certified manufactures. So, all the imported material we use comes with a certification,” stated Mr. Aladro. “We also have warranty policies, liability assurance, and a number of product specific certifications for our hoses.”
Alaflex’s certifications include:
• ISO 9001: 2015
• UL standards
To guarantee the integrity of each application, Alaflex has a thorough testing process. Led by the same engineers who design and develop many of the new innovative hose designs, tests are conducted on the products as they are manufactured. Following their completion, testes are performed on random product shipments and orders, to ensure that quality of each hose is being maintained.
“We have grown dramatically since our inception,” stated Mr. Aladro. “From a small staff with 6 to 10 products, to over 600 employees and 76 product lines, we are dedicated to continuing to develop new patented products. We are a knowledge company, that prides itself on its ability to deliver quality products.”
Alaflex has modernized its ways of managing its business. This has been an ongoing transformation to expand its capabilities, restructure the businesses and plant organizations, reduce lead times by reducing non-strategic machining, and continue the modernization of all systems.
Its most recent expansion, the construction of an export plant, took place in 2020. “We started working on this project a year ago, despite challenges with the COVID 19 pandemic, and it is now operational,” related Mr. Aladro. The new facility focuses on the export of Alaflex’s electrical division to the US. More specifically, the plant will be used to manufacture private labels for Alaflex’s commercial binder. “We plan on doubling its size throughout the second quarter, which will result in the addition of a new export plant that delivers industrial hose products exclusively to the US market,” he continued.
“One aspect of our mission is to be continually growing. To accomplish this, we renovate and expand to meet the demands of the progressive hose market. This means we are renovating quite frequently. To survive in this industry, companies must be fast to adapt to all the changes that come about suddenly.”
As a 100% Mexican company dedicated to the manufacture of flexible PVC pipe with reinforcing spiral and polyethylene pipes for low and high density, Alaflex is the manufacturer of choice for a variety of industries.
“We have four principal values that act as the corner stones of the company,” stated Mr. Aladro. “Our people are the first value. The comprehensive talent and knowledge of our staff is essential to the fabrication of the products we produce, and we cannot thank them enough for their continued support. It is their expertise, mixed with the latest technologies and constant innovation to develop new products, make up the remaining three corner stones and define Alaflex as the Mexican leader of the thermoplastic industry hoses,” he concluded.