With over 40 years in the industry, Alaflex prides itself on its ability to execute designs and deliver high-tech flexible tubing made from thermoplastic materials. The company’s dedication to producing a wide range of high-quality products, and putting the needs of its customers first, has made it a go-to source for reliable hose solutions.
Hose + Coupling World had the pleasure of speaking with Alaflex’s Export Manager, Hector Campos, to discuss the company’s evolution in various marketplaces, its engineering solutions, and its ongoing commitment to providing efficient and effective services.
By Shopia Ketheeswararajah and Angelica Pajkovic
Alaflex’s origin dates back 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. 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.
Since its inception, 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 m 2 of manufacturing space.
“Today, Alaflex is recognized for its thermoplastic solutions in both Latin America and abroad,” explained Campos. “We export our solutions from Canada to Chile and have over 600 collaborators and over 75 product lines.” In addition to its production facilities located in the state of Hidalgo, Alaflex has several warehouses strategically located to service the complete Mexican Republic. “Our reach is quite far, both within Latin America and internationally. 70% of our sales are concentrated on exports to the U.S. and North America. Our international presence in the hose market is one of our priorities.”
Making Room for Continuous Growth
One of Alaflex’s primary objectives is to be a leader in manufacturing thermoplastic hoses for both national and international markets. To achieve this objective, the company has taken several steps to elevate its offerings and expand its presence.
By modernizing the way it manages its business, Alaflex has been able to expand its capabilities, restructure the businesses and plant organizations, minimize lead times by reducing non-strategic machining, and continue the modernization of all systems.
“One of our most recent endeavours was the addition of a new production facility in 2022, which will allow the company to focus on the export of its electrical division to the U.S.,” stated Campos. More specifically, the plant will be used to manufacture private labels for Alaflex’s commercial binder.
The company also made a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), to install solar panels. This decision helps the company transition towards using cleaner energy to help the world move towards a more sustainable future.
“Alaflex’s mission is to be continually growing,” he continued. “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.”
Diverse Product Capabilities
As the global push to use alternative resources has created a new market opportunity, Alaflex has taken further steps to diversify its ever-expanding portfolio. “We are constantly attempting to anticipate the future pain points of the industry, and with the ongoing effort to use other sources of energy, we decided to pursue the electric division,” explained Campos. “Developing non-metallic liquid tight hoses for the electric division, for example, allows us to become involved with new exciting technologies and initiatives.”
To exceed the expectations of its customers, the company is therefore 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 a series of its own patented technologies, such as its ‘specialties line.’
“Our goal is to adapt to the markets and make sure that the product we produce aligns with the technologies that other countries around the world are using. One of the ways that we can achieve this, is by using different raw materials 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.”
Providing customers with custom-made designs allows Alaflex to create various hoses with different inner diameters, to satisfy every unique requirement. Its investment in high-quality machining and research and development provides the company with a unique advantage to overcome common obstacles. From improving the product offering to working closely with OEMs and private labels, the company adjusts itself to the customer’s needs. “When we provide impeccable services to clients, the response speaks volumes. It is a win-win situation,” he shared.
As a trusted manufacturer, Alaflex takes the integrity of each of the hoses it creates seriously. It is diligent in meeting all the technology standards put forth in Europe and North America each year, and 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. For any product that requires a material that we cannot produce ourselves, we buy from certified manufacturers. So, all the imported material we use comes with a certification,” stated Campos. “We also have warranty policies, liability assurance, and a number of product-specific certifications for our hoses.”
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, tests are performed on random product shipments and orders, to ensure that the quality of each hose is being maintained.
“Our ability to be reliable sets us apart from our competitors,” revealed Campos. “Customers can trust Alaflex when it comes to providing the best price, lead times, product quality, and the assurance that we will be right behind them every step of the way. The client’s trust in us is the most important factor in our success. We want them to know that when they work with us, we will always provide the best options.” This reflects the company’s mission and the efforts made to communicate in each customer journey.
Alaflex prides itself on being as flexible as it possibly can. “We know that the market is always fluctuating and that it always leaves room for growth. It is therefore our goal to be with the clients through the ups and the downs, and we are determined to be loyal to them. We see our clients as family and we want to take care of them, and in return, they will take care of us,” he said.
Alaflex stands out from its competitors because of its willingness to take risks in the hose industry. Being able to offer safe and flexible products has led many in the industry to turn to Alaflex for solutions year after year.
“Our people are the first value. The comprehensive talent and knowledge of our staff are 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, that makes up the remaining three cornerstones and defines Alaflex as the Mexican leader of thermoplastic industry hoses,” stated Campos.
“Looking forward, the focus for this company in the next few years will include hoses designed for the oil & gas, electric, as well as pool and spa industries; the specialties sector is something that is always being utilized, and if a client needs a specific product, Alaflex can be counted on to ensure these goals are met.”
Alaflex looks forward to expanding further into the U.S., as they have expanded in Mexico. “We have a big presence in Mexico, and we would like to share that with all of North America,” said Campos. “With over 40 years of experience in the industry, Alaflex has exceeded its clients’ expectations and earned the trust of distributors and endusers across the board; we are excited to continue to establish this trust with the local communities in North America, as we advocate the benefits of working with local manufacturers.”