A quarter of a century designing and manufacturing generator sets
for the five continents
From a Small Workshop to Expansion across 80 Countries
In 1982 a Spanish entrepreneur, José Luis Solano, began designing and manufacturing bedplates, soundproof bodywork and electrical components for generator sets in a small metalwork studio in Corvera, a small village situated 20 km from the city of Murcia in the southeast of Spain. At the time, his main business was centred on the manufacture and monoblock assembly of the motor and alternator for gensets. Now, 33 years later, his business project has evolved into Grupo Solano, whose flagship company is Inmesol. Inmesol is currently present in more than 80 countries across the five continents, offering a wide range of equipment with the most innovative technology for the most demanding markets, and has a 25% annual growth rate.
2003: A Turning Point Towards Continuous Growth
1987 saw the inauguration of the factory to produce generator sets; however, the main line of business was still the bodywork, which was highly appreciated in the market for its excellent quality. The company continued to specialise in the manufacture of this product until 2003, when it was decided to make a firm commitment to R+D in order to make a strong entrance into the international generator set market. Since then, Inmesol has grown exponentially to become one of the best manufacturers of generator sets in the world. Over the past quarter of a century, its facilities have also expanded to keep up with the demands of the increase in the volume of business; their installations now occupy a surface area of 100,000 m2.
Genset Ranges Designed for the Most Demanding Industrial Sectors
Inmesol designs, manufactures and sells highly technologically advanced generator sets, both in open and soundproofed versions and with power capacities ranging from 2 to 2500 kVA. The diverse equipment on offer comes in five ranges to provide solutions to any power supply needs their clients may have, regardless of their geographical location or the extreme conditions in which the equipment has to function. (The International Board of Entrepreneurs and Business People recently honoured Inmesol with the 2015 Entreps Energy Award for providing power to SMEs which work in remote locations.) The generator set ranges are: stand-by, portable, industrial, rental and heavy, all of which comply with current regulations on low levels of acoustic and atmospheric gas emissions.
Super-Soundproof, Transportable and Eco-Friendly Equipment Which Can Be Controlled Remotely
This year Inmesol has presented several new generator set models which incorporate the latest advances developed by their Engineering Department. Just last month the company put their new Rental Range 22-550 kVA soundproofed gensets on the market, using Kohler, Volvo, Penta and FPT-Iveco motors that comply with the current strict STAGE IIIA gas emission regulations. The Rental Range gensets have an upper air vent, a waterproof control panel, reinforced drag points and a design which facilitates maintenance and cleaning tasks. They are also designed to work at maximum power in severe weather conditions. Another novel feature is the super-soundproof container: unlike the series models, the new gensets have two external silencing modules, one for admission and the other for expulsion. These design features have managed to reduce the gensets’ acoustic emissions even further, from the 75 dB(A) at 7m of sound pressure of the standard models in normal conditions to 70 dB(A) at 7m.
The new models are the result of months of research in order to maintain their position as leaders in advanced equipment that is also environmentally friendly, a commitment which has defined Inmesol company policy since it was founded and which is translated to all the stages of manufacture, transport and operational life. The generator sets incorporate the most modern, low-emission motors; the alternators are mounted with the utmost efficiency; the chassis and bodywork are made using pickled sheets; they work with pre-cut metal sheets to reduce both the number of journeys to and from the factory and the waste to be recycled; and the punching and bending of the steel sheets in profile is mechanised, while the welding is optimised by the use of robots. On the assembly line, most of the work is done manually; a controlled powder painting system is used which reduces the environmental impact while dilutions and liquids are drying; and there are constant improvements to the generator set and pallet design in order to optimise the space in lorries and containers during their transportation.
Also notable among the latest products presented by the company are the models which can be monitored and controlled remotely from anywhere in the world via mobile devices (from tablets and mobile phones as well as from computers). This technology greatly simplifies the maintenance tasks performed by the personnel responsible for the equipment and allows them to visualise the control panel in real time and interact with it remotely at any time and with the same efficiency as though they were in the same place, producing significant savings on time and travel costs.
Intelligent, Environmentally Friendly and Transportable Lighting Towers
Another Inmesol line of business is the manufacture and commercialisation of lighting towers designed so they can be transported quickly on roads and motorways in emergency situations which require greater illumination in a specific area or an additional electrical power source. Among the many models available, the Mobile Kit is worth special mention: it comprises a tower and a generator set that have been prepared in such a way as to be hitched and towed in compliance with all the relevant regulations. (The new Bangkok International Airport purchased this model this year.) The towers are environmentally friendly as they use LED lamps (more resistant than conventional ones) that substantially reduce the diesel consumption, meaning that the equipment, besides providing energy for the spotlights, can be used to supply other auxiliary charges.
Six months ago the company launched another model with LED lighting which, instead of using a generator set as a power supply source, is designed so that it can be connected to either the power grid or autonomous equipment. Integrated in the towers are a 220 V clock to programme the lighting to come on at a certain time, a twilight relay (light sensor) which activates the spotlights when the sun sets and turns them off at daybreak, and a motion detector which triggers the lights when any movement is detected within a 280° angle around the tower. Likewise, the model is designed so that it can be connected to other towers and operates in a series. To facilitate handling and transport, the towers have wheels and a handle, and the lamps are easily disassembled. The “autonomous” towers, like other products developed by the company, respond to a common demand among many of Inmesol’s clients, as they are designed to facilitate and multiply their use.
The Excellence which Took Inmesol to the Winter Olympics in Sochi
Inmesol generator sets are manufactured with top quality materials: the steel used for the bodywork and chassis and the laminated carbon steel in the structure are both DD11 according to EN10111.2008, for example. The joints are welded using robotic MIG-MAG technology and the Qualicoat paint used on the equipment prevents corrosion in saline and humid environments.
Another key component of Inmesol generator sets are the control switchboards, which undergo constant improvements as new technological advances become available to facilitate equipment monitoring or event and alarm programming. Moreover, to “arm” them against any eventuality, they include functions to protect the motor and automatic monitoring for anomalies which may occur in the current, voltage, frequency, speed, oil pressure and levels, the motor, fuel and coolant levels, etc. Likewise, alarms can be configured for the oil level and temperature, the coolant level or to stop the generator set when it functions outside certain parameters.
The equipment is also designed to be towed and lifted securely and stably; Inmesol has specially designed mobile kits to transport the gensets by road or around building sites, for instance.
In addition to their advanced production lines (with robotics and in some cases triplicated) are their demanding quality control processes and their excellent post-sales service. All of these characteristics have inspired confidence in Inmesol technology in companies around the world. Their equipment is used to supply power in public works, hotels, ports, military facilities, hospitals, large concerts, mines, airports, etc., whether as a main power source where there is no electricity grid available or to provide full emergency power when there is a failure in the grid.
A clear example of how far the company has developed over the past 25 years is the trust placed in Inmesol to supply generator sets for the construction companies contracted to build the new infrastructures for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Inmesol equipment supplied power during the construction phase of the Olympic Park and stand-by generator sets were installed in the oval Olympic skating centre and the data centre. “Inmesol’s trajectory has been marked by the commitment to excellence, a commitment which is shared by all the personnel who form part of the company and which is manifested in their attitude and ability to add value to projects and to facilitate their progress,” says José Luis Solano when commenting on Inmesol’s work at Sochi and other recent projects which have consolidated the company’s leading position in growth sectors such as telecommunications since 2013.
The Keys to Growth: Innovation, Human Capital and Exports
To the president and founder of the company, Inmesol is the result of his view of life and work, the paradigms of which make up its business culture. Instead of settling into a comfort zone, new challenges are set continuously. This ability to enter new territory and a vocation for service permeates the entire organisation. Continuous staff training and research translate into a great capacity for innovation and excellent technical advice for clients. “Inmesol’s human capital is our best asset: we work so we can make our clients’ projects grow,” says Jesús Fernández Cano, the company’s financial director. This philosophy acts as internal engine and is precisely what has opened the doors to international markets and enabled the company to grow in times of crisis. In the past five years, Inmesol has increased production by 100%, the network of distributors/clients has grown by 50% and it currently exports 96% of its production output. “Over the past three years we have expanded our technical engineering workforce by 100% to further strengthen our post-sales service,” adds Cano. With a solid presence in countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and South America, their target for the next five years is to expand their distribution network to more than 120 countries and to maintain and improve their competiveness.
A Socially Committed Company
For the past five years Inmesol has sponsored the Tandem-Murcia cycling team, medallists in the Paralympic Games. The elite athlete Miguel Ángel Clemente has a degenerative disease of the retina and his desire to overcome it represents a value which the company identifies with. The company provides financial support for his daily training and for the meetings and competitions he attends, activities which require a guide, a trainer and a medical team. Tandem-Murcia won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, the silver medal at the World Track Championships in Los Angeles and gold medals in the Road Cycling category (2010) and the Time Trial category (2012) of the Spanish Adapted Cycling Championships.
Corporate Communication on Digital Platforms
The company is aware of the immense potential of the Internet in a globalised society as well as of the need to establish and nurture communication with their actual and prospective clients through digital resources. To this end, for the past three years their communications strategy has included the active generation of information in six languages on their website and their corporate blog, constant activity on social networks and regular informative bulletins to their clients to share news on the latest products created by the company and the most notable developments in the energy sector, research and technology (www.inmesol.com).
Magazines of recognized prestige in the Middle East have echoed the celebration of the INMESOL, such as “Technical Review” on pp. 36, 37 and 38: