1980s - railway
And finally the path of the company converged with the railway.
The 1980s was a decade in which the railway began to play a key role in Spain and the entire EU. As expert manufacturers of rubber parts we found a natural way to take advantage of the synergies generated by this expansion. Moreover, our location in Madrid, the country's nerve centre, has always been a competitive advantage.
With our company's policy of continuous improvement, the search for technological alliances had now become a strategic objective in the 1980s. RENFE and the Metro de Madrid underground were undergoing an expansion and renovation that was unprecedented in Europe. To supply these technology partners and learn from them was an attractive opportunity from an operations perspective.
MGN was also involved in maintaining equipment for the transport of goods by companies such as Tafesa and Transfesa. Since then, we have had a permanent commitment to investments in production moulds for critical parts.
The same business opportunities that helped give rise to the company continued to present themselves. The maintenance of equipment, as well as their planning and execution, is a critical factor in fulfilling urgent orders with proven guarantees of quality such as ours.
Thus the keys to those years were quality, trust, customer satisfaction and new orders. We began to apply this same working philosophy to other customers and sectors, such as the armed forces, manufacturers of heavy equipment and machinery for civil engineering works.
We opened a new 3000 square-metre plant in Ajalvir and specific production lines for the treatment of metal parts and blends, with repositories for raw materials, and offices. All of this was set up to meet the needs of a booming market and 30 years later it has put our country at the vanguard of the railway industry around the world.
On the path to development
In the late 1980s, RENFE created a classification system for its suppliers depending on the level of product responsibility. Since rubber is a critical product within the train itself, on its own merit MGN entered the group of suppliers on which the highest standards are imposed. For Category A suppliers, RENFE established a system for the receipt of materials at the point of origin.
Under this system, RENFE engineers came to the plant each week to verify that the material met the established technical specifications. This way of working was clearly a new impetus and, we could say, the origin of the current R+D+I department at MGN. The RENFE engineers became external advisors and helped us to improve the production and control systems, and the laboratory equipment, etc.
Vehicles for the armed forces (tanks, off-road vehicles, etc.) required a quality product for maintenance procedures and a guarantee of durability.
At the end of the 1980s, we received quality certification under the PECAL IV standard as authorised suppliers for the Ministry of the Interior.
The purchasing managers in the armed forces were savvy, tough and demanding negotiators. During those years, we had a number of contacts in the military high command.