“DISA is our GPS”


In mid 2014, Mecánicos Unidos – a family-owned cast iron foundry, renowned all over South and Latin America as well as in other parts of the world for its Victoria brand kitchenware – became the 1st DISA customer ever in Colombia. The DISAMATIC 231-Z moulding line was delivered in late 2014 and is believed by the ambitious management of the foundry to be its GPS of the future.

Mecánicos Unidos Story

“Sometimes you see things that you become fascinated by, but cannot quite understand because it almost seems to be a fragment of your imagination. My father, who founded Mecánicos Unidos back in 1939, was the first within our family to become fascinated by the DISA equipment and technology, and since the 1960ies he wanted to bring a DISA moulding line to our foundry in Colombia. It was such a strong wish and major business decision that it eventually had to materialize itself – and become a reality”, says Andrés Felipe Mejia, current co-owner of Mecánicos Unidos, having taken over the foundry together with his brother.

“Having seen my father’s numerous pictures, brochures and videos from DISA’s multiple exhibitions through the past 20-30 years, I, too, became fascinated by the promises of high productivity output as well as the incredible accuracy and quality with almost no mismatch and fettling of castings. But fascination is one thing. Knowledge is another”, he continues.

Challenges, Solution and Results

Building knowledge – building partnership with DISA

After having seen his first DISAMATIC 2110, Andrés Mejia started building additional knowledge of the DISA equipment throughout the 1990ies, but it was not until 2003 – when Colombia started its massive economic change, and the peso began to regain value – that he could initiate an actual reconversion of the foundry:

“In the period between 2003 and 2008, we bought almost all our moulding equipment in the US from some of the foundries forced to close. However, because of the extremely high requirements in surface finish in the types of castings we make, our subsequent work on perfecting grindings became an increasing nightmare”, says Mejia.

“I visited the GIFA exhibition in 2011 in order to specifically check out the DISA technology in more detail. Having made direct contact with DISA, a round of visits to multiple jobbing foundries in Spain was initiated and, for the first time ever, I experienced the changing of moulds and tooling in mere minutes. The versatility of DISA’s vertical moulding lines was almost unbelievable to me. But I was suddenly more than fascinated. I had gained hands-on knowledge from the foundry visits that the extremely important numbers and KPIs for foundries like Mecánicos Unidos – scrap rate, output per day, mismatch, etc. – were achieved”, Mejia continues.

Taking customer expectations to a new level

Becoming part of the DISA family “Visiting additional foundries in Italy, Germany, USA, Brazil and Mexico producing similar parts to us convinced us of the benefits: High productivity and significant reductions in both scrap and labour. The subsequent introduction to the technical support, knowledge transfer and tracking of improvements from DISA to us became key to our decision of making the transformation to DISA technology”.

“In May 2014, we placed the order of a DISAMATIC 231-Z. Today, I believe that the future of our company lies within this system, because it is much more than ‘just’ equipment; it is also an entire technological solution surrounding the equipment. I expect that we will have a return on investment in less than three years – without new sales! And I expect that we will have a partnership with DISA that goes beyond our contractual relationship: We are now part of the DISA family. And we celebrate our 75 years’ anniversary by using DISA as our GPS”, concludes Andrés Felipe Mejia, Mecánicos Unidos.

Strong network of global foundries

“At DISA, it has been – and continues to be – a pleasure to work with Mecánicos Unidos and become part of a story line and fascination with DISA’s moulding lines that dates back to the 1960ies. The enthusiasm combined with solid business and market knowledge as well as high product expertise makes it a privilege to welcome Mecánicos Unidos into the DISA family, and we very much look forward to a long and lasting partnership”, says Per Ejdorf, Vice President Sales Europe & South America, DISA, before Andrés Felipe Mejia adds:

“Having participated in the DISA 2014 customer symposium in October 2014, I met with the DISA family and got the opportunity to both establish and maintain relations with DISA foundries from all over the world. More than 150 cross-border and cross-industry participants shared information and knowledge generously and received all the latest product feedback and details from DISA. It was a pleasure being welcomed by such a vast worldwide selection of DISA foundries, and it boded well for the future partnership between Mecánicos Unidos and DISA”.

New business opportunities

Since the introduction of the DISA moulding line at Mecánicos Unidos, the Colombian foundry has experienced a tremendous change – primarily from manual jolt squeezers to state-of-the-art vertical moulding.

“We have had to learn many new things about gating systems, press pouring, pattern tool designs, new sand conditions, etc., but with the strong dedication from our staff and the continuous help from DISA, we have managed to build new business opportunities as a result of our new DISA equipment”, says Andrés Felipe Mejia before concluding:

“We have increased our product line on the US market, and all our new skillets, griddles, Dutch ovens and woks have been made on the DISAMATIC 231-Z. In consequence, we have been able to further position our Victoria brand kitchenware and have already increased our sales volume”.