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POSCO CEO Plans for More Smart Factories, Visits SIEMENS and GE


To make POSCO more competitive through advanced technologies and smart factory integration, CEO Ohjoon Kwon will visit SIEMENS in Germany and GE in the United States, both of which are known to have successfully operated advanced smart factories. From February 26 to early March, Kwon will meet with executives who have all played an important role in developing their company’s smart factories, including Klaus Helmrich & Roland Busch (members of the managing board of SIEMENS) and Bill Ruh (CEO of GE Digital). During his trip, Kwon will be accompanied by Doo-hwan Choi, president of POSCO ICT, and Mi-hwa Park, who is the head of the Office of Information Planning and the managing director of POSCO ICT.

SIEMENS is a digital company where “all production processes are optimally integrated and controlled by IT.” Its plant in Amberg is a model smart factory thanks to its 1,000 sensors used to connect its IOT technology that makes it possible to check for abnormalities at each stage of the production process. These sensors can also stop the production line if any defective products are found and replace them with new ones. Also, with the ability to analyze 50 million pieces of process information per day, SIEMENS is continuously optimizing its production processes to ensure the lowest possible rate of defects.

GE is slowly shifting to a software company by combining new IT with its traditional manufacturing processes for aviation engines and power turbines. Recently, the company built digital ecosystems into its factories by bringing in software specialists, creating a digitalization department, and developing diagnostic programs. Similar to POSCO, GE’s power generation turbine plant in Greenville is on its way to being converted into a smart factory. GE also recently opened the Advanced Manufacturing Works (AMW) facility, a space that freely allows engineers to test out new manufacturing ideas.

At POSCO, ever since forming the Smart Solution Council in 2016, they have been integrating ICT into their core businesses – steel, construction, and energy – which has had a significant impact in transforming Korea’s manufacturing industry in the process. In its smart factories, POSCO takes 50 years of manufacturing expertise and combines it with IoT, big data, and artificial intelligence technology to produce and supply high-quality products in an economical fashion.

POSCO’s steel plate factory at Gwangyang Works has transformed its integrated production process by building a data integration infrastructure that encompasses all of its operations and facilities. It has also created a data pre-analysis system that can preemptively detect abnormalities. In addition, they have installed laser sensors with AI functionality on the second hot rolling mill at Pohang Works.

Kwon plans to continue developing new businesses under the “Smart Industry” label. Through close cooperation with POSCO’s major affiliates such as POSCO E&C, POSCO Energy, and POSCO ICT, Kwon ultimately aims to reorganize POSCO’s entire business structure by cultivating several sectors that all embrace smart technology (Smart Factory, Smart Buildings & Cities, and Smart Energy).


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