Hanwha Group Ventures into Smart Factory Platform Business
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Hanwha Group Ventures into Smart Factory Platform Business
Executive Vice President Kim Dong-kwan of Hanwha Q CELLS leads smart factory project by having Hanwha Techwin dedicate aircraft engine robot factory

26(Sun), Feb, 2017

A view of Hanwha Techwin’s booth at the Eurosatory 2016, the largest land and air-land defense trade show in Paris, France in which homegrown self-propelled artillery K-9 is displayed.

A view of Q CELLS’ pavilion at the PV EXPO 2016 in Tokyo in which the company showcases leading Technologies. (Photos: Hanwha Group)

Hanwha Business Group is venturing into the smart factory business to brace for the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution, which is on the horizon. Hanwha Group plans to have Hanwha Techwin, a subsidiary of the group, establish a smart factory platform this year and expand the model to production lines, including photovoltaic power and chemical units of other subsidiaries to upgrade them as growth engines of the manufacturing field.  

Executive Vice President Kim Dong-kwan of Hanwha Q CELLS, the eldest son of Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn, is leading the smart factory project. As Hanwha Techwin set up an advanced engine plant in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do last November, Executive Vice President Kim had an in-depth look into the robot process and examined the possibility of expanding and transforming the plant into a smart factory.

Smart factories are core facilities that combine IoT, big data and other technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Currently, General Electric, Siemens and other global players possess platforms that can be applied to plants. Hanwha is developing its own platforms to enhance productivity. Even though Hanwha is developing smart factory platforms to optimize productivity of each group subsidiary, the group is considering selling such solutions to other companies, a group official said. 

Last month, Executive Vice President Kim attended the 4th Industrial Revolution sessions at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters to look into the latest trends. He discussed ways of promoting cooperation in the 4th Industrial Revolution and aviation business with Honeywell Chairman David M. Cote on the sidelines of the forum.

Of late, Hanwha Group has secured the hardware to tap the smart factory business by having Hanwha Techwin dedicate an aircraft engine robot factory on a 14,000 sq. meter site in Changwon at a cost of 100 billion won. The group plans to redouble the size of the plant by 2018 to lay the groundwork to launch a full-fledged smart factory business. 

Hanwha S&C, a group subsidiary specializing in IT solutions, will be charged with the software business. The company plans to develop an IoT platform for a robot defense factory. The factory has a system in place in which robots can be activated automatically on idle production lines according to preset work schedules. 

Attaching the IoT platform to the existing system will be a step forward to enhance productivity by diagnosing problems through a system of transmitting conditions of each facility via attached censors. 

Hanwha has an ultimate goal to introduce a big data control system. The upcoming system refers to a solution in which each factory will decide on its own what process to take to optimize production by analyzing such bid data on input time and default rates. Hanwha Techwin’s defense industry plant will serve as a benchmark for other subsidiaries to model them, a group official said.

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