POSCO Expands Smartization to Clients and Affiliates

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POSCO is the first in the world to apply a “Smart Factory” to the steel production process. Earlier this month, POSCO shared their knowledge on smart technology with clients and affiliate groups to expand on their smartization efforts.

On July 19, POSCO held its Smart POSCO Forum 2017 at the POSCO Center to share the results of its smart projects with employees and partners. POSCO hopes to increase the application of smart technology internally as well as externally with partners and affiliates.

As many as 700 people attended the forum including POSCO Group affiliate employees, as well as those of POSCO’s major suppliers, outsourcing partners and AI-related professors. Notably, employees from Nastech and Korinox, where POSCO is carrying out smart factory support projects, participated as well.

POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon watching a presentation at the forum
POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon watching a presentation at the forum

“POSCO must continue to take up the challenge of implementing a smart POSCO in preparation for the dawning of the 4th Industrial Revolution. We will apply smart technologies to all processes of the steel mills, as well as to management areas such as finance, HR and purchasing to realize the concept of smart management,” stated POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon. “We will actively share the results of POSCO’s smartization process with our group affiliates and customers.”

Mi-hwa Park, head of the POSCO Information Planning Department added, “To realize a smart POSCO, we started the Smart Solution Council headed by our CEO last year, and identified 141 smart projects which applied Big Data and AI to solve practical problems. Approximately 600 employees participated in the projects and reduced costs by KRW 15.7 billion.” She added, “We will develop a POSCO-style SME smart factory model to support innovations for the manufacturing sites of our SME customers and suppliers. Furthermore, we will contribute to fostering SMEs and creating jobs by providing a lighter version of the PosFrame, developed by POSCO, as a customized smart platform for SMEs.”

POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon with the four excellence award recipients
POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon with the excellence award recipients

POSCO also recognized projects that applied Big Data and AI, for excellence in the steel production category. Out of the four, one improved the flatness of steel sheets and another provided improved technology for slab production. The “3D-based design/construction quality improvement” project that uses POSCO E&C’s Virtual Construction to predict risks, and the “power generation output through condenser performance diagnostics” project that can accurately detect errors in POSCO Energy’s power plants were also among those selected.

Forum participants were given an opportunity to experience POSCO’s smart solution platform PosFrame firsthand. PosFrame combines operational insights and IT technology to collect Big Data as well as process and monitor data in a way that allows participants to experience the reality of “Smart POSCO.” It was one of the most popular features of the forum among participants.

POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon looking at a PosFrame platform
POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon looking at a PosFrame platform

POSCO also announced its plan to standardize the technologies and processes developed through smart projects, turn them into a technical package and actively incorporate them into its “Smart Solution” business to create added value.

Ki-won Na, CEO of Shinheung Automotive Co., Ltd., an automotive parts maker, said, “We received a lot of ideas applicable to our operations from the case studies presented today, and if we learn about POSCO’s Big Data analysis and utilization techniques in more detail and apply them, I expect it will greatly contribute to improving our productivity.”

POSCO joined hands with POSTECH to launch an advanced AI course earlier this year and is currently training 25 internal AI experts so that they can apply their AI knowledge in their field to solve problems and thus lead the way for a smart POSCO.

Also, POSCO has begun providing free AI education to young, underprivileged jobseekers in July and is now training 100 youths per year on both theoretical and practical knowledge. POSCO is also planning to support the customized SME smart talent development project, including practical education on AI and Big Data skills, for its customers and suppliers.

POSCO is actively planning to complete its smartization, meaning it will apply its “Smart Factory” to all processes of the steel mills, and carry out its “Smart Solution” business, which combines POSCO’s product technologies and services with smart technologies.

 

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