Korea's LSIS reaps rewards of 'smart factory' initiative

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One of Korea's top electric equipment makers is rolling out a "smart factory" initiative in an attempt to radically cut operating costs and to take a grip on the nation's energy efficiency market.
 
LSIS has announced plans to apply integrated automation systems into all of its manufacturing facilities, including the company's G production line, which is now equipped with a fully-automated production system operated by its programmable logic controller (PLC).
 
The PLC is interconnected with the manufacturing execution system (MES), acting as a network hub to manage every level of manufacturing processes within the factory.
 
"The PLC is at the center of our smart factory system, serving as a brain to manage the whole process like central processing unit (CPU)," an LSIS official explained to The Korea Times.
Other cutting-edge technology on the factory floor include automated guided vehicles (AGVs), which are programmed with instructions that allow them to convey machine parts to the next production line.

The AGVs work all the way to the packaging line where a bunch of robots measure weight and size of each product, placing them in a designated box.

Workers have the ability to check incoming data from the PLC in real-time, which can then be put to good use improving production efficiency.

The practices at LSIS's Cheongju facility also appear to dispel the notion that computerised systems cannot replace human beings in the products inspection processes, thanks to a smart vibration sensor that can detect minor defects of each product.

Meanwhile, the factory's advanced planning system (APS) is capable of making humanlike predictions, which sees it take orders, set productions plans and order materials.

The next move for the company is to adopt IoT-embedded production systems such as the cyber physical system (CPS), which shows simulation analysis of what the manufacturing process will be like, even before the production takes place.

The company has so far invested more than 20 billion won ($17.21 million) to create its smart factory, but this has resulted in productivity improving by more than 60%, while energy consumption has reduced by the same percentage.

Smart factory Korea

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