POSCO Starts Smartizing All Group Affiliates

Posted on 19 July 2017

- Holding 'Smart POSCO Forum 2017' and presenting exemplary cases of using smart technology
- Saving KRW 15.7 billion in costs by carrying out smart projects from last year··· sharing benefits with group affiliates and customers
- Contributing to fostering SMEs and creating jobs by providing the customized smart platform

POSCO, which became the first in the world to introduce the "Smart Factory" to steel production processes, presented an exemplary method of using the smart technology to all group affiliates, and is beginning to spread smartization.     

On July 19, POSCO held "Smart POSCO Forum 2017" at POSCO Center to share the results of POSCO's smart projects with its employees and customers, and spread the application of smart technology in and outside of the company. As many as 700 people, including not only the employees of POSCO Group affiliates but also small- and medium-sized customers like Nastech and Korinox where POSCO is carrying out smart factory support projects, major suppliers, outsourcing partners and AI-related professors, attended this event.     

"POSCO needs to continuously take up the challenge of implementing Smart POSCO in preparation for the dawning of the 4th Industrial Revolution, and we will spread the exemplary cases of Smart Factory to all processes of the steel mills, and apply the smart technology to management areas such as finance, HR and purchasing and realize the concept of Smart Management," stated POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon. "We will actively spread the results of POSCO's smartization to our group affiliates and customers."     

"To realize 'Smart POSCO,' we started the SSC(Smart Solution Council) presided over by the CEO last year, and identified 141 'smart projects' which applied Big Data and AI to solve problems in the field, and approximately 600 employees participated in the projects and reduced costs by KRW 15.7 billion," said Mi-hwa Park, head of the POSCO Information Planning Department. "We will develop the POSCO-style SME smart factory model to support the innovation of the manufacturing sites of SMEs for our customers and suppliers, and 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."     

Also, excellent case studies of smart projects, which utilized Big Data and AI, were presented and shared with participants. They were well received by the audience.     

The project that improved the flatness (the degree of the flatness of the surface of steel sheets) of thick plates by collecting and analyzing big data and predicting the deformation of thick plates, and the technology for producing the best slabs by analyzing and controlling the fuel quality and status of the heating furnace during the production of hot rolled steel plates were selected as excellent projects in the steel production category. The '3D-based design/construction quality improvement' project for using POSCO E&C's Virtual Construction to predict risks, such as design errors and safety problems likely to occur in actual construction, and the 'power generation output through condenser performance diagnostics' project that can find the correct causes of performance degradation of the core facilities of POSCO Energy's power plants and even suggest future management plans were also selected as excellent projects, thereby enhancing the possibility of smartizing all business areas of the group.     

The experts, leading domestic AI research, including Prof. Byeong-tak Jang of Seoul National University, were invited to the event, and participated in heated discussions about 'the strategies and development directions for creating results by applying AI to the manufacturing industry' and provided high-quality information.     

In addition, POSCO installed a booth outside the venue to allow for firsthand experience of POSCO's proprietary platform called 'PosFrame' which can combine its operating know-how and IT technology to collect Big Data, and process and monitor data in a way that meets conditions so that participants could experience the present of 'Smart POSCO.' This attracted the attention of many participants. POSCO also announced its plan to standardize the technologies and processes that were developed through the smart projects in different areas, turn them into a 'technical package,' and actively use them for the 'Smart Solution' business to create new added values.     

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 cases that were presented today, and if we learn POSCO's Big Data analysis and utilization techniques in more detail and apply them, I expect that they will greatly contribute to improving our productivity."     

Meanwhile, 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 use applied AI knowledge in the field to solve problems and thus lead 'Smart POSCO.'     

Also, POSCO started to provide free education on artificial intelligence for underprivileged young jobseekers in July and is now fostering 100 youths per year who have 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 the smartization, i.e. spreading '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.

Source: POSCO Newsroom

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