Aiming global leadership
By Raghav Varma
With global competition intensifying, automation is now an indispensable feature of industry that must be applied to the development of high quality and value-added products, says Geun-shick, Park, Chairman & President of Hansung Sysco, the parent Group of Afache and Areca, while stressing his company’s focus on technology development
How do you see the role of automation in future tyre industry?
The tyre industry needs a lot of manpower in the industrial production process. To survive in the tyre industry, you need to reduce costs, increase productivity, improve quality and win a competitive advantage through increased client satisfaction. All of this can be achieved through automation. With global competition intensifying, automation is an indispensable industry that must be applied to the development of high quality and value-added products. Ultimately, automation will become increasingly sophisticated and fragmented for smart factory configuration, and companies with long experience and skills in automation will become more important.
What are the unique aspects of AFACHE automation products that give it competitive edge in the market?
First, specialised in tyre industry. Second, high process understanding. Third, unparalleled engineering ability. AFACHE products were developed based on high-level engineering from problem analysis to testing directly at the tyre production site. Because it is a product made through tyre automation technology engineering based on accumulated automation technology, it is specialized in tyre industry compared to existing AFACHE similar product and it is highly applicable in the field.
AFACHE is a highly technology oriented company. What are the challenges in keeping pace with the rapidly changing technology processes?
We have been focusing on R&D to build a Smart Factory, which is the cord of the 4th Industrial Revolution. AFACHE started as an automation engineering company and we have been developing technologies that can be combined with IoT or IoE based on our 20 years of experience and knowledge. As a result, we succeeded in developing IoT SW and HW of Auto Laser Marker and 3D Measurement System factory automation technology using wireless network in 2014. This technology was developed and funded by the Korean government. It is Korea’s first tyre manufacturing automation technology. With this app, users can remotely control the system wireless.
What are the features of your R&D operations? Are they centred in South Korea or are you in partnership with any institutions overseas?
We do our own technology development through three R&D centres in Korea. We annually invest more than 6 per cent of turnover in R & D. We have been developing new technology based on industrial trends not only by developing existing technology but also by participating in tyre industry exhibitions such as Germany, China and India every year.
In addition, European / Chinese / US / Indonesian branch offices have been working in cooperation with local vision agencies to develop localisation technology. We have been working closely with leading US and Canadian technology companies to develop IoT and IoE products for the future.
What are the features of ARECA?
ARECA has the oldest atmospheric environment technology in Korea. In VOCs processing technology industry, ARECA is known as the ‘BIG 3’ in the world. It has the highest performance in Asia and is the world’s first in the field of tyres. It takes rank with its leading companies in the fields of electronics and semiconductor. In 1998, ARECA succeeded in developing a new type of VOC treatment facility, regenerative combustion equipment, and has been dedicated to supplying economical facilities with low cost, high efficiency. Based on the technology and know-how accumulated in the domestic market, we have entered the overseas market since 2010. We are expanding our market to world market, mainly in China and USA, by exporting excellent facilities such as regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) and flame regenerative thermal oxidizer(FRTO). Not only has ARECA been selected as a “Promising Environment Company,” it has been selected as a “Global Jiangsu Enterprise Growing Enterprise” by the government of the Republic of Korea and has been recognised for its technological excellence and growth potential from the Korean government.
We expect ARECA’s positive export performance as the recent expansion of overseas orders and the enormous strengthening of environmental regulations by governments.
Please elaborate on your energy efficiency products
Air pollutants processed through heat recovery combustion technology, flame regenerative thermal oxidizer(FRTO), and energy recovery system using waste heat steam boiler, hot wind, etc. can be reused to energy. flame regenerative thermal oxidizer(FRTO) is a system to reduce the fuel cost by installing an LNG injection system equipped with a mixer at the upstream side of the existing heat accumulation combustion facility. It is possible to operate the combustion chamber automatically by interlocking the automatic valve and the temperature sensor and injecting the optimal supplementary fuel, and it can reduce the fuel cost by more than 30 per cent compared with the existing heat storage combustion facility.
The energy recovery system can produce energy by reducing the environmental pollution by producing steam, hot water, and hot air in the form of heat source required by the factory in case of plants with high VOC concentration such as coating and film industries. V-200CO, a catalytic oxidation type indoor VOCs processing system, has been developed based on VOCs processing technology concentrated in recent 20 years. There are three main advantages of the product. First, this product is a compact system design that takes up less space and allows free movement. Second, VOCs remaining in product factories and offices can be processed to improve worker environment and improve work productivity.
Third, for other V-200CO products, the existing external VOC processing equipment is required for internal installation, but the V-200CO can be installed and operated irrespective of this.
How does your export strategy work? What are your expansion plans?
Since 2012, AFACHE has been working aggressively with Dawnsun Exim Corporation in tyre manufacturers in India and Southeast Asian markets. In particular, in India we have plans to develop and deliver a customised vision system tailored to the Indian market in order to prevail in the world tyre market.
In addition, AFACHE has participated in world-renowned tyre industry exhibitions every year in India, China and Germany to identify market trends, promote products and attract new customers. The company also operates overseas operations through overseas subsidiaries in China, Europe, Indonesia and the US.
AFACHE is a leader in the automation of Asian tyre production. Ultimately, we aim to be a global champion of environment, measurement, and smart factory as well as automation through steady investment, continuous technology development and overseas market development.
How successful are your clean factory environment products?
In 2016, ARECA has a close partnership with Samsung, which has been selected as a supplier of OLED displays by Apple. Our equipment enters the OLED line supplied to Apple, ARECA recently won 17 orders for Samsung. As Samsung recently decided to invest 3 trillion won in its OLED plant in Vietnam, we expect to receive additional orders from Samsung.
In addition, ARECA has won more than 10 billion won in orders for Panda Electronics, a LCD professional manufacturer, a state-owned Chinese enterprise in 2014, for the first time in Korea.
South Korea has a thriving technology-based economy. How has it helped your operations?
First, it is easy to find talented people with excellent technical and expertise. In particular, Korea has a lot of companies with global competitiveness and knowledgeable people among the electronics / IT / semiconductor-based businesses, and it is very helpful that good manpower resources can be saved.
Second, the geographical advantages of Korea’s advanced scientific research area and the government’s active support for research and development contribute to the growth of AFACHE and advance into the global market.