South Korean manufacturer SK On has announced strategic cooperation agreements with both foreign and domestic companies, marking a significant move towards enhancing the efficiency of its battery production processes. The initiative is part of the company's broader vision to establish a “smart factory.”
In pursuit of increased competitiveness in battery production, SK On aims to streamline costs and elevate output. The collaboration entails rigorous testing of the performance, quality, and stability of technologies and services offered by the newly forged partnerships, with a specific focus on enhancing control and communication systems of battery production equipment.
SK On emphasizes that upgrading controllers is intricately linked to improving equipment speed, thereby contributing to heightened production volumes. The company underscores the role of intellectualized smart sensors, enabling quicker and more precise detection of equipment status and errors. This, in turn, reduces recovery times and enhances operational efficiency in the event of malfunctions.
The advancement of network systems is anticipated to result in reduced downtime, as well as improved data redundancy and security. A total of six companies, including German firms Beckhoff Automation and IFM Electronic, specializing in automation solutions and intelligent sensors respectively, have signed Memorandums of Understanding with SK On. Japanese company Yaskawa Electric, known for manufacturing industrial robots and machines, network equipment provider Cisco based in the USA, and Korean supplier Woowon Technology, specializing in battery assembly equipment, are also among SK On's collaborative partners.
SK On's Head of Factory Innovation, Oh Ki-young, stated, “Through this collaboration, SK On aims to lay the foundation for building a smart factory through the intellectualization of production equipment. We are committed to collaborating with both our local and global partners possessing global competitiveness to enhance our manufacturing strength.”
The newly introduced technologies will be applied at the Seosan Plant 3, currently under construction in South Korea, set to commence operations in 2025. This facility is expected to triple SK On's production capacity in the country. Additionally, SK On anticipates that the smart factory design will contribute to boosting the productivity of existing facilities.