Executive talks manufacturing

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Executive talks manufacturing


Guenther Klopsch, head of the industry sector at Siemens, talks about what the German-based company can offer manufacturers to improve their efficiency and flexibility in product development and production. Klopsch spoke yesterday at the Westin Chosun hotel in central Seoul. Provided by the company

While there are growing challenges in the manufacturing industry today with more pressure on companies to enhance their efficiency and resource management capabilities, Guenther Klopsch, head of Siemens’ industry sector in Korea, said yesterday that his company can provide full solutions to help boost competitiveness in a changing environment.

“If you look at the trends we’re facing all over the world, many of them will have a tremendous influence on manufacturing in the future,” he said in a press conference at the Westin Chosun Seoul hotel in central Seoul. “One of them, for example, is the stably growing population in the world.”

Klopsch noted that there will be more for trains, airplanes and cars.

“Other challenges we face are energy, labor issues and an aging society,” he said. “And all these challenges, all these trends and changes in our social fabric, have a lot of influence on manufacturing.”

Challenges, meanwhile, are greater for manufacturing-focused countries like Germany and Korea.

“Competitiveness is getting more and more important,” Klopsch said. “Companies have to increase their efficiency, which means they have to manage their resources like energy consumption or labor even better in the future.”

To ease some of the burdens on Korean manufacturers in the future, Klopsch introduced the company’s Digital Enterprise Platform. The platform allows a company to combine all the manufacturing steps - product design, planning, production engineering, production execution and service - by utilizing software tools to integrate product life-cycle management (production planning and design) with totally integrated automation (production engineering and execution).

The development of the platform, which is still under way, is in line with the Industry 4.0 initiative, or the fourth industrial revolution, a growth strategy by the German government to enhance efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing sector by integration with IT.

“Siemens was the first company that had the idea to combine both areas [product life-cycle management and totally integrated automation],” Klopsch said. “The idea of manufacturing in the future - call it creative economy or Industry 4.0 - is to have one data backbone, one data model throughout one manufacturing process.”

For Korean companies, Klopsch said Siemens has lots to offer in optimizing their value chain in the years to come by utilizing its platform.

“Korea has the world’s best IT and manufacturing infrastructure and manufacturing’s proportion in the Korean economy is one of the highest among the 21 OECD countries, but with regard to Industry 4.0, it is still in its infancy,” he said. “The Korean creative economy model should move toward steadily pursuing manufacturing innovation based on Industry 4.0 to ensure that the Korean economy will achieve sustainable growth and continue to enhance export competitiveness.”

BY LEE EUN-JOO [angie@joongang.co.kr]

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