HHI inks 40-million-dollar deal with Chinese manufacturer

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HHI inks 40-million-dollar deal with Chinese manufacturer

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has inked a $40 million deal to supply industrial robots to a Chinese display panel manufacturer, the company said Tuesday. The single order’s value is equivalent to 18 percent of HHI’s total revenue last year from the industrial robot business.

Vibrant Display Technology (VDT), a Chinese company affiliated with Taiwanese display panel maker Chunghwa Picture Tubes, ordered 309 robots to handle liquid crystal display (LCD) glass panels.

The robots are capable of carrying sixth-generation LCD glass panels that are 1,850 millimeters (6 feet) by 1,500 millimeters. They will be installed in VDT’s Fuzhou plant in southeastern China by the second half of 2017.

HHI was in competition with Japanese robot makers. It is currently the only Korean company able to develop and produce industrial robots based on its own technology. HHI started its industrial robot business in 1984 and succeeded in developing LCD handling robots in 2007.

The company now has a full lineup of 10 different LCD handling robot models that can work with panels ranging from second-generation cellphone display screens to 10.5-generation ultra-large television panels.

HHI’s presence in the world’s LCD handling robot market grew to roughly 30 percent, the company said.

“We are putting in various efforts to foster our industrial robot business to be our future growth engine,” HHI said in a statement.

The company aims to bring in 273 billion won ($237.7 million) in revenue from industrial robot sales this year, a 7.5 percent increase compared to last year’s 254 billion won.

As part of its strategy, the company last July separated its robot division from the engine and machinery division to strengthen separate research and development efforts on robotics.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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