LG executive urges partner suppliers to automate

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LG executive urges partner suppliers to automate

In a speech to top executives and manufacturing partners on Friday, LG Electronics’ vice chairman, Jo Seong-jin, emphasized innovation and automating production as keys to surviving the “fourth industrial revolution.”

Jo called on the company’s 100 manufacturing partners to improve their production capacity amid heavy competition in the electronics sector and said LG’s own efforts would not suffice.

“Innovating and automating facilities will be crucial to our manufacturing partners when it comes to stepping up competitiveness,” he said. “Making production lines more efficient and setting up intelligent and autonomous factories will eventually spread across the manufacturing field.”

Jo, whose background is in engineering, used LG’s modular design system as an example. The process allows key parts of a certain product to be developed independently as so-called modules.

These modules are then combined in different ways to churn out different products at a rapid pace. The process saves time and costs for producers, Jo said, and brings reasonable prices and diverse products to consumers.

LG, the country’s second-largest electronics maker after Samsung, began researching modular design in the 1990s and partly implemented the system for washing machines in 2000.

All parts in LG-made washing machines became modules in 2009, a first for an electronics maker.

Since 2013, when Jo took full charge of LG’s consumer electronics business, modular production has been applied to other LG products.

The event on Friday was held to highlight 16 manufacturing partners that have demonstrated achievement this year in four categories: technological innovation, quality innovation, price innovation and management.

Each of the company’s chief executives received the company’s CordZero A9 cordless vacuum cleaner.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]
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