Machine Tool Industry Day Is Observed
Twenty-four people win diverse prizes for the development of the Korean machine tool industry
Aceremony to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the Day for Those in the Machine Tool Industry took place at the Renaissance Seoul Hotel on Dec. 1 with about 300 people from government, industry and academic circles in attendance.
In 2001, the government designated the first Thursday of December each year as the "Day for Those in the Machine Tool Industry" with the goal of nurturing Korea into a machine tool power and expanding its machine tool exporting base.
The presidential award went to two people, including Kim Sang-il, president of SMKOREA, who was praised for his contribution to the development of the Korean machine tool industry by localizing a high-pressure water jet cleaner, having an effect of substituting 3.5 billion won worth of imports yearly.
Twenty-two others, including Kim Sung-rak, managing director of Doosan Infracore, were presented with the Minister of Knowledge Economy Award.
Kim has been credited with dramatically curtailing the standard fabrication time and maximizing productivity to 1,000 machinery units monthly. He was also praised for his role in upgrading production of Doosan Infracore's plant in China from 600 to 1,400 units on a monthly basis through localization. Yeom Kyu-yong, senior researcher at Hwacheon Machine Tool Co., won the award for his contribution to developing new products and technologies in his 11-year career, including a machine tool remote-control system in 2003.
At the ceremony, Kim Jae-hong, assistant minister of the Office of Industries at the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), stressed the need for being proactive to trends such as convergence, going multi-functional, and eco-friendliness for the promotion of the Korean machine tool industry. He also urged the private sector to focus on its capability to develop advanced products through collaboration among large-sized companies and SMEs.
In a lecture, Na Kyoung-hoan, president of Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), said the Korean machine tool industry made strides with an average annual growth rate of about 10 percent since 2000, and the industry saw the trade balance turning to a surplus in 2007 and landing a record high number of orders in 2011.
But Korea witnessed a trade deficit in the automobile and shipbuilding sectors, heavy users of high-end machine tools. Korean machine tool exporters depend heavily on the Chinese wide-use machine tool market and other markets. Korean machine tool makers are faced with fierce competition in its mainstay areas -- mid-end machine tools.
Corporate clients want machine tool makers to serve as a system provider to offer all things ranging from equipment to services, but Korean firms are still depending on selling machinery, with the portion taking up a more than 80 percent share.
Korean machine tool makers are required to develop a package of systems that may come up with high-speed, high-efficiency, multi-discipline, convergence process, eco-friendliness, large-sized, and multifunctional, in order to nurture future interdisciplinary and convergence machine tool industry. nw
(clockwise) A ceremony to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the Day for Those in the Machine Tool Industry takes place at the Renaissance Seoul Hotel on Dec. 1,; Kim Jae-hong, assistant minister of the Office of Industries at the MKE, speaks at the ceremony,; Twenty four people were presented with diverse prizes for their contributions to the development of the industry.
Photos on courtesy of MKE