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Shipbuilders Invest in High-Tech


Considered one of Korea's oldest industries, the shipbuilding sector is now looking to maintain its competitive edge in this high-tech age by investing in advanced technologies. Well known shipbuilders such as Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries have recently announced their plans to tap into new trades like robot building and the Internet based technologies.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering has recently opened a research center for robots thus declaring the start of its ultra high-tech robot business. The company plans to replace manpower with a computerized mechanical “workforce” in manufacturing ships. Daewoo plans to invest 30 billion won ($24.7 million) over the next 10 years in the project, while also working on completing process innovation - a systems integration model, thus becoming the first in the shipbuilding sector to install the program. Samsung Heavy Industries announced it would inject 6 billion won into developing a "virtual simulation system" for shipbuilding by 2004. This futuristic project will make it possible to test the construction process for ships virtually, thus saving on the cost of real labour by up to 30 billion won per year. The company has already installed Internet based 3-D CAD last year, which helped boost its productivity by up to 50 percent.

The Korea Herald  

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