Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Joo Hyung-hwan looks around at production and cast automation lines at Dong Yang Piston Co. in Sihwa Industrial Complex of Banwon, Gyeonggi Province, where a model smart factory is being built. (Photo by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy)
The South Korean government will promote transition to 30,000 smart factories and incubate 40,000 skilled engineers to operate fully-automated manufacturing sites by 2025, said trade minister.
The target for smart factories was upped from previous goal of 10,000 by 2020 in order to meet fast evolution to the fully digitalization and automation era of the fourth industrial revolution, according to the so-called Vision 2025 for Smart Manufacturing Innovation.
Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Joo Hyung-hwan introduced the government plan during a policy meeting with representatives from major small and med-sized enterprises on Thursday.
The government will encourage large companies to support their suppliers in introducing rationalized production system with a goal of spreading smart factories to 4,500 in 10 or more industry sectors by 2025.
Model smart factories that can be benchmarked will increase from 45 in 2016 to 1,500 in 2025 and they will play a pivotal role in furthering the penetration of smart factories by opening their premises to the outside and transferring the know-how for building smart factories.
The government will also incentivize companies focused on developing technology related to smart factories by injecting 215.4 billion won ($189.3 million) into R&D projects by 2020.
Research and test-bed projects to be sponsored by state funds will include those related to big data, cyber physical systems, smart sensors and collaboration robots.
The government aims to create a smart factory market worth 2.5 trillion won between 2018 and 2025 through these sponsor programs.
By Ko Jae-man
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