INEM is a company founded by researchers from the Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM), who felt limited by the poor technology foundation and production structure of Korean rubber material products.
So far, rubber material products have usually been perceived as a simple consumable. That is why they have been simply replaced when problems occurred. However, components made of rubber have a great effect on the safety and quality of finished products. For this reason, INEM has worked hard on improving the low awareness on rubber material products and technology development. As a result, the company succeeded in development of products with strong durability against radiation in September 2011. With this, it received the New Excellent Product (NEP) certification from the Korea Industrial Technology Association (KOITA) and could grow as a company with independently developed technology.
INEM was run with a focus on technology development soon after beginning operations, but when it was converted to a corporation in 2011, it became equipped with production equipment for rubber components that apply high-function rubber material mix technique to products. INEM is solidifying its position in the industries using the products it produces, such as
Pressure sensing, pressure displacement
or sealing for converting force
A circular ring used in preventing water,
etc. from leaking
A mechanical seal with a shape of thin plate
used in filling seams of cylinder
or joint part of pipes
, and its technology has become recognized in many of today’s vital industries including the environment4)
원재료를 투입해 일관 공정을 거쳐
완제품이 나오는 공장 설비 전체
nuclear power, thermal power, and chemistry as well as heavy equipment, I/T semiconductor, and aerospace (defense industry).
INEM achieves reduction of defect rate and sales increase through MES optimization
Rubber component manufacturing belongs to the foundation group of industries. Most production was performed manually and related technologies strongly depended on the experience of workers.
INEM was aware of a problem that economic and time loss occurred unless quality and performance of rubber components were not secured. Also, it was aware that only when production equipment is changed along with component technology development, could quality be maintained and improved.
To improve this, CEO Kim Hyeon-seop of INEM and Park Gyeong-won, Head of its Research Center were thinking about the introduction of the smart factory system. They learned that Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. (KHNP) supported the construction of the smart factory system for small and medium-sized suppliers and from then on they started constructing the smart factory system.
INEM focused on a ‘customized system’ in constructing MES
MES(Manufacturing Exwcution System)
A production management system.
A field system focused on real-time monitoring of the manufacturing site,
control, logistics and work detail tracking management,
situation understanding, and defect control.
system. After hard work, they constructed the production management system optimized for development of rubber components such as monitoring of production site circumstances, computerization of processes, which previously was done manually, and quality management.
After we constructed the MES system, we clearly saw the effect and improvements
in production efficiency just with monitoring and computerization.
Kim Hyeon-seop, CEO of INEM
Most of all, the defect rate was reduced and sales increased by 170%. This is the largest achievement. INEM said it will keep maximizing achievements by continuously advancing the system.
Effect of the introduction of the smart factory system at a glance
By constructing an MES optimized for the company, INEM enabled its production log, which had been prepared manually, to be simply prepared with just input. Accordingly, production data can be seen at a glance now. Not only that, as the real-time monitoring of production processes became possible, the product defect rate has been greatly reduced. Computerization and datafication of production data contributed greatly to the development of new technologies.
Data flow can now be grasped with just a simple input in the MES system
In the past, workers prepared the production log manually. Because of that, a lot of time was required and related documents were dispersed here and there, which made it difficult to find needed data. However, as we introduced the digital pad in the field, the production log could be simply operated by just inputting data electronically. Prepared production logs were gathered in MES and individualized data could be checked at a glance.
Real-time monitoring enabled a reduction of product defects
In the past, as we could not monitor the production process, it was impossible to find defects after the production process was finished. So, the defect rate was high and management was difficult. However, as real-time monitoring of the production process became possible, we could check how and where the defects occurred. As a result, product defect control became easier, which reduced the total defect rate.
Computerization of production data helped the development of new technologies
In the past, production data were prepared manually. It made the organic connection of each data entry difficult and analysis of data was challenging. However, as data were automatically computerized during the production in real time, reasons for failure or defect became basic material in Big Data for developing new technologies.
CEO Kim Hyeon-seop of INEM reports,
“An ‘INEM-ized’ smart system brought about optimal effects!”
QWhat made you introduce the smart factory system?
AINEM started as a technology-based company and gradually constructed production equipment. Since INEM was a last mover, we could not help but start with the same equipment as the existing companies. That’s why INEM could only discover whether there were defects after all production processes were finished. While we were running the factory, we realized this made it difficult to improve and maintain product quality. We thought the only way we could solve the defect problem and improve quality was to computerize production management and monitor production processes. Then, we learned that Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Ltd. supported the construction project of a smart factory system in 2019. We thought it was an opportunity and applied for it. As a result, we introduced the MES system during the period from June to December in 2019.
QHow was the construction process of the smart factory system and what was the effect?
A It is an important foundation for product quality to secure data on the production factors and learn how to manage them. So, from the beginning, we thought we had to construct an MES system that was suitable for our company even though lots of time and effort were required.
We committed to building and coordinating the smart system we needed. The functions of the smart factory system we expected during the early stages were monitoring and computerization of production factors as a means of improving and maintaining the quality of our rubber products. After the construction of MES, we definitely saw an improvement in efficiency and a positive effect on production. There were a lot of positive changes in production, the defect rate and even sales.
QWhat is your future plan?
AWe participated in the project to support the advancement of the smart factory system, which started in July 2020. We segmented the system and made it more precise to obtain production-related data and have analyzed and monitored the data. We will introduce an AI platform, into which the latest AI technology of machine learning is grafted, to our MES system.
Effect of the introduction of the smart factory system at a glance
INEM said they saw effects in various areas through the introduction of the smart factory system. First sales increased by 84% from 760 million won to 1.4 billion won. And the defect rate was reduced by 15%p. Accordingly, order lead time was reduced by 12%.
Field personnel for INEM reports,
“Efficient data management and convenient work method.”
What is different after the introduction of the smart factory system?
Work seems to have been halved since the introduction of MES.
Most of all, since production history management became easier and more convenient,
our product defect problem was significantly improved.
Seol Jong-wook, Leader of the Production Team
What was difficult when you introduced the smart factory system?
It was a little difficult to discuss with the system construction company.
But, the result was satisfactory because the technology, which had only been in my head,
could be collected as data, and analyzed through the system.
Kim Seong-gwon, Senior Researcher of the Technology Research Department
What effect could you feel after the introduction?
Compared to what we had to prepare manually in the past,
this smart system simply requires inputting the information into the digital pad.
So, lots of time required for preparation has been reduced and work has become more efficient.
Lee Eun-joo, Employee of the Production Management Team