It’s not an exaggeration to say that a considerable number of the remote controls used in daily life are manufactured by OHSUNG Electronics. Starting as an electronic components company in 1965, OHSUNG Electronics is a small hidden champion that was Korea’s first mass-producer of remote controls in 1984. Based on independent technologies, the company ranks first in Korea and fifth in the world in terms of market share. Actively exporting while focusing on ODM
ODM(Original Development Manufacturing, 제조업자 개발생산 방식)
A production method in which a manufacturer
that has design and development capabilities supplies
products or goods to selling companies with distribution networks
in the beginning of business, the company rapidly extended its market reach from Korea to customers abroad. From 2010, the company expanded its business to smart home system, IoT device, RF communication·sensor modules, etc. OHSUNG Electronics, which had steadily pursued innovation like this, was selected as a “Hidden Global Champion” by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups in May after receiving a citation from the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy in the category of Smart Home in March 2020.
“Productivity” soars thanks to the construction of a smart factory
Even a few years ago, OHSUNG Electronics, recognized in the industry for its potential, was worrying about movement of the Gumi factory abroad. Due to the nature of the company whose export accounts generate a considerable portion of sales, it has always considered product quality and improvement of productivity to boost global competitiveness.
OHSUNG Electronics found the answer to this concern in “project to support the construction of smart factories” in 2015. It established a soldering automation process for PCBs (Printed Circuit Board) used in wireless products. Also, in 2019, it established a PCB process and voice inspection automation process with its partner company LG Electronics through “large companies and SMEs’ win-win project to support the construction of smart factories.”
The rate of automation for all processes reached 50% through the automation executed as a part of the project to support the construction of smart factories and newly constructed product manufacturing history management system has lowered its defect rate noticeably. Also, OHSUNG Electronics prospected its sales amount in 2020, when the introduction of the smart factory showed effects, as KRW 85 billion, 7% up from the previous year.
As smart factory was established, defect rate was lowered and sales amount was increased. And the issue of moving a factory abroad also disappeared.
Our company will continue its climb to a global No. 1 company relating to remote control and smart home through continuous advancement of its smart factory
Cha Seung-hoon, Research Director of OHSUNG Electronics
Before and after implementation of the smart factory at a glance
OHSUNG Electronics has faced changes in many areas since the introduction of the smart factory system. Cha Seung-hoon, Research Director says the biggest changes among them are a reduction in workers’ fatigue, prevention of defective products through automatic separation and discharge, and ensuring product reliability through enhanced management of manufacturing history.
Significant reduction in worker fatigue through improvements in the working environment
Simple repetitive work such as PCB soldering process, products’ input to and discharge from the inspection equipment in the product inspection process, separating welding jigs, and QR code scanning were carried out manually. Performing these processes worsened worker fatigue and subsequently decreased production efficiency. However, joint robots were used along with the introduction of the smart factory system offered workers an improved working environment, which greatly reduced worker fatigue and in turn increased work efficiency. Fewer work processes improved productivity per person. In particular, the smart factory system improved overall product quality and uniformity in the soldering process.
Improvement of quality management by blocking defective products through Fool Proof management
Since separation and discharge of defective goods from inspection equipment were performed manually, there was a possibility of mistaken discharge by workers. Also, there was no way to check for malfunctioning or defective inspection equipment outside the regular inspection period. However, after the smart factory system was implemented, robots automatically separated and discharged defective products, thereby simplifying quality management. In addition, since product inspection data is automatically collected, large scale data abnormalities are easily identified and inspection equipment errors quickly resolved.
Product inspection reliability is improved thanks to more effective manufacturing history management
Since data on a product’s manufacturing history was not computerized, it was difficult to manage the manufacturing of an individual product. And when a product’s serial number was duplicated, there was no way to check this error. However, as the smart factory system was implemented, product manufacturing history tracking became possible because product inspection results were automatically collected. Since duplications of product serial numbers can be checked easily, there is no concern about such errors and product reliability is enhanced.
OHSUNG Electronics will continue increasing productivity and job satisfaction based on the smart factory system.
Research Director Cha Seung-hoon of OHSUNG Electronics reports,
“Automation of simple repetitive labor achieved significant improvements in both productivity and job satisfaction.”
QWhy did you introduce the smart factory system?
AOHSUNG Electronics has steadily concentrated on investments in production facilities even before the concept of the smart factory system emerged. Our company is heavy on export and we always have to worry about quality improvements and productivity to compete with other global companies. Therefore, the introduction of the smart factory system was quite natural for OHSUNG Electronics.
QOn what did you focus when your company implemented the smart factory system last year?
AWe produce 200,000 units of remote controls in one month and we needed to inspect each of them. Many pieces of equipment were involved in inspecting our products, and this required a lot of simple repetitive works such as inputting and discharging products from the inspection equipment. Lots of personnel and time were required for these operations, so we wanted to automate the process along with the introduction of the smart factory system. Since inspection results are now automatically collected, product inspection history tracking is possible, and Max ID (product serial number) duplication errors can be identified immediately. This has enhanced product reliability.
Effect of the introduction of the smart factory system at a glance
OHSUNG Electronics achieved noticeable performance improvements in four areas thanks to the implementation of the smart factory system. Sales increased from KRW 79.4 billion to KRW 85.0 billion (7%) compared to before the system’s implementation. Cost savings reached KRW 100 million per year and productivity increased by about 15%.
Field personnel at OHSUNG Electronics reports,
“The company realized win-win by focusing on making this introduction easier."
What was problematic before the smart factory system was introduced?
Since our company had to partially cover technology introduction and cost, it was most difficult to determine the best implementation method.
However, we prudently carried out the smart factory system introduction plan with the support of the government and LG Electronics through a project specifically supporting the smart factory system.
Park Jung-gyu Manager of Research Lab 1 Research Team 2
What were the most pronounced changes after implementing the smart factory system?
We had lots of difficulties in understanding the condition of the facility and preventing maintenance problems.
However, since product history information is now automatically collected in the computing system thanks to the smartization of the inspection process,
it is easy to check for errors in the inspection equipment by analyzing the data.
Choi Jong-deok, Senior Researcher of Research Lab 1 Research Team 3
What was most difficult about introducing the smart factory system?
Since the robots were introduced first, designing and installing robots according to our production processes were difficult.
Electronics’ support team visited our facility and participated in the design and installation processes and also gave us advice.
So we could successfully finish implementation of the system without unnecessary trials and errors.
Yoon Jeong-mo Chief Researcher of Research Planning Team