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|Company & Focus| Hankook Tire's Geumsan Plant

The Production Base Equipped with World-Class Manufacturing Systems

2011.10.19(수) | 하트오브코리아충남 (이메일주소:smartjkl@korea.com
               	smartjkl@korea.com)

Established in 1941, Hankook Tire is active in the international markets as a global corporation in addition to holding the No. 1 title in the domestic market. For the last couple of years, the global economy has been facing increasing market uncertainty caused by natural disasters, skyrocketing prices of raw materials, and unstable financial markets. Despite all those difficulties, however, Hankook Tire was the only member of the world? top 10 tire manufacturers with increased sales in 2010, continuing its momentum of growth and development.
  |Company & Focus| Hankook Tire  
  |Company & Focus| Hankook Tire  
  |Company & Focus| Hankook Tire  
▲ Hankook Tire Geumsan Plant
Backed by those growth spurts, Hankook Tire has engaged in active marketing activities overseas and runs production plants all over the world including Korea, China and Hungary. Its Hungarian plant completed an expansion project in 2010 to raise its annual production capacity to 12 million units. The company is scheduled to open its third Chinese plant and start the construction of its Indonesian plant in June, 2011. In Korea, its fourth Geumsan plant is under construction for a scheduled completion in October, 2011.
  |Company & Focus| Hankook Tire  
▲ Hankook Tire has participated in world-renowned auto show. So, Hankook Tire's image is improving as the global tire brands.

A Tire Production Base with State-of-the-Art Equipment
Hankook Tire made aggressive investments into its Geumsan Plants for increased production capacity and line extension to meet the rapidly growing global demand.
Its Geumsan Plant built in 1997 increased its production capacity of ultrahigh-performance (UHP) tires to an average 4,000 units per day in the Phase 1 extension of 76.3 billion won and added another production line to manufacture 12,000 UHP tires per day in the Phase 2 extension of 199.2 billion won.
After adding more UHP tire lines in 2008 and 2009, the Geumsan Plant recently invested 80 billion won to add a production line of truck and bus tires that would produce 1,000 units per day. Once the Phase 3 extension is completed in October, 2011, the Geumsan Plant will produce an average 67,000 units per day.
Upon entering the plant, you will first see several unmanned transport vehicles, which are officially called laser guided vehicles or LGVs. They carry half-finished products to the formative process, replacing the batter cars that used to carry treads and sidewalls. Following the programmed production schedule, LGVs even play classical music on the move.
A plant worker explained, “We used to need 30~40 workers to carry items from the manufacturing process to the formative process. Now it takes only a couple of them to maintain the same efficiency thanks to the automated system.” The plant? logistics system is 100% automated.
Most of the production processes were managed and controlled through computers including the examination process, except for examination with the naked eye by a group of skillful employees with more than ten years of experiences.
  |Company & Focus| Hankook Tire  
▲ Views of Hankook tire plant in Hungary
The Geumsan Plant attained a high level of automation, which helped to increase product quality and production capacity and made the working environment more pleasant for the employees. In addition, the training course for new employees has been shortened, which led to more cost reduction.
  |Company & Focus| Hankook Tire  
▲ Ultra-large advertising board with Hankook Tire at Times Square

“Field Ideas,” the Starting Place of the Highest Quality
Another eye-catching element at the Geumsan Plant was the bulletin board in one corner. The plant encourages the employees to share their ideas on how to make improvements around the plant through the bulletin board.
In the early 1980s, Hankook Tire learned about TPM (total productive maintenance) in its technology partnership with Yokohama Tire of Japan and went on to develop it further on its own. Good examples include the “Improvement Panel Contest” and “Improvement Notes.” In the former, the management and employees make an exhibition panel to share their effective improvement ideas. In the latter, they identify and write down in journal form what is unreasonable with the operational equipment.
They promote creative ideas for the improvement of the plant-wide problems by offering active support to the specific processes and facilities and the division clubs of the jobs.
A plant employee explained, “The secret to Hankook Tire? highest quality products in the world lies in its plants where its proprietary technological know-how is applied. Its plants are steeped in the results of unique improvement actions not found in other companies.”
  |Company & Focus| Hankook Tire  
▲ Groundbreaking of Hankook Tire's Third Tire Plant in China(Chongqing, China, May 18, 2011)

Pollution Prevention Systems
Although the Geumsan Plant is 95% automated, it is people that manipulate and program the machinery, which means that their improvement ideas can contribute to the know-how and competitive edge of Hankook Tire.
Hankook Tire has taken good care of its employees and their health, believing that “One of the crucial elements of a good tire is the worker? health.”
In 2008, it took a couple of measures to improve the plant environment including more air conditioners, circulation facilities, and better ventilation devices in high concentration at polluting areas to manage and dispose of pollutants.
It also built a comprehensive management system in environment, health, and safety (EHS) in partnership with outside research institutions.
  |Company & Focus| Hankook Tire  
▲ Hankook Tire booth at Beijing Motor Show
It conducted a detailed investigation into the factors to influence the health of its employees and the surrounding environments and came up with a control plan. It also established a system to manage chemicals used in the tire manufacturing process and devised a set of measures to deal with the high temperature at the site and improve ventilation. It has provided its employees with a regular check-up service in conjunction with hospitals to help them take care of their health.
A member of Hankook Tire organization said, “We invested 24.849 billion won in the improvement of the working environment, creation of a health control environment, and establishment of a comprehensive management system in EHS this year and plan to invest 13 billion won in the reinforcement of the plants?heating and ventilation systems next year.”
 

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