Hyundai-Wia (known in the United States as Hyundai-Kia) recently expanded its large machine tool production campus in Changwon, South Korea. A new environmentally controlled building that opened there in April includes a 13,229-square-foot machining area equipped with jig boring and grinding machines to finish head bodies, spindles, saddles and other major components for the company’s line of machine tools. It also includes a spindle and table assembly area as well as a technical center that currently houses seven demonstration machines. The facility is said to support the production of 200 machine tools per month.
At the facility’s grand opening, Heung Soo Lheem, the new CEO of Hyundai-Wia’s global machine tool business in South Korea, said his goal is to grow the company to become the world’s tenth-largest machine tool manufacturer by 2012 with sales of more than $1 billion. He noted a greater emphasis on equipment R&D and strict quality control. Soon after being appointed CEO of the machine tool business, Mr. Lheem implemented a quality control program similar to that used by Hyundai Motors (he had been part of Hyundai Motors for 36 years). In addition, Mr. Lheem plans to increase the number of R&D engineers from 140 to 200 as the company focuses more intently on factory automation applications and new machine tool concepts.
In other company news, Ki Hyo Park was recently appointed president of Hyundai-Wia’s U.S. operations in East Rutherford, New Jersey.