Seeing SIMTOS and More in South Korea

Production Machining Associate Editor Chris Felix had the opportunity to see South Korea for the first time last week as a guest of Hyundai Wia. Here are some things he got to see.


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I had the opportunity to see South Korea for the first time last week. Traveling with Hyundai Wia, I spent a day at the SIMTOS manufacturing technology show. Then, I had a chance to tour two Hyundai Wia plants and two of the company’s supplier facilities. Overall (the extremely long flight notwithstanding), it was a nice trip. Here are some things I took from the trip:

— Hyundai Wia had a huge presence at SIMTOS. With 29 machines under power, it was easy to find something to pique my interest. One machine that caught my eye was the new LF2100M/2SP front-loading turning center. The separated bed design helps to minimize heat distortion and vibration to maintain stable cutting capacity. A high speed gantry loader and stacker are integrated into the machine, creating a flexible, automated work cell.

The LF2100M/2SP turning center features an integrated gantry loader design for high production applications and lean manufacturing environments.

— Hyundai Wia and its suppliers promote the importance of a clean and harmonious work environment.
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The plants I saw on the trip were remarkably clean, and fish tanks were strategically placed in the work environment to promote harmony and serenity.

— Just as Hyundai Wia touches a broad spectrum of industries, so do its suppliers. Energy & Machinery Co., for example, while producing turrets and spindle units for Hyundai Wia’s CNC turning centers, also supplies the defense, power generation and energy industries.
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Hyundai Wia supplier EMK also has its hand in the defense industry and other areas. I saw this tank axle arm being produced.

— The Korean people are very nice. Children routinely greet Americans with a smile, peace sign and an enthusiastic “Hello.” Service personnel at hotels and restaurants clearly respect the responsibility of their jobs to make sure their customers are happy. And the employees on the manufacturing plant floors seem genuinely proud of their work, encouraging us to take a closer look at any area in which we seemed interested.

A group of school girls was excited to see us as we visited Gyeongbokgung Palace.

— Although I had been alerted to be prepared for some outrageous cuisine, I really had no trouble finding foods that I enjoyed. Perhaps I was just fortunate to have been led to the right places, but I left every meal satisfied. Kimchi! 

Okay, so we did have some Western food on the trip as well. Or is that Australian?