TaeguTec Showcases Advance Engineering, People to US Envoy
TaeguTec, a staple in the region, welcomed United States Ambassador Mark Lippert for a special visit on July 23 where he was briefed about the company, its operations and enjoyed a firsthand visit of the state-of-the-art facilities.
“I was just extremely impressed with the company, the people, the processes, the facilities, the innovation. The entire enterprise was just an incredibly high-functioning, high-performing enterprise,” said Ambassador Lippert.
The Asian metalworking giant regularly welcomes guests to its head office in Daegu to display how the technologically advanced high-functioning cutting tools and industrial products are made and developed for every industry the world over.
In every case, guests – be it large or small customers or representatives from governments – are amazed at how efficient, clean and advanced the facilities are; in this regard, TaeguTec breaks popular misconceptions that the company and the country are not the representatives of a by-gone era, instead TaeguTec showcases a union of advancement in an avant-garde society.
During his visit, the ambassador was treated to a behind the scenes guided tour of the company’s auto-visual inspection machine (AVIM) which identifies any minute defect in TaeguTec cutting tools, a process that helps improve customer satisfaction, saves on cost, increases the quality of the company’s products and decreases the delivery time so that customers are guaranteed an excellent product delivered quickly and efficiently.
To highlight the importance of the visit, TaeguTec President Han Hyun-jun explained to Mr. Lippert the functions that make AVIM an integral process in the day-to-day manufacturing operations at the Asian metalworking giant and by doing so, shows the pride Mr. Han has for such an important system.
“The technologies are cutting edge, the machinery is all new, there is a lot of reinvestment in the company itself,” said Mr. Lippert.
Another feature the ambassador found highly interesting was the next generation energy management system which not only provides a virtual window to analyze and control the facility’s real-time power usage, but also controls every facet of the manufacturing process either onsite or through a web browser or authenticated mobile devices.
From there, the tour continued with the inspection of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), an industrial control system that operates in real-time in order to control remote equipment for the purposes of monitoring, detecting and controlling any risk factors that might arise in the facility.
The SCADA system helps save the company millions a year and, at the same time, alleviates a major drain in the city’s industrial energy demands during peak times.
As of now, more than 20 major corporations in Korea have benchmarked TaeguTec’s energy management system including KAIST, a top-notch engineering school in Korea, which after an extensive investigation into similar systems at other local multinationals, selected it as a case study and research model for their curriculum.
Moreover, TaeguTec’s Energy Management System received high praise from important international dignitaries during their first stage of a green tour while attending the World Energy Congress in October, 2013.
The system goes beyond the daily management of energy uses, its integrated control and safety systems successfully and fundamentally enhances safe and reliable operations, boosts system reliability and reduces critical asset risks such as fires, hence elevating the safety of the company while making sure of the wellbeing of its workers at all times.
In recognition of TaeguTec’s philosophy of safety first, the most valuable rule while operating a factory, the multinational company acquired the OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems) and the ISO 14001 (ISO-Environmental Management) certificates, which, in both cases, judged that the quality of the system within the facilities went far beyond the industrial standards.
To underline the importance of TaeguTec’s prime directive of safety above all for its workers and neighboring residences and businesses, the ambassador was explained that an automatic fire service system was installed in every equipment used in the manufacturing process which not only detects flames but monitors their core temperatures so that it can quickly and efficiently extinguish fires and shuts down the necessary equipment or system. To make sure that the problem does not persist, the automatic fire service system will not permit operation to start up again until the situation has been cleared.
In addition, almost all the buildings in TaeguTec are equipped with an overhead water sprinkler system even though the local laws do not require a company to do so.
“The facilities are absolutely spotless and clean; in an industry that deals with materials and the processes it does, that small detail spoke volumes about the overall competency of the company,” said the U.S. envoy.
To make sure that the local environment is kept in its pristine state so that future generations can enjoy the area’s clean rivers and healthy fauna, TaeguTec operates a highly efficient oil filtering and monitoring system; a process that continuously and safely refines and handles the oil that is used to grind the company’s cutting tools into perfect workhorses of art.
During his visit, the ambassador took the time to shake hands and talk with some of the engineers and factory workers of the company.
“The people were just first-rate and I really enjoyed talking with them, watching them work, and interacting with them,” said the ambassador.
At one point during the guided visit of the campus, the clouds opened up and it started to rain. Quickly, TaeguTec employees took out their umbrellas to protect themselves and the ambassador from the rain, but like a true gentleman, Mr. Lippert did not want to inconvenience anyone and opted to enjoy the cooling sensation of the shower pour over him and in doing so, possibly ruined an expensive suit, something that impressed everyone in attendance.
TaeguTec, as a foreign invested company with century old roots in the country, has taken the lead as a major employer in Daegu by employing about 1,500 people out of which 90 percent are from the Daegu-Gyeongbuk region.
“It is clear that TaeguTec is a driver of innovation, job creation, and economic prosperity in the region,” he said. “So you could just tell it was not only something that had anchored the community economically for a long time, but it also continues to be innovative and fosters a creative economic environment in Daegu – that is equally important.”
Furthermore, through its almost monthly customer seminars, TaeguTec’s highly popular program infuses tourism dollars and boosts MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) business from the 100s of international guests into the local economy; a program that not only increases Daegu and the company’s image abroad, but also helps local businesses increase sales that would not have been possible otherwise.
“TaeguTec is one of these great gems that’s, quite frankly, underreported and underappreciated,” said the ambassador. “It’s one of those things that represents a good news story between the United States and Korea.
“It’s an example of a Korean-based company that has become an American owned company over time, and the history and fantastic structure that’s been put in place combined with Mr. Warren Buffett (who purchased the company) is a winning combination in my view.”