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[Sponsored Report] Posco sets a global vision for its next 50 years

June 26,2018
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Top: PosLX is Posco’s lithium extraction facility. Bottom: Employees work in the engineer’s cab of Posco’s internally developed Smart Solution for Coating Weight Control Based on AI. [POSCO]
Posco, Korea’s largest steelmaker, celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 1 and announced its 100-year vision as a global company.

The manufacturer’s new mission is “Unlimit the Limit: Steel and Beyond” and demonstrates Posco’s intent to become a leader not only in steel but other industries as well.

Posco currently makes 80 percent of its profit from steel and related fields. In the future, the company hopes to make profit in a ratio of 4:4:2 from three major sectors: steel, infrastructure and new growth drivers.

By 2068, Posco hopes to make 500 trillion won ($447.8 billion) in total sales and 70 trillion won in operating profit.

Infrastructure includes industries as varied as trading, constructing, energy and ICT. New growth drivers include energy storage and lightweight materials.

The new vision is “Posco the Great,” meaning value as a great business providing great technology and great culture.

Posco’s history tracks Korea’s modern economic development. The company was established in 1968 and has been steadily growing since, contributing to the economy by sustaining profits and good management.

When the company began liquid iron production in 1973, it made 41.6 billion won in sales. Last year, it made 28.5 trillion won. In 1968, Korea’s per capita GDP was $198. In 2016, it was $27,539.

Posco’s technology has also developed enormously. Recently, the company replaced its 100-year-old blast furnace with Finex technology that’s more economical and environmentally friendly. In 2013, Posco built Southeast Asia’s first integrated steel mill in Indonesia.

Last year, the company sold about 9 million tons of automotive steel. Among global manufacturers, Posco relies the most on automotive steel - the product brings in about a quarter of the company’s total sales, and an estimated 10 percent of the world’s cars use Posco steel.

Recently, the company developed a smart factory platform called PosFrame, marking the start of smart steel production.

The smart factory provides the best products with best prices by applying technologies such as the Internet of Things, big data and artificial intelligence with the experience and know-how of Posco. This way, the company can minimize defects by identifying the causes in advance and quickly implement safe production measures.

With Posframe, the company is the first to adopt a so-called continuous steelmaking process, where liquid steel is continuously filled into a mold and taken out, and also the first to apply artificial intelligence to steel production.

The company has also implanted another piece of technology, called the Smart Solution for Coating Weight Control Based on AI, developed by the company’s steelworks technology research center in conjunction with Lee Jong-suk, a professor of engineering at Sungkyunkwan University. It was installed at the company factory in Gwangyang, South Jeolla, last year. The technology controls the continuous galvanizing line, a major part of automotive steel production, through artificial intelligence to maintain coating quality and ensure a consistent amount is applied.

Posco plans to have all major subsidiaries, including Posco E&C, Posco Energy and Posco ICT, participate in the company’s smart drive. The group will also reorganize its business structure to incorporate smart solutions by actively exploring and fostering platforms in whole industries. This means the development of smart factories, smart buildings, smart cities and smart energy.

Since 2010, Posco has been named the “most competitive steel company” by WSD every year for its excellent business performance and sustainable management. Since 2005, Posco has maintained the longest streak in Korea as a “global sustainable leading company” and “best steel company” in the SAM-Dow Jones Sustainability Index based on its social responsibility, management, corporate governance and innovative potential.


BY KIM MIN-JI [kim.miji4@joongang.co.kr]