Kolon Group’s New Employees Join in the Dream Pack Campaign
- Gathering a kit of school supplies for children of low-income households
- Continuing the tradition of starting out as a Kolon Group member by participating in the Dream Pack Campaign launched in 2012
- Funded by donations of employees and matching grants accumulated over the past year
- Delivering Dream Packs to over 1,200 children through 41 local child welfare centers
New employees of Kolon Group kicked off their careers at Kolon Group on the 8th by participating in the Dream Pack Campaign at the Kolon Human Resources Development Center in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do. This volunteer activity is staged jointly by the Kolon Social Volunteers Group (headed by Suh Change-hee) and Korean Food for the Hungry International, an international NGO for hunger relief, to gather and distribute a kit of school supplies for children of low-income households before the start of a new semester.
Kolon Group has continued the tradition of engaging all new employees in producing the Dream Packs for the underserved and delivering them in person as their very first task as a Kolon Group member over the past nine years since 2012.
Each Dream Pack consists of 15 school supplies and winter items and is funded by the donations made by employees and the company’s matching grants accumulated over the previous year. Employees are to pass through the “donation angel’s gate” installed at the entrance of the head office in Gwacheon or Kolon One & Only Tower in Magok-dong on the monthly payday or donate KRW 1,000 by accessing the fund-raising program via the Group’s intranet.
The dream packs made on the day are delivered to over 1,200 children via 41 local child welfare centers across the nation. The participants also visited local child welfare centers in nearby neighborhoods to deliver the dream packs, read cards with warm messages of support, and share memorable moments with the participating children. Kim Seol-ho, who visited a child welfare center located in Gwanyang-dong, Anyang, Gyeonggi-do, said, “It feels very rewarding to be able to make contributions to society through my very first activity as a Kolon Group member. The smiles on those children’s faces filled me with happiness.”
The Kolon Social Volunteers Group was founded in 2012 and has engaged in a variety of community outreach activities to “help children envision their dreams” under the slogan “A Cornerstone for Dreams – Dream Partner”. It operates the Hello Dream program aimed at guiding underprivileged youth to find and nurture their dreams. Last year, the accumulated number of volunteers reached over 8,000.
Kolon Group Declares “Surfing 2020”
- Representing our will to boldly take on new challenges in the business environment with growing uncertainties like an adept surfer
- Outlining plans for the organization and individuals to reinforce the mindset as professionals, improving the flexibility of the horizontal corporate culture, etc.
- Aiming to drive Kolon Group’s growth by discovering items that will serve as future prime movers
Kolon Group held the enterprise-wide kick-off meeting for the year on the 2nd at Kolon One & Only Tower in Magok-dong attended by subsidiary CEOs and employees holding the position of team head or higher.
At the meeting, “Surfing 2020”, the vision for Kolon’s Empathy Management, was declared by the One & Only Committee (chaired by CEO Yoo Seok-jin of Kolon Corporation). The new vision takes its name from the Group’s determination to create Kolon’s own “next big thing” by responding to the fast-changing business conditions and uncertainties of the future like a surfer who skillfully rides the waves, turning each wave into an opportunity for growth.
In particular, this year’s management principle prioritizes “empathy”. This means all the subsidiaries should practice self-led and responsible management and encourage all employees to work together as one to achieve success.
This was the second kick-off meeting organized by the One & Only Committee, the council of Kolon Group’s CEOs formed after the resignation of Chairman Lee Woong-yeol at the end of 2018. The Committee emphasized its will to continue striving for innovation rooted in Chairman Lee’s decision to resign from all positions not to become an obstacle to the Group’s march forward.
The directions for future steps to be taken by the organization and its individual members were also given. The Committee highlighted the importance of seeking new opportunities by taking on new challenges and encouraged all employees to develop top-tier competence as professionals and fulfill their duties with utmost care. The Committee also announced the plan to apply the new position and title system ensuring a horizontal corporate culture and the flexible performance assessment system to all subsidiaries in order to allow the organization to evolve in a manner that facilitates each individual’s success.
The Committee pledged, “We cannot survive unless we find items that can preempt the future market. We must focus on creating the ‘next big thing’ unique to Kolon Group.” It added, “Kolon Group has taken pride in laying the nation’s industrial foundation, improving people’s quality of life, and keeping its integrity over the past 64 years. We will work harder to build a better Kolon powered by our vision and passion for success.”
Kolon Group is projected to record continued growth throughout this year following last year as its new material businesses with high added value, such as aramid fibers and CPI® (colorless polyimide) film, are expanding and its construction sector profits are stabilizing. It also plans to accelerate R&D and investment to preempt the market of materials and components related to hydrogen vehicles in line with the promotion of the hydrogen economy.
Kolon Group continued with its “badge management” practice this year by distributing the badge depicting the management principle of empathy to all employees. The badge shows a Kolon employee riding a colossal wave on a surf board. Kolon Group’s employees have been taking part in wearing the management principle badges for each year over the past eight years since 2013.
Kolon Industries Pioneers the Eco-Friendly Material Market with PET Regeneration Technology
Kolon Industries (CEO Jang Hee-goo) announced on the 19th that it concluded an MOU with Korea Clothing and Textile Recycling Association (Chairperson Koo Seong-ja) at Kolon One & Only Tower to develop and undertake projects related to eco-friendly plastic regeneration technology.
In order to help resolve the global issue of plastic waste, Kolon Industries is focusing on the development of eco-friendly PET regeneration technology. The existing heat treatment-based recycling process has limited applicability and is likely to incur additional environmental problems such as the emission of harmful substances. However, the new PET dismantling method being developed by the Kolon Future Technology Institute is evaluated to be more environmentally responsible as it can reduce energy consumption by 33% and CO2 emissions by over 38% with its chemical regeneration technology compared to the existing recycling process.
PET is found in plastic products, clothing, and textiles. Kolon Industries’ PET regeneration technology is expected to garner acclaim in the eco-friendly material market as it is engineered to dismantle recycled PET to the level of ultrapure materials and regenerate PET useable for all products regardless of the type and contamination level of the recycled materials.
Kolon Industries anticipates that the Association’s waste clothing and waste textile management network will help secure recycled materials on a stable basis and advance the early commercialization of the technology and the creation of a circular economy ecosystem through this MOU.
Kolon Industries plans to aggressively expand its business scope in the PET regeneration market throughout the future. Its goal is to install the pilot PET chemical regeneration facility in 2020 and mass production equipment by 2023 and start expanding its mass production plant in 2025, thereby strengthening its foothold in the recycled PET market.
Kolon Industries’ FnC launched RE;CODE in early 2012, an upcycling brand that instills new value into discarded clothes. In the early days, it focused mainly on dismantling and redesigning the three-year-old inventory of FnC’s brands on the verge of being incinerated. Recently, the range of upcycled materials has continued to grow to encompass military uniforms, parachutes, and airbags. Furthermore, FnC’s eight brands collaborated and released Upcycling Sweetshirts made with textile generated from waste PET last October. RE;CODE is expected to grow into a total upcycling solution brand that enables the production of clothing with materials regenerated using Kolon Industries’ technologies and the regeneration of PET from such clothing.
Director Han Seong-su of the Kolon Future Technology Institute said, “The environmental issues connected to waste plastics are critical tasks facing humanity, and corporations equipped with advanced technologies such as Kolon Industries must take the lead. The Kolon Future Technology Institute remains dedicated to developing related technologies and joining hands with local and international partners through various projects.”
Donate Blood and Celebrate the New Year with Kolon!
Kolon Group will stage the “Donate Blood and Celebrate the New Year with Kolon!” campaign to contribute to ensuring a stable supply of blood for patients in need. Blood donations by employees will take place consecutively for ten days from the 2nd led by the Kolon Social Volunteers Group at eight business places from Kolon One & Only Tower in Magok-dong, Seoul, to Gwacheon, Gangnam, Gumi, and Songdo.
This campaign is Kolon’s leading community outreach program held at major business places nationwide twice a year in summer and winter when the blood supply becomes unstable. The number of blood donors plunges to its lowest level in the winter months due to vacation and holidays. In order to help resolve this issue, Kolon Group has hosted the blood donation campaign since 2013.
Han Gi-baek of Kolon Industires, who donated blood on this day, said, “I feel I have wrapped up this year in the best way possible by donating blood for child patients. I decided to make blood donations whenever possible throughout the future.”
The blood donor certificates of the Kolon employees will be delivered to Korea Childhood Leukemia Foundation to be used for child patients with cancer.
KOLON Group Conducted a Blood Donation Campaign at Its Workplaces Across The Country
Kolon Group is conducting a campaign to "donate blood and take a vacation" to support stable blood supply ahead of the full-fledged vacation season. It will be held sequentially from July. 22 to Aug. 2 at Kolon One&Only Tower in Magok-dong, Seoul, and nine other workplaces across the country, including Gangnam, Gumi, Gwacheon and Songdo.
KOLON Group Announces Its Management Policy for 2019 “RE;BIRTH 2019”
▷ The management policy for 2019 reflects KOLON Group’s will to take on challenges for success like a super baby with unlimited possibilities.
▷ The management policy for 2019 emphasizes the need to expand Cross-Functional Communication (CFC), a communication culture unique to KOLON Group, and promotes planning with precision, timely execution, and innovative ways of doing business.
▷ The New Year’s message was announced under the name of the One & Only Committee as Chairman Lee Woong-yeul resigned last year.
○ KOLON Group held a Group-wide kick-off meeting for the year on the 2nd at KOLON One & Only Tower in Magok-dong with CEOs and employees at the team head level and higher present. It is the first kick-off meeting for the year organized by the One & Only Committee, a consultative body of major affiliate CEOs created in the wake of Chairman Lee Woong-yeul’s resignation at the end of last year.
○ KOLON Group declared “RE;BIRTH 2019” as its management policy for this year in the New Year’s message released by the One & Only Committee. “RE;BIRTH 2019” reflects KOLON Group’s commitment to pursuing change as if being born again and taking another leap forward towards success. The Committee said in the New Year’s message, “We need to meditate on Chairman Lee’s determination to resign last year to bring true change. We must transform ourselves to build a stronger, forward-marching KOLON through drastic innovation.” The New Year’s message was read by Vice Chairman Ahn Byung-deok as the representative of the Committee.
○ The Committee announced its plan to coordinate management issues of different subsidiaries, propose the directions for growth, and seek ways to make bold investments for a brighter future. It also emphasized that it would deliver optimal solutions to help the Group reap desired results centering on the holding company.
○ The Committee proposed tasks and improvement points for the realization of change. First, it shed light on the importance of the thorough analysis of customers and market environments and the prompt implementation of detailed executional plans to ensure the success of individuals, divisions, and subsidiaries. It emphasized that strategies or executional plans created just for show would no longer be tolerated. It also required employees to come up with a new framework for business. Changes must be brought to the reporting system, KPI, and other existing work procedures, while each employee must continue to achieve innovation through contemplating the optimal work process using PI (Process Innovation) as a tool to obtain a competitive edge.
○ The Committee also highlighted the importance of expanding Cross-Functional Communication, a corporate culture unique to KOLON Group centering on bringing people of different ages and positions together through close communication. It encouraged employees to take full advantage of the internal reverse mentoring program to learn from younger employees and always remain prepared to learn and take advice from external experts based on the mindset of 孔子穿珠 (gongjacheonju), meaning “even Confucius has to seek out a village woman to learn how to thread beads.”
○ KOLON Group distributed its management policy badge to all employees this year and continued its “badge management” for the seventh consecutive year. This year’s management policy “RE;BIRTH 2019” was embodied into a badge designed like a super baby holding up a barbell and a badge shaped like a shoe, symbolizing the first bold step towards a successful future. Together, the two badges signify KOLON Group’s commitment to exercising imagination to make the impossible possible, just like showing uncanny strength and taking the first step into uncharted territory.
○ The management policy badge of the year has been designed and worn every year since 2013. In the first year, it was the Success Puzzle badge, meaning that no puzzle can be complete if even one piece is missing, followed by the “Addition, Multiplication, and Division” badge in 2014, meaning that energy for success can be generated by adding each individual’s commitment, multiplying each individual’s passion, and dividing difficulties. The “Timer 2015” badge was worn in 2015 to promote executional excellence, the “Connecture 2016” badge to advance the successful connection with the future in 2016, and the “Hurdling 2017” badge in 2017 to highlight the importance of cooperation to overcome crises. The employees wore the “CATCH 2018” badge last year, which symbolized KOLON’s determination to flexibly and safely respond to difficulties and catch successes.
KOLON Industries Combines Biometric Technology with Transparent PI (Polyimide)
▷ KOLON Industries concluded an MOU with CrucialTec, a biometric technology specialist, to jointly develop a flexible display grafted with a biometric solution.
▷ It plans to make inroads into the new market with the development of premium display technology.
▷ This MOU represents the formation of a mutually beneficial business model based on cooperation between a large corporation and an established venture company.
KOLON Industries (CEO Jang Hee-goo) is taking steps to expand its transparent polyimide film business with CPI®. It announced on the 6th that it had concluded an MOU with CrucialTec, a biometric technology specialist, to jointly develop a flexible display grafted with a biometric solution.
Through this joint development, KOLON Industries plans to come up with a new product with enhanced security by grafting CrucialTec’s fingerprint recognition sensor function onto CPI®. CrucialTec recently completed the development of its display fingerprint solution (DFS), which enables fingerprint recognition on all types of displays without the need for the application of separate sensors. The two companies have joined hands to tackle the market for new premium displays applied with biometric technology.
Premium display products applied with a biometric solution can be utilized for smartphones including foldable phones and all security-related devices requiring fingerprint recognition including ATMs and kiosks. This solution enables fingerprint recognition on all types of displays. Display products mounted with this solution are expected to be applied to a wide range of areas as they are easy to use and highly secure.
This joint development is expected to set a good example of mutually beneficial cooperation between a large corporation and an established venture company and fusion between different technological areas to create a new market.
Vice President Seong Ik-gyeong in charge of CPI® at KOLON Industries said, “We will develop CPI® into a versatile product that can be applied to diverse flexible display devices, including foldable smartphones. We will strive to build a new IT ecosystem and upgrade our status as a global material manufacturer through this joint development.”
CPI® developed by KOLON Industries is a next-generation display material that is as transparent as glass, durable, and resistant to cracks and scratches even after being folded hundreds of thousands of times. KOLON Industries has 104 domestic patents and 200 international patents regarding CPI®, which account for 80% of all domestic patents and 50% of all international patents related to polyimide films, respectively. It is also Korea’s only polyimide film manufacturer equipped with a mass-production system.
CrucialTec is an established company that developed the world’s first compact OTP (Optical TrackPad) mobile input device, a fingerprint recognition module, and a new capacitive touchscreen and supplies such input solutions to global mobile device manufacturers.
KOLON Group Chairman Lee Woong-yeul Announces His Resignation from All Posts Next Year
“I will return to who I was before I assumed the leadership of KOLON Group and begin a startup.”
Chairman Lee asked KOLON employees to think of his resignation as “momentum for true change”.
▷ Chairman Lee chose to step down to bring Group-wide change.
▷ Chairman Lee will stop engaging in management activities across-the-board from 2019.
▷ The control tower role of the holding company will be further reinforced and each subsidiary will be more stringently required to practice responsible management.
▷ The One & Only Committee, a consultative body composed of affiliate CEOs, will take charge of coordinating pending issues facing KOLON Group.
▷ CEO You Seog-jin of KOLON Corporation was promoted to the president and will hold the position of the chairperson of the One & Only Committee.
▷ Chairman Lee’s son Lee Kyu-ho was promoted to the executive director level and COO of the FnC Division of KOLON Industries in charge of fashion.
▷ Four female executives were all promoted and appointed for the tenth consecutive year.
O KOLON Group Chairman Lee Woong-yeul (63) will step down from all leadership positions in 2019.
O KOLON Group announced on the 28th that Chairman Lee, who has led management over the past 23 years, would step down from all leadership positions of KOLON Group and its subsidiaries including KOLON Corporation and KOLON Industries on January 1, 2019.
O Chairman Lee went to the podium without notice at the end of the Success Puzzle session attended by over 200 employees at the One & Only Tower in Magok-dong, Gangseo-gu, Seoul, on the morning of the 28th and stated, “I will leave KOLON Group at the outset of the New Year and will not engage in the Group’s management.”
After the session, which was broadcast live to the Group’s employees, Chairman Lee officially announced his resignation by posting a letter addressed to the employees on KOLON Group’s intranet. KOLON Group said no resignation ceremony would be held.
O Through the letter, Chairman Lee said, “I will now return to who I was prior to assuming the leadership of KOLON Group and start my own business. I plan to put all my experiences and knowledge that I have accumulated so far to the test outside of KOLON Group.”
He added, “When I assumed the Chairman position at the age of 40 in January 1996, I pledged to myself to steer KOLON Group only for the next 20 years. Three more years have passed from the deadline I set. There is a Chinese idiom 時不可失 (sibulgasil), meaning time once lost is lost forever. I am leaving because it is now or never, and I will never be able to muster up this courage again to take on new challenges.”
Chairman Lee continued, “I have led a more privileged life as I was born with a gold spoon in my mouth, but it also burdened me with greater responsibilities. That gold spoon of mine left behind some cracks in my teeth. I will forgo all my privileges and responsibilities now.”
O During the announcement of his resignation, Chairman Lee asked the Group’s employees earnestly to further expedite change and innovation. He said, “We will be weeded out in an instant unless we keep abreast with the latest changes in this unpredictable industrial ecosystem. I am leaving now for the Group to find new momentum to make another leap forward and usher in a new era.”
Chairman Lee confessed that he had reached his limit after years of remaining at the forefront of KOLON Group’s evolution and that “it was time for me to step aside to bring true changes to the Group.” He stressed that his decision to step down was aimed at creating a new driving force for the Group’s change and innovation.
O KOLON Group said that, due to Chairman Lee’s resignation, the control tower role of the holding company will become even more important and each subsidiary will be required to more stringently practice responsible management under the leadership of the holding company.
KOLON Group also announced that the One & Only Committee, a consultative body consisting of affiliate CEOs, would be established to take charge of tackling major management issues such as the Group’s identity, long-term management directions, large-scale investments, cooperation and conflicts of interest between subsidiaries, etc.
KOLON Group said, “We have been establishing a line of young, dynamic CEOs through personnel appointments centered on generational shifts over the past several years. The young CEOs are expected to propel the Group forward for greater innovation.”
O KOLON Group promoted the former Vice President and CEO You Seog-jin (54) of KOLON Corporation to the president and CEO position through the regular executive appointment of 2019 to lead the Group’s holding company. CEO You is also to serve as the chairman of the One & Only Committee, which will be newly launched. CEO You was recruited as Executive Director of Strategic Planning at KOLON Corporation in 2013 and was appointed Vice President and CEO last year.
O Managing Director Lee Kyu-ho (35) in charge of Strategic Planning at KOLON Corporation was promoted to the executive director level and COO of the FnC Division of KOLON Industries. The COO supervises the operation of the fashion business of KOLON Group.
A person connected with the Group said, “Chairman Lee decided to charge Executive Director Lee with the operation of the Group’s key business first, instead of handing over the control of the company, to engage him in the management step-by-step. It appears Chairman Lee placed a premium on preparing his son to head the Group by accumulating experiences and abilities.”
O This executive appointment was also noted for the promotion of four female executives at once.
Managing Director Han Gyeong-ae, who has been in charge of the operation of casual brands such as RE;CODE and SERIES; of KOLON Industries’ FnC Division, was promoted to the executive director level while General Manager Lee Su-jin of KOLON Corporation’s Business Management Office was promoted to the assistant managing director level as the Group’s first female executive in finance.
Assistant Managing Director and Director Kim Su-jeong of KOLON Life Science’s Biopharmaceutical Research Institute in charge of R&D of biomedicine such as Invossa (the world’ first cell and gene therapy for osteoarthritis) and Assistant Managing Director Gang So-yeong heading KOLON Industries’ cosmetics business TF were both promoted to the managing director level.
KOLON Group has promoted female executives for the tenth consecutive year through this executive appointment, including the milestone year 2013 when the Group’s first female CEO was appointed. The percentage of women among new recruits hired from open recruitment for college graduates has hovered over 30% over the past ten years, and a female mentoring system is in place to cultivate female leaders.
KOLON BASF innoPOM Advances into the Global EP* Market in Earnest
- The POM production plant jointly completed by KOLON Plastics and BASF goes into operation -
○ This plant with a production capacity of 70,000 tons per year, in combination with the existing plant of KOLON Plastics, succeeded in forming the world’s largest production line for a single plant.
○ BASF’s quality control system and expertise combined with KOLON Plastics’ high-efficiency process has led to the production of the industry’s best products.
○ Production equipment and facilities are shared, while production and sales are pushed ahead with separately to improve the competitiveness of each company.
○ The plant was built with a zero-disaster record by investing KRW 260 billion and is contributing to boosting the local economy.
*EP: engineering plastics
○ KOLON BASF innoPOM (co-headed by Kim Yeong-bom and Lee Man-wu) completed a joint POM production plant within the first Gimcheon Regular Industrial Complex in Gyeongsangbuk-do, on the 25th and is ready to advance into the global engineering plastics market in earnest. KOLON BASF innoPOM is a joint company established by KOLON Plastics (CEO Kim Yeong-bom) and BASF – a world-renowned chemical company – in 2016.
○ The joint production plant will be producing 70,000 tons of POM products a year and is located within the premises of KOLON Plastics’ production plant in Gimcheon, which manufactures POM products totaling 80,000 tons a year. The POM production complex in Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do, can now produce 150,000 tons a year, boasting the world’s largest production line for a single production plant. After the groundbreaking ceremony in April 2016, KRW 260 billion was invested and the construction of the production plant was completed with a zero-disaster record (no safety or environmental accidents) for 27 months.
○ The joint production plant is equipped with BASF’s accurate quality control system and advanced eco-friendly technologies that reduce energy consumption as well as KOLON Plastics’ efficient and stable production management capabilities accumulated over more than two decades to ensure the production of world-class POM products. KOLON BASF innoPOM is now able to supply POM products on a stable basis to KOLON Plastics and BASF, each of which has an independent sales network, and thus help the two companies gain an upper hand in advancing into and solidifying their footing in the global market.
The two companies share the production equipment of the joint production plant while separately selling products manufactured with recipes tailored to meet the needs of their individual customers, thereby improving their competitiveness through cooperation. POM products manufactured at the joint production plant are KOLON Plastics’ Kocetal® and BASF’s Ultraform®. BASF adopted the same properties and quality control system for Ultraform® as that which is produced in Germany to maintain the industry’s best quality.
The joint production plant is installed with KOLON Plastics’ POM production technology that streamlines the manufacturing process and increases efficiency, which received high evaluations from BASF. Only a handful of companies in advanced countries have such exclusive POM production technology, as POM manufacturing requires a complicated process and high degree of technical skill.
POM is a type of engineering plastic with multiple purposes thanks to its superior durability. It is mainly used as a material for vehicle parts and electronic and electrical applications as it does not swell or shrink due to heat and humidity, is resistant to friction and abrasion, and sustains less damage from chemical reaction. Currently, 42% of the world’s demand for POM is used for vehicle fuel pumps, safety belts, and other major vehicle parts. Global chemical companies are spurring investment in the development and production of high-quality engineering plastics that are much lighter but just as strong as metals, as vehicle weight reduction has emerged as a leading trend to comply with environmental regulations and maximize fuel efficiency.
President Raimar Jahn of Performance Materials at BASF said, “The POM production plant built jointly with KOLON Plastics is expected to set new standards by improving production efficiency and reducing energy consumption based on innovative environmental management criteria.” He added, “This POM production plant is BASF’s first to open in the Asia-Pacific region and enables us to stably supply POM products of premium quality to the entire world as well as the Asia-Pacific region.”
CEO Kim Yeong-bom of KOLON Plastics, who also co-heads KOLON BASF innoPOM, said, “This joint plant is a representative example of building on the strengths of two partner companies and creating business synergy through successful cooperation in the global chemical market. We will establish partnerships in various business fields in addition to POM.”
Through the opening of the plant, KOLON BASF innoPOM is expected to make significant contributions to boosting the local economy by generating stable sales and added value for pertinent businesses such as plant maintenance and repair and logistics.
KOLON Plastics Gears Up to Reinforce Its Presence in the European Engineering Plastics Market
○ KOLON Plastics expects an increase in sales across Europe thanks to its strategic alliance with Germany’s Barlog.
○ It participated in FAKUMA 2018 – one of Europe’s top three international trade fairs for the plastics industry.
○ Sales in the European market grew more than 50% compared to the previous year and are expected to increase on a continued basis.
KOLON Plastics (CEO Kim Yeong-bom) is reinforcing its strategic alliance with local corporations to expand its presence in the European market and is aggressively advancing into the high-value-added engineering plastics market as evidenced by its participation in FAKUMA 2018 – one of Europe’s top three international trade fairs for the plastics industry.
KOLON Plastics took part in FAKUMA 2018, which was held in Friedrichshafen, Germany, on the 16th, and showcased its core technologies and applications for vehicle weight reduction, including its world-class eco-friendly POM (polyoxymethylene) products. KOLON Plastics has continued to raise its brand awareness by participating in the fair since 2012 and forming a technological and sales network across Europe.
At the fair, KOLON Plastics received rave reviews from attendees for its eco-friendly POM products with reduced amounts of VOCs, down to one-fourth the amounts of existing products. Furthermore, as it is projected that the use of engineering plastics for chargers and automotive electronics will be dramatically expanded with the advent of the era of electric and autonomous vehicles, it has placed a focus on PBT (polybuthylene terephthalate), PA (polyamide), and POM materials with outstanding electrical insulating and flame-retardant properties. The European market is an arena of competition for high-value-added engineering plastic parts for electronic and electrical applications as it is populated with a number of global automotive companies, and its annual market size is calculated at KRW 12 trillion. KOLON Plastics also exhibited connectors, protector housings, chargers, bobbins, relays, alternators, and other relevant parts at the fair.
KOLON Plastics is actively seeking to join hands with local European companies. Last September, it formed a partnership with Germany’s Barlog Plastics GmbH for the exclusive sale of engineering plastics as an important first step to pioneer the market. Barlog is a small giant in the field of engineering plastics. It was established in 1996 and now continues to expand its customer pool centering on Germany based on its sales network across Europe. KOLON Plastics expects that this partnership will contribute to the development of new customers and new uses for engineering plastics in the future. Also, it is pushing ahead with joint product development with an Italian processing company, which will be completed by the end of this year at the earliest and lead to a new product release.
KOLON Plastics is demonstrating notable growth in the European market. As of the third quarter this year, its growth rate rose by over 50% compared to the previous year. It is anticipated to record even greater growth next year.
CEO Kim Yeong-bom said, “It became possible for us to engage in omni-directional marketing activities based on our partner companies’ expertise. Through cooperation with local partner companies, we will fortify our position in the European market across all stages from product sales to product development and technological support.”
FAKUMA is one of Europe’s top three international trade fairs for the plastic industry. FAKUMA 2017 brought together over 1,900 participating companies from 38 countries and approximately 48,000 visitors from 120 countries. KOLON Plastics has taken part in the fair since 2012 and showcased engineering plastic materials and state-of-the-art composite materials developed for vehicle weight reduction, winning a fervent response among attendees.
KOLON Industries Aims to Expand Its Presence in the Global Tire Cord Market
- KOLON Industries’ tire cord production plant opens its doors in Binh Duong Province of Vietnam -
▷ KOLON Industries accelerates its global expansion by building its 9th overseas production base.
▷ KOLON Industries secured a total of 93,800 tons of tire cord production capacity through the newly opened production plant with a production capacity of 16,800 tons.
▷ KOLON Group Chairman Lee Woong-yeul attended the construction completion ceremony and oversees the developments of the subsidiary’s global location.
KOLON Industries (CEO Jang Hee-goo) is further accelerating its global expansion with the opening of a new tire cord production plant in Binh Duong Province of Vietnam.
KOLON Industries announced on the 18th that it completed the construction of a production plant for PET (polyester) tire cords with an annual production capacity of 16,800 tons in Binh Duong Province of Vietnam. This new production plant will add 16,800 tons to KOLON Industries’ existing tire cord production of 77,000 tons, thereby increasing its total production capacity to 93,800 tons. This amounts to 15% of the world’s tire cord market.
A tire cord is a stiffener that serves as the tire’s frame with high-strength fiber textile inserted. It plays an instrumental role in ensuring the safety and performance of a vehicle. Tire cords can be made with PET, nylon, rayon, or steel. KOLON Industries manufactures PET tire cords mainly used for passenger vehicle tires.
KOLON Industries’ tire cord production plant in Binh Duong Province is within the Bau Bang Industrial Park located about two hours by car to the north of Ho Chi Minh City. This advanced factory is equipped with state-of-the-art production facilities for the entire manufacturing process, from yarn production to weaving, heat treatment, and the rollout of finished products.
On the 17th, CEO Jang Hee-goo of KOLON Industries met with Party Secretary Tran Van Nam of Binh Duong Province and Chairman Tran Thanh Liem of the Provincial People’s Committee, who delivered congratulatory messages for the completion of the production plant and promised continual support throughout the future. The construction completion ceremony on the 18th was attended by Vietnamese dignitaries such as Vice Chairman Mai Hung Dung of the Provincial People’s Committee, representatives of KOLON Industries’ customer companies such as Hankook Tire, Kumho Tire, and Nexen Tire, and high-profile officers of KOLON including KOLON Group Chairman Lee Woong-yeul and CEO Jang Hee-goo of KOLON Industries.
CEO Jang stated, “We would like to thank the government of Binh Duoung Province and our customer companies for their support and cooperation for the opening of our new production plant in Vietnam. We will focus on cultivating this plant into an overseas production base boasting world-class cost-competitiveness and quality-competitiveness based on our 45 years of knowhow.” KOLON Industries plans to further expand its tire cord production plant in Vietnam.
KOLON Industries, which initiated its PET tire cord business in 1973, has built partnerships with globally reputed brands such as Michelin, Goodyear, and Bridgestone and continued to reinforce its competitiveness. In 2004, it secured an advance base for the Chinese market by opening a production plant in Nanjing, China. Now, with the opening of this plant in Vietnam, another production base equipped with cutting-edge technology and cost-competitiveness is added to its assets to increase its global competitive strength.
Tire cords are directly connected to the safety of end users and the market entry barrier is relatively high compared to other industries. However, once recognized for quality in the market, a tire cord maker can stably maintain its business on a continued basis. Currently, as global demand for vehicles continues to rise, demand for tire cords is also expected to grow by 3-4% a year.
Vice President Choi Young-mu in charge of the vehicle material business commented, “The tire cord production plant boasts the third-largest scale in the history of KOLON Industries’ investment in Vietnam following the first and second airbag plants built in 2016 and 2017, respectively. While the opening of the plant in Nanjing, China, was aimed at preempting a firm base in the Chinese market, the investment in this plant in Vietnam is anticipated to help KOLON Industries attain the competence to take the lead in the global market.”
KOLON Industries has established a series of overseas production bases in China, Indonesia, Mexico, etc., and this production plant serves as its ninth in line to add to its global competitiveness. It is the company’s second overseas tire cord production plant after the one in Nanjing, China, completed in 2004.
KOLON Plastics takes part in CHINAPLUS 2018
KOLON Plastics (CEO Kim Yeong-bom) participated in CHINAPLAS 2018, which opened on the 24th in Shanghai, as an extension of its efforts to advance further into the Chinese market. At this exhibition, KOLON Plastics showcased a variety of cutting-edge products including the world-class eco-friendly POM, key materials for weight reduction of vehicles, and advanced composite materials for diverse applications.
The exhibition space was themed after “Future Envisioned by KOLON” and consisted of the POM Zone introducing the world’s largest POM production plant, the Automotive Zone showcasing the wide range of materials for automotive parts, and the Need & Solution Zone highlighting the company’s efforts to find breakthrough solutions for customers.
The most notable feature within KOLON Plastics’ booth was the massive car replica, which displayed automotive parts applied to current vehicles and those of the future. The Need & Solution Zone exhibited the connector and high-voltage electric insulator* expected to be used as key parts of electric vehicles in the near future, a hydrolysis-resistant material** with its physical properties remaining unchanged even in the environment of high temperatures and humidity, technologies applied to electronic automotive parts and alternatives to metals, and 3D-printed materials designed to engage more customers in an emotional way. KOLON Plastics also unveiled low-odor POM, which succeeded in reducing the discharge of VOCs by 25% to 0.5ppm or less. KOLON Plastics’ world-class POM is evaluated to be environmentally responsible as it releases almost no harmful substances during processing and as a finished product.
KOLON Plastics has continued to reinforce its presence in the Chinese market since the opening of its Beijing branch in 2010. It opened the Shanghai branch last year and has focused on expanding the pool of new corporate customers in the local automotive market. KOLON Plastics aims to raise its sales in China by 40% compared to the previous year on the back of many positive external factors. For instance, it has an advantageous position as China’s Ministry of Commerce imposed a lower rate of anti-dumping duty than its competitors in October last year.
Furthermore, the POM production plant jointly constructed in Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do, with Germany’s BASF (with the ratio of 50:50) is scheduled to go into full-scale operation in the second half of this year. Once the plant is completed, KOLON Plastics will be equipped with the total POM production capacity of 150,000 tons per year, which is the world’s largest scale. It is also expected to help KOLON Plastics achieve the world’s highest competitiveness based on improved production efficiency and reduced production costs.
CEO Kim Yeong-bom said during his visit to the exhibition, “We showcased a diversity of technologies developed by KOLON Plastics for electric vehicles and vehicle weight reduction at this exhibition. We believe that the completion of the POM production plant being constructed in association with BASF in the second half of this year will lead to an increase in the distribution of our globally recognized POM products and ultimately accelerate our company’s growth.”
CHINAPLAS is Asia’s largest and one of the world’s top two exhibitions for the plastic and rubber industries, and this year’s CHINAPLAS was staged at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) in Hongqiao, Shanghai, from April 24th to April 27th, with the entire exhibition floor space measuring 320,000㎡. It drew about 4,000 companies from 40 countries and more than 150,000 visitors.
KOLON Group ushers in the new era of convergence R&D
“Space creates a framework for culture unique to an organization. KOLON One & Only Tower was meticulously designed to help all employees better communicate and cooperate with each other. It is expected to rewrite the history of KOLON’s convergence R&D and serve as a foundation upon which KOLON’s brighter future can be shaped.” (Chairperson Lee Woong-yeul)
KOLON Group (Chairperson Lee Woong-yeul) secured another strategic stronghold in Magok District of Seoul. Three major subsidiaries of KOLON Group, including KOLON Industries, celebrated their move into KOLON One & Only Tower newly constructed within Magok District on April 16th and began their full-scale operations.
KOLON One & Only Tower boasts a total floor area of 76,349㎡. It is comprised of three wings (Research Wing with eight stories above ground, Administration Wing with ten stories above ground, and Pilot Wing) and has four basement floors. It took approximately 30 months for its completion after the groundbreaking in 2015. It will accommodate over 1,000 employees, including R&D staff members of KOLON Industries, KOLON Life Science, and KOLON Glotech as well as employees from KOLON Group’s headquarters, and play an instrumental role in R&D.
The name KOLON One & Only Tower fully reflects the core values of Chairperson Lee’s management policy. “One & Only” conveys the message that all KOLON employees should strive to equip themselves with differentiated capabilities and skills to retain the industry’s best competitiveness and to earn the trust of customers.
KOLON One & Only Tower is designed to serve as the advance base of convergence R&D to create greater value for the Group. The research staff of KOLON Industries and KOLON Glotech – frontrunners in the chemical material sector – and KOLON Life Science – the leader in the global bio industry that released Invossa, the world’s first gene therapy for osteoarthritis – will be brought together and execute joint projects while also conducting individual studies. Vice President Han Seong-su, the former director of the Research Institute of Eastman Chemical Company of the US, was recently recruited as the director of the KOLON Future Technology Research Park and KOLON Group’s CTO in charge of supervising R&D and promoting synergy among KOLON companies.
KOLON One & Only Tower accommodates staff of diverse sectors from R&D to sales, marketing, and administrative assistance. This enables sales and marketing staff members to promptly share ideas and information generated by R&D and make instrumental decisions in a timely manner. KOLON has consistently pursued CFC (cross-functional communication) aimed at promoting communication and cooperation regardless of position, job task, and subsidiary, and the completion of KOLON One & Only Tower is expected to further advance this quest.
The Tower boasts a unique design and structure and stands apart from other buildings in Magok. Its façade is adorned with a motif similar to the pattern seen when stretching knitwear. It was not easy to install the decorative feature to the façade due to its weight, but a breakthrough was found through the combination of Heracron – KOLON Industries’ aramid brand – and the cutting-edge GFRP (glass fiber reinforced plastic). One of the most impressive interior features is the grand stairway. It is an important passageway that connects all the floors and a multipurpose space that can be used to stage conferences, lectures, and exhibitions.
Another notable advantage of KOLON One & Only Tower is its energy-saving system that utilizes eco-friendly energy sources. The Tower was designed as a zero-energy building with thermal efficiency maximized through air conditioning with solar energy, natural radiant heat, and geothermal heat, which has drastically reduced energy consumption in communal spaces based on systems and designs for air recirculation. In recognition of these innovative features, the Tower will be given Gold among the four rating levels of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) at the end of this year.
The Tower was designed by Morphosis Architect, which is globally renowned for atypical architecture. Morphosis Architect is led by Thom Mayne, the 2005 winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, often dubbed the Nobel Prize of architecture. Mayne designed the Tower himself.
KOLON One & Only Tower also serves the venue of diverse community outreach programs. Ecolonglong Cube, an eco-friendly energy exhibition and experience hall, will open on the first floor of the Pilot Wing in May as part of Ecolonglong, KOLON’s widely recognized program that visits schools and provides education on eco-friendly energy sources. Hello Dream, KOLON’s longstanding volunteer program, has been further expanded to serve four community child care centers in Gangseo-gu. We also plan to open the tentatively named Space K Magok Art Museum next year within Magok District to help build culturally richer communities in Gangseo.
KOLON Group first began its operation in Tongui-dong and relocated to Mugyo-dong. It has been headquartered in Gwacheon since 1997. At present, KOLON Global in Songdo, Incheon, and KOLON Industries’ fashion business in Samsung-dong in Gangnam are serving as the strongholds in each region along with the Group’s headquarter in Gwacheon. KOLON One & Only Tower is the Group’s fourth strategic stronghold.
KOLON Industries records KRW 1.2469 trillion in sales
KOLON Industries revealed through its earnings (tentative) announcement on the 9th that it recorded KRW 1.2469 trillion in sales and KRW 52.4 billion in operating profit in Q4 of 2017. Net income before income tax expenses and quarterly net income are KRW 35 billion and KRW 20.2 billion, respectively (net income based on IFRS).
Sales in Q4 of 2017 rose compared to the previous quarter powered by an increase in the sales volume of its fashion business during the high season. Operating profit also rose compared to the previous quarter due to an upturn in the fashion business but only slightly because of an increase in the prices of raw materials in the manufacturing business and the falling exchange rate.
KOLON Industries continues to generate positive results in sectors of strategic importance, including tire cords, airbag cushions, and petroleum resin. It has also worked hard to improve its performance in its other business sectors by expanding sales volume and increasing prices. Although it is projected to be influenced by an increase in raw material prices and the falling exchange rate to a certain extent in Q1 of 2018, it plans to proactively respond to external risks by seeking to raise the prices of its major products and expand its sales volume.
The outlook for 2018 remains positive. It is anticipated that the issues of inventory disposal and China-incurred risks, which triggered the aggravation of some subsidiaries’ performance last year, will begin to improve in earnest this year. Furthermore, production facilities for tire cords, airbag cushions, spun bonds, epoxy resin, and other business sectors are scheduled to be newly installed and expanded this year. Once they go into operation, they are expected to help the company reach new heights in sales and earnings.
KOLON Glotech showcases Geonic applied to Rinspeed’s self-driving bus at CES 2018
KOLON Glotech (CEO Choi Suk-sun) will showcase Geonic – a high-molecular additive printing technique – at CES 2018, which is the world’s largest home appliance and IT product fair scheduled to take place over four days from the 9th in Las Vegas.
Geonic was applied to the logo on the head support of the seats, the reverse side of the seats, windscreen cover, interior materials, and IT displays of Snap – the self-driving concept vehicle released by Rinspeed, a Swiss automotive design company.
Geonic is an additive printing technique exclusively developed by KOLON Glotech. It is used to apply high-molecular materials onto leather and fabric and create designs and colors that cannot be realized by the existing techniques of painting, laminating, and quilting. Geonic encompasses diverse sectors, including applied chemistry to control polymers with convergence technology for specific purposes, high-resolution printing equipment to realize elaborate designs with accuracy, and processes to add a three-dimensional effect.
Natural leather and synthetic leather for upholstery use are treated to prevent possible damage on the surface and thus are difficult to add designs to. However, Geonic succeeded in pushing the boundaries and freely applying patterns to leather. Geonic was applied to the seat upholstery of Chrysler’s Superman edition model and won the Red Dot: Best of the Best in the 2013 Red Dot Design Award. We are currently working with major vehicle manufacturers in Korea and beyond and plan to cooperate with more industries such as construction and electronics.
Ryu Gwang-taek, head of the Research and Planning Team at KOLON Glotech, said, “Inspired by the inlay technique for Goryeo celadon, which engraves patterns on celadon and cover the patterns with gold or silver, patterns were etched on natural leather and high-molecular materials were applied using the additive printing technique of Geonic to create designs that were originally difficult to render on leather.”
Rinspeed is a Swiss automotive design company that has worked with a variety of vehicle manufacturers over the past two decades since it first showcased its design through Volkswagen’s Golf in the Geneva International Motor Show in 1979. It has continued to unveil uniquely designed future concept cars, such as ETOS in 2016, OASIS in 2017, and Snap in 2018, through collaboration with companies gearing up to jump into the automotive industry, such as Hamann, Siemens, BlackBerry, and Sheller. At this year’s CES, Rinspeed will reveal Snap, a self-driving micro bus, at Hamann’s showcase to take place at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.
CEO and Chairperson Lee Woong-yeul declares “Catch 2018”
In his New Year’s address, CEO and Chairperson Lee Woong-yeul emphasized the need to focus on reaping visible outcomes and seizing new opportunities based on our past footsteps and declared “Catch 2018” as this year’s management policy. Chairperson Lee said, “I have tried to pay attention to the voices of our employees on the business frontier and have ardently hoped that our footsteps would lead to the desired results. Let’s ensure not to miss new opportunities created as a result of our efforts to keep abreast with the shifting industrial paradigm and catch the two hares of growth and stability at once in 2018.”
Many projects that have been newly launched by KOLON Group are expected to generate visible outcomes throughout 2018. Last year, we successfully released Invossa, a gene therapy for degenerative arthritis, and expect to see a continued expansion in the market. We have also focused our resources on advancing into global markets by building production plants overseas and reinforcing the presence of our fashion business in China. We plan to take preemptive steps in high-value-added new material businesses such as colorless polyimide film.
The KOLON Future Technology Research Park, scheduled to open in the first half of 2018 in Magok, Seoul, will serve as a hub of knowledge convergence that creates synergy among the sales, research, and supportive functions of KOLON Group and help us make new leaps forward.
Chairperson Lee stressed the role of communication and execution in combination with a mindset for innovation in seizing new opportunities in a timely manner. He highlighted the importance of breaking free from habitual routines through constructive destruction, saying, “We will be able to bring forth drastic changes if we strive to view every issue from a different perspective and utilize what we have in an innovative fashion.”
He also mentioned that “interaction with dedication”, regardless of position and job task, is essential to accurately identify the needs of customers and the latest developments in the market and achieve synergy, while a thorough focus on the execution of findings from such interaction is the only path towards success.
We distributed a badge of management policy to all our employees this year as we have over the past five years. This year’s badge was designed after a cat, deriving from “Catch 2018”. The badge was inspired by the cat’s ability to make higher leaps into the air (higher performance) and its flexible, solid landings (flexible responses to challenges).
It has been six years since KOLON employees first began to wear the badge of management policy in 2013. In the first year, the “Success Puzzle” badge was distributed to remind ourselves of the fact that no puzzle can be complete if any piece, however small, is missing. In 2014, the “Addition-Multiplication-Division” badge was designed to encourage employees to add their thoughts, multiply their passion, and divide difficulties to reach their goals. In 2015, the “Timer 2015” badge was distributed to emphasize the need for decisive and timely execution. In 2016, the “Connecture 2016” badge was designed to highlight our endeavor to connect with and shape a better future. Finally, in 2017, the “Hurdling 2017” badge was worn to reinforce our will to join forces and overcome crises together.
Kolon Chairman Lee Woong-yeul Receives 2017 “Mecenat Person of the Year Award”
Chairman Lee Woong-yeul of Kolon Group was presented with the “Mecenat Person of the Year Award” on the 28th at the 2017 Mecenat Awards in recognition of his contributions to community development and cultural activities for over two decades through a wide range of culture and art programs and infrastructure support.
Now in its 18th year, the Mecenat Awards is presented by the Korea Mecenat Association to companies and individuals who have made great contributions to the development of culture and the arts and the Korean people’s cultural heritage and experience. The “Mecenat Person of the Year Award” is bestowed on an individual who has made a significant contribution to the promotion of culture and the arts.
Chairman Lee, who has always stressed the social importance of culture and the arts and need for expanding their access to everyone, began providing a wide range of free culture and art programs to members of the local community since 1998; he has also provided exhibition space free of charge to young and innovative artist as well as artists returning to their craft after a hiatus and struggling to find a venue.
The “Kolon Fountains Culture Performance”, a program personally devised and implemented by Chairman Lee first in 1998, has been held every Saturday evening from June to September for the past decade in front of the Kolon Headquarters Complex in Gwacheon to provide cultural and artistic experiences to the community, ranging from classical performances such as concerts, ballets and traditional Korean music to popular arts such as jazz performances, musicals and puppet shows. In 2011, Kolon opened “Space K”, a combined cultural and art space in the lobby of the company’s headquarters building, which holds year-round art exhibitions open to all members of the community as well as hands-on experience programs linked to the exhibition to raise popular awareness of modern art. A total of 124 art exhibitions have been held to date, many of which have featured leading international artists whose works are often difficult to encounter in exhibition spaces in the metropolitan region outside of Seoul.
Chairman Lee has also invested 15 billion KRW to build the “Kolon Outdoor Music Pavilion” in 2000 in Daegu’s Duryu Park and donated the facility to the city, as part of a wide range of initiatives to support and fund infrastructure for culture and the arts. The company is currently preparing to open “SpaceK Magok”, a cultural space located in the newly-developing Magok district of Gangseo-gu, Seoul, by 2019.
Starlight Garden “OOOZOOO” Opens at Deokpyeong Eco-Service Area
You don’t have to go to an observatory anymore to gaze upon the limitless expanse of the universe, glittering stars and the shimmering light of the Milky Way. Now, these stellar sights can be experience at an expressway rest stop thanks to the Starlight Garden “OOOZOOO” located in the Deokpyeong Eco-Service Area located on the Yeongdong Expressway.
The Deokpyeong Eco-Service Area, operated by Nature Bridge Co., a part of Kolon Group, opened the Starlight Garden “OOOZOOO” on the 26th, a theme park offering gleaming lights every night alongside a rich range of special content. Korea’s first light-themed park located in a highway service area for all visitors and families to enjoy has recreated the service stop into an entertainment and culture complex.
Starlight Garden “OOOZOOO”, which utilizes an unused section of the Yeongdong Expresses as well as approximately 14,000 pyeong (46,000㎡) of surrounding land, brings light into a space that has remained dark to create an unforgettable and rich cultural experience. The theme park consists of ten content-zones that recreate space using light. “OOOZOOO Station”, located in the entrance to the park, offers media art presenting a symphony of vibrant light, and the “Flower Garden” filled with lightbulbs creates a field of bright light flowers that twinkle like stars in the breeze. The 101-meter “Tunnel Galaxy”, Korea’s longest, allows visitors to feel like they are taking a stroll through a galaxy filled with stars; the light-and-sound show “Starlight Orchestra” brings light and music together for an orchestral performance. Visitors can also take in the “OOOZOOO Playground” that lights up at every step, photo zones throughout the area, and artwork produced through collaborations with some of Korea’s top media artists including col.l.age+ and Everyware.
Director of Business Development Yim Seung-wu said, “The Deokpyeong Eco-Service Area has constantly reinvented itself to create a rest area that people want to visit. With over 12 million visitors per year and the highest revenues among all of Korea’s highest rest stops, the Deokpyeong Eco-Service Area provides much more than a rest stop along a highway trip; it is a place for creating lasting memories with your family and friends.”
The rest stop has continued to create new sources of fun and entertainment for guests, including food, shopping, pet facilities, and variety of outdoor spaces. The Deokpyeong Eco-Service Area was Korea’s first rest area to open a fashion shopping mall, and a garden features love benches, artwork-infused trash receptacles and a wide range of photo zones. “Run Koko” is Korea’s first pet training-themed pet experience area and dog park that has become a must stop for pet aficionados throughout Korea. The recently-trademarked “Deokpyeong Beef and Rice Stew”, the rest stop’s most popular food offering, has ranked 1st in Korea’s highway rest area food sales four years in a row, with 582,830 servings in 2016 alone according to Korea Expressway Corporation data.
Chairman Lee Woong-yeul Visits Center of Labor-Management Harmony
“Labor and management are like the two legs of a person. Both need to step in harmony to propel the company forward. Kolon Industries’ Gumi plant will provide a model for success for labor-management partnership!”
Chairman Lee Woong-yeul of Kolon Group visited the Gumi plant of Kolon Industries on the 24th to participate in the “Driving Success for Our Happy Factory” event to recognize the efforts of plant employees. The event marks the chairman’s second visit to the factory following an earlier visit in April.
The event, attended by approximately 350 employees not on current duty or on leave, was an occasion for reaffirming the role of every employee and the plant’s complete commitment to the declaration of “harmonious coexistence” made early last year that established a strong partnership of cooperation between the plant’s labor and management. Chairman Lee personally took part in a variety of events including putting together a “puzzle for success” and a ceremony for the presentation of a mutual success fund to partner companies. The chairman also visited the office of the plant’s labor union to offer his encouragement to union members who worked hard to build and secure the plant’s labor-management partnership.
Chairman Lee also personally took part in a shift for painting the plant’s facilities, working together with line employees including Kolon Industries union head Kim Yeong-sang as part of a program underway in seven Kolon Industries facilities including the Gumi plant designed to drive success in the workplace.
After the session, Chairman Lee said he was reminded of “painting in this facility for the first time nine years ago,” adding that “the hope at the time was to heal our rifts and forge ahead as one united body, and I feel that the Gumi plant has become one of our brightest stars in labor-management harmony thanks to the joint efforts of all of our staff and employees.”
Chairman Lee’s visit to the plant is especially poignant considering the role he played in overcoming the labor-management dispute at the Gumi plant. Long engaged in severe conflict, the factory’s labor union and management agreed in a dramatic shift in 2007, the year marking the 50th year of the company’s founding, to declare a permanent non-strike policy; a year later, the “Happy Plant Project” proposed by Chairman Lee further bridged the gap between labor and management. Declaring his personal oversight of the Happy Plant Project at the time, Chairman Lee worked with employees in painting sessions and took part in other sincere efforts to bring together the plant’s workers and management.
Following the initiation of the “Happy Plant Project”, Kolon’s Gumi factory has become a model for a dispute-free workplace, and was awarded the 2014 Silver Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit and 2016 Prime Minister Award in recognition of the factory’s labor-management partnership. These efforts have also led to the opening of the Happy Theme Park inside the plant, featuring a café, movie theater and library, which has hosted free annual performances for employees and their families and other programs to promote successful labor-management cooperation. The plant issued a declaration of a “Labor Management Harmony” early last year as a testament to the spirit of “labor and management in one body,” and hosted the “ceremony for labor-management-government social responsibility commitment agreement” in August in cooperation with the Ministry of Employment and Labor.
Kolon Plastics Unveils World-class Eco-friendly POM
Kolon Plastics (CEO Hee-gu Jang) took part in FAKUMA 2017, the International Trade Fair for Plastics Processing, held from the 17th to 21st in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The company showcase a wide range of leading products including a world-leading eco-friendly POM* as well as advanced materials for lightweight automobile components and futuristic composite applications.
The center of attention at the Kolon Plastic’s booth was a world-leading eco-friendly POM (polyoxymethylene). The nature-friendly POM unveiled by Kolon Plastics has a volatile organic compound (VOC) content of 0.5ppm, over 25% less than existing products that provides a highly environmentally-friendly LO (low odor) option for both the manufacturing process as well as the final product. This year’s show featured a separate “LO POM Zone” that provided an opportunity to compare the new material with existing products side by side.
Kolon Plastics also displayed key automobile structural components using CFRP composites (brand name: KompGTe) widely hailed as an important next-generation high-tech material as well as 3D printer-related products.
POMs are one of the key business areas of Kolon Plastics; the completion of a joint factory with BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, in the second half of next year will enable the company to produce a world-leading 150,000 tons of POM per year, further boosting the company’s manufacturing competitiveness.
With engineering plastics expected to find increasingly greater application in charging infrastructure and electronical components for the fast-growing autonomous vehicle market, Kolon Plastics plans to expand its products for electric vehicles and self-driving cars such as connectors, protector housings, charging systems, bobbins, relays, alternators and other key components by applying the company’s core materials such as PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) as well as PA (polyamide) and POM.
CEO Jang, visiting the exhibition, said that the company will “expand the sale of Kolon’s high-quality and price-competitive POMs throughout the global market in the second half of next year,” adding that “Kolon is combining efforts to strengthen core competitive capabilities with a strong drive for developing new future growth engines such as composites and 3D printing.”
FAKUMA is one of Europe’s top three plastics trade shows, with the previous 2015 event featuring 1,783 companies from 38 countries and attracting over 46,000 attendees from 120 countries. Kolon Plastics has been taking part in the exhibition since 2012, wowing visitors to the fair with the company’s specialized engineering plastics for lightweight automobile components and advanced high-tech composites.
Kolon Industries to Step Up Production of Special Epoxy Resins for Electronic Components
Kolon Industries Inc. (CEO Park Dong Moon) will invest approximately 30 billion KRW to expand its production facilities for special epoxy resins for use in manufacturing electronics and phenol resins for hardeners, in response to the growth of the automobile electronics and communication server markets. The new production lines will be installed in Kolon’s Gimcheon No. 2 plant by September 2018.
Special-purpose epoxy resins for electronics components and phenol resin hardeners are advanced thermosetting plastics indispensable in the manufacturing process for electronics circuit boards.
These two types of resins are used as adhesives to bind together glass fiber and copper plates for manufacturing cooper clad laminates (CCLs). Successive layers of CCLs create the printed circuit board (PCB) found in all kinds of electronics. The special electronics epoxy resin and phenol resin hardener used in this process imbue the thin PCB with high thermal resistance as well as low thermal conductivity that reduces the electrical resistance between each circuit, enhancing the stability of information stored in the circuit.
The latest expansion will boost Kolon Industries’ specialized electronics epoxy resin production capacity from 25,000 tons to 37,000 tons, and phenol resin hardener production from 7,000 tons to 12,000 tons. By expanding its production capacity by nearly half for these two key products, the company expects to increase annual revenues by 60 million KRW.
Kolon Industries will carefully incorporate today’s customer needs to the new expansion to continuously boost product quality for application in increasingly lighter, thinner, shorter and more compact circuit boards for use in automobile electronic systems and communications server equipment. In recently years, the market for specialized epoxy resins for electronics manufacturing has been growing at a rate of 10 to 12% annually in Korea as well as China, Taiwan and Japan.
Kolon industries is the world’s only company with the technology to manufacture epoxy resins for electronics and phenol resin hardeners in the same production facility and produces its own intermediary materials for its advanced epoxies, providing the company with stable quality and high price competitiveness.
Kolon Industries Inc. Transfers Film Tech Know-how to SME in Win-win Partnership
Kolon Industries Inc. (CEO Park Dong Moon) signed an MOU for a partnership that includes new product development with a Korean small and medium enterprise (SME) armed with leading high-end technology in the film industry.
On July 19, Kolon Industries and KFM Co., a Korean film specialist, signed a partnership agreement for mutual growth at Kolon’s Gimcheon No. 1 factory. The signing ceremony was attended by Senior Managing Director Hong Seong-ahn, head of business of Kolon’s 3rd Division, and CEO Hong Jung-gi of KFM Co.
The latest MOU zeros in on making on impact in the global market including China through joint R&D for the development of new PET-based materials and commercial rollout of R&D achievements. The two companies agreed to cooperate on developing advanced films, identifying and developing new applications for products, and engaging in regular technology exchange and product commercialization projects.
With the partnership, Kolon Industries will be able to leverage KFM’s technological capabilities and Chinese network, while KFM will be able to rely on a stable supply of high-quality base films from Kolon Industries and acquire technological know-how via joint new product development projects.
“The MOU is a prime example of a large company and an SME working together to share their technology and network, develop new markets and achieve mutual growth in the film industry,” said Senior Managing Director Hong, the head of Kolon Industries’ film division, adding that “both partners will be able to achieve marked growth by identifying new applications and developing new products.”
CEO Hong of KFM founded a company named Kern in Korea in 1998 and entered the Chinese market in 2004, posting steady growth in China’s film industry and eventually establishing KFM Co. in Korea in May of 2013 as part of the company’s global expansion of its film business. The company’s key products include silicone cured film, acrylic adhesive film and OCA film, and KFM is widely regarded as one of the industry’s strongest hidden champions armed with advanced base film processing and coating technologies that enable KFM to compete head-to-head in the Chinese market with leading Japanese firms such as Toray and Mitsubishi.
Kolon Industries has been a technology leader for over three decades producing a wide range of PET and nylon optical, food packaging, insulation and industrial films. The company recently developed the world’s first transparent polyimide film (trademark: CPI – Colorless Polyimide) and is preparing for commercial production of the new innovative film to take pre-emptive leadership in the display market.