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June 1, 2008

3 Min Read
Spotlight With Hanshin Kijeon

Hanshin Kijeon Director Hyun-Myung Kim (right) and Planning Team Director Min-Kyu Kim.

Heavy reliance on a single customer might appear to be a bad business strategy for many a processor, but South Korea’s Hanshin Kijeon begs to differ.

The Seoul-based injection molder relies on Samsung Electronics for 90% of its business, serving its printer and hard-disc-drive divisions. “We count ourselves lucky that we are involved to this extent with Samsung, which continues to get stronger and stronger on the global stage,” says Min-Kyu Kim, Hanshin’s planning team director. Long ago, Hanshin Kijeon had several customers in the electronics sector, but Samsung’s transformation into a truly global player has gradually shifted this emphasis.

Hanshin’s 2000m2 plant in Seoul is nestled in a traditional industrial suburb of the Korean capital, and one of its first jobs when it started in 1973 was molding Lego bricks. “We’ve come a long way since then,” reflects Kim. “We now have a cleanroom molding facility for producing shipping combs and brackets for hard-disc drives, as well as additional plants in southern Korea and in Weihai, China, which is 40 minutes’ flight time from Seoul.” The China plant was set up in October 2003 to supply a major Samsung inkjet and laser printer plant there. This 10,000m2 plant is Hanshin’s largest facility, housing 61 molding machines. The Korean plant in Kimcheon also serves Samsung’s printer business.

Hanshin Kijeon has been an early adopter of high-end processing technology since it started serving the electronics sector in 1986, molding polyacetal gears for video tape recorders. “We were Engel’s first customer in South Korea, importing our first machine 20 years ago,” says Hyun-Myung Kim, company director and the younger Kim’s uncle. A 150-tonne high speed (600-mm/sec) Engel machine was recently installed for molding of printer parts, while the company also recently took delivery of its first made-in-Korea Engel all-electric—its sixteenth Engel press in all. With electricity charges in China now higher than they are in Korea, all-electrics are also under consideration for the mainland, too.

Back in Korea, the cleanroom at Hanshin’s Seoul plant houses 14 Nissei all-electric injection molding machines with clamping forces ranging between 10 and 50 tonnes. “We use ultrasonic cutting for removing sprues at present but our next challenge is to develop a hot runner system,” says the younger Kim. The four grades of material employed in the cleanroom are supplied from an external central location. A second cleanroom is utilized for cleaning of the molded parts with deionized water.

Quality emphasis

Quality control is an integral part of Hanshin’s business success, as evidenced by the recent purchase of a Zeiss Accura 3D coordinate measuring machine. The molder also possesses vision testing equipment and an electrostatic dissipation meter to measure shipping comb conductivity. Parts are measured every two hours for accuracy.

“Our quality goals are an important part of our management philosophy,” says Kim. “We’ve achieved our inline quality goal of 5000 ppm. We currently stand at 3684 ppm.” Lot acceptance rate, meanwhile, is 98% compared with a target of 96%, and the defect part-per-million rate is 548, well under the goal of 1000.

“We’ve realized these goals through a combination of strategies,” says Kim. These include strict adherence to its ISO 9002 and 14001 programs, control of cleanroom environments to prevent contamination, automation of production and packaging operations to prevent secondary contamination, control of production plant temperature, investment in high-accuracy measurement, and fitting injection machines with production monitoring systems to ensure stable production. With this level of attention paid to quality and productivity, Hanshin looks set to continue riding its growth path in parallel with the global growth of its main customer, Samsung Electronics.

Stephen Moore • [email protected]

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