CJ's IT wing partners with local Soju brewery to set up smart factory

By Park Sae-jin Posted : February 3, 2020, 16:57 Updated : February 3, 2020, 16:59

[Courtesy of Hwayo]

SEOUL -- CJ Olive Networks, the information technology wing of South Korea's food and entertainment conglomerate CJ Group, has partnered with Hwayo, a premium Soju brand, to set up a fully-automated unmanned smart factory.

Soju is a type of traditional Korean distilled alcoholic drink that has carried the title of the "people's favorite liquor" for decades. While cheaper Soju products are made using an original spirit diluted with water, premium ones use a traditional fermentation and distillation method.

Hwayo said on Monday that it will finish the construction of its smart factory in Yeoju some 65 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of Seoul in March. The smart factory, a collaborated work between Hwayo and CJ Olive Networks, will have all processes of liquor making automated.

"We will accomplish a foundation for competitiveness in manufacturing to compete in the global market beyond the domestic market," the Soju maker said, adding that it felt the need to automate its manufacturing facility because of increasing consumer demands for premium Soju.

Smart factories have automated manufacturing facilities that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time monitoring using internet of things (IoT) devices such as sensors and cameras connected to wireless networks. AI in smart factories can detect machine malfunctions as well as defect products.

Super-fast 5G mobile networks are used for smart factories. In May last year, KT and Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder, signed a cooperation agreement to co-develop 5G-connected autonomous robots and smart factory facilities to increase productivity and work efficiency.
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