POSCO ICT announced on July 8 that the company would supply unmanned cranes and a crane control system to the continuous casting mill and hot rolling mill of Shougang Jingtang United Iron & Steel in Hebei Province, China.
Global companies such as Schneider in Germany and Danieli in Italy participated in the auction, but POSCO ICT was awarded the project in recognition of its technological prowess.
Shougang Jingtang United Iron & Steel will be able to automate the logistics system and build an unmanned factory by using POSCO ICT’s technology. In particular, the Chinese steelmaker will be able to lay the foundation for evolving into a smart factory that collects, analyzes, and predicts various data generated at production and logistics sites, and automatically controls facilities based on collected data.
Since 2009, Shougang Jingtang United Iron & Steel has annually produced 9.7 million tons of automotive grade steel, pipe steel, and surface treated steel sheets among others.
In the Chinese market, demand for production and logistics-related smart factories is on the uptick. In July 2017, POSCO ICT supplied an unmanned crane system for a waterfront warehouse of Shougang Jingtang United Iron & Steel. In addition, POSCO ICT provided consulting services to establish a master plan for the entire system for building the Rizhao Steel Production Base in China.
POSCO ICT is preempting the smart factory market in China based on its experience of converting POSCO Group affiliates' factories into smart factories. The company already landed five smart factory projects last year alone.
According to market researcher Markit and Markits, the global smart factory market was estimated at US$ 120.9 billion in 2016. But the market is expected to reach US$ 205.4 billion in 2022, by growing 9.3% a year from 2017 on average.