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Smart factories rise sharply, nearing 20,000

Industry 12:00 January 14, 2021

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- A growing number of factories in South Korea have adopted smart solutions based on cutting-edge technologies to improve manufacturing efficiency, government data showed Thursday.

A total of 19,799 smart factories were registered in the nation till the end of 2020, up from 12,660 in 2019 and 7,903 in 2018, according to the data from the Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups.

A smart factory is defined as a factory where production processes are combined with digital technology, smart computing and big data and advanced networks to create an agile, automated manufacturing environment.

Large companies, including chipmaker Samsung Electronics Co. and steelmaker POSCO, have collaborated with their contractors to streamline their manufacturing lines and adopt digital solutions, including 5G, robots and the Internet of Things.

The ministry said it will expand support for SMEs to incorporate artificial intelligence solutions and the cloud to spur digital transformation in the manufacturing sector.

The government aims to create 30,000 smart factories and 10 smart industrial zones by 2022 to upgrade the South Korean manufacturing industry's competitiveness.

A smart sewing factory based on 5G network and ICT solutions in Iksan, 220 kilometers south of Seoul, is shown in this photo provided by North Jeolla Province on Dec. 22, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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