[Theme Interview] Productivity and Quality Upgraded through Keen Attention to Detail

2018. 5. 18. 11:25

Chief Seon Jong-pyo was selected the winner of the ‘Proud Hyosung-er Award’ in the 1st quarter of 2018 in the technology sector. He brought groundbreaking changes to the spandex manufacturing process and developed new technology, improving overall productivity and quality at the same time. Let’s hear about his research achievements made possible through close observation and meticulous research. 

 Getting Back to the Basics with a ‘Magnifying Glass’  

It was an achievement made by focusing on the ‘basics’. As Chief Seon Jong-pyo was deeply contemplating over how to minimize defects in spandex quality, he decided to embark on a large-scale project to attain both productivity and quality. 

“To gain a competitive advantage in the global market despite the endless competition, I realized that changes needed to begin from the point of where spandex is formed. I sought to prevent quality defects by improving the manufacturing procedure and equipment. I decided that by making even slight changes to the main spandex manufacturing steps; polymerization, radiation and take up, would lower the percentage of product defects. My idea was to go one by one from the start.”

Chief Seon first looked at equipment components through a ‘magnifying glass’. He went back to the ‘basics’ by thoroughly observing the necessary settings and structural faults of the equipment for examination. Then, he determined the cause and initiated actions for improvement. 

First of all, he improved the gel reducing equipment in polymerization installations. He focused on minimizing variations in the consistency of polymerized material from equipment damage. Through collaboration with the heavy industry research center, he analyzed the vibration, material and structure of the polymerization installation to find the cause. Then, with components of various materials and shapes, strength testing and fatigue testing were conducted in detail to improve material and shape. As a result, the defect rate which was at 28% in 2016 dropped by 5% in 2017. 

 Thoroughly Observed and Meticulously Improved  

The aspect that Chief Seon put most weight on was developing a new winder to wind up spandex fibers. The existing friction-based winder in operation forced highly-elastic spandex fibers to wind around. As the possibility of slipping which caused quality defects was quite high, he wondered whether there was a winder which would be more in tune with realizing higher quality. He decidedly to bring in advanced technology from abroad. After much deliberation and testing, he applied the bobbin direct operating method and succeeded to develop a high-speed winder which increased productivity by 10%. The implementation of high-speed winders in global factories is enhancing productivity like never before. 

“A high-speed winder is a combination of 10 types of technology. Out of the 10, 3 are electrical technologies. It was a project where machinery, electricity and production had to work together. Not one area could risk being neglected. ‘Why is the fiber being cut so long? Why is it breaking in the middle?’. To detect the problem, we not only observed but recorded it and watched the process repeatedly. Development is prone to fail if the procedure is not handled meticulously.  

The attention to detail continued. Chief Seon does recall some alarming moments after the winder was implemented in factories abroad after successful test operations in the domestic factories. Too many vibrations were occurring. However, he directly visited the plant and restructured the winder to the local equipment environment. The end result was a success. 

 Taking on Another Challenge, Dreaming of Innovation  

Chief Seon has overcome obstacle after obstacle through multiple trials and errors. He is always a step away from the spotlight. 

“It wasn’t an easy operation, but support from superiors, colleagues and related personnel from collaborating companies allowed me to finish the project. I also amassed the necessary strength to focus on research and development in the future.”  

Chief Seon, who became a spandex equipment expert over 20 years since entering our company and traveling to domestic and international plants, has taken on another challenge. His challenge is to develop a large-scale ejector-winder to enhance productivity further. This will help improve productivity by 30% from the existing winder.

To develop a technology that did not exist in the past, 1% more attention to detail is essential to see what others don’t see. Thanks to his precise ‘watch again’ attitude, he succeeded in ‘refreshing’ the company, and because of this quality, we are confident he will succeed again.

“The SpandexPU Gumi plant must capably take on the role of being the parent plant in producing the right quality and properties that the client desires. We must produce better quality than our competitors and expand the quality gap we have over late entries into our market.” 

-Jo Hyeon-jun, Chairman of Hyosung Group 

 Thanks to

I would like to extend my gratitude to SpandexPU Chairman Kim Yong-seob who allowed the firm basis for me to launch this project. He encouraged me greatly by placing trust in my abilities and allowing me to focus on research. As I am a mechanic, I was very much in need of advice from an electric and production expert. 

I thank director Bae In-han, who oversees production in the Gumi plant, for his precious advice. I also want to thank all the team members of the technology innovation team who trusted me and followed my lead. I also want to thank Il Jin A-Tech, Samchang Machinery and Electronics and other collaborating companies who proactively supported our developments. 

Written by | Kim Ju-hee

Photography by | Han Su-jeong (Day40 Studio)

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