Monday, July 27, 2015

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Hyundai Heavy creates new tech center to 3D-print ship parts

Hyundai Heavy Industries has announced that it will join the South Korean government’s economy initiative by opening an innovation center in Ulsan, where the company’s headquarters are located. The Ulsan Creative Economy Innovation Center will have two different branch locations, one at the University of Ulsan, and the other at the city’s startup assistant center.

Hyundai Heavy said it plans to 3D-print multiple ship components, saving time and money in the process. The center will also serve as a hub to incubate startups that are involved in 3D printing as well as the automated medical services industries.

HHI has teamed with two other major South Korean shipbuilders, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. Combined, the three companies will share 2,500 patents with the center’s startups so that they can develop new projects and products. The goal of this initiative will be to boost the local economy as well as advance the technologies behind the shipping industry.

The three large shipbuilders, along with engineering students at the University of Ulsan and the various startups, will work together on research around new technologies such as 3D printing, aiming to localize the production of 15 major ship parts at the center by year’s end, and as many as 165 different parts by 2018. Hyundai Heavy estimates that such localization of manufacturing could save the Korean shipbuilding industry approximately $1.8 billion annually.

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