LG Electronics completes 1st phase of smart home appliance factory upgrades

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LG Electronics Inc. said Thursday the first phase of home appliance manufacturing facility upgrades at its main production base in South Korea has been completed as the company aims to improve productivity with a better automation system.

The tech giant said its reconstructed production building at LG Smart Park in Changwon, 400 kilometers south of Seoul, started its initial stage operations.

LG earlier announced it will invest a total of 800 billion won (US$683 million) to upgrade its Changwon 1 factory to a smart, environment friendly facility. It spent 480 billion won to execute the first phase of the plan.

The upgrade focuses on bringing production lines at each building under the same roof. It first installed three production lines for refrigerators and water purifiers at the reconstructed building.

LG plans to set up three more manufacturing lines for kitchen appliances inside its new building and establish a revamped warehouse by 2024.

The upgraded facility boasts enhanced automation in all production processes, from assembly to packaging, and leverages big data and deep learning technologies for better efficiency and product quality, according to LG.

To improve productivity, LG said it also beefed up its logistics system with 5G-powered automated guided vehicles and a smart parts delivery system.

When the entire upgrade of its Changwon 1 factory is completed, LG said the plant’s annual production capacity will increase from 2 million units to 3 million units. Also with the advanced system, LG expected to see 30 percent improvement in energy efficiency.

LG said it plans to apply the smart production system to foreign plants by benchmarking smart solutions used at the Changwon plant. The company added its smart factory upgrades will also benefit partner companies and create more jobs.