Hyundai Construction Equipment (HCE) is investing €150m in its Ulsan factory, South Korea, to strengthen its competitiveness in the rapidly expanding construction equipment business.
HCE announced in 2020 that it plans to bring to market a range of excavators powered by hydrogen fuel cells, produced in cooperation with Hyundai Motors, which has its largest automotive plant in Ulsan. The company has already unveiled a range of hydrogen-powered industrial forklifts that are due to launch in 2023, as it continues to develop the low and zero-carbon emissions equipment that will be demanded by the customer of the future.
The investment, to be delivered over the next four years, will increase production at the giant plant by 4,800 units a year, bringing annual capacity to 15,000 excavators, wheeled loaders, and other construction models.
The company will merge the production and assembly functions currently in Factory 1 and Factory 2, into a single facility simplifying the flow of processes and increasing savings by maximising efficiency. This will reduce the working hours involved in machine production and cut logistics costs throughout the supply chain. The move will also reflect HCE’s environmental, social, and governance factors, using eco-friendly sub-materials when conducting interior and exterior finish work.
The company is increasing its market share in every region of the business, by responding to current market trends in the global construction equipment market and by looking ahead to the customer requirements of tomorrow’s infrastructure and construction projects. The company is also planning to benefit from the recent US launch of the ‘Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative for developing countries.
“Strengthening the competitiveness of the Ulsan factory is the first challenge that needs to be addressed to reach the global top 5, the goal of the construction equipment division of the Hyundai Heavy Industries group,” says CEO Mr. Choi Cheol-gon. “With this investment, we will further raise our brand competitiveness by producing and delivering construction equipment with increased efficiency.”
In November 2020, HCE completed the construction of a technology innovation centre, investing €57.4m (US$65m). The new centre includes 16 laboratories, employing more than 100 researchers. It is involved in research and development projects focusing on eco-friendly technologies, high efficiency and noise reduction technologies and a virtual verification system. The site also performs quality research and verification of components and completed equipment.
Hyundai Construction Equipment will continue to invest in the business, to ensure that the company takes the leap to become a global top-tier manufacturing company. HCE completed a quality assurance centre for verifying the reliability of components in June 2021 and remodelled its global training centre for developing excellent human resources in June 2021. Now the focus is on increasing production efficiency and building the infrastructure for the rapid growth that is planned for the coming years.
Images ©Hyundai Construction Equipment and ©AdobeStock