2 to launch 'virtual digital company'
POSCO Chairman Chung Joon-yang, left, poses with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt after discussing ways of cooperating in a wide range of segments at the steel maker’s office in southern Seoul, Wednesday. / Courtesy of POSCO
By Kim Tae-gyu
POSCO, the country’s foremost manufacturer of iron and steel products, is to collaborate with Google with the aim of becoming a ``smart’’ company.
The Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province-based outfit signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Wednesday with the U.S. company to pursue comprehensive cooperation.
Under the bilateral agreement, POSCO plans to realize a so-called “digital virtual company” in such areas as the global operations, logistics, energy and safety.
``We will complete a digital virtual company, which will involve three-dimensional modeling procedures to reduce trial and error in building new blast furnaces since we can model them in advance through simulation and with pinpoint precision,’’ a POSCO spokesman said.
``In addition, our employees from across the world will be able to tele-conference with their cell phones using the benefits of the real-time translator of Google. Other practical services will also be introduced at the digital virtual company.’’
He took examples of the virtual fence, which will alert workers when they approach dangerous places or the real-time system allowing POSCO insiders to check the distribution of products on the back of Google’s map services.
``In order to achieve the idea of the digital virtual company, we have already come up with more than 100 targets, which will be met across the board in the future,’’ the spokesman said.
``We are quite sure that we will achieve an enormous amount of innovation through cooperating with Google to remain ahead of the curve in the competitive global steel industry.’’
In return, Google will be able to gain momentum entering East Asian markets, where the U.S. company is looking to carve out a big market share.
The teamwork with POSCO is also expected to offer a new opportunity to the Internet giant in the business-to-business areas.
POSCO Chairman Chung Joon-yang, who discussed specific ways of mutual cooperation with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt on Wednesday, said that the contract will mark a turning point for POSCO.
``In an era of convergence, it is meaningful for POSCO to create synergy with Google which is famous for its managerial speed, collaboration and openness,’’ Chung said.
``Once we complete the info-tech reform at the steel mills based on the cooperation between POSCO and Google, it would be an innovation in the manufacturing industry as well as a transition to a new high-tech period.’’