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"It's time for parts makers to compete in the global market. It's hard to survive if we lose out on the competition, but competent companies may be able to dominate the global market. We have to compete with Japanese companies with the world's best technology, but we're confident that we won't be pushed out of the power inductor field at all."
Cha Kwon-mook, president of Coilmaster (45), said, "Competition among domestic companies is becoming increasingly meaningless. The capabilities of parts companies that can work in the global market are also important." As domestic set makers are increasing the proportion of parts procured through global sourcing, parts makers that have not secured competitiveness in technology and price are having difficulty surviving.
CoilMaster is a company that now occupies more than 50% of the domestic market share after entering the power inductor market dominated by Japanese companies. Until CoilMaster entered the power inductor market, power inductors were expensive parts, reaching 1,300 won per unit. Domestic set companies were forced to buy Japanese products with "biting the bullet" even if they were expensive. However, as Coil Master entered the market, the unit price immediately fell to around 300 won.
"Even if Japanese companies made excessive profits, domestic companies had to suffer. Since there were no companies that made them properly in Korea, we could not even know the cost structure."
Coil Master boasts an overwhelming competitive advantage in volume, unit price, and quality. The defect rate is also lower than that of Japanese companies. All of this is possible thanks to the automation facility called the "innovation line." CEO Cha focused all his capabilities on facility development for about two years until 2008. At that time, it was recognized that it was impossible to manufacture a power inductor with an automated facility, not a human hand. Although there were Japanese facilities that could automate some processes, he insisted on developing them on their own.
"We believe that there is a limit to making competitive edge by using other people's equipment. We wanted something much smaller and more versatile than Japanese machines."
After developing innovative lines, efficiency in producing power inductors improved by 15 times. Although 100 employees produced 2 million power inductors a month, the innovation line has made it possible for only eight people. Above all, as the production line, which reached 30~40m per unit, was reduced to 3~5m, all processes could be understood at a glance. As a result, the rate of problem occurrence and defect rate decreased significantly.
"Due to increase in demands for power inductors for TVs, we have not been able to respond to markets for mobile phones. We are planning to increase number of production from 60 million TVs per month to 100 million TVs in 2018 and actively respond to markets for Smartphones."
Staff Reporter Hyung-soo Lee email@example.com Photo=Reporter Ji-ho Park firstname.lastname@example.org