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Food Industry Division of the Korea National Food Cluster Hosted an International Symposium on the 4th Industrial Revolution

Food Industry Division of

the Korea National Food Cluster Hosted

an International Symposium on the 4th Industrial Revolution

 

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The Korea National Food Cluster held an international symposium December 6 to discuss and find ways for active response of food industry to the 4th industrial revolution. Many experts from the industry, academic and research arenas from Germany participated in the symposium to discuss where the ‘Industry 4.0’ policy is heading.

During the symposium, joint workshop was held on the sideline to promote exchange among member companies. It was a meaningful time for member companies, family members to the Korea National Food Cluster gathered together to share information and strengthen cooperation. Here are some stories from the international symposium to find the direction for Korean food companies in preparation for the 4th industrial revolution and strengthen relationships among member companies.

 

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Germany has strong presence in manufacturing industry but it has been working on the ‘Industry 4.0’ since 2010 to maintain and enhance its industrial competitiveness in the future. ‘Industry 4.0’ is a policy to strengthen the entire process of production in manufacturing industry, by applying IoT. To this end, the German government is striving hard to transform the existing manufacturing into a smart business structure and train and educate human resources.

 

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The symposium started with the opening remark by Whang In-sik, the director of the Korean National Food Cluster. During his remark about the ‘Food Industry of the Korea National Food Cluster and the International Symposium on the 4th Industrial Revolution’ he expressed his gratitude for those who helped host the event and wished a successful completion of the symposium. He also mentioned that he hoped to see more active exchange and cooperation between Korea and Germany and more opportunities of mutual growth in food industry between the two nations.

 

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During the international symposium, exhibition booths of member companies of the cluster were arranged on the outside of the symposium. Visitors had time to look around the exhibition booths before the symposium began and expressed strong interested in the products on display.

 

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Members of the 1st session of the Startup Support Lab opened their own exhibition booth, too. They caught a lot attention of the visitors, proudly presenting the products developed with their own creative ideas.

 

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The symposium was held in 3 sessions. The first session was covered by 3 speakers and the second session was led by 2 speakers. While the second session was held, the third session was held simultaneously on the sideline as a joint worship for member companies.

The first speaker was Hermann Joseph Schroeder, the director of Trade Promotion and Quality Policy at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Director Hermann gave a lecture on the theme of ‘Food Safety and Digitalized Trade Policy in Germany.’

He said SMEs struggled with weak export and experienced lots of difficulties, mainly because of lack of information and highlighted the role of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. He also mentioned that it was necessary to provide opportunities for research and education for SMEs and give more chances to present their products directly at trade shows overseas.

He did not forget mentioning about food safety, one of the key issues nowadays. In Germany, they apply general principles to secure food safety. They make sure to comply with basic laws and regulations and have each department and division responsible for food safety in the process from the place of production to end users. He reiterated the importance of food safety, saying that in Germany, 16 provinces of the federation are responsible for food safety of each jurisdiction.

 

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The second presentation was made by Sabine Brun Kraus from Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences. Dr. Sabine introduced the smart factory project under the theme of ‘Food Processing Technologies 4.0’ She said that finding ways for smarter manufacturing, storing and processing to consume less energy is the key to achieve ‘Industry 4.0’ in broader areas of food industry and technologies.

The 4th industrial revolution will be based on the cyber physical production system. She said in the past, the production process was controlled by the command machine at the center but after the 4th industrial revolution, the machine itself would have AI to control the process. She also added applying 4.0 technology would not be easy for SMEs but it would be the key to survive in the market in the future.

What was particularly interesting to the audience during the presentation was the origin of the term ‘Industry 4.0.’ The term was coined in Germany first. As it was April 1, 2011, when it was first used, people did not believe and thought that it was a joke of April Fool’s Day.

With the presentation by Dr. Sabine, the audience came to learn more and expect much more from the Industry 4.0, the tool to minimize human labor with adoption of smart technologies.

 

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The next speaker was Shin Yang-jae, the head of Future Packaging Institute. Mr. Shin made a presentation on the theme of ‘The Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Food Industry and New Development.’ As the issues of food safety and storage become more and more important, popularity of smart packages is also growing. Mr. Shin said as smart sensor-based processes expanded, it would become easier to provide information and control risk on food.

The 4th industrial revolution will have impact on food industry in various aspects. It can change structure of food produced and enhance functions of existing products. Production processes can be changed, too. As smart sensor-based processes are applied to enhance food safety, eliminate risk factors and ensure quality control, it will be easier to detect hazardous elements and track history.

What we have to pay keen attention to is the platform competition. Along with the 4th industrial revolution, the process of distribution to consumers will become more important and this will intensify competition for channels. Also adoption of smart technologies in manufacturing of food industry will reduce demand for labor. However, overall employment is expected to increase, to respond to ever-changing demand of consumers.

 

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After short coffee break, the second session started. The forth speaker was Kim Dong-ju, the team head of Korea Agency of HACCP Accreditation & Service. Mr. Kim gave a lecture on the theme of ‘HACCP, with Application of IC/IoT.’ As the cluster has been at the forefront to promote smart HACCP introduction after it signed an MOU with Korea Agency of HACCP Accreditation & Service last August, it was a particularly interesting presentation, gaining even closer attention of the audience.

Smart HACCP means an intelligent HACCP management system, applied with ICT technologies. It is capable of transmitting data, using automated monitoring tools and analyzing and interpreting collected big data with AI.

What’s most interesting was the case of applying smart HACCP to school meal program. It can transmit the recorded data real time, including the quality data such as date and temperature of ingredients when it arrived and the temperature it has been stored at is recorded. The cooking temperature is transmitted and the entire process of food distribution is also shared. Lastly, the process of washing and sterilizing dishes and kitchenware is also recorded and transmitted as data.

 

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The last speaker was Klemens Von Betteray, the vice president of CSB Co. Mr. Betteray spoke about the 4th industrial revolution and food industry, under the theme of ‘the 4th Industrial Revolution, Where Should the Food Industry be Headed.’

He said ‘Industry 4.0’ is a ‘team play.’ He shared cases of many global leading companies to argue that Industry 4.0 can be realized, when everybody plays its role in their own position in great team work. As many companies did in the past, he said we would be able to make success with Industry 4.0, if we cooperate and exchange closely with each other.

What’s interesting in his lecture was the part about the ‘history tracking system.’ History tracking system is a technology to enable history tracking anywhere, anytime, by attaching a label on products to show entire distribution process from production to end users.

‘Image processing technology’ for quality control was another topic, catching the audience’s attention. Image processing technology is a system to build image data of entire distribution process for quality control. For example, for hog meat, even the detailed data on the level of fat is captured and managed as image, expanding the scope of quality control. This showed how fast the technologies for food safety and quality control are developed every day.

 

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While the second session was held, the third session was also open for a joint workshop for member companies of the Korea National Food Cluster. At the workshop, member companies discussed how to promote cooperation for advancement of the cluster.

The session started with the remarks by representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and other relevant institutions and presentations on success cases of member companies followed. Ahn Jin-young, CEO of ‘CNC Coffee’ introduced the experiences of factory construction start, completion and stabilization and Lee Wang-hee, the director of ‘Neo Crema’ made a presentation on the experiences of new business exploration and export success. Park Jong-hyuk, CEO of ‘Balhyo Yes’ introduced the success story of a venture business start-up.

After the presentations, open discussion among the member companies began. Before the main discussion, participants introduced themselves, as Ahn Jin-young, CEO of CNC Coffee led the session. After that, they had open discussion on how to strengthen relationships and share ideas on further development of member companies.

 

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After all presentations finished, expert panel discussion followed. They had time to share feedback on the presentations of the day and exchange ideas with each other. To the request to sum up the 4th industrial revolution with 3 key words, the expert panel concluded that ‘Status Check and Collaboration’, ‘Integration with the Support Centers of the Korea National Food Cluster’ and “Financial Support’ would be the key words. The panel discussion was a meaningful time to go even deeper into the areas that was not covered in the presentations.

 

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During the long hours of event, audience paid keen attention to the presentations with passion and strong interest. The symposium on food industry and the 4th industrial revolution was valuable opportunities to discuss about the 4th industrial revolution, the buzzword of our time and find ways for food sector to actively respond to the trend. With continuous efforts like this symposium, the Korea National Food Industry will further grow to lead changes in the 4th industrial revolution as the only food industry cluster in Northeast Asia.

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