South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) will use robots to build ships to improve efficiency and cut costs.
Yonhap reports the world's largest shipbuilder has completed a year of testing of a robotic system that automatically shapes a vessel's 3D curved surface at its Ulsan shipyard, about 414 kilometres southeast of Seoul.
Hyundai said it had succeeded in automating and standardising the moulding process with a six-axis articulated robot equipped with an automatic heating line generation function.
Outlining plans to add artificial intelligence and more sophisticated technologies in the future, HHI’s unmanned Songming Robot System is based on the "internet of things" and automation technologies, and is equipped with a high-frequency inductive heating system and a multi-joint arm.
HHI claims the system will increase productivity by three times compared with man-made work, improve quality and save up to KR200 billion won (US$185 million) over its lifetime.
Robots can substitute for skilled labour in welding, blasting, painting, heavy lifting and other tasks.