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  • [Global Success Stories #3] What Kind of Company is ulalaLAB?




  • What Kind of Company is ulalaLAB?

    ulalaLAB’s signature product is WimFactory, a cloud and machine-learning-based smart factory platform that analyzes industrial data. WimFactory consists of WICON, an IoT device that collects and transmits production facility data, and Wim-X, an integrated management system for storing, visualizing, and analyzing the data.

     


     

    A hidden champion specializing in IoT

    WimFactory can be installed on existing factory facilities after connecting data measurement sensors and WICON. WICON collects and transmits data to Wim-X, which then analyzes and visualizes the data to provide a number of real-time services to users.
    WICON can be easily connected to a variety of commercial sensors that measure such things as temperature, humidity, proximity, and vibration. Up to four sensors can be connected to WICON 
    simultaneously. Since WICON is a removable modular system, users can attach WICON to various network modules for use in a variety of network environments.

    Based on data analysis technology, Wim-X provides real-time monitoring, event alerts, and analytical reports. Wim-X allows users to check operational conditions at a facility in real time, through analysis of data from WICON and real-time delivery of the results to those users. WimFactory also provides alerts for errors, defects, and emergency situations, allowing immediate user response to crisis and thereby reducing loss. Moreover, based on the cloud-accumulated data, WimFactory provides an analytical report every week, month, and quarter, making it easier for users to manage their factory operations more efficiently. Unlike our competitors’ platforms, WimFactory can be installed easily - sensors are simply attached to existing facilities without the need to replace or rearrange the facilities or production lines. It is a particularly great platform for manufacturing SMEs, typically desperately in need of smart factory solutions.




    Stepping up from software development to IoT underdog

    ulalaLAB wasn’t always a smart factory solution provider. In 2011, it was founded as a software developer. In 2013, the company developed WimPet, an IoT communication device for animal companions. In the process of seeking out companies to manufacture the device, ulalaLAB realized the breadth of problems in the overall manufacturing process, from facility operations to quality assurance and production management. “We’ve entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, yet most companies still maintain the same production methods they’ve been using since the 1980s and 1990s,” explains CEO Kang.

    ulalaLAB’s researchers decided to apply the experience they gained with analyzing animal companion activity data to communicate with people while developing WimPet to improve the manufacturing process. Just as WimPet allows people to communicate with their animal companions through a device, ulalaLAB thought that it might be possible for factories and humans to communicate through IoT devices. “I was convinced that it would be possible to solve problems with facilities and product quality easily and at low cost through analysis of data collected from manufacturing lines,” explains Kang, “so we changed our business model.”




    Toward true manufacturing reform after much trial and error

    Even though the idea was a great one, ulalaLAB underwent significant trial and error to remake itself from software developer to IoT company.
    The biggest problem was that those working for ulalaLAB had no understanding of its prospective clients- manufacturing facilities. “It took us nearly seven years to test our products at production facilities, trying to understand the manufacturing system, and listening to manufacturers themselves,” remembers Kang. Even after developing a product that had never before existed on earth, the conservative manufacturing environment in Korea posed an obstacle as well, as it is not very open to change or innovation. Moreover, it was difficult for ulalaLAB’s B2B business model for factories to be recognized as a venture startup. Only recently has ulalaLAB been able to lay the foundation for overseas expansion through acquisition of various international certifications.




    The Korean market is too small! On to the global market!

    Realizing the difficulty of getting through to the stubbornly conservative Korean market, ulalaLAB decided to look overseas. Starting with success in the Nike shoe factory in Indonesia in 2016, ulalaLAB installed WimFactory in Adidas shoe factories in Vietnam and China in 2017.
    The company also signed an MOU with the Thailand Productivity Institute to enter the Thai market, stepping up its efforts to further expand into the Asian market.

    Recently, ulalaLAB has been seeing great results in China as well, signing an MOU with Alibaba Cloud and Kevins, a Chinese distributor, to expand the smart factory market. ulalaLAB has also signed an agreement with NMYP, a Chinese agriculture and stock farming company, to co-develop a smart farm solution and has been actively working on related projects.

    Amidst these efforts, the K-ICT Born2Global Centre continued to support and encourage ulalaLAB in laying the foundation for overseas market entry through participation in pitching contests and exhibitions to find overseas partners and clients, publication of foreign press releases, and filing of patents overseas (in the United States, European countries, China, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand).




    2019 will be the year possibilities become reality

    2019 is expected to be the year ulalaLAB brings the results of its research and development to the market. To this end, the company is compiling a portfolio of manufacturing plants in Korea and building a collaborative structure with local partners abroad to advance into the global market.

    Above all, ulalaLAB continues to develop WimFactory so that it can grow and diverge into a variety of solutions.
    Kang expresses his aspirations for ulalaLAB, saying, “I will do my best to make ulalaLAB Korea’s first hardware unicorn.”




     

     


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