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THiRA UTECH set to launch new U.S. subsidiary

Article - April 1, 2024

Continued growth of the secondary battery market and escalating tensions between the US and China make it the perfect time for the company to establish its base in Atlanta, Georgia.

Founded in 2006, THiRA UTECH offers end-to-end solutions for factory automation, and is active in a wide range of sectors, including displays and semiconductors, secondary batteries and the automotive industry.

Providing an extensive suite of automation solutions, it aims to streamline operations, improve efficiency and help companies achieve success at different phases of the manufacturing process.

Major clients include LG Energy Solution, and the company is proud to count giants such as Samsung and Hanwha as partners.

THiRA UTECH CEO, Jeong Ha Kim, says: “We started our journey as a software design engineering company and eventually expanded into integrating hardware for our customers.”

“Our solutions are primarily built around three major pillars,” he continues. “The first one is Thira SCM, or Supply Chain Management, a solution geared towards production planning, which provides precise guidelines for factory workers. The second pillar is the MES, or Manufacturing Execution System, and the third revolves around automation software, which facilitates automated and unmanned operations in the manufacturing line.”

In addition to these three pillars, the company is also developing AMRs (Autonomous Mobile Robots) as well as various components, such as actuators.

With a number of industries in the Korean manufacturing sector having slowed somewhat in recent years, THiRA UTECH is keen to target those sectors where growth is predicted.

Certainly, Mr. Kim is in no doubt about the company’s priorities: “Our principal target is the rechargeable, or secondary, battery market, and, given that the growth of rechargeable batteries and electric vehicles (EVs) is inextricably linked, that scope extends to EVs as well.”

Partly this can be seen as a result of the current geopolitical situation. South Korean President Yoon recently met with his American counterpart, in order to discuss, among other things, President Biden’s open invitation for Korean companies to integrate into the American supply chain.

“In my view,” Mr. Kim asserts, “the tensions between the U.S. and China, along with a greater need for automated solutions, create new opportunities for us.”

This is perhaps an understatement: THiRA UTECH’s share price has more than doubled since the start of 2023, from 7,000 KRW in January to more than 16,000 KRW in June, a development that has paved the way for the establishment of a new subsidiary, THiRA Corp, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Through THiRA Corp, the company’s expansion into the U.S. - predicated on the continuing growth of the secondary battery industry - will give traditional American manufacturing companies access to smart factory solutions, and facilitate the transition to digitization. Thus, in addition to covering smart factory SW solutions such as SCM, MES, MCS, WCS and FMCS, THiRA Corp will also focus on setup and maintenance for manufacturers, as well as AMR and Fleet Management System (FMS).

And it is fair to say that things are moving quickly, with THiRA Corp soon to sign its first contract with SK Battery America (SKBA) and Blue Oval SK (BOSK).

The last word, however, goes to Mr. Kim: “We aim to provide comprehensive solutions encompassing AI and automated hardware, and are ready to make significant strides in the American market, forging collaborations with prominent corporations and establishing our presence on a global scale.”