Innocem Korea Co. Ltd
Written By Jessica Schultz, Interview Interpretation by Jung Yun-hee
When you hear the phrase “potential to fundamentally change the future,” what comes to mind? Technologies in healthcare, sustainability, 3-D printing and computer programming are all common answers. What about lighting? Despite the rapid development of lighting technologies, rarely do we hear about the potential for lighting innovations to change the way we live.
Innocem Korea, Co. Ltd. saw the possibility of a booming future market. In 2000, before much of the now tech-savvy world had a voice, Innocem knew that light-emitting diodes (LEDs) would become the focus of the lighting market for years to come. Today LEDs are some of the most exciting innovations in lighting. Gwangju News recently had the pleasure to visit the Innocem facility and meet Innocem’s Vice President, Mr. Park Sang-Seon.
GWANGJU NEWS (GN): How did Innocem Korea, Co. Ltd. get its start?
Park Sang-Seon (PS): Before Innocem began, the two founders co-owned a landscape business. While lighting was not the focus of our business, we learned a lot and saw the potential for growth in the LED market. When we changed businesses from landscaping to LED manufacturing in 2000, we had no experience in manufacturing. We knew manufacturing was a key to expanding our business, so we learned. As demand has grown, we have added to our product line and improved the manufacturing process. We currently produce LED packages, LED lights, control systems and operation programs.
GN: What were some of the challenges in opening the company?
PS: A challenge in starting Innocem was raising the funds to actually begin production. Since there is a wealth of material needed for the manufacturing process, the capital required was more than we had available from our previous business. Luckily, we were able to use a state loan to raise the money needed to incorporate and start production with Innocem.
GN: What are Innocem’s main markets?
PS: Innocem provides products and services to a variety of customers, including hospitals, hotels, schools, public offices and more. With regional sales branches throughout Korea, Innocem is able to perform lighting retrofits and installations in many areas of the country. Of the main markets that Innocem serves, approximately 70 percent are retrofits and 30 percent are new construction. Some installation examples include: Gunpo Jungsan High School, Yongin City Hall, the Donglim Bridge, [all] in Gwangju City and the Improved Coast project in Busan.
The main international markets we sell to are the United States, Vietnam and Korea. In the United States we have a partnership with Chrysler. Chrysler wanted a sky blue LED element for the interior dashboard of their vehicles that Innocem has designed and will continue to supply. In all markets there has been demand for new technologies that can be paired with new and innovative materials, such as chrome, to allow for more radiant heat.
GN: How has your company evolved since 2000? What does Innocem expect for the future?
PS: There has been a continued emphasis on new technology and technical innovation. In December 2014 we launched a new luminaire with 20 percent greater lighting efficacy than before. Lighting efficacy, the measure of how well a light source produces visible light, is rapidly progressing. We expect to continue producing new technologies with increased efficacy in the future. Another important consideration for the future is energy efficiency. Our company has a multitude of product certifications, with many in Korea focusing on the efficiency of our lighting products. This [focus] will continue to innovate future technologies.
GN: How long does it take to secure a product certification? And also, what are some of the certifications Innocem Korea has acquired?
PS: The process for product certifications can be lengthy and costly but is an important part of our business. In one year we secure about 10 certifications for luminaires. There are always a few pending. We have acquired a multitude of certifications since our founding, but these are a few examples.
In 2012, the Eco-label from the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute
In 2011, the Green Technology Certification and High Efficiency Equipment Certification
And in 2009, the Korea High Efficacy Equipment Certification
Innocem Korea, Co. Ltd. is one of the leading LED luminaire manufacturing companies in the world. For more information, visit them online at http://www.innocem.co.kr/.