A South Korean pharmaceutical company Chong Kun Dang has revealed plans to establish a metaverse based factory in a move aimed at enhancing product quality and prevent contamination.
The virtual plant is expected to maintain cleanliness in line with pharmaceutical manufacturing standards.
The move comes as the concept of metaverse factories is gaining traction in South Korea with government investing heavily in development of its own metaverse ecosystem. Chong Kun Dang has scheduled to adopt the metaverse-based factory during the second half of 2024.
Pioneers of the concept
While businesses adopt the metaverse concept globally, Chong Kun Dang is became the first South Korean company to implement a metaverse factory, according to its spokesperson.
“We became the first domestic company to build a metaverse factory through a government support project,” company spokesperson Park Jee-yeon told Aju Business Daily.
The Ministry of Science and Information & Communications in that country last year said there were plans to set up a $180 million fund for metaverse industry projects, while President Yoon Suk Yeol has said developing the technology is a national priority.
Now, the Chong Kun Dang metaverse project will be a simulation of the actual factory, a project that is also in line with that country’s digitalization drive.
“As we were selected in a metaverse factory establishment project for the first time in the domestic pharmaceutical field, we will set a successful example of digital transformation,” said another official from the company.
The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has given a nod to the pharmaceutical company to release CKD-396, a treatment for type 2 diabetes, which is one of the most prevalent ailments across the globe. This comes as the company has presented a cocktail of medicines for various ailments.
While implementation of metaverse factories may still be in the early stages, it is generally touted as a good idea that can help businesses optimize operations.
Manufacturers, especially in the first world are exploring ways of leveraging the emerging virtual technologies to enhance productivity in a cost effective manner.
According to a report by Manufacturing Dive, the software “combines Nvidia graphics, accelerated computing, simulation and AI technologies into one platform, allowing BMW to model logistics and robots at plants before they enter production.”
The same technology is also being used for staff training with surgeons and firefighters using it for medical procedures and navigating deadly fire situations respectively.
Nokia has also been reported to be using the technology in collaboration with other firms.
South Korea and its nose for metaverse factories
In South Korea, metaverse factories are reportedly gaining traction with the country angling to be a leader in metaverse development in East Asia.
Big companies like Samsung Electronics, SK Telecom and Naver Corp. have already expanded their businesses into the metaverse.
This year the Korea Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) showed off it’s virtual factory which allows users to monitor and control a real factory in southern Ulsan at a global trade fair in Germany.
Through AI system, operators are easily notified whenever there is a dangerous situation detected at the actual site.
In January this year Seoul opened its first stage of a city backed metaverse platform dubbed the ‘Metaverse Seoul’ aimed at improving public service through virtual platforms. The project is scheduled to complete by 2026, and citizens can explore the city using avatars.
Overall, South Korea aspires to be the fifth largest country in the metaverse market by 2026. This has pushed the government to take a leading role in promoting the metaverse and has invested towards grooming 40 000 professionals and 220 firms specializing in metaverse technology.