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Hyundai-Kia’s 6-Stage Auto Transmission Wins King Sejong Award at Competition of Patented Technologies
2012-06-26 21:42 15952

- Reduces the size of the transmission and the number of required parts by 62, improving fuel efficiency by 4% -

At the first Competition of Patented Technologies of 2012, the 6-stage automatic transmission, created by a team of researchers led by Senior Researcher Shim Hyu-tae at Hyundai-Kia Motors, was awarded the competition’s highest honor, King Sejong Award.

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO, Commissioner Kim Ho-won), further awarded 15 creators of 4 patented inventions and 1 design at the award ceremony held on July 21 at the International Conference Hall at the Korean Intellectual Property Center in Yeoksam-dong, Seoul. Awards included the Chung-mu-gong and the Ji Seok-yeong Awards for patented inventions and the Jeong Yak-yong Award for designs. All winners received plaques and monetary prizes, rising as high as KRW 10 million in the case of the King Sejong Award.

The winning invention, Hyundai-Kia’s 6-stage automatic transmission, is a highly original work with its own innovative structure completely different from that of the existing 5-stage transmissions. The new 6-stage transmission has 62 fewer parts and is 41mm smaller than the 5-stage transmission, making it 12kg lighter as well. This revolutionary change has boosted fuel efficiency by 4%. Recognizing the advanced quality and performance of the new transmission, Chrysler Corporation of the United States has agreed to purchase 770,000 units over the next 6 yearsThe export is expected to reach a total of KRW 1.2 trillion.
The next highest honor, the Chung-mu-gong Award, went to Semi Sysco’s CEO Lee Sun-jong and his 3 co-inventors who together created a testing device for semiconductor glass substrates. The device will improve the overall quality of digital display devices including liquid crystal display (LCD) screens and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) by detecting defects during the manufacturing process.

Defects in glass substrates include uneven surfaces and visible tide-like patterns. When light is projected onto the substrates, the defects may lead to undesired differences in the contrasts of light. Semi Sysco’s award-winning device automatically detects such defects by analyzing the projections of light made onto them.

This new device revolutionizes the manufacturing process by performing tests at the assembly stage rather than taking random samples from the finished products. Its accuracy is also 6 ~ 7 times greater than that of previous testing.

In its first year on the market, Semi Sysco earned KRW 2.2 billion in sales in 2011. The company expects to garner at least KRW 4 billion this year from the product sales.

The third highest honor, the Ji Seok-yeong Award, went to Senior Researcher Lee Seon-yeong and her 4 colleagues at Daesang Corporation, who together invented a new emulsion stabilizer made of natural starch.

An emulsion stabilizer refers to the medium that enables water and oil, otherwise indissoluble, to mix and create a milky liquid of even consistency. The new emulsion stabilizer is notable for using an all-natural ingredient, starch, which is found in abundance in corn, potatoes, rice, and sweet potatoes.

Not only is the new emulsion stabilizer easier to be manufactured than traditional stabilizer, it also ensures greater levels of stability, notwithstanding acidity, high heat, and other various conditions of change applied to liquids, in their processing and shipping. Whereas traditional emulsion stabilizers had to be dissolved in water first by heating them up, the new invention can be easily dissolved in cold water as well.

The new emulsion stabilizer has a broad array of applications ranging from cosmetic products to confectionery, beverages, salad dressings, liquid coffee creamers, soup powders, spices, and so forth. It will allow common, high-fat food products such as mayonnaise, salad dressings, and instant noodles to be kept and stored longer by preventing the separation of water and oil in their contents. When applied to baking and confectionery products, it will provide a glossier and more even surface.

The new emulsion stabilizer eliminates the need to import expensive alternatives such as sodium caseinate and guar gum. It can also be used in other industrial activities replacing guar gum, for instance, used in boring holes to extract crude oil.

The other Ji Seok-yeong award went to Kim Do-hyeong, CEO of IJ Electron, who developed a new sensor cable that can be mounted on outer fences to fend off intruders.

The invention is based on the magnetic field generated by magnets in the cable that exerts electric voltages when the cable is moved. When an intruder touches or moves the cable, the cable automatically emits electric currents to the monitoring system.

The cable is designed to work properly, even if its coating is damaged, to prevent false alarms due to rain, snow, or wind. The cable can already be found in or around the buildings of Korea National Oil Corporation, Korea Electric Power Corporation, and others.

The Jeong Yak-yong Award for creative designs went to Lee Jeong-woo, CEO of EK Design, who designed a tumbler-holding umbrella handle.

The handle of the umbrella is quite versatile as it can hold a tumbler containing hot or cold drinks and can be used to hang the umbrella when not in use. This interesting, innovative umbrella handle enables the user to carry a beverage with ease and style in bad weather making it a popular gift item both at home and abroad.

The Competition of Patented Technologies, co-organized by KIPO and the Joongang Ilbo twice a year, grants awards for particularly original and unique inventions and designs. The Competition has awarded a total of 278 inventions and designs since 1992, encouraging invention and creative spirit throughout Korea.

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