Just north of Ansan lies Sihung, home of Kumho Chemical Industry, a flexible foam producer, and what the company claims is one of the oldest Hennecke flexible foam lines in existence.
Like a much-loved sweeping brush that has had its head replaced twice and its handle three times, there is a Hennecke foam line resting quietly at the back of a production shed at Kumho Chemical. The line was bought in 1960 following a fire, and was the first of three lines from two different suppliers, explained Do Young Kim, one of two company presidents.
It is moot how much apart from the chassis is original, but it sits there unbowed by time and, nowadays, unbothered by the demands of production.
Kumho bought a newer Hennecke machine in 2009 and is full of praise for it. The company uses the Hennecke machine to supplement output from an older, 1995, Cannon Viking model.
Of the two lines currently employed for production, the Hennecke is used most. ‘Five years ago, we were still using the old Hennecke machine,’ Kim explained. ‘The new machine is good and has good control to make a good foam. Customers are demanding that.’
The Cannon Viking is old and the control is not quite as good as the new machine, he added, but it is still used regularly.
Business is harder today, as it is for many foamers, Kim explained. ‘Raw material prices are rising, but we can’t pass this…