Corning Taiwan’s Digital Transformation: A Culture Shift

Corning is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. For over 170 years, Corning has combined its unparalleled expertise in glass science, ceramics science, and optical physics with deep manufacturing and engineering capabilities to develop life-changing innovations and products.

With a long-standing track record of innovation, transformation has always been at the heart of Corning. Corning Display Technologies Taiwan (CDTT), which employs more than 4,000 people and accounts for 10% of Corning’s global workforce, embarked on a digital transformation journey three years ago. This endeavor stemmed from internal pushes as well as external pulls from customers.

The team gets well-deserved recognition from Vaughn Hall, International Vice President of Operations for Corning Display.

“But digital transformation doesn’t happen immediately,” says Ellison Chung, regional manufacturing manager of CDTT. “It requires a culture shift.”

In the past, employees spent majority of their time doing data collection, explo-ration, and extraction, and less time for problem-solving. Ellison notes that by flipping this model and devoting more efforts to data interpretation, better decisions can be made.

“Digital transformation is implemented based on organizational culture and supported by digital technology. While integration is required to achieve the upgrading of talent, systems, and products, the awareness and knowledge of digital transformation among our employees are also both extremely important,” Ellison said.

CDTT’s digital talent training program aims to achieve this hefty goal by thoroughly covering various functionalities, from leadership, experts, and power users to general users.

A six-month Digital Talent Development Program – which includes a series of courses, team building, and case sharings – culminates in the annual Digital Summit. After months of preparation, the summit brings together the minds of CDTT employees across various functions for a little friendly competition. Groups present ideas that could possibly change the way CDTT manufactures its products for good.

Ellison Chung, Regional manufacturing manager of CDTT continues to lead the Taiwan team to push toward a digital-first environment and make better business decisions.

In fact, a team’s idea from the annual Corning Taiwan Digital Summit in 2020 was successfully implemented and won the U.S. based, global “2022 Manufacturing Leadership Award,” an award selected by global industry experts with extensive experience in Manufacturing 4.0.

This Sheet Resume project was the winner of the “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning” category. The project featured a platform that enables real-time performance and quality monitoring of each glass sheet to improve data accuracy and empower a process capability with auto-machine learning functionalities.

“We’ve achieved a step-change in our ability to precisely monitor and maintain glass quality throughout each step of the finishing process, allowing us to operate more efficiently while ensuring our customers get the pristine glass they expect from Corning,” said John Zhang, President of Corning Display. “These impactful results set the stage for future Manufacturing 4.0 successes across Taiwan, the Chinese mainland, and our entire Display fleet.”

Despite making great strides already, CDTT’s digital transformation journey is far from over.

The team that wins the Manufacturing Leadership Award (from left to right: Rick Wang, Brad Chen, Sam Liao, Alex Liang, and Danny Wang).

The company continues to work on developing a complete digital culture that optimizes resource integration and embraces new methodologies that challenge the status quo for the better. By maximizing limited internal resources and integrating them with external ones, CDTT hopes to accelerate the company’s digital transformation. Teams are already building Proof-of-Concept (PoC) cases, and in the near future, they aim to connect these PoC projects from dots to lines to eventually a whole plane, leading to the creation of smart manufacturing PoC lines.

Ultimately, CDTT’s vision is to push toward a digital-first environment by perfecting the process and making better business decisions. This can be achieved through combining CDTT’s ongoing efforts in digital transformation with close collaboration and collective growth with the public sector and business partners.

“Digital transformation is the inevitable trend,” Ellison said. “I appreciate our team for all the hard work they have put in over the past three years. The transformation has been a definite boon to our operations in Taiwan, and by undertaking a comprehensive culture shift, we have become better equipped to excel in this digital age.”