Faurecia Improves Parts Traceability with IoT Implementation | Automation.com

Faurecia Improves Parts Traceability with IoT Implementation

Faurecia Improves Parts Traceability with IoT Implementation

April 6, 2016 - With 330 sites including 30 Research & Development centers in 34 countries around the world, Faurecia is a global manufacturing leader in automotive seating, interior systems, automotive exteriors, and emissions control technologies. Faurecia is recognized as a pioneer in technological innovations—reducing the weight of vehicles, offering customized comfort and style solutions, and mitigating any impact on the environment.

The Challenge

While Faurecia has a long track record of providing its customers with exemplary products, the increasing need to provide customers traceability for the parts it was producing motivated the company to further support these efforts. The large automotive OEMs expected Faurecia to be able to both track the process of operations and production and to make that information available on demand.

Although the data for providing this traceability had always been available, the organization’s solutions for collecting and distributing it were not on par with the efficiency and scalability that can be achieved with today’s more modern IoT solutions and supporting architectures.

The Approach

Realizing that connectivity, data access, and scalability would be essential, Faurecia set out to find a communication solution that could connect the various PLCs on the factory floor to IJ Core, Faurecia’s proprietary parts fabrication and Manufacturing Execution System (MES). After careful research, Faurecia turned to Kepware’s flagship connectivity platform, KEPServerEX, and began a pilot project in their Porto Real, Brazil factory.

Faurecia implemented the REST Server Agent in the IoT Gateway for KEPServerEX, which was recently released to market in October 2015. The developers working on Faurecia’s MES were already comfortable with REST/HTTP (protocols ubiquitous in IT and on the web, and used in Internet of Things platforms) and were excited about the new middleware language that used KEPServerEX connections they already had in place.

Using the IoT Gateway, the company began collecting data from the shop floor and communicating it to a local server in each plant running IJ Core over REST/HTTP. IJ Core was then able to store that information, satisfying customer requests for traceability spanning several years.

The Results By implementing the IoT Gateway as the communications medium between PLCs on the plant floor and IJ Core, Faurecia is able to provide customers with the product traceability they require. With new visibility into the manufacturing data of parts provided by Faurecia, the world’s largest automotive OEMs are able to satisfy regulatory requirements and improve overall product quality for consumers.

Internal Faurecia stakeholders are benefiting as well. Operators on the machine floor note that communications are much faster, and the Quality Assurance department has the industrial data they need in order to analyze production quality.

Furthermore, technology from Kepware is helping to bridge the gap between Operations Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) by enabling executives in Faurecia’s boardroom to access and leverage data to boost efficiencies across the organization.

Since implementing the IoT Gateway for KEPServerEX, Faurecia was able to decrease its transparency project from a complicated six-month scope to a functioning solution in just a couple of days. This has resulted in significant time and revenue savings—and satisfied customers. Given the ease of implementation and overall success of the Porto Real, Brazil pilot, Faurecia plans to standardize on KEPServerEX in its North American, Asian, and European factories in 2016.

“We see huge potential with the IoT Gateway and are excited to deploy it across the 34 countries we operate in,” said Rafael Unruh, Competence Center Manager, Faurecia. “We’re seeing benefits from this implementation from the boardroom down to the shop floor, and only expect them to increase as more locations utilize it. We’re able to be smarter and more nimble in our decision making, which leads to better products and services for our customers.”

Photo caption: Alex Herbert, IoT Major Account Manager, Kepware Technologies

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