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. For example, customers wanted to know which airbags were added to which cars, as well as detailed data characteristics about how each airbag was installed, including torque and angle of installation.
Faurecia turned to Kepware’s flagship connectivity platform, KEPServerEX, and began a pilot project in their Porto Real, Brazil factory. The company was familiar with the solution, having used KEPServerEX for a number of years to connect PLCs on the plant floor to IJ Core, Faurecia’s proprietary parts fabrication and Manufacturing Execution System (MES) via the OPC DA protocol. Using OPC DA to broker communications was complicated and becoming increasingly antiquated. The company considered replacing its OPC DA communications with OPC UA, which—though more modern—proved to be even more complex and required time and resources for implementation. After learning more about Faurecia’s goals, Kepware representatives were able to recommend that Faurecia implement the REST Server Agent in the IoT Gateway for KEPServerEX.