Faurecia prepares to open Columbus South, a blueprint for global digital manufacturing

Faurecia is about to unveil a new manufacturing initiative at its Columbus South plant, one that could be the blueprint for the future of digital manufacturing around the world.

Called the 4.0 manufacturing initiative, Faurecia’s new $64 manufacturing facility is scheduled for opening ceremonies Oct. 4, with start of full production ready in January 2017.

Christopher Weigandt, Faurecia’s vice president of strategy and market intelligence, told Automotive News out of the 77 sites Faurecia operates around the globe, Columbus South will be the technology leader.

The 400,000-square-foot plant will produce a new, high-tech emission control product for Cummins in a digital environment — a facility that will use robotics, automated robotic vehicles and visual communication techniques designed to foster collaboration and communication from the upper echelons of management to the manufacturing floor.

And all that collaboration and communication will generate data, so much of it monitoring every aspect of production that the company will have a mathematician on staff just to effectively statistically analyze all the information, said Dave DeGraaf, North American Operations division president for Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies.

And that’s not the only unusual thing about the new plant, which DeGraaf said will be the flagship for the company and the new model for Faurecia’s manufacturing future.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.