Derek Harper is the Vice President of Information Technolgoy at Faurecia North America, based in Auburn Hills Michigan. In this role, Harper leads a team of more than 200 professionals located in 50 sites in the US, Mexico, and Canada. Harper’s responsibility includes development and execution of the company’s IT strategy with special focus on Digital Transformation, Manufacturing Execution Systems, SAP, and IT Operations.
Harper started his career as a controls engineer at Canedus Engineering in Oak Park, MI. He then moved to General Motors where he spent 17 years in various positions, including: Controls Engineer, Engineering Manager, Regional IT Manager, Mexico IT Launch Manager, and Senior IT Manager in charge of IT Operations and all North America Vehicle Assembly plants.
Harper was also the Global Controls IT Integration Manager responsible for creating GM’s global standards for plant floor connectivity to IT systems, including specification design, modular PLC coding, creation of OPC validation tools, and plant floor integration during launch.
He holds an MBA in Business Management and a BS in Computer Information Systems from Wayne State University.
Faurecia’s Digital Transformation
With more than 103,000 employees in 330 locations in 34 countries, Faurecia is one of the largest Tier One automotive suppliers in the world. Last year, the company tallied global sales of more than $22 billion. Faurecia is the world’s No. 1 supplier of seat mechanisms and structures; vehicle interiors; and emissions control technologies.
In 2015, Faurecia launched an initiative to transform itself into a digital enterprise. The company looked at every area where digital technology could enable gains in efficiency. These included applying simulation tools in R&D to increase innovation agility; capturing data from every machine and process to improve quality; and deploying collaborative engineering technology to improve communication with customers and increase knowledge-sharing within the company.
In this thought-provoking presentation, you’ll learn how Faurecia is capturing and analyzing data to prevent equipment failures, correct inefficiencies and increase productivity. You’ll discover how automated tracking of components via RFID tags is simplifying logistics and enabling real-time management of inventory flows and quality. You’ll see how real-time on-screen monitoring of production is replacing manual intervention, freeing employees for more valuable and rewarding work. And, you’ll learn how smart automation and collaborative robots are improving ergonomics and optimizing manufacturing.