Smart Machines & Factories
Process control and traceability solution for the instrument panel topper line
Published:  10 December, 2019

Case study -  IAC ELMDON

Sorion implemented an overall process control and traceability system to error-proof the workflow on the Instrument Panel Topper line


International Automotive Components (IAC) is a global supplier of automotive interiors (instrument panels, cockpits, door panels, center consoles and more).


IAC Elmdon required an overall process control and traceability system to error-proof the workflow on the Instrument Panel Topper line


• Controlled process with no faults forward

• Full traceability using the Orion database

• 24/7 support contract


IAC turned to Sorion to implement an overall process control system incorporating operator line control workstations and full traceability of their new Instrument Panel Topper Line production facility at Elmdon, Birmingham.

The Topper Line has 17 main process areas comprising of machines making high volumes of complex parts. The ability to integrate with existing machines and corporate plant monitoring software was key to this implementation.


The companies worked together to design the best solution to error-proof the workflow. The solution provided PC based Line Control Stations for the various process areas and machines from third party suppliers plus provided IAC personnel control, maintenance and process change routines via secure RFID authentication and access control.

Sorion’s Sextans-RT runtime software is the heart of the solution. Running on each local machine, Sextans utilises configuration data and custom scripting centrally managed from an IAC server.

As the products progress through the manufacturing line, they are identified via barcode scanner. Sextans integrates with the machines via an OPC server to guide, control and verify the process.

Once the product reaches the end of the line, it is inspected and palletised using the stillage management app.

Data for each process step completed at the station (such as shift, time, build no, component serial numbers, measured values and visual inspection data) is recorded in the Orion™ database. This data is identified against a unique ID, allowing to retrieve each unit’s complete history with a scan of a barcode. Once in the Orion™ database, quality assurance and performance reports can be easily accessed via web browser interface from anywhere within IAC.

Having seen the benefit of the system to meet their traceability and quality requirements, IAC requested the implementation of a similar process control and traceability system on their Topper Sew and Wrap facility.


Sorion’s dedicated support team is providing 2nd line support to IAC engineers via a 24/7 service contract to ensure all mission critical equipment/systems are fully operational.