SML's data generation and analysing tool bitWise

Retrofitting data analysis: Traceability for optimised processes

SML’s in-house developed data generation and analysis system which gives manufacturers a deep insight into the processes of an extrusion line is called bitWise. While bitWise is a standard feature in all new SML machines, older lines can now be retrofitted to ensure the traceability of manufacturing processes thus generating tangible technological and economic advantages. 

bitWise enables the comprehensive collection, processing, analysis and transmission of manufacturing data – in an extraordinarily fast and easy manner. The process knowledge bitWise generates, helps to continuously optimise both the manufacturing processes and the product quality. This makes it easier to detect malfunctioning machine components and to improve a line’s efficiency.


Full interconnectivity 
One vital characteristic of bitWise is its system openness: The data exchange is based on open standards such as HTML and OPC-UA. So bitWise provides full interconnectivity for the comprehensive exchange of data between the extrusion line with its connected machine auxiliaries, cloud-based solutions or the ERP.


The traceability of production processes offers numerous advantages. It enables companies to improve the quality of their products and ensures that they meet the set requirements and standards.


Easy retrofitting 
Since 2020 all SML extrusion lines have been equipped with bitWise but older machines can be retrofitted relatively easily. Generally, this is done by making the control unit ready for data exchange based on the OPC-UA standard. On lines with a newer machine control, OPC-UA can be activated using a simple software update without any modifications of the hardware. On other lines, either the control unit is changed completely or an additional controller is added for communication. Apart from the control of the machine, other components of an SML extrusion line, such as the thickness measurement unit, inspection devices or dosing units can generate data for bitWise, if they are connected via OPC-UA.


bitWise Track &Trace
Tack &Trace is a popular key feature of bitWise. The advantages are clear: With Track & Trace, all of the data generated during production can be assigned to a specific finished film roll. This, for example, opens up new opportunities with regard to quality control and product enhancement. When a film roll is marked with a QR code, it is possible to exchange the data using a laboratory testing device, such as an ESTL FPT-750 film performance tester. The testing results can also be re-transferred to bitWise for further data processing.


When does it make sense? 
“bitWise is an excellent tool for manufacturers to optimise processes, to enhance the output quality and to constantly improve the overall line efficiency – when it is used actively,” Christoph Strasser, Team Leader Digital Business Unit, states. As with all matters related to retrofit, it is a question of weighing the investment costs against the benefits expected.



Redlham, 14.02.2024