Use Case: Introducing Brückner

Based in Germany, Brückner Maschinenbau is a member of the Brückner Group, a family-owned consortium. Specializing in machine manufacturing, Brückner Group is a leading global supplier of tailor-made engineering solutions and services for the plastics and packaging industry.

Innovations for manufacturing: a wide variety of added-value plastic films

Brückner Maschinenbau has succeeded in maintaining its pioneer position since 1960, constantly breaking new ground in the field of film stretching technology. Brückner’s lines guarantee efficient, flexible and profitable film production of all types – whether using the sequential stretching technology or the unique LISIM® simultaneous technology for all high end films.

Packaging film lines

The packaging film lines are various high performance line types for top quality BOPP, BOPET and BOPA film manufacturing. Brückner’s lines with widths up to 10.4 m and speeds above 600 m/min are the largest, most flexible and fastest ever built. Solutions for special high barrier packaging applications and for trendy shrink film labels and sleeves, using new materials such as PETG or COC are also in the film industry’s focus.

Technical film lines

Cutting-edge innovations for a wide range of applications:

  • Optical films
  • Solar back sheets
  • Flexible & printed electronics
  • Capacitors
  • Battery separators
  • Industrial & high temperature films
  • … and numerous others according to special customer requirements

    One of the major problems in the production of biaxially stretched films is that almost no film properties can be measured during production. This makes it necessary to test film samples of a produced roll in a laboratory.

    These tests can take up to three hours, depending on the scope of the tests and equipment of the film laboratory. If a produced roll turns out to be of inferior quality, it is not only that that roll needs to be scrapped, but at least also the subsequent three hours of film production.

    Even worse, if a roll turns out to be bad, operators need to take the right decision to get production back on track. Ideally, this would be an immediate fix, but occasionally it can take days, if not weeks, to find the right settings for a satisfactory production.

    A system that can guide operators to take the right decisions ideally would avoid bad rolls in the first place. Furthermore, it could still be of great help for the subsequent task of troubleshooting once a bad roll has come up.

    An important building block for such a system could be the systematic acquisition of knowledge by experienced plant operators in the form of cause-effect graphs combined with data mining techniques. This data, prepared in a suitable user-friendly system, could show a novice operator what actions a skilled operator would take in the specific context.

    Another point we only considered marginally at the beginning of the project was the simulation of plant components. We considered this to be an issue that – at least in context of film stretching plants – can be seen to be far off in the future. Surprisingly, during the course of the project, it has been shown that individual parts of our systems can already be simulated today to a sufficient depth in order to run simple test scenarios, in particular with regard to the testing of PLC software.


    Let us first consider the follow-up production after a faulty roll. As already mentioned, this is on the order of three hours. For typical throughputs of our production lines, this is equivalent to

    • huge amount of raw material;
    • several megawatt hours of electrical and thermal energy;
    • personnel costs for about 20 employees.

    Furthermore, there are potential enforced shutdowns in the downstream equipment (slitter, metallizer, etc.) if a produced roll cannot be processed but needs to be scrapped.

    Looking at the phase of troubleshooting, material, energy and personnel costs increase linearly with the time troubleshooting takes, which is already bad enough. But to add insult to injury, the disturbance in the downstream process can escalate critically, up to the point where a customer fails to meet contractual obligations.

    It is difficult to quantify the specific amount of these effects in euros, but considering the dimensions shown above, substantial savings can be expected.

    In terms of simulation, a noticeable reduction in development times as well as an increase in quality, of software in particular, can be expected. Again, however, it is difficult to come up with specific numbers.


    Due to the enormous complexity of our lines, we are still on a long way from having a marketable assistance system. However, we consider systematic knowledge acquisition as the first important step to such a system. At the same time, it enables us to specify and verify data-driven analysis, which in turn could provide another component of an assistance system.

    We see a big immediate impact in the area of simulation. As already mentioned, this issue was almost non-existent for us at the launch of the EU IMPROVE project, but it became more and more established in the course of the programme. In the not too distant future, we may even face a paradigm shift in quality assurance, especially of our PLC software.

Further information on Brückner and its role in IMPROVE can be found here.