SOPHIE – MES for the foam industry

Sophie – the intelligent MES for the foam industry

With SOPHIE, Bäumer offers the first ever production control system which has been specially developed for the foam processing industry.

With the modular MES (Manufacturing Execution System) SOPHIE,Bäumer makes artificial intelligence available and usable for the foam processing industry. SOPHIE interconnects the entire foam production, thus increasing the potential of digital technologies for the whole value chain.



The production is constantly being optimized on the basis of continually gathered data: costs sink, quality increases – sustainably.


With SOPHIE, the production becomes completely transparent. Using the collected data streams, all processes are comprehensively analyzed, visualized and rendered transparent with key figures. If a data history is available, this can even be done retroactively!


SOPHIE means double security: state-of-the-art information technology ensures the security of our customers’ data and systems. But with Bäumer as your partner, the future is secure as well, as the potentials of future developments are being safeguarded.


Data is also collected during the conventional manufacturing of foams. However, even in the best of cases, this data is collected systematically only within the limits of very isolated solutions for individual subsystems, and then stored in the ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning System). There is no comprehensive data history that provides a view of the big picture. Or it may have to be built manually and with great effort by collecting the data from different systems and sources. A productive and useful exchange of data does not take place.

SOPHIE – All the data in a single place

With SOPHIE, Bäumer is offering a unique solution. SOPHIE collects all the machine and plant data into a database and renders it transparent in order to quickly make it usable.

SOPHIE increases production efficiency


SOPHIE captures the entire foam processing – from the tank storage to the final product.
The system collects, visualizes and analyzes the data generated along the production chain, thus allowing access to performance, process and quality data. Thanks to better planning along the entire production chain and the constant feedback by the system, SOPHIE not only increases efficiency, it also makes the production more sustainable and environmentally friendly by helping to reduce raw materials usage, manufacturing costs and capacities.

Big Data and artificial intelligence

“Big Data” makes it possible to analyze the surrounding conditions during the processing of foam. The experiences gained under identical or similar conditions help to adjust machines in a manner that guarantees a consistently optimal product quality.

SOPHIE works according to the principle of artificial intelligence: she learns and becomes more and more efficient. The larger the amount of data which SOPHIE can use, the better and the more effective she becomes. She derives recommendations of action from this data and optimizes production according to the individual goals of the customer: waste reduction, lead time, product quality, unit cost reduction, flexibility, inventory reduction etc.

The key benefits at a glance

  • Optimization of material costs:
    Resource-efficient operation with an optimal utilization of materials.
  • Quality guarantee: 
    Production of homogenous quality products thanks to process safety and gapless material monitoring – independent of the operator.
  • Transparency: 
    High transparency of the entire process chain.
  • Fault analysis: 
    Early detection of faults and defects in manufacturing products and gapless product tracing in the event of a complaint (which batch, which raw materials, which supplier, etc.)
  • Perfect production: 
    Optimal production flow, order handling included.
  • Synchronization: 
    Logistics processes are perfectly integrated into the production.
  • Always up-to-date: 
    Real-time retrieval of the production status.



The MES SOPHIE consists of eight individual modules:

  1. SOPHIE data – The central database


    The database SOPHIE data is SOPHIE’s heart.

    All production-related data is stored here.
    This includes information from all machines and plants involved in the production. This information makes it possible to analyze the production, evaluate it and render it transparent – and, eventually, to optimize it further.

  2. SOPHIE connect – The base module


    SOPHIE connect is the basis upon which the different systems communicate with each other. The module automates the transfer of data, for example during the order handling.

    In addition, SOPHIE connect features various interfaces which link the different systems to each other.

    Compatible systems

    • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
      Enables the automated exchange of the various order data from the customer’s order system (e.g. ERP). This data indicates the production status. It is also returned back to the order system.
    • Customer-specific systems
      At the customer’s request, we will program special interfaces for ERP systems such as SAP, NAV or other SQL based systems.
    • Third-party machines
      On request, we will develop standardized interfaces (based on OPC-UA) to enable the transfer of data to third-party machines.

    SOPHIE connect in practice

    Painstakingly copying Excel lists from one system into another? Entering hand-written data? What an ordeal! The base module SOPHIE connect ensures that data is simply transferred automatically – and puts an end to the ineffective, error-prone, back and forth copying of data.

  3. SOPHIE produce – The manufacturing control module


    Using her centralized control, SOPHIE produce automates the whole production chain. The module then controls the entire production hall.

    SOPHIE produce enables the organization and automation of foam processing procedures on modern production lines, from foaming to completion.

    In non-automated plants, each machine has to be operated individually using its own special software. With SOPHIE produce, in-line machines can be tasked and controlled centrally.

    This enables a quicker and coordinated processing of customer orders: the machines automatically receive the necessary data and execute the required steps – from the foaming, cutting to length, warehouse management, cutting and order picking to the glueing, packaging and many more.


    • Intelligent networking
      Automated production control thanks to the networking and automating of the entire value chain. Individual machines no longer need to be controlled manually.
    • Quality assurance
      Data-based production control guarantees consistent quality. This reduces waste and lightens the workload of the final product inspection.
    • Detection of quality issues
      As faulty products are reliably detected, they can rapidly be removed.
    • Fault transparency
      Since all data is stored centrally, the production route of a product can be traced in the event of a customer complaint.

    SOPHIE produce in practice

    Wow, 50% fewer manual production steps! This lightens the workload on the colleagues and reduces costs as well as the waste rate. In addition, throughput is increased thanks to process integration, which in turn increases output.

  4. SOPHIE inventory – The stock management module


    SOPHIE inventory provides a comprehensive inventory of the tank storage, curing racks, crane storage, short block storage and glue drying racks. The inventory information can be retrieved centrally at any time. The relevant data is either recorded by third-party systems or by our machines.

    SOPHIE inventory stores the following storage data

    • Tank storage
      Raw materials, including a level indicator, manufacturer’s code, filling date, content information, ID number, pump number.
    • Curing racks
      Number of blocks, their storage position, quality and measurements as well as the long block ID and the curing status.
    • Crane and short block storage
      Number of blocks, their storage position, quality and measurements as well as the long block ID.
    • Glue drying racks
      Number of glued mattresses, their storage position and the mattress ID.


    • Material allocation
      Since foam blocks are clearly marked as reserved, there are no accidental multiple allocations of one and the same block.
    • Data overview
      All data is managed within a common data overview and can be accessed there. Storage locations such as the curing rack 1, curing rack 2, crane storage etc. are combined into a single overview.
    • Smart search
      The search function lets you find blocks based on different data areas, e.g. quality, storage location, etc.
    • Information on material and machines
      The system includes information on storage locations and qualities. Additionally, the stroke cycles of plants can be set in order to determine the maintenance cycle of a crane and thus prevent defects.
    • History
      With the transport history, quality differences can be tracked. This enables an easy identification of blocks belonging to the same batch that are stored in different places, for example.

    SOPHIE inventory in practice

    If memory serves, there should be material of the appropriate quality left in residual block storage for this small customer order. But is there enough material to fulfil the order? Thanks to SOPHIE inventory, nobody needs to go into residual block storage and painstakingly gather together the blocks. Using the module’s search function, you immediately know if there is enough material and where the blocks are stored.

  5. SOPHIE prepared – The planning module


    SOPHIE prepared plans process steps. For this purpose, the module sends orders directly to the available software elements provided by Bäumer or other providers.
    Customers who control their foaming recipes and foaming machines by digital means can integrate their software into the superordinate MES SOPHIE. It generates cutting programs and complex nestings. Glueing programs and software for choosing the mattress cover and planning the packaging are also compatible with SOPHIE prepared.

    SOPHIE prepared combines different Bäumer software solutions into a single module

    • Bäumer MATTRESS NEST
    • Bäumer Cube
    • Bäumer Nest
    • Bäumer Rail Nest (in planning)
    • WinCAP 3
    • Superior Mode 2D Nesting
    • QuickSelect
    • Bäumer Sales Block Nest (in planning)


    • Collection of recipes
      A selection of foaming recipes guarantees a consistent quality. The mixing ratio of chemicals influences the density, shape retention, surface structure, fire behavior and insulation capacity of foams.
    • Quality assurance
      During the foaming, other parameters such as the temperature, humidity and air pressure are crucial as well. SOPHIE prepared provides a collection of data so you can rely on past experiences in order to achieve an even foam thickness, material density and quality.
    • Integration
      SOPHIE prepared networks the various Bäumer software solutions for the preparation of the cutting and the nesting.
    • Data packaging
      The module provides the data which are necessary for the automated order picking, glueing, covering and packaging to run as smoothly as possible.

    SOPHIE prepared in practice

    Entering every single step individually for each machine? A thing of the past! With SOPHIE prepared, entire daily productions can be entered. The system takes account of different qualities and measurements and automatically triggers modern machines in networked plants.

  6. SOPHIE measure – The quality control module


    With the module SOPHIE measure, the 3D measurement of long and short blocks, sheets and finished mattresses becomes very easy.

    To this end, smart measurement bridges are placed at various points of the production. When a block passes through, they register its dimensions and, if necessary, collect environmental data such as temperature, humidity and air pressure. The 3D representation allows the detection of faults within the block.


    • Safe temperature
      The inner temperature of freshly foamed long blocks is constantly measured. Thereby the reaction behavior of the block is monitored, which allows conclusions to be drawn about the curing process. If a critical temperature value is exceeded, an alarm is triggered, and the block is automatically removed from block storage.
    • Reliable
      All blocks are repeatedly measured at various points of the production.
    • Smart
      The weight of the cured block is compared to the blanks. This allows conclusions to be drawn about the quality of the recipe in order to adjust it if necessary. This way, quality constantly increases with experience.
    • Constant quality control
      For quality control purposes, sheets and mattresses can be measured immediately before the glueing and the packaging, respectively. As any faults in the still unglued sheets are detected and removed early on, SOPHIE measure drastically reduces waste.
      Before every individual production step, there is a quality check which automates the removal of faulty sheets.
    • Fault identification
      Defects in blocks are marked after the measurement so the operator can react quickly and flexibly. Faulty products are quickly identified and removed.

    SOPHIE measure in practice

    Oh no: too much foam has been used for a block!
    But thanks to SOPHIE measure, this problem gets detected before the block is transported further and blocks the cutting machine with its excess height.
    The foaming of subsequent blocks is adjusted accordingly, and waste is reduced to a minimum.

  7. SOPHIE identify – The tracking module

    From foaming to packaging and shipping, each product passes through a large number of steps. The module SOPHIE identify makes every individual step accurately traceable, both during production and afterwards.

    • Tank storage
      In order to obtain an optimal foam quality, SOPHIE identify takes into account integrated trace heating, insulation or heat exchange systems, the manufacturer’s information on the chemicals, temperature, humidity, air pressure and much more.
    • Foaming
      Based on the data on the raw materials, the timing and the surrounding conditions, the foaming process becomes traceable and transparent.
    • Fresh block storage
      Here, data such as the storage time and location of a block, the block’s temperature curve and changes of the block’s measurements is gathered.
    • Crane storage
      Here again, storage time and location, as well as the transport history provide relevant information on the history of the final product.
    • Cutting of short blocks
      The complete data gathered on the long block is attached to the short blocks that are cut from it in the form of a unique block ID.


    • If the final product consists of several layers, as is the case for sandwich and multi-zone mattresses, data is available for each individual layer. The recipe with which the layer has been produced is entirely traceable – from the foam production to the covering and packaging.
    • This data can be used in the event of customer complaints or recall campaigns.

    SOPHIE identify in practice

    A large chemical group has issued a recall! Their TDI (toluene diisocyanate), a base material for the production of PU, is contaminated with dichlorobenzene (DCB). The mattresses made from it may under no circumstances be released for sale!

    In the future, thanks to SOPHIE, it will be easy to find out which products have been produced using the contaminated TDI and where they have been delivered. This way, we can issue a recall for them. But there is more to it than that: Since both inventory goods and delivered goods are clearly identifiable, production can continue without interruption as you can also clearly see which products are not affected by the contamination.

  8. SOPHIE optimize – The intelligent module


    SOPHIE optimize makes the future tangible.

    While everybody is talking about artificial intelligence, SOPHIE optimize takes a decisive step towards the future: based on its collection of mass data from the modules, this module autonomously develops production and process changing decision proposals.
    This way, using sophisticated algorithms, SOPHIE facilitates improvements in all production areas by taking control and intervening when necessary.

    This goes far beyond the mere gathering of data. This intelligent module – in the truest sense of the word – provides data which enables predictive planning of the various production steps