Making digital manufacturing work for SMEs.

How can SME manufacturers benefit from digitalisation without excessive cost and risk?

Researchers at the University of Cambridge and University of Nottingham are collaborating with SME manufacturers to explore and develop low-cost digital manufacturing solutions to meet small-scale manufacturing needs. 


The concept:
Identify common digital challenges in SME manufacturers and create inexpensive and easy solutions based on low-cost commercially available technologies.


The aims:
Enable SMEs to harness the benefits of digitalisation without relying on systems designed for large companies, to improve productivity and meet small-scale manufacturing needs.


The approach:
Work with SMEs to identify requirements, and create a catalogue of customisable digital solutions, complying with regulatory, safety and security requirements.

An introduction to the Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring project from Professor Duncan McFarlane (Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge)…

The Shoestring Approach

  • Helping SMEs implement digital solutions to improve productivity
  • Solutions must be accessible, pragmatic, useful, affordable
  • Based on low-cost components
  • Accounting for regulations, safety, security
  • Engaging students and local IT community
  • Solutions are repeatable, reusable, integrable