One of the key findings in a number of recent studies has been that small and medium sized manufacturers (SMEs) have been slow in adopting digital solutions within their organisations. Cost is understood to be one of the key barriers to adoption. The Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring project is taking an approach to increasing the digital capabilities of SMEs via a series of low cost solutions. The programme proposes using off-the-shelf, (possibly non-industrial) components and software to address a company’s (digital) solution needs, adding capabilities one step at a time with minimal a priori infrastructure required. 

This whitepaper will introduce the Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring programme as a whole and demonstrate the way in which it addresses the need for low cost digital solutions for SME Manufacturers. It will discuss challenges associated with integrating low cost technologies into industrial solutions and the style of IT architectures best suited for integrating such solutions into industrial environments.