Shoestring gave us digital confidence, says dental manufacturer

A temperature monitoring pilot at dental manufacturer, Kemdent, gave the staff confidence to digitalise more processes across the company

After deliberating about how to incorporate digitalisation into their processes, dental manufacturer Kemdent approached the Shoestring team to see if they could help. Within several months they had implemented a digital solution onto one of their production lines, improving the efficiency and quality of their operations.

Thanks to the straightforward Shoestring approach, Kemdent were able to identify their key business challenges and decide which one would be easiest to address with a digital solution.

In this case, they decided to try to pre-empt problems caused by temperature changes during the wax forming process. By installing a low-cost temperature sensing system across one production line, they were able to check that wax cooled at the right rate to avoid hardening too fast and causing defects in the final product.

The Production Supervisor led the implementation, with remote support from the Shoestring team, learning how to set up a Raspberry Pi – connected to an infrared sensor – so that the temperature could be collected and read in real-time as well as analysed over time. Craig Mayoh, Operations Director at Kemdent, explains:

The digital solution records and monitors the temperature of the wax as it goes through the process from molten wax through to cooling. The feedback from the staff working on the process has been positive … It has been easy to deploy, relatively low-cost, low-risk and it has given the staff something new to engage in. It have given us a great introduction into digital manufacturing and it has given us the confidence to look at other projects.

Since the first trial of the solution, Kemdent has rolled out the temperature sensor across the shopfloor, adding more sensors and microcomputers, so that they can monitor several production lines simultaneously.

And they are now looking at adding a second Shoestring solution to build on their digital capabilities and further improve efficiencies. Craig Mayoh recommends Shoestring to any manufacturer keen to start digitalising but unsure of how to start:

The Shoestring project has given us a great introduction into digital manufacturing, it has given us the confidence to look at other projects, and to anyone who is out there who is thinking about digital manufacturing, I would say give Shoestring a call, you’ve got nothing to lose.
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