Industry Case Studies

How smaller companies start digitalising

Shoestring’s practical approach helps companies start digitalisation quickly and easily.

Find out how the Shoestring team helped a dental manufacturer start digitalising with a temperature monitoring solution which improved their wax production process, and helped build staff confidence to digitalise further.

Watch the industry case study

Map showing Shoestring Industry Pilot locations in the UK

Map key: 1 Scotland; 2 Northern Ireland; 3 Wales; 4 North East; 5 North West; 6 Yorkshire and the Humber; 7 West Midlands; 8 East Midlands; 9 South West; 10 South East; 11 East of England; 12 London

Power monitoring

“Provides confidence to troubleshoot issues on our own”

These solutions have opened communications between different departments… giving people the confidence to share ideas of where we can save energy in the future.

Harry Goldsmith | Support Technician, PIL Membranes

Read how PIL Membranes deployed power monitoring

Job tracking 

“Saves time and improves customer relations”

We have improved customer dispatch time and production planning. The simplicity of this is what has sold it.

Ryan Currie | Commercial Manager, Buchanan Orthotics

Read how Buchanan deployed job tracking


“Changes the way our employees work and think”

Reduces paper waste, improves customer relations and delivery targets. Now more staff look at how digitalisation can change their work environment.

Simon Wadsworth | Operations Director, David Smith

Read how David Smith deployed job tracking


Temperature monitoring 

“Given us confidence to do more”

We now know the optimal temperature for the wax process, the wall-mounted real-time dashboard is everyone’s first point of call, its shifted people’s view of digital.

Craig Mayoh | Operations Director, Kemdent

Read how Kemdent deployed temperature monitoring

Continuous improvement 

“Played a key role in reshaping our approach towards seeking innovative solutions”

With inspiration from Shoestring we are now looking at how we can utilise this further, e.g. to gather live environmental data such as temperature, humidity, acoustic noise.

Tim Kitchener | Continuous Improvement Engineer, Carl Zeiss Microscopy

Read how Zeiss benefited from Shoestring

Zeiss microscopy production line Shoestring solutions

Scotland’s regional scoping study

Scottish Enterprise funded a Shoestring regional scoping pilot with support from its partners. This included a couple of industry pilots as featured below. 

For details about the scoping pilot read the news story

SE landscape logo (cmyk) (1)

“We saw Shoestring as an easy access, low-cost, low risk method of engaging small to medium sized enterprises and raising productivity”

Jerome Finlayson | Head of High Value Manufacturing, Scottish Enterprise

“The benefits of the Shoestring solution are it’s easy to deploy, we did it in just one day, it’s low risk and it’s easy to use. So it’s a win win.”

Adrian Fell | Software Engineer, Denchi Group

“I want staff to be innovative and creative. I want people to think different and jump higher – I think Shoestring can help them do that.”

Nigel Scott | Chief Executive, Denchi Group

Throughout the Scottish scoping pilot there was great enthusiasm for the Shoestring approach. This news story captures the enthusiasm at Denchi Group.

“I would recommend a Shoestring project to anyone”

I’m now able to remotely monitor the product, if there is any issue I can identify it immediately and take action

John Niven | Operations Director, Orthogonal

Read John Niven’s LinkedIn blog on how Shoestring helped improve quality assurance

Quality inspection automation

“Shoestring has provided a big learning curve for me.”

It has helped us to gain an improved understanding of our process capabilities and to define our key requirements for an automated visual inspection system.

Alex Grant | Development Engineer, Composite Braiding

Read how Composite Braiding learnt about quality inspection automation

Business challenge
This medium sized manufacturer uses equipment controlled by legacy panels that interface with shopfloor staff to indicate current operational status, using lights, dials and seven-segment displays. The company wants to enhance their existing manufacturing processes by automating the data collection of the current operational status, but in addition have real-time access to the operational status of the machinery. Consequently they need to convert the panel’s visual variable readout into digital data without modifying any processes. This will also facilitate a more accurate analysis of historical records of manufacturing operations to improve planning while linking the digitally acquired data to other associated processes.

The solution
A low cost vision system was built and set up facing the legacy equipment panel of interest. This system comprises a USB camera connected to a credit card sized microcomputer. In this way, the camera feeds are processed in real-time to capture changes across the panel components, e.g. light going on/off. This status change is formatted and presented on a digital dashboard which is also used to adjust and configure the vision system settings. While this low cost vision system solution meets and addresses Photofab’s needs, it can be quickly reconfigured or adapted to work with a variety of control panel models and makes found in other manufacturing companies.

See how one of Shoestring’s partners implemented a Shoestring solution to digitalise data from a legacy panel in their factory.

The manufacturer wants to have equipment readouts available in real time.
Software structure configuration and installation
Pilot Solution Status Description
Tracking the status of machinery by reading outputs on legacy display panels in a factory (e.g. dials, lights, and LCD displays), using a Raspberry Pi and low-cost camera.
Tracks jobs when they leave and arrive at company sites so that store managers can track which site a particular job is at.
Monitors the temperature of wax at intervals during a production process providing live data feed to enable live monitoring and visualisation of the process.
Departmental Job Tracking
Scans job cards to track which department a job is currently in so that the sales people can inform customers of progress and floor manager can detect delays and ensure that jobs don't get lost.
Pick and Place Utilisation Monitoring
Monitors the utilisation of key assets by detecting their state (active, idle, off) using the output from light stacks.
Unified Change Management
Tracks and captures changes on a project, giving users notifications when new changes are introduced to the project.
Quality Management
Allows users to add new quality issues while performing their tasks on site or in the office, assign these issues to a person to be solved and track whether they are resolved or not.
Tracks jobs by scanning barcodes at each workstation and capturing the process times of jobs at the main workstations.
Offline Voice-Activated Vending Machine
In Development
Enables voice activated use of vending machine which aims to reduce the transaction time of vending process and concurrently track inventories in the machine.
Braiding Angle Measurement
Monitoring the quality during production of a braided material and alerting operators when the braiding angle is outside a given tolerance.
Digitised Work Instructions for Quality Inspectors
In Development
Making quality record information available and searchable from a central repository. The information has to be dynamically extracted from a traditional record store maintained on an excel workbook.
Digitised Work Instructions for Operators
Making process information selectively available to the factory floor workers from a central process information record repository. The information has to be dynamically extracted from a traditional record store maintained on an excel workbook.

Find out more

For information, more demos and examples, get in touch.