Why is the 'Shoestring' project needed?

Focusing on challenges for SMEs in implementing ‘digitalisation’:

  • Excessive risk and cost of large-scale solutions
  • Time required to identify and develop solutions
  • Skills shortage for developing solutions in-house
  • Digital solutions are usually built to address needs of large manufacturers

Aiming to address key SME business needs:

  • Need to improve productivity
  • Need to keep up with competitors’ digital advances
  • Need for compliance with regulations, security and safety requirements  
  • Need to implement solutions with minimal disruption to operations

Hear from SME manufacturers...

Carl Dean of PCML discusses digitalisation from an SME perspective, and why the Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring project is needed.

Hear from Will Bridgman of Warren Services on the challenges of digitalisation for SME manufacturers.

Julian Bedford of BTL Precision discusses digital priorities and how a low-cost approach can be a game-changer for SME manufacturers.

How will the project help?

The research project aims to help SME manufacturers through:

  • Reducing risk: Developing low-cost solutions based on existing, commercially-available technologies. 
  • Prioritising: Helping to identify operational priorities where SME manufacturers can gain the most from focusing their digitalisation efforts.
  • Shared learning: Identifying common issues between SMEs to apply findings and customisable solutions across the industry.
  • SME-focused digital solutions: Providing an alternative to large-scale, complex solutions developed for large companies, through low-cost commercially available components and technologies.
  • Independence: The researchers are not tied to promoting any single technology or system.
  • Industry compliance: Liaising with regulators and industry bodies to consider regulations and standards for solutions as they are developed.