Tech Thursday is a monthly webinar series developed by the IDEAM Cluster to enable industry and the wider enterprise community to comprehend the digital transformation climate. Tech Thursday will run on the last Thursday of every month going through various digitalisation topics that meet the current needs of industry with the support of key stakeholders. Local, regional, national and international guest speakers will form part of the series to provide excellent learnings, insights and best practices.
The second Tech Thursday webinar focused on the Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring project. Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring is a collaborative research project set up to explore how SMEs could engage with and benefit from low-cost digital manufacturing solutions. The project brought together SMEs, sector bodies and research teams, and has created outputs which could be transformative for manufacturing, by supporting innovation, productivity improvements and skills development.
It is well documented that the digitalisation of manufacturing could significantly increase manufacturing productivity. There are however substantial barriers to the adoption of digital approaches, particularly among SMEs, mainly due to perceptions of:
- High cost
- High risk
- Skills shortages
- Difficulty prioritising where to start
The Shoestring programme has demonstrated that many of these barriers can be overcome through simple digital solutions created from low-cost, off the shelf components, supported by a step by step design approach:
- How can digital transformation be achieved at low cost?
- How can SMEs engage easily in the digitalisation of their operations?
- What is the Shoestring approach to low cost digital solution design?
- What type of low cost digital solution do small manufacturers want?
- How to futureproof your digital solution portfolio?
- How is a community for SME digital solutions users being developed?