15 June 2021
Fife College has become a training lead in Scotland for an innovative digital manufacturing project led by the University of Cambridge.
The College has been named as a partner on the University’s ‘Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring’ project which aims to provide simple, low-cost digital solutions for small manufacturers.
The link-up is part of the College’s drive to increase STEM skills, ensuring the digital needs of the Fife region, and Scotland more widely, are met.
Delivered by the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), the ‘Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring’ programme is developing design guidelines, standards, and interactive software which will help enable small manufacturers to develop low-cost digital solutions from a catalogue of “Shoestring-ready” hardware and software technologies.
The first activity aligned with the project takes place later this month when the College will host an online event supported by SMAS (Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service) and ESP (Energy Skills Partnership).
Stephen Ayton the Academic Head for Engineering, Science, Mathematics and STEM at Fife College said:
“We are delighted to partner with such a prestigious educational institute on this innovative and timely project.
“The University of Cambridge’s Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring Programme is perfectly aligned to our own ambitions to drive an increase in STEM skills, both here in Fife and across Scotland.
“As a training provider for Scotland, we look forward to hosting our first online event as part of the programme later this month.
“The online workshops will be a great first chance for SME manufacturers to see example solutions and engage with our team who will be on hand to support with implementation and upskilling.
“I would urge SME manufacturers to join us later this month and find out more about some of these low-cost digital solutions which could really benefit their businesses.”
Alex Campbell, Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service’s lead for the project, said:
“I believe the Shoestring approach is a breath of fresh air. It offers relatable solutions to SMEs whilst providing the opportunity to work closely with our fantastic college network.
“This will give the win-win situation of improving productivity and skills within industry whilst inspiring the next generation into a career in manufacturing.”
Professor Duncan McFarlane, Shoestring Programme Lead, said:
“Two of the key plans for the Shoestring programme are regional adoption and training development.
"The proposed relationship with Fife College is helping us on the road to both of these.”
Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service Practitioner, Gerry Borge, has started working with businesses in the area on the project. He added:
“Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring is an outstanding project that supports SMEs in the use of readily available digital technologies. Improvements are then implemented on a low-cost basis and will support growth and productivity.
“This is a vital step in supporting SMEs to enjoy the benefits of advanced manufacturing and encouraging people to get involved during this very exciting time for manufacturing.”
The online webinar on the first two solutions takes place on Tuesday 22 June, 9:30am – 11:00am. For more information, and to register, visit the event’s Eventbrite page.
Photograph: A colour sorting robot, one of the low-cost digital solutions for small manufacturers which will be presented at Fife College’s online webinar as part of the ‘Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring’ project