from IfM Engage
from IfM Engage

“Shoestring allows PIL Membranes to realise its vision. It makes Manufacturing 4.0 affordable to smaller companies. The annual membership is great value, it provides so much more than low-cost solutions, from building awareness of what is possible to giving access to experts and a peer-to-peer network.” 

Jerome Faissat Managing Director, PIL Membranes Ltd

How to get started

Step 1: Purchase the Shoestring starter solution package or membership package (UK only)

This gives you access to everything you need: the step-by-step guide, the list of low-cost components you need to buy, software download, workshops and technical support.

Step 2: Build and deploy the solution

Purchase the low-cost components, build and deploy the solution. The Shoestring team will be on-hand to advise you through a programme of technical support and workshops.

Step 3: Review and plan your next steps

Review the digital solution and consider the next steps for your company in the final impact workshop. 

About Us

Shoestring is based on rigorous research from the University of Cambridge's Institute for Manufacturing. Our research developed processes and solutions to open up the benefits of digitalisation to small- and medium-sized companies who might be overwhelmed by the complexities and cost of commercial digital offerings.  

The research project is now transitioning to a commercial initiative, and we invite companies to help shape this new phase by becoming an Early Adopter (for UK companies only). 

Shoestring Early Adopters work in collaboration with Shoestring, they are among the first to trial the starter solution package, receive direct support from the Shoestring technical team, and help Shoestring improve and develop the starter solution offering.

Learn More

Starter Solution Packages

Shoestring’s starter solution package gives companies an easy way to get started with digitalisation. The package helps companies learn first-hand how to build and deploy simple, low-cost digital solutions in their factory so that they can see how digitalisation can benefit their business, building in-house digital skills along the way.  

Each starter solution package: 

  • Can be built and deployed by non-technical staff 

  • Is supported with instructions, an online forum for problem solving, as well as a technical training and support programme 

  • Facilitates peer-to-peer support as well as access to experts. 

  • Provides a detailed shopping list of the low-cost electronic components (all available online from major resellers) 

  • Includes the software required to connect the components and deliver easy-to-understand dashboards. 


The starter solutions used in each package are designed to provide a practical learning experience. Companies choose a solution that addresses one of their most pressing business needs to keep employees engaged and invested in the activity.  

Starter Solution Packages are currently only available for UK customers.

Digitalisation that meets small manufacturers needs

Shoestring's mission is to help manufacturers across the world become more productive, resilient and sustainable – one step at a time – by understanding and embracing digital technologies.

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