Case Study

Manufacturing software

Using a unique production process, our client creates high quality products which demand a fraction of a mm tolerance. We partnered with them to create a leading edge manufacturing software application to solve a number of internal business problems, drive efficiency and differentiate them as an innovator in their field.


Our client wished to reduce the time taken to follow quality control procedures to reduce errors and save time by automating the production of their quality documentation (Certificate of Analysis) direct from industrial measurement lasers. The certificate contains a summary of analysed results obtained from laser measurements of the product, ensuring that this tightly regulated product meets its specifications. The process was previously undertaken manually involving extensive time, paperwork and was subject to human error. A trend towards increasing production rates was also putting pressure on the existing IT system and infrastructure.


The existing processes for quality control and certification had been developed over a considerable period of time and by a number of different people. They relied on a combination of Excel spreadsheets, paper forms, legacy laser measurement software, a number of standalone computers and thermal printers. Whilst equating to a clearly defined workflow, it was proving extremely manpower intensive, particularly at production management level. Staff changes meant that there was limited information on how elements of the existing software worked, which made the business vulnerable and was hindering potential growth.

Our Solution

Nuffield Technologies were tasked with replacing the current system with a robust and supported manufacturing software application that automated the customer-ready certificate of analysis directly from the measured laser results. Our software was designed to integrate with a number of existing laser makes and models and be scalable enough to integrate with future equipment. We helped them add a sensible and lean driven process that made this faster, easier and more efficient. It also centralised the storage of measured laser results to secure this valuable business data and make it far more accessible.

The Results

We have delivered a software application that has streamlined and automated a number of day to day repetitive and routine tasks. This has freed up the senior operations team and production managers to focus on the business strategy and operations. Our solution is intuitive, easy to use, requires minimal training and has built consistent quality measures into the process. It has reduced the opportunity of human error due to miss-keyed data, eliminated double data entry and helped to prevent the need for rework.

  • Streamlined Process – Enabled one full time quality manager to be redeployed internally to research and development of new products
  • Increased Efficiency – Removed nearly all paperwork and Excel driven processes from factory floor including:
    • 87.5% reduction in keyed data for product identification
    • 50% reduction in keyed data for measuring equipment limits
    • 67% reduction in keyed data for label printing
  • Improved Business Resilience – Centralised electronic data management that is routinely backed up offsite.
  • Increased Capacity – The application allowed the company to cope with a surge in UK based orders with the possibility of scaling manufacturing to an additional 2 continents.
  • Affordability – Networked the clients existing and assorted types and models of laser measurement equipment through a standardised interface. This allowed them to reuse high value legacy equipment with the ability to integrate new machinery as needed.

The Future

  • Integration of label printing and barcoding to identify manufactured products will further streamline the business process and improve data quality
  • Monitoring of scrap to allow management to understand material reuse and rework
  • Dash-boarding and Analytics
  • Scaling the application to drive global production quality.

Key Success Metrics

  • Greater productivity and outputs
  • Improved quality
  • Reduced cycle times
  • Less “fire fighting”
  • Smoother operations
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Increased employee satisfaction
  • Consistent certification documentation to every customer
  • Improved visibility of workflow processes
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Barcoding

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