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TechDay with Western Illinois University-Quad Cities
Illinois Ag Connection - 07/11/2019

TechDay, an event showcasing ways businesses can incorporate advanced manufacturing technologies into their operations, was recently held at the Quad Cities Manufacturing Lab (QCML), a unit of Western Illinois University's School of Engineering, located at the Rock Island Arsenal.

The event welcomed around 50 people to the arsenal to learn about various aspects of advanced manufacturing technologies. Attendees learned about:

- Increasing productivity by incorporating collaborative robots and machine vision: Collaborative robots enable both automation of tasks (quality inspection, pick and place, assembly, packaging, etc.) and side-by-side operation with employees without the safety issues and costs of industrial robots.

- Taking advantage of additive manufacturing capabilities: Use design for additive manufacturing to redesign conventional parts to minimize weight and reduce fabrication time and cost or learn how to combine multiple parts into fewer parts to reduce assembly cost.

- Using 3D scanning technology for quality assurance: Implement 3D scanning technology to verify the geometric dimensions and tolerances of products to ensure quality control. Scanning in 3D also enables reverse engineering components and provides data required to 3D print a part. With appropriate software, the 3D scan data can be converted into a feature-based, editable solid model.

Metal additive manufacturing, collaborative robotics, 3D scanning and quality assurance, spark plasma sintering and friction stir welding technology demonstrations were also performed for attendees.

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