MiQ Partners

MiQ Partners: The New Face of TSS Technologies and R&3D

You’ve known us for decades as TSS Technologies and R&3D. We have now combined our operations and integrated our teams to provide a bigger range of expertise and services to customers, and changed our name.

Our customers have come to rely on us as strategic partners—an intelligent, dedicated team who researches extensively, designs and builds thoughtfully, tests comprehensively, and provides complete implementation and support for the long haul. Our new name and tagline capture all these dimensions: MiQ Partners—Manufacturing Intelligence.

MiQ Partners offers what matters most to the success of any manufacturing project: The human touch backed by years of proven intelligence and insights for creating solutions that deliver outcomes, efficiencies and margins for customers across all industries. Not only do we bring intellectual depth to each project we do, we bring intelligent ideas to life using best-in-class technology for automation, robotics, machine vision, precision part handling, assembly, testing, inspection, and more.

Stay tuned for further updates from MiQ on new directions and expanded capabilities!

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Join MiQ Partners at the 71st AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo

MiQ Partners is proud to be an exhibitor at the upcoming AACC Annual Meeting. We look forward to participating and reaffirming our commitment to advancing automation and manufacturing in the life sciences and medical devices industries. We’ll be at booth #3569 and look forward to learning about your organization and sharing what we’ve been working on.

Link to AACC website

Find MiQ Partners at the show (click image for full size):

 

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The Evolution of Industrial Automation

automation in process

What is industrial automation? Well, you can ask 10 different experts on the term and probably come up with 10 different answers. A smart road to take in defining the term is by referring to the use of control systems, such as AI and robots that monitor the information technologies that handle a wide variety of processes.

In other words, industrial automation is a process that replaces the human touch with the artificial intelligence touch.

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Intelligent Work Floor Automation Robots

OMRON Corp. has replaced the Lynx line of industrial robots with the new Mobile Robot LD Series, a year after acquiring Adept Technology Inc. The combined Japanese-American company, OMRON Adept Technologies (OAT), is leveraging their combined skills to focus on integrating manufacturing floor automation solutions with human workers in a harmonious way. The new LD Series of Autonomous Intelligent vehicles (AIVs), released on January 20 in 33 countries, aims to achieve this by improving on many aspects of the previous line of mobile robots, with better usability, reliability, quality control and support.

The mobile robots navigate around factory floors using the physical features of the facility, and do not require additional guidance tracks or installations for regular use. Up to 100 robots can be managed via a single controller. The onboard AI can sense and navigate around people, vehicles and other obstacles, and through doors, using a built-in laser scanner. Additionally, an optional High Accuracy Positioning System allows for well-defined repeatability, using magnetic tape and a sensor. The robots’ physical capacity stays the same, with different models supporting maximum loads of 60 – 130kg (132 – 287 lbs.) and a maximum speed of 1.8 m/s (4 mph).

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Self-Healing Material Inspired by ‘Wolverine’

Self-healing material. Source: UCR.eduTechnologies once only found in the realm of science fiction are now a reality. Inspired by comic-book hero, Wolverine, a team of scientists has developed the first ionic conductor: a material which allows ions to flow through which is also self-healing, physically elastic and transparent. There are many potential uses, including self-healing robots, artificial muscles, improved batteries and biosensors and even transparent loudspeakers.

“Creating a material with all these properties has been a puzzle for years,” said Chao Wang, an adjunct assistant professor of chemistry at University of California, Riverside, who is one of the authors of the paper. “We did that and now are just beginning to explore the applications.”

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Changing Metal’s Properties with Heat

It’s possible to change most of metal’s properties through heat. Electrical conductivity, magnetic charge, and even the physical structure of metal itself can be altered by controlled heating and cooling. This allows metal to be tailored to diverse, specific industry uses. Examples include heating metals to increase their electrical resistance, heating and cooling alloys in specific ways to increase or decrease the hardness, and bringing magnetic metals to the Curie temperature to eradicate their magnetism. Heat treatments fall into four separate categories: Annealing to soften metals and increase conductivity; Normalizing to create uniform composition; Hardening to improve durability; and Tempering to reduce the brittleness caused by hardening.

 

Read more at Metal Supermarkets ›

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New Year Brings Substantial Improvements to 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing

3D printing and Additive Manufacturing (AM) will benefit from finer-tuned, higher-quality parts in 2017, thanks to increased efforts to define standards and guidelines combined with advancements in the plastics and metals used for fabrication.

A 3D-printed fuel intake runner fabricated from Solvay's KetaSpire PEEK instead of the typical aluminum uses 10% glass fill. (Source: Solvay)

A 3D-printed fuel intake runner fabricated from Solvay’s KetaSpire PEEK instead of the typical aluminum uses 10% glass fill. Source: Solvay

On the standards front, Senvol is has started to maintain and offer the public a database of indexes for AM material characterization which is supplier-independent. This will eliminate the need for smaller manufacturers to duplicate existing research of materials conducted by other industries and make it easier for companies to enter AM production.

Metals printer and printing material sales are increasing at a robust rate as the production of end-production parts grows. Alcoa is among the manufacturers who have increased capacity to produce powdered metals for 3D printing at their tech center in Pittsburgh, PA. Carnegie Mellon’s NextManufacturing Center for Additive Manufacturing is now employing synchrotron-based x-ray microtomography to better inspect and improve 3d printed titanium components.

The most used materials for AM in 2015 were photopolymers and photoplastics, but this number is declining as ceramics, metals and other materials increase in popularity. Evonik and BASF are leveraging HP’s Open Platform program, to create new 3D printed parts and products, while Solvay is developing polymer-based materials to replace metal parts.

Read more at Design News ›

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IoT Technology and Connected Cars

All of the complex technologies being put to use to automate and coordinate sophisticated manufacturing processes are providing the groundwork for developing autonomous cars. CEO of Real-Time Innovations, Stan Schneider, posits that the combination of these systems create “An autonomous car [that] is more a robot on wheels than it is a car.”

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YuMi Collaborative Robot

Zürich-based ABB Ltd. has developed a what it calls the first inherently safe, collaborative industrial robot, dubbed YuMi. The dual arm design concept employs integrated motion control software, speed-limited hardware, 14-axis mobility, in a small light package. It’s intended for small parts assembly and designed to eliminate the need for physical barriers and software safety zones. The design has been classified as a global certification by UL.

YuMi Collaborative Robot. Photo courtesy ABB“Put simply, in the unlikely event of a safety failure, the physical robot including its grippers is incapable of causing harm,” according to Nicolas De Keijser, Assembly and Test Business Line Manager for the Robotics Business Unit at ABB Inc. “Moderate robot speeds also allow time for human reaction to avoid collision.”

YuMi is designed to be flexible and rapidly deployed for small parts assembly and other applications requiring dexterity and repetitive tasks. Advancements in sensors, AI and computer vision help the robots to collaborate directly in proximity with human workers.

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Dileep George, Cofounder of Vicarious

Vicarious is  building a unified algorithmic architecture to achieve human-level intelligence in vision, language, and motor control. Currently, they are focused on visual perception problems, like recognition, segmentation, and scene parsing. Vicarious is interested in general solutions that work well across multiple sensory domains and tasks.

vicarious

Cofounder Dileep George spoke at MIT Technology Review’s Emtech conference on October 18,2016.

Watch his talk about “Artificial Intelligence at Work” at this link: http://events.technologyreview.com/video/watch/dileep-george-vicarious-ai-work/