The Future of Manufacturing in the QCA - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

The Future of Manufacturing in the QCA

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It seems futuristic, but it's real. 

At the Quad City Manufacturing Lab in Rock Island, researchers are finding new ways to make the world of manufacturing faster and more efficient.

"In terms of the breath of technology we have at our disposal, this is a pretty unique laboratory," explains Dr. Eric Faierson, Director of QCML. 

The organization is based on the Rock Island Arsenal, trying to pave the way for the future of manufacturing.

"This is a very heavy manufacturing, working with metals part of the United States and to stay ahead of the technology, we think they need these capabilities," says Dr. William Pratt, Director of the Engineering at Western Illinois - Quad Cities. 

Pratt also works at QCML, a place where he says things are being made better and faster than even the military can do it. 

"The Arsenal was approached by the Air Force about 6-7 months ago, saying they needed a part for a plane that was in Afghanistan," he explains. "The Arsenal couldn't react as fast as they Air Force wanted them to, so they came to us and said, can you help? And we said, great."

The team at Quad City Manufacturing Lab designed and "printed" the part, out of a laser and small pieces of metal within just a few hours, something that would've taken months with conventional manufacturing. 

And with time, this type of research could mean high paying jobs available at lots of manufacturing companies. 

"Certainly it's not going to place everything," Pratt explains. "But it's going to give you some pretty unique capabilities."