Keith Illig  Founder and CEO, Novation iQKeith Illig Founder and CEO
Over the years, advancements in material science have brought about dramatic transformations. Today, whether for printing, safety padding, floatation equipment, footwear, or athletic products, material science research has become the bedrock of multiple industries. While several firms are neck and neck in the foam, rubber, and plastic tech revolution, Novation iQ, an advanced material manufacturer, goes further than the rest into R&D and new manufacturing methods. “Our core values don’t just lie in manufacturing materials based on client specifications. We exceed client expectations through our blue-sky thinking,” states Dale Knoop, director of marketing.

At the onset of client engagement, Novation iQ understands the requirements and digs deeper to find the root cause of problems. After exploring the possibilities of how a new and more sophisticated material can be a better fit, Novation iQ’s Innovation Center helps clients redesign their products with the improved materials. “This capability of the Innovation Center proves to be highly beneficial for organizations that follow a conventional material specification and manufacturing approach due to our forefront understanding of better, more complex materials and technology,” says Daniel Kennedy, R&D engineer at Novation iQ.

In the Innovation Center, research teams deal with several advanced material engineering projects, such as rubber devulcanization and shock attenuating foams, while also offering research as a service. On one hand, the Innovation Center’s focus largely rests on creating chemically and structurally stable materials, and on the other, special attention is given to make the end products exceed customer requirements. Leveraging a multi-disciplinary team of experts in material engineering and chemistry, the Innovation Center’s research focuses on various technological innovations with radio-frequency heating being one of its highlights.

Team Novation iQ’s core values don’t just lie in manufacturing materials based on client specifications. We exceed client expectations through our blue-sky thinking

The Innovation Center’s offerings can be best exemplified through one of its success stories with a military boot assembly company. With the need to adhere to military specifications, the manufacturer was aiming to condense their material sourcing process. Prior to engaging with the Innovation Center, the client was using three different mid-pieces for its boot soles. However, this process led to overhead expenses from adhesives and the workforce needed to arrange the pieces before placing them on t h e robotic assembly line. With the Innovation Center bringing its vast R&D expertise to the scene, the three layers were fused with heat and delivered as a one-piece sole. As a result, the client witnessed a reduction in costs while making the process less labor-intensive. The Innovation Center’s solution also greatly improved the quality of the boots.

With several such success stories up its sleeves, Novation iQ is proving its mettle in the field of material innovation. Looking toward tomorrow, Kennedy hints at spreading their ‘research-as-a-service’ wing further into rapid prototyping and fabrication, while vertically integrating its manufacturing capabilities. Concurrently, the company remains focused on streamlining its investment in R&D and machinery. “We are always driven to take our research knowledge ahead by productizing our expertise for our clients,” concludes Knoop.