Testing its ‘IQ’
MANISTIQUE – Tucked away alongside the Schoolcraft County Airport is a little business boasting big success. IQ Designs, the developer and producer of filling and other machinery for medical diagnostics and food related industries, has grown since its inception in 2006, and plans to grow even more in the near future.
According to owner Bill Giles, the company hit some snags in the beginning, but has spent the past year and a half growing as an international business in a small community. Since beginning with only his sons, Giles said the company has grown from just four to 10 employees – including engineers and machinists.
In their new facility located just east of the airport, Giles said the company designs and then constructs machines to be used by medical and food industries.
“We ship, literally, all over the world,” he said. “In fact, we only have but a couple customers in the United States - most of what we do is overseas.”
One example of an IQ design is a machine that fills and seals petri dishes used in the medical industry.
“We make bottle-filling machines and tube-filling machines and other automation, but we focus more in this,” he said. “Almost all of these, at one point or another, is basically a customdesigned machine.”
Customers usually contact the company after viewing their website or by referrals, explained Giles.
“We design the whole thing out, create it, and make it from scratch,” he said. “Virtually all the design stuff here is proprietary to us. The system, the way we do it nobody else does it the way we do it.”
Recently, the company announced the sale of a patent to BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a diagnostic systems provider. The IQ Designs patent is now being sold as the BD Rodac Snap Lid, which the BD website says was “designed by environmental monitoring professionals to provide additional security during sampling and transport from a controlled environment to the laboratory.”
“They bought the rights for the patent from us,” Giles said. “If there’s something important in there, something dangerous on there, if you drop months floor, it won’t contaminate anything. It’s a pretty big deal.”
In addition to creating the design, IQ Designs also had a hand in ensuring other components of the dish were developed regionally.
“We also worked a deal with a U.P. company that has an injection molder, so I put them together with BD, so now they’re manufacturing these dishes in the U.P. as well,” Giles said. “So we kept everything close.”
Keeping the process close, however, doesn’t mean the customers are, he added. In fact, Giles said their customer base ranges from Istanbul to Tokyo and Cancun to Singapore.
“We’re traveling a lot,” he said. “The U.S. is probably 20 years ahead of where everyone else is. The eastern block of countries ... they’re all just kind of getting up to speed now.”
In order to assist these countries in catching up with the U.S., Giles said IQ Designs will keep working diligently and is even looking to expand at their current location.
“It’s really taken off,” he said. “There were four of us last year, and now we have ten, so it’s growing, and it’s growing really fast and things are going well.”
For more information on IQ Designs and its operations, visit www.iqdesignsusa.com.