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MTConnect Challenge

The MTConnect Challenge is an Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T) sponsored challenge project to develop manufacturing solutions utilizing MTConnect protocol. MTConnect is an open, royalty-free set of communications standards intended to foster greater interoperability between manufacturing equipment, devices, and software applications and harness the wealth of information and data available on the shop floor. Two phases of the Initiative have already been awarded, and the winners are listed below. The Student Challenge is now underway:Students can submit ideas and applications to win $33,000 in cash prizes in two distinct competitions: Idea Creation & Application Development. More info on the Student Challenge below.

NEW! The deadline has been extended for the MTConnect Student Challenge. The new deadline for Ideas is March 15, 2016; the new deadline for Applications is July 15, 2016. View the latest video on the Student Challenge, just published in November, 2015:

MTConnect Challenge 1

Challenge 1 focused on acquiring ambitious yet achievable ideas that harness innovation and manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs. The judging criteria included Benefit to Manufacturing Intelligence; Creativity and Innovation; Practicality of Concept; Impact on Industry; and Overall Quality.

The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), along with AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology and the United States Army, announced the winners of MTConnect® Challenge 1 in June of this year. Five winners were selected, each receiving a $5,000 cash prize.

MTConnect Challenge 2

MTConnect Challenge 2 participants were tasked with the development of innovative and unique software applications using the MTConnect standard that could be easily adopted by manufacturing enterprises, especially lower tier producers, to enhance their manufacturing capabilities and support the Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain management objectives. The top three winners, as voted by [MC]2 2014 MTConnect Conference attendees, are as follows:

  1. Machining Process Monitoring to Aid in Chatter Identification – Valerie Pezzullo – Clemson University – $100,000 Prize
    This application developed by Clemson University's Valerie Pezzullo offers machining process monitoring, facilitates the communication of part-specific information, and includes customization and scalability for different manufacturing facilities and academic research institutions. By integrating machining process information gathered through MTConnect with information from proprietary data acquisition tools and custom sensors, this application provides a means to monitor cutting conditions to help reduce and prevent chatter and aid in analysis to avoid subsequent unstable operating conditions. It also improves the input and tracking of part numbers and organizes machining process information in a central location according to the specific part.
  2. Expanding Manufacturing's Vision: MTConnect + Google Glass – Joel Neidig – Itamco – $75,000 Prize
    By leveraging the capabilities of Google Glass with its heads-up display, camera, touchpad, microphone, email and internet connection built into the spectacle frame and combining it with MTConnect functionality, Joel Neidig of Itamco provides a never before view into the manufacturing process. The user of the Google Glass equipped with MTConnect is not only liberated from laptops and hand-held smart devices, but also is able to travel the entire shop floor, gathering and sharing machine data provided by MTConnect, and accessing the internet on demand for more information.
  3. Promise – Shane Crandall – $50,000 Prize
    Designed to be general, flexible, scalable, reliable, fast, and free, Shane Crandall's Promise is a blank canvas to create custom views of real-time data from MTConnect devices. It is a user-configured MTConnect client in the form of an intuitive Web application. Promise is an intranet Web application-or Web site-that may be easily deployed and widely utilized by and completely configurable from any device with a Web browser.

More information about the MTConnect Challenge can be found at

MTConnect Student Challenge

The Army's Benét Laboratories announced that it was selected by the Department of Defense to spearhead a science and engineering challenge that will pit higher education students from throughout the United States in a competition to develop software applications that may improve the efficiency of defense manufacturing. John P. Snyder, who is a senior mechanical engineer with Benét Laboratories and who is the lead program manager for the DOD challenge, said that the goal of the MTConnect Student Challenge is to make defense manufacturing, such as at the Watervliet Arsenal, more efficient and competitive by leveraging great advance manufacturing ideas from collegiate-level science, technology, engineering, and mathematic students (STEM).

There will be two phases to the MTConnect Student challenge. Phase one, the Ideation Phase, will require students to author a paper describing how innovative software use will collect manufacturing data via the MTConnect standard. As part of the student's information gathering they will conduct interviews with manufacturing entities, government or commercial, to develop the problem statement, solution, and their proposition to fix the problem. Phase One runs from June 8, 2015 through Sept. 11, 2015. These reports will be reviewed by a panel of DOD representatives who will select five winning submissions; first place will be awarded $5,000, second place will be awarded $2,500, and three runner-up submissions will each be awarded $1,000. The top finalists will present their findings at the National Tooling and Machining Association convention in October 2015. In the second phase, the Application Phase, the students will develop software applications that will harness innovation and manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs that could benefit DOD manufacturers and their supply chain. Phase Two runs from June 8, 2015 through March 1, 2016. A DOD panel will review these applications and select five finalists who will present their findings at the 2016 MTConnect conference in April 2016. The first place award recipient will receive $10,000, second place $7,500, and the third place finisher will receive $5,000.

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