The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining and the MTConnect Institute announced the start of the first phase of the MTConnect Challenge. It's called Creating Manufacturing Intelligence, and it's a U.S. Department of Defense — Defense-Wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T) and ManTech-sponsored competition that seeks to engage and stimulate development of advanced manufacturing intelligence applications that make use of the MTConnect standard. The NCDMM delivers optimized manufacturing solutions that enhance the quality, affordability, maintainability, and rapid deployment of existing and yet-to-be developed defense systems.
MTConnect is an open, royalty-free set of communications standards intended to foster greater interoperability between manufacturing equipment, devices and software applications. The MTConnect Institute is a forum of companies and organizations working on a collaborative effort to develop open technical standards and specifications intended to foster greater interoperability between equipment, accessories, applications and devices in the manufacturing industry, as well as schema, prototype software examples and related documentation to facilitate implementation of an interoperable, plug-and-play capability of these efforts on the shop floor.
Challenge 1, open April 12 through May 31, 2013, seeks ambitious yet achievable ideas that harness innovation and manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs.
Challenge 2, open July 1, 2013 through January 31, 2014, is for software applications that address the objectives of the challenge. Organizers say entries will be judged on criteria that includes the potential to create achievable and measurable benefit to manufacturing intelligence; creativity and innovation to advance a breakthrough concept and/or methodology; practicality of concept; impact on industry; and overall quality and adherence to requirements set by the MTConnect Challenge.
MTConnect envisions a wide variety of entrants, including developers, manufacturing professionals, students, scientists and educators. The organizers also encourage team submissions.
Details about the challenge, which will award a total of $250,000 in cash prizes, can be found at mtconnect.challenge.gov.