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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

MTConnect Contest Challenges Designers to Work with Open MFG Tech Standards

MTConnect_LogoA special competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to challenge designers and engineers to use open standards in manufacturing technology has begun.

The first phase of the MTConnect Challenge: Creating Manufacturing Intelligence, was announced Thursday in Cincinnati, Ohio, by representatives from DoD and co-sponsors The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining and the MTConnect Institute. MTConnect is an open communication language standard that can be used free-of-charge to create networks between devices and manufacturing machines.  The objectives of the competition are:

To engage and stimulate a broader base of software and system architects to develop advanced enterprise, facility, and machine control applications based on, and extensions to, the MTConnect standard to enable a more efficient and competitive domestic manufacturing infrastructure for the defense enterprise; and

To create valuable tools and applications that can be easily adopted by manufacturing enterprises, especially the lower tier producers, to enhance their manufacturing capabilities and support Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain management goals.

Contestants in the first challenge will compete for a chance at five $5,000 prizes if they submit their entry developing a manufacturing intelligence application concept by May 31. The second challenge will be announced on June 1 and involves developing software that uses MTConnect. First prize is $100,000, second prize is $75,000, and third prize is $50,000.

As we noted on Tuesday, companies like Bosch Rexroth are embracing openness in programming. MTConnect, originally commissioned by The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), is one attempt to develop a standard that improves manufacturing technology networks.

For more information check out the official MTConnect Challenge page.

Brian Lane

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