MTConnect Announces Challenge 2 Finalists

The five selected Challenge 2 finalists will present their MTConnect-based software applications at the [MC]2 2014 MTConnect: Connecting Manufacturing Conference, where attendees will vote to award three winners with a total of $225,000 in cash prizes, including a $100,000 award for first prize.

The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM; Blairsville, PA) and AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology (McLean, VA) proudly announce today the selection of five MTConnect® Challenge 2 Finalists. The five selected Challenge 2 finalists will present their MTConnect-based software applications at the [MC]2 2014 MTConnect: Connecting Manufacturing Conference to be held April 8 – 10, 2014, in Orlando, FL, where attendees will vote to award three winners with a total of $225,000 in cash prizes, including a $100,000 award for first prize.

The impact and value of the MTConnect Challenge are evident in the submissions we received from a broad, diverse, and innovative audience — from graduate students and individual programmers to a Fortune 500 organization and companies in between,” explained John Wilczynski, the NCDMM program manager. “The generation of ideas, insight, and applications that the MTConnect Challenge inspired will enable the defense manufacturing industry to begin to leverage the MTConnect standard to make substantial gains in manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs within their enterprises. “

On behalf of all of us at NCDMM, AMT, the U.S. Army, and the MTConnect Challenge judging panel, we extend our congratulations to the five finalists and wish them the best as they present to the MTConnect community at the [MC]2 2014 Conference next month for three top awards,” added Hilena Hailu, the AMT project manager.

MTConnect Challenge 2 was seeking the development of software 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. Challenge 2 judging criteria included benefit to manufacturing intelligence, creativity and innovation, practicality of concept, impact on industry, and overall quality. The title of the project submissions and the project’s author(s) and organization (if named), for the five Challenge 2 finalists are listed below:

  • Expanding Manufacturing’s Vision: MTConnect + Google Glass – Itamco, Joel Neidig
  • Promise – Shane Crandall
  • MTConnect for Microsoft Visio – International TechneGroup Inc., James Finn
  • Interactive Work Instructions (IWI) – GE Global Research, PARC, Donovan Buckley & Arvind Rangarajan
  • MTConnect and NI Measurement Studio Integration (to monitor machining process parameters to aid in chatter identification) – Clemson University, Valerie Pezzullo

The MTConnect Challenge is an Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T) sponsored, two-part challenge project to develop manufacturing solutions using the MTConnect protocol. NCDMM, AMT, and the United States Army are overseeing the Challenge. The MTConnect Institute manages the development and further adoption of the standard.

MTConnect is an open, royalty-free set of communications standards intended to foster greater interoperability and information sharing between manufacturing equipment, devices, and software applications. To date, harnessing the wealth of available information and data across equipment and devices has been challenging due in large part to the disparate nature of software programs.

For more information about the [MC]2 2014 MTConnect Conference, visit To learn more about MTConnect, visit

NCDMM delivers optimized manufacturing solutions that enhance the quality, affordability, maintainability, and rapid deployment of existing and yet-to-be developed defense systems. This is accomplished through collaboration with government, industry, and academic organizations to promote the implementation of best practices to key stakeholders through the development and delivery of disciplined training, advanced technologies, and methodologies.

NCDMM also manages the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and 3DP printing (3DP), America Makes—the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members — those who design, build, sell, and service the continuously evolving technology that lies at the heart of manufacturing. Founded in 1902 and based in Virginia, the association specializes in providing targeted business assistance, extensive global support, and business intelligence systems and analysis.

AMT is the voice that communicates the importance of policies and programs that encourage research and innovation, and the development of educational initiatives to create tomorrow’s Smartforce.

Benét Labs is a Department of the Army Center of Excellence supporting the management and execution of life cycle research, development, engineering, design, producibility, and engineering standardization programs for large caliber armaments, mortars and direct fire systems. A full complement of modern laboratory equipment, along with a highly trained staff of scientist, engineers, and technicians, enables Benét to be a world leader in innovative technology and applications.

The [MC]2 2014 MTConnect: Connecting Manufacturing Conference is a 3-day conference designed for end users, equipment and device suppliers, software developers, distributors, integrators, students, and professors interested in the advancement of data-driven manufacturing. The MTConnect Institute is compiling a world-class roster of manufacturing technology thought leaders and industry insiders for the upcoming [MC]2 conference, which will be packed with timely insights, strategic views, and actionable items. The theme for 2014 is “Advancing Data-Driven Manufacturing.”


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