Watervliet's Benet Labs leads DoD challenge to harness private industry innovation
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Watervliet's Benet Labs leads DoD challenge to harness private industry innovation

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The Army's Benét Laboratories announced this week that it is the program manager for a $250,000 Defense Department challenge that began earlier this month to harness private sector advance ...

The Army's Benét Laboratories announced this week that it is the program manager for a $250,000 Defense Department challenge that began earlier this month to harness private sector advance manufacturing and intelligence innovation in hopes to make defense manufacturing, such as at the Watervliet Arsenal, more efficient and competitive.

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Watervliet's Benet Labs leads DoD challenge to harness private industry innovation Document Transcript

  • 1. U.S. ARMY WATERVLIET ARSENALNEWS RELEASE John B. SnyderU.S. ARMY WATERVLIET ARSENALPUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE1 Buffington Street, Bldg. 10WATERVLIET, NY 12189(518) 266-5055 Office(518) 860-8577 CellFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEApril 26, 2013Local Army laboratory leads DOD challenge to harness private sectorinnovationWATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. ― The Army’s Benét Laboratories announced this week that itis the program manager for a $250,000 Department of Defense challenge that began earlier thismonth to harness private sector advance manufacturing and intelligence innovation in hopes to makedefense manufacturing, such as at the Watervliet Arsenal, more efficient and competitive.John P. Snyder, Ph.D, who is a senior mechanical engineer with the Army’s Benét Laboratories atthe Watervliet Arsenal and who is also the program manager for the DOD challenge, said that DODentered the first phase of what is called the MTConnect Challenge on April 12.“The challenge is essentially a tool for DOD to reach outside of the defense research anddevelopment fence line to domestic academia and industry, via MTConnect protocol, to stimulatethought and development of tools and applications that will enhance defense manufacturingcapabilities,” Snyder said.DOD-operated manufacturing centers have hundreds, if not thousands, of machines that for the mostpart operate independently, Snyder said. Each machine has a value to the manufacturing process butits current status, such as where it is in the work flow or its maintenance status, is often captured bystubby-pencil calculations that are not in real time.The bottom line is that defense manufacturing does not have a standard communication program andthat is where the MTConnect protocol comes in.“Imagine if we could communicate in real time with every machine, using a common standard, howmuch clearer a manufacturing center’s common operational picture would be,” Snyder said. “Thenif we could take that same application and apply it to other manufacturing requirements such as theamount of energy being consumed by machines and by buildings, manufacturing efficiency woulddramatically improve.”-more-
  • 2. DOD has two main goals for the challenge, Snyder said.“The first goal is to motivate domestic software and system experts who would develop theapplications, using the MTConnect standard, that have the potential to make defense manufacturersmore efficient and competitive,” Snyder said. “The second goal is to then take those award winningconcepts and to create the tools that could be adopted by DOD, to include the Watervliet Arsenal.”Phase one (Ideation Phase), which began on April 12, 2013 and closes on May 31, 2013, will awardeach of the five winners $5,000 each. This phase is essentially a concept development phase wheregreat, innovative ideas are measured by their utility and attainability.In the second phase (Challenge Phase), which begins on July 1, 2013 and closes on Jan. 17, 2014,Phase one winners take their concepts and develop them into concrete software applications. Thegrand prize of $100,000 will be awarded to the Challenge winner in April 2014. Second place awardrecipient will receive $75,000 and the third place finisher will receive $50,000.The Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology center is DOD’s sponsoring organization,and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing Technology and the Association forManufacturing Technology are partners with Benét Labs to administer the challenge.MTConnect® is a newly developed, open communication standard that provides the capability topass data from equipment and devices to higher level systems for further processing using the XML-based standard. The MTConnect Challenge focuses on promoting the development of manufacturingplatform solutions using a standard protocol.For more information about the MT Connect Challenge, visit http://mtconnect.challenge.gov-30-