Thursday, May 9, 2013

[MC]2 2013 - Big Success in Cincinnati

This appears in the May 8, 2013 IMTS Insider

MC2 logo
-By Penny Brown and Dave Edstrom
NOTE: Penny Brown works for AMT and wears many hats including writer, editor, interviewer, on camera talent, ...
On April 9-11 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the second [MC]2 MTConnect: Connecting Manufacturing Conference was held and it was a big success. [MC]2 is about all the many ways that shops and plants are connecting with MTConnect to truly know what is happening on the manufacturing floor so they can improve production.
It is important to understand that MTConnect is not an evolution in manufacturing, but a revolution. MTConnect is making possible the dreams and desires of generations of manufacturers, machine tool builders and manufacturing equipment providers who all want to see the same goal of different devices having a common connection on the plant floor. [MC]2 2013 was a true inflection point for manufacturing with a strong lineup of fantastic speakers, moderators, panelists and instructors.
[MC]2 2013 kicked off with a keynote from Steve Fritzinger, Virtualization Alliance Manager for NetApp and economics contributor for BBC, titled “Manufacturing with Darwin, Moore and Metcalfe,” which stressed a company's need for adaptation and continual change in order to remain competitive. He also stressed that MTConnect implementers need to use dedication and focus to see results. “Initially, going to an automated shop floor is like going to the gym on January 1,” Fritzinger said. “If you stick with that resolution and see it through, you'll see results. But if you don't, you'll just end up back where you started.”
MTConnect Challenge logo
As the day's sessions continued, an exciting announcement was made regarding the kickoff of the MTConnect Challenge, a DoD-sponsored competition that seeks ideas and applications for MTConnect, with a total of $250,000 in cash prizes for finalists and winners. Those seeking more details about this competition can learn more This is an extremely exciting announcement and really proves how important MTConnect has become in not only manufacturing, but in the United States Department of Defense.
Day two opened with a keynote from John Meyer, Senior Technical Competitive Analyst with IBM, titled “Processing Zetabytes: The Technologies Enabling Big Data and Analytics,” which focused on the evolution of computing, the rise of big data and the opportunities this data creates. Meyer showed that the exponential growth in big data will be led by sensor data, and MTConnect will be critical in the world of massive analytics in years to come.
Throughout the conference there were panels, business sessions and technical workshops, hands-on labs to show how to write MTConnect adapters, and a concluding keynote from Douglas Woods, President of AMT, discussing the technological future of manufacturing and the need to ensure the industry's strength in the United States. “I think what is so cool about the [MC]2 is that it shows the ever increasing importance of MTConnect and open interoperability standards to propel manufacturing technology to new heights,” Woods said. “I can remember people questioning whether anyone would come to the first [MC]2 event a year or so ago, let alone attend a second event a year later. But the large number of attendees at both events makes obvious the criticality of this standard and the interest from users, developers, builders, media, etc. to accelerate manufacturing into the world of big data, analytics and productivity enhancement applications.”
The first [MC]2 in 2011 laid out the foundation for MTConnect, describing the pillars of the standard. [MC]2 2013 built upon that success. As we look out into 2014, we are going to increase the emphasis of the manufacturing solutions that are being built using MTConnect. [MC]2 2014 will connect manufacturers to the solutions that will save time and money by being more productive. They will have the information they need anytime, anywhere and on any device. We will connect developers to the tools they need to develop agents and adapters as well as client applications. We will connect exhibitors to manufacturers. We will connect professors and students to those in manufacturing who are the thought leaders. We will connect those new to MTConnect to the most exciting change to manufacturing since the invention of the CNC. MTConnect – Different Devices, Common Connect. Stay tuned for details on [MC]2 2014!