Saturday, June 13, 2015

LA to San Francisco Memex Trip

David McPhail, President and CEO for Memex Automation and I spent a week in CA going from LA to San Francisco meeting with eight customers and prospects in a VERY successful trip.  Here are some photos along the way.  No, I am not tipping my hat to the competition on which customers we met with :-)

Below are three photos of Redondo Beach where we started off.

Sunday night I had dinner with my cousin Daniel, his wife and two kids.  They have a great family and live in an amazing location - I really appreciate that they took time out of their schedule to have dinner with me.

Below is a photo of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hemi that I rented for David and me.  It was fun, but I wish it would have been the 707hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat version instead :-)

Above is SpaceX HQ which is next to Tesla's engineering HQ as well.  We had a great meeting there and received a fantastic personal tour as well.  Below is David and me in front of SpaceX.

After David and I finished our trip, I went to Palo Alto and University Avenue to walk around before I had dinner with my son and daughter in law.  I thought, I am going to drive by the famous HP garage.  I had NO idea that it was just 4/10 of a mile from University Avenue, so I decided to take a walk.  It was VERY cool!

 Above is the plaque and below is the actual garage where it all started.

Below is me in front of the HP house and plaque in Palo Alto in typical beautiful day in CA.

I finished up the trip having dinner with my son and daughter in law in San Francisco - six hotels in in six cities - a personal record.

MTConnect Student Challenge Seeks Submissions for Ideas, Applications to Advance Digital Manufacturing

 For Immediate Release: June 11, 2015
Hilena Hailu
MTConnect Institute
MTConnect Student Challenge Seeks Submissions for Ideas, Applications to Advance Digital Manufacturing
Community College and University Students Encouraged to Apply; Cash Prizes Total $33,000
McLean, Va. … The submission period opened today for the MTConnect Student Challenge, marking the official start of the competition for student ideas and applications utilizing MTConnect. The idea creation competition is open for submissions through September 18, 2015, while the application competition is accepting submissions through January 31, 2016.

In addition to cash prizes for winning submissions, the competition offers many benefits for participating students. It is ideal as a thesis, internship, or capstone project, and students are also provided with the opportunity to network with companies as a means to develop their professional contacts. The competition is open to enrolled college students, and those studying IT, software, mechanical, or electrical engineering are especially encouraged to apply.

MTConnect is an open source, XML- and HTTP-based communications standard that helps foster improved connectivity between manufacturing equipment and devices, allowing for data collection and monitoring. It is a key enabler for allowing manufacturers to take advantage of digital manufacturing to optimize processes and functions on the shop floor. The Student Challenge stems from a prior successful competition that solicited ideas and applications from industry professionals and the general public.

“Manufacturers in all industries are looking to leverage the opportunities offered by big data and the Industrial Internet of Things,” said Douglas K. Woods, President of the MTConnect Institute and President of AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. “The MTConnect Student Challenge is an ideal competition to bring forth student-led innovation for real-world manufacturing solutions. We feel that students have the kind of creative thinking and ideas that are critical to advancing our industry, and we look forward to finding the next visionaries who can generate new approaches to digital manufacturing.”

The MTConnect Student Challenge encompasses two competitions: Idea Creation and Application Development.

MTConnect Student Challenge – Idea Creation

For the Idea Creation competition, students will be required to interview manufacturers to identify their challenges; describe potential solutions to that challenge; and create a conceptual mockup for a solution. The prizes for this competition are $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place, and three $1,000 prizes for runners up. The Submission period opens on June 11, 2015, and closes on September 18, 2015. Winners will be announced October 15, 2015.

Full rules and submission details are available at:

MTConnect Student Challenge – Application Development

For the Application development competition, students will be required: to develop an application that demonstrates innovation and the use of manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs. Submissions will be rated based on their potential to create achievable and measurable benefits to manufacturing operations – improving efficiencies, minimizing waste, reducing costs, etc. The prizes for this competition are $10,000 for first place, $7,500 for second place, and $5,000 for third place. The submission period is June 11, 2015, through January 31, 2016. Winners will be selected and announced on April 20, 2016, at the [MC]2 Conference in Dallas, TX.

Full rules and submission details are available at:

The MTConnect Student Challenge is sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T) and executed by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the U.S. Army Benét Labs, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), and the MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling and Machining Association.

MTConnect is an open, royalty-free standard that fosters greater interoperability between devices and software applications. By establishing an open and extensible channel of communication between devices, equipment, and systems, MTConnect enables applications aimed at providing more efficient operations, improved production optimization, and increased productivity.  

The MTConnect Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization established to further the development and adoption of the MTConnect standard and is a subsidiary of AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology. The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is the avenue for input from industry via working groups and quarterly meetings. The Technical Steering Committee authors the MTConnect standard. The Institute’s activities are overseen by a Board of Trustees.  Membership in the MTConnect Institute is free.

About AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology
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. AMT owns and manages IMTS — The International Manufacturing Technology Show, which is the premier manufacturing technology event in North America.

About Benét Labs
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.

About [MC]2 Conference
The [MC]2 Conference is a three-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 conference, April 19-21, 2016, in Dallas, Texas, will be packed with timely insights, strategic views, and actionable items. For more information about the [MC]2 Conference, 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. For additional information, visit NCDMM at

About Office of the Secretary of Defense
The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is the principal staff element of the Secretary of Defense in the exercise of policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluation responsibilities. OSD includes the immediate offices of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense, Under Secretaries of Defense, Director of Defense Research and Engineering, Assistant Secretaries of Defense, General Counsel, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Assistants to the Secretary of Defense, Director of Administration and Management, and such other staff offices as the Secretary establishes to assist in carrying out assigned responsibilities.