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NCMS Announces Overall and People’s Choice Winners for 2021 CTMA Technology Competition

NCMS Announces Overall and People’s Choice Winners for 2021 CTMA Technology Competition

Ann Arbor, MI—The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) announced today that Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Lab (ARL) has been selected the Overall Award winner, and Everactive has been selected the People’s Choice Award winner for the 2021 CTMA Technology Competition. The contest is NCMS’s annual event that highlights innovations in maintenance and sustainment technologies. The winners were selected from a record 96 entries received this year.

Penn State ARL won with their entry, “Multifunctional Automated Repair System (MARS),” which was designed for use in emergent facilities, including forward operating bases, ships, and shipyards. This turn-key system enables use of a key collection of repair processes and is easily transportable for in-situ repairs. Through its innovative design, it is quickly reconfigurable, connects with different robots, and has a user-friendly interface, control system, and set of tutorials for each operation. The MARS suite of end effectors—or tools that have been developed and demonstrated—currently include a grinder and plasmablast for surface preparation, cold spray and laser wire for repair, and ultrasonic and eddy current non-destructive evaluation for inspection. Additional functionality, including LIDAR, thermal imaging, gas sensing, laser ablation, welding, laser deposition, paint touch-up, and x-ray fluorescence, are in development.

Everactive, Inc., was selected as the People’s Choice Award winner by attendees at the live web event where the competition’s finalists presented their technology solutions. Everactive’s winning entry, “Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Batteryless Energy-Harvesting Sensors” is designed to deliver data from always-on Industrial Internet of Things devices. The sensor components operate on such a small amount of electrical energy that the needed power can be harvested from the operational environment—drawing on electricity generated by temperature differentials or via small photo-voltaic cells. Data is collected—a time-stamped temperature value from a steam line, or a tri-axial vibration reading from a rotating machine—and is sent via Gateways to the AWS cloud for analysis. Users interact with the data in the cloud from any web browser and receive near real-time notifications and alerts of anomalous conditions.

Selecting the Overall Award winner was a panel of judges who serve as principals for the Joint Technology Exchange Group (JTEG), a collaborative group formed by the DOD to improve coordination in the introduction of new or improved technology, new processes, or new equipment into DOD depot maintenance activities. The same group gathered earlier to review all 96 entries and select the competition’s six finalists, who earned their recognition for excellence in maintenance relevance or impact, originality and contribution to state-of-the-art solutions, technical maturity, cross-service applicability, and feasibility/practicality.

Each award winner will receive a personalized award, and each will be provided $50,000 in project support funding to enable them to take part in a selected Department of Defense demonstration activity, to the extent permitted under the existing CTMA cooperative agreement.

For more details about the CTMA Technology Competition, including an electronic booklet that showcases all 96 entries, see: https://www.ncms.org/events/2021-ctma-technology-competition-finalists-presentations/.