NCMS recently announced that six finalists have been selected for the 2021 CTMA Technology Competition, its annual event that highlights innovations in maintenance and sustainment technologies. A record 96 entries were received this year. The judges, who represent leadership in the Joint Technology Exchange Group (JTEG), selected the finalists for excellence in maintenance relevance or impact, originality and contribution to state-of-the-art solutions, technical maturity, cross-service applicability, and feasibility/practicality.
The finalists are:
American Data Solutions, LLC, for “Multipurpose Digital Data Viewer (MDDV) and Interactive Electronic Technology Manual (IETM).” The MDDV is a 6th-generation IETM that seamlessly hosts multiple data types. It prepopulates workflow forms and data elements using datasets exchanged with new or existing IT systems. MDDV modules automate data collection as maintainers perform tasks. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) curate this data and streamline or eliminate manual inputs. Curation standardizes data collection for analysis, visualization, and decision making. It allows maintainers the ability to track a part’s digital thread, access engineering specifications, and communicate with connected systems. The data viewer tracks user activities and behavior using AI/ML to support predictive analysis and modeling.
DAES Group, for “Advanced Epoxy Repairs for Gearbox Housings.” EPOLY is a two-part thixotropic epoxy which can be applied in a spray, brushed, or molded format, or applied by a simple spatula. The EPOLY compound has a 275°F curing process. This makes it an ideal solution for light alloy structural housing repair for aviation applications. Its advantages include: hard as mild steel; self-lubricating; corrosion resistant; operating temperature range of -65°F to 450°F; resistant to fuel, oil, skydrol, and red hydraulic oil; cavitation resistant; application thickness- 0.2 inches. In addition, it has been a proven, cost-effective solution used by commercial airlines for several years.
Everactive, for “Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Batteryless Energy-Harvesting Sensors.” Everactive’s always-on, batteryless sensors deliver data from always-on Industrial Internet of Things devices. The sensor components operate on such a small amount of electrical energy that this energy 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.
NAVAIR–Fleet Readiness Center Southwest, for “AVARIS–Digital Work Instruction Software.” The AVARIS digital work instruction software offers a smooth process for transitioning to digital work instruction tools. It gives engineers the ability to draft completely new digital work instructions and other technical documents from the ground-up, enhancing them with 3D scanning and video aids. The system is able to read and parse existing PDF technical documents and to automatically interpret their various sections, steps, and sub-steps. Then 3D scans, models, diagrams, figures, videos, etc. can all be attached to each step of the process to enhance the level of understanding of what work needs to be done.
Penn State University Applied Research Lab, for “Multifunctional Automated Repair System (MARS).” The MARS was designed for emergent facilities, including forward operating bases, ships, and shipyards. It features several end-effectors for performing inspection, surface preparation and repair operations. The system uses commercial-off-the-shelf and custom designed interfaces to reduce cost and complexity. The suite of end effectors that are developed and demonstrated 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. LIDAR, thermal imaging, gas sensing, laser ablation, welding, laser deposition, paint touch-up, and x-ray fluorescence end effectors are in development.
USAF Propulsion Directorate and Propulsion Maintenance Group, for “Additive Manufacturing and Repair of USAF Assets.” The Oklahoma City–Air Logistics Complex (OC-ALC) has implemented two successful AM solutions: one that utilizes the direct energy deposition (DED) process to intricately and precisely rebuild a hard-to-source part in a TF33 gas turbine engine with a 5X reduction in heat distortion. Concurrently, the Pacer Edge effort has produced hard-to-source airworthy parts using laser powder bed fusion printers. Its first success comprised the oil sump cover for an F110 (F-16) engine. Both systems have demonstrated large reductions in processing time and are focused on outfitting the depot with expanded capabilities to design, print, and qualify more hard-to-source engine and aircraft spare parts.
On Wednesday, December 8, 1–3 p.m. EST, all are invited to join the Finalists Presentations Event for the 2021 CTMA Technology Competition, which will be broadcast live over the web. During this free virtual event, each finalist will make a short presentation about their technology solution, to be followed by a 5-minute Q&A from the judges.
After the presentations, judges will select the Overall award winner, and event attendees will select the People’s Choice award winner. Both winners will be announced at the conclusion of the event. In addition to the awards, NCMS will make available $50,000 in project support funding to each winner, 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, including a pdf guide to all 96 entries and the link to join the free virtual event, visit: https://www.ncms.org/events/2021-ctma-technology-competition-finalists-presentations/.