The Air Force and NCMS Member MELD win big at the Maintenance Innovation Challenge

December 10, 2019, Spokane, WA—Congratulations to the Oklahoma Air Logistics Complex (OC-ALC), the Air Force Sustainment Center, Air Force Lifecycle Management, and Air Force Research Laboratory for taking the Maintenance Innovation Challenge (MIC) Technology Award at the 2019 DOD Maintenance Symposium. Their submission, Fully Organic Repair of Air Force Assets Via Cold Spray impressed the panel of judges as an excellent example of revolutionary and evolutionary maintenance and sustainment technology. The OC-ALC has retrofitted an existing thermal spray booth to have a dual capability to include cold spray. Additionally, they have become a qualified source for cold spray repair of cast magnesium housings staffed entirely by Air Force personnel.

This submission resonated with the panel of DoD Senior Logistics Managers, who judged the six MIC finalists. They evaluated each submission on the following criteria:

  • Maintenance centricity
  • Original contribution to the State-of-the-Art
  • Commercialism
  • Technical maturity
  • Cross-Service application
  • Potential to benefit maintenance
  • Feasibility and practicality

Based on the strength of presentation and applicability to critical maintenance and sustainment needs, NCMS Member MELD Manufacturing Corporation has taken the People’s Choice Award. Their submission, A Novel Solid-State Technology for Sustainment addresses the need for the warfighter to make critical repairs in the field or at sea. The MELD process is a solid-state additive technology enabling the repair of otherwise unrepairable assets due to the parts/component’s inherent material limitations.

The MIC aims to elevate and expand the call for maintenance innovation to include not only new technology, hardware, and software, but also unique partnerships, resourcing strategies, business practices or processes that promise to make maintenance more capable, agile, and affordable.


About NCMS

The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) is a cross-industry technology development consortium, dedicated to improving the competitiveness and strength of the U.S. industrial base. As a member-based organization, it leverages its network of industry, government, and academia to develop, demonstrate, and transition innovative technologies efficiently, with less risk and lower cost. For more information on NCMS, visit