SANTA CLARA, CA - Sun Microsystems Inc. announced that it will join the MTConnect Technical Advisory Group (MTAG) to further define the open communication protocol standard it helped create for the manufacturing technology industry a year ago.

MTConnect is an open manufacturing technology standard that uses proven, royalty free Internet communications technologies as its basis to allow manufacturing technology vendors and customers to safely and easily communicate.

"Sun Microsystems has a very long history of working with the industry and academia to create and promote open technology standards that drive genuine innovation," said Dave Edstrom, Chief Technologist of the Americas Software Practice for Sun Microsystems. "Open source and open standards are the keys to unlocking manufacturing innovation and efficiency around the world, particularly in growing emerging markets. I am thrilled Sun has been able to play a pivotal role in the development of such an important initiative as MTConnect."

Although developed through an open collaborative effort, the MTConnect initiative was initially led by Dr. Dave Patterson, Professor in Computer Science of the University of California at Berkeley, and Sun’s Dave Edstrom.

Edstrom was inspired to approach Dr. Patterson after attending the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in September 2006. "I was absolutely convinced that creating a manufacturing technology standard using proven, open and royalty-free Internet technologies was an imperative effort in which Sun must invest," he said. "The expected impact of MTConnect on the manufacturing sector is analogous to the effect that the browser had on the development of the Internet: MTConnect will revolutionize the manufacturing technology industry by providing a common, open platform which, in turn, will revolutionize manufacturing."

MTConnect will be demonstrated at this week’s International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS 2008).