Interest in STEP-NC Standard Growing

Troy, New York, December 3, 1998 - The STEP-NC group (ISO TC184/SC1/WG7) is working to define a standard that will allow Numerically Controlled (NC) machine tools to create parts directly from STEP product models. STEP-NC extends the STEP product models to include information for machine tool controllers. Japanese and European STEP-NC projects have been funded and recent teleconference calls in the United States have included multiple representatives from the Automotive, Aerospace and Defense sectors. Interest in the proposed new standard is particularly strong in Germany and Switzerland.

As a result of a meeting, held in the US in September 1998, pilot projects will begin in the US. They are likely to include controller testing at Lawrence Livermore Labs and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), database testing at STEP Tools, Inc., and end-user functionality testing at Boeing, General Motors and General Dynamics Land Systems.

A special interest group met for the first time at the ISO STEP meeting in Beijing, China in October 1998. The United States, the STEP special interest group and the Japanese project all want to integrate the STEP-NC models more closely with STEP. The US representatives are particularly keen to make the new stand as data driven as possible and to show that a data pipeline can be constructed to take AP-203 design data, annotate it with AP-224 manufacturing feature data, compute process plan dependencies, and output the result as an AP-213 file for the macro process plan with references to ISO 14649 files for the individual machine tool working steps.

More information regarding the relationship between STEP and STEP-NC can be found at: http://www.steptools.com/~hardwick/STEP-NC/index.htm In addition, a home page for the STEP-NC project is available on the STEP Tools, Inc. home page. The home page contains a mapping of the STEP-NC EXPRESS model into the STEP integrated resources at: http://www.steptools.com/library/stepnc/