STEP Tools, Inc. Awarded Harvest Contract from the National Shipbuilding Research Program

Troy, New York - July 30, 2001-STEP Tools, Inc., the forerunner in developing STEP-integration software toolsets for the global marketplace, announced today it has won a $320,000 contract from the National Shipbuilding Research Program (www.nsrp.org) to complete application protocols for Ship Structures (AP-218), Ship Molded Forms (AP 216), and Ship Arrangements (AP-215). This significant project has been named Harvest and its purpose is to provide editing and leadership resources to make AP-218, AP-216 and AP-215 full international standards. The shipbuilding industry can then "harvest" the extensive development effort put into these protocols over the last ten years and use them to improve the manufacturing efficiency of shipyards in the United States.

The Harvest endeavor is lead by STEP Tools along with partners General Dynamics Electric Boat and Product Data Corporation to form the core development team. The new Harvest Contract is very synergistic with STEP Tool's current, high profile development projects: 1) The Super Model project funded by NIST which focuses on extending STEP (Standard for Product Data Exchange) into numerical control machining, and 2) the Navy WSME project that will produce a web-based data management framework for ship design and manufacturing. Both initiatives have garnered international attention in anticipation of the gains in manufacturing productivity. STEP Tools will retain the intellectual property rights for their innovations, which hold commercialization potential in both military and commercial markets.

"The Harvest award is a complex and challenging venture that will yield tremendous productivity gains for the shipbuilding industry," states Dr. Martin Hardwick, president and CEO of STEP Tools. "Weaving the benefits of the Web into the intricate, multi-faceted process of shipbuilding will result in real-time, secure access to digital design and manufacturing content. Other industries, such as aerospace and automotive, will feel the benefits derived from this project. STEP Tools takes great pride in its ability to maintain a strong leadership role in providing high level consulting and implementation services for STEP applications, translators and databases."