Troy, New York - June 10, 2002 - STEP Tools, Inc., the forerunner in developing STEP and STEP-NC software solutions for the global marketplace, announced today the results of a pivotal meeting held in late May 2002. The conference consisted of industry-leading firms who will be the first to implement the new STEP-NC technology into their manufacturing operations. Dr. Martin Hardwick, president and CEO of STEP Tools, is the STEP Manufacturing leader in the international STEP community of over 200 independent product data specialists. STEP (Standard for Product Data Exchange) is a comprehensive standard for CAD design data. STEP-NC, the manufacturing extension of this standard, annotates this design information with manufacturing data.
The Phase One STEP-NC implementation programs will be executed in systematic phases within a company's production operations and across the supply chain of the participating manufacturer. During this time, machining centers will be STEP-NC enabled and transformed into intelligent design-to-manufacturing systems driven by full fidelity 3D design data from any popular CAD system.
Major objectives were accomplished during this meeting. The STEP-NC Phase One Implementation team formulated the Benchmark foundation to evaluate STEP methodology against existing manufacturing processes. The group also prepared a schedule of order for implementing technical features. Extensive testing will also be performed in each STEP-NC environment, and each company will submit a copy of their crib sheets to build the new process. Each participant has agreed to machine a mechanical part of their choice by September 2002, and to prepare five parts for a side-by-side comparison of traditional machining and STEP-NC machining. The team will reconvene to compare notes and set new initiatives to further advance their STEP-NC programs. This core group of companies will be breaking new ground in CNC machining and ultimately these advancements will be felt throughout the NC community.