Troy, New York - November 18, 2002 - STEP Tools, Inc. , the forerunner in developing STEP and STEP-NC software solutions for the global marketplace, announced today it will join prominent companies involved in the shipbuilding industry's Integrated Steel Processing Environment (ISPE) Project for a two day symposium to be held at NG Ship Systems, in Pascagoula, MS, from November 19-20, 2002. The ISPE project is managed by the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) led by a coalition of eleven U.S. shipyards, working as a team with government, industry and academia. The organization manages and focuses national shipbuilding research and development funding on technologies that will reduce the cost of warships to the U.S. Navy, and establish international competitiveness for the United States. Participants in the ISPE program include Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS) Avondale Operations, NGSS Ingalls Operations, NG Newport News, Electric Boat, NGIT/DES, Sigmatek, AeroHydro, NIST, and STEP Tools, Inc.
Dr. Martin Hardwick, president and CEO of STEP Tools, will convene with ISPE members to discuss the potential of STEP-NC technology for pipe bending and cutting operations that are specific to shipbuilding. Dr. Hardwick is the STEP Manufacturing leader in the international STEP community of over 200 independent product data specialists.
Two other key meetings related to shipbuilding initiatives, ESTEP and INTOP, will take place at the Carderock Naval Surface Warfare Center, Bethesda, MD, on Nov. 20 and 21, 2002. The meetings will focus on shipbuilding design issues. Dr. David Loffredo, and Mr. Blair Downie, both top management executives at STEP Tools, will participate in the program and discuss STEP-related issues.
STEP Tools is involved in two other high profile National Shipbuilding Research Programs: 1) the Harvest program to complete STEP application protocols for ship structures, ship molded forms and ship arrangements, and make them full international standards, and 2) the Navy WSME project that will produce a web-based data management framework for ship design and manufacturing. STEP Tools will retain the intellectual property rights for their innovations, which hold commercialization potential in both military and commercial markets.