Dr. Martin Hardwick Presents "STEP-NC and 21st Century Manufacturing" at the National Design Engineering Show 2003, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

Troy, New York - February 24, 2003 - STEP Tools, Inc. , announced today Dr. Martin Hardwick, president and CEO of STEP Tools, will speak at the National Design Engineering Show, McCormick Place (Chicago, IL) from March 3-6, 2003. Dr. Hardwick will present a paper on "STEP-NC and 21st Century Manufacturing" on Wednesday, March 5, from 10:45am - 12:00pm, during the conference entitled "The Role of Feature-based Analysis and Manufacturing in the Product Realization Process", held in Track 2 - Manufacturing & Industrial Automation. Dr. Hardwick is the international team leader of the STEP Manufacturing group and has lead the development efforts of the Super Model - STEP-NC Project in the United States. He is a twenty year veteran in the field of product data structures, data exchange and data integration.

Dr. Hardwick will cover the progression of STEP-NC and industry participation in the Phase One Implementers program. He will bring the audience up to the most recent STEP-NC developments as shown at the 6th Industrial Review Board (IRB) Meeting held with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in January 2003. STEP Tools and JPL showed what a typical manufacturing scenario would be like using STEP-NC - showing how machinists would receive a STEP-NC part via the web or traditional means, program the job with a logical step-by-step "wizard-like" approach, and in return get feedback on production schedules, machining strategy, tool selection, tolerances, and areas of particular complexity.

The next major STEP-NC demonstration will be held at the NIST meeting at Gaithersburg, MD, on June 4 and 5, 2003. STEP (Standard for Product Data Exchange) is a comprehensive ISO standard for CAD design data. STEP-NC, the manufacturing extension of this international standard, annotates the design information with manufacturing data. STEP became a full ISO standard in 1994. STEP-NC is on its way to becoming a Draft International Standard this year.