Troy, New York - March 10, 2003 - STEP Tools, Inc., announced today it will cohost a STEP-NC technology meeting with NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) at NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD on June 4 & 5, 2003. A STEP-NC demonstration will be conducted at NIST's Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory (MEL), where MEL researchers work closely with industry to develop measurement methods, standards and technologies to improve U.S. manufacturing capabilities. NIST is a member of the STEP-NC Phase One Implementers program. STEP Tools spearheads the development of STEP-NC effort in North America, and is a highly visible participant in the global STEP community of over 200 independent product data specialists.Dr. Hardwick is the international team leader of the STEP Manufacturing group. Members of the press are invited to attend the event and demonstration, and must register by June 2, 2003.
The central focus of the demonstration is to show industry that the benefits of STEP-NC based automatic machining, smart computing, and simulation are unfolding in a progressive manner. Increased development efforts by STEP tools will introduce new tactical manufacturing features. For the first time, the STEP-NC demonstration will focus on a complex surface model provided by Boeing that will be milled on a 5-axis CNC machine tool. During the demonstration, STEP Tools will spotlight how ro enable the manufacturing process by managing and automating machining and planning operations.
STEP Tools and NIST will show the rapid conversion of AP-203 (STEP) models into AP-238 (STEP-NC) CNC-independent control data containing tolerances. Also, for the first time, the plug-in for MasterCam software (CNC Software, Tolland, CT) will be featured to generate toolpaths and output CNC code. STEP Tools also has implemented a plug-in for GibbsCAM software (Gibbs and Associates, Moorpark, CA). Virtual Tours of both can be found at STEP Tools website.
The overall theme for the STEP-NC initiative is integration - from design to manufacturing. With the use of full fidelity STEP-NC data as direct input to a CNC machine tool, many bottlenecks to manufacturing productivity will be eliminated such as cumbersome post processors, antiquated G & M codes, data redundancies, multiple CAD files, and more. The international standard will usher in a new era of manufacturing automation in terms of productivity, safety, reliability, and CNC machine tool usability and interoperability.