Jacobus Announces Support for STEP in PlantSpace

Company Plays Major Role in Implementation and Demonstration of Standards

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 26, 1998--DaratechPlant `98 - Jacobus Technology, Inc., a Bentley Strategic Affiliate, today announced its intention to deliver support for STEP AP227 in the MicroStation(R)-/JSpace(TM)-based PlantSpace(R) family of object-oriented software for plant engineering and design.

STEP AP227, part of ISO 10303 (STEP), specifies an application protocol (AP) for the exchange of the spatial configuration information of process plants, including piping system components and other related plant systems that impact the design and layout of piping systems. AP227 is currently out for a Draft International Standard (DIS) ballot that will end in February 1998. The standard exchange of 3D plant data in PlantSpace and JSpace, due soon after AP227 becomes an international standard, is the first major milestone in the implementation of the PlantSTEP initiative, followed by STEP AP221, for standard exchange of functional data and its schematic representation.

As an active information technology vendor of the PlantSTEP organization, Jacobus has participated in several projects sponsored by PlantSTEP to demonstrate the sharing of intelligent plant 3D geometry. Most recently, Jacobus played a major role in the demonstration of PCALS STEP AP227 data exchange capabilities in the Japan Plant CALS/STEP booth at the CALS Expo International in Tokyo, November 4 to 7, 1997. The Japan PCALS AP227 demonstration was part of an ongoing AP227 pilot project study between Hitachi Works, Bechtel Corporation (using PlantSpace), and Jacobus. Hitachi and Jacobus translated AP227 STEP data into Hitachi's custom-developed plant design software, using AP227 translators developed with STEP programming tools from STEP Tools, Inc. Jacobus' JSpace object-oriented architecture was the foundation for reading and writing AP227 data from PlantSpace 3D.

With this successful pilot project implementation of AP227, Jacobus is now in an excellent position to provide an AP227 import/export capability from their PlantSpace products when AP227 becomes an International Standard later this year,'' says Pepi Edlinger, program manager at Bechtel Technology & Consulting and one of the board of directors of PlantSTEP, Inc. A highlight of the demonstration was when PlantSpace(R) Enterprise Navigator(TM) was used to walk through and review the entire plant 3D model by browsing through the attributes and relationships in the AP227 model as described in the standard. PlantSpace Enterprise Navigator is a product that requires little training and the PlantSTEP data is easily interpreted, providing a valuable tool for casual plant users. The PlantSpace product suite and the JSpace object-oriented environment developed by Jacobus promise to provide this and other distinct advantages to the standard exchange of plant data.

The work of Jacobus greatly contributed to the success of our demonstration at CALS EXPO,'' says Mr. T. Yoshinaga, chief engineer in the Plant Construction & Engineering Department of Hitachi Works and chairman of the Planning Committee for Japan Plant CALS/STEP. ``We are now on the threshold of making P-CALS STEP AP227 a reality and Hitachi LTD (HIT) is laying plans to implement STEP for the nuclear power plant business.

Jacobus also played a major role, along with Hitachi Works, in coordinating the demonstration activities of other participants in the demonstration, such as Asahi Engineering, Bechtel Corporation, Bentley, Cadcentre, Dassault Systemes (NASDAQ: DASTY - news), and Toshiba.

The Next Step: AP221

Through the approach afforded by the JSpace object environment, much of the work required for implementing other STEP Application Protocols, such as AP221 for representation of functional and schematic plant data, is already in place. ``Jacobus expects to be one of the early implementers of full STEP support for the AP221 standard,'' says Robert Keith, executive vice president of global operations at Jacobus.