STEP Tools Presents "STEP-NC Momentum In the USA" at the IMS STEP-NC Meeting in Aachen, Germany on February 12, 2003

Troy, New York - February 10, 2003 - STEP Tools, Inc. announced today Dr. Martin Hardwick, president and CEO of STEP Tools, will participate in the IMS STEP-NC Meeting in Aachen, Germany, on February 12, 2003. Dr. Hardwick will present a paper on "STEP-NC Momentum in the USA", and describe technical advancements gained in the past six months. He will also discuss activities and the progression of STEP-NC within the Phase One Implementer groups currently working with STEP Tools. Dr. Hardwick is the international team leader of the STEP Manufacturing group and spearheads the development efforts of the Super Model Project in the United States.

Hardwick will also cover late-breaking developments shown at their 6th Industrial Review Board (IRB) Meeting co-hosted with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA on January 29-30, 2003. During a series of demonstrations, STEP Tools rapidly converted AP-203 (STEP) models into AP-238 (STEP-NC) with tolerances using JPL Crib sheets. They also used an automated set-up wizard to define setup and fixtures. Using JPL crib sheet data, they performed tool selection and strategy selection. Several JPL parts were cut on multi-axis CNC milling machines.

"At the JPL meeting, we showed what a typical manufacturing scenario would be like using STEP-NC," states Dr. Hardwick. "Machinists will 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. I will be reporting to the international community about the great strides being made here in the United States. Our manufacturing community is ready for a new era of manufacturing in terms of productivity, safety, reliability, and CNC machine tool usability and interoperability."

STEP (Standard for Product Data Exchange) is a comprehensive ISO standard for CAD design data. STEP-NC, the manufacturing extension of this standard, annotates the design information with manufacturing data. STEP became a full ISO standard in 1994, and since then, all of the leading CAD software vendors have implemented STEP data translation. It is estimated that more than one and a half million CAD stations now contain STEP data translators.