STEP Tools, Inc. Joins ISO Community at STEP Meeting in Stuttgart, Germany

Product data specialists from around the world meet to advance the STEP International Standard

Troy, New York — June 17, 2003 — STEP Tools, Inc. announced today it will attend the ISO STEP meeting being held in Stuttgart, Germany, the capitol of the German automotive industry, on June 22-26, 2003. Dr. Martin Hardwick, president and CEO of STEP Tools, and Dr. David Lofreddo, Vice President of Product Development, will join the international team of more than 200 data structure experts who meet three times per year to maintain and advance the STEP (Standard for Product Data Exchange) standard. STEP Tools spearheads the development of STEP-NC effort in North America, and is a highly visible participant in the global STEP community. Dr. Martin Hardwick is the international team leader of the STEP Manufacturing group. Dr. Loffredo is the deputy leader of the working group responsible for STEP Implementation Methods.

Dr. Hardwick will convene with the STEP Manufacturing team that is comprised of highly technical industry professionals who deliberate top implementation issues for manufacturing. He will talk about the new STEP Index Library (STIX) and its relationship to STEP-NC and the emerging Manufacturing grid. STIX is a C++/COM library of useful functions for creating and modifying applications using STEP-NC (AP-238) machining data. This free, downloadable library gives developers of Open Architecture Controls and other applications easy access to the NC data defined by STEP-NC. The software program was created by STEP Tools to simplify and expedite AP-238 programming, lower the learning curve for newcomers, and saving time for STEP experts.

Dr. Hardwick will also discuss the new software version of STEP-XML binding (Part 28) and explain how it produces XML that is more similar to ebXML. Other topics include discussion about the German model for Production facilities,
as well as the progress of getting CAD software vendors to write GD&T data for STEP and STEP-NC. Dr. Hardwick will also cover the results of its STEP-NC technology meeting cohosted with NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) at their headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD. Members of the STEP-NC Industrial Review Board and attendees from major U.S. manufacturers, machine tool companies, and software developers observed a series of “firsts” in the progression of STEP-NC demonstrated at NIST’s Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory (MEL).

STEP-NC technology is expected to eliminate some of the most troublesome bottlenecks to manufacturing productivity -- cumbersome post processors, antiquated G & M codes, data redundancies, multiple CAD files, and more. The international standard is expected to usher in a new era of manufacturing automation in terms of productivity, safety, reliability, and CNC machine tool usability and interoperability.

About STEP and STEP-NC Standards
STEP (STandard for Exchange of Product model data) 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. STEP-NC is on its way to becoming a Draft International Standard in 2004.

About STEP Tools, Inc.
STEP Tools, Inc. is a leading international supplier of professional STEP software toolsets (based on ISO standards) for application software developers, design firms and manufacturing companies in diverse industries. The STEP Tools product line is used by the world's foremost firms to leverage STEP and STEP-NC technology to facilitate the sharing of engineering product information. Over one million end users utilize product data applications built with ST-Developer, the company's flagship product. The company offers a suite of software solutions in several languages that integrate with existing tools and database systems, and also provide cross-platform compatibility and ease-of-use for streamlined development. The emerging STEP-NC technology is yielding process improvements including a 35% reduction in path planning time, a 75% reduction in paper drawings generated for the shop-floor, and a 50% improvement in machining time for small to mid-sized job lots. For late-breaking information, contact STEP Tools, Inc. by calling (518) 687-2848, email: Email Contact or visit
ST-Developer, ST-Plan and ST-Machine are trademarks or registered trademarks of STEP Tools, Inc. All other brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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