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Capabilities for Product Data Exchange



Mary Mitchell


This paper describes the need for standardized representations of product information which are suitable for electronic communication between engineering and manufacturing functions. It then describes how a single international standard, ISO 10303 -- Product data representation and exchange, has been designed to meet this industrial need. This standard is more commonly referred to as STEP, STandard for the Exchange of Product model data. The benefits of STEP and the scope of the standard are presented. The standardized product data representations all use a rich object description language called EXPRESS to define the content of the data to be communicated. The actual communications interfaces, a message/file format and an application programing interface, are independent of any particular implementation technology. A high level technical description is given; this includes a description of the segments of the standard that can be used by readers to determine if the standard satisfies any of their company''s needs for product data exchange. Key players in the development and implementation of STEP along with sources of additional information are provided.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Intelligent Systems: A Semiotic Properspective Conference, Applied Semiotics
Conference Location


CAD/CAM, EXPRESS language, Inc., integration, ISO TC184/SC4 -- Industrial Data, PDES, Product Data, Product Data Management (PDM), STEP


Mitchell, M. (1996), Capabilities for Product Data Exchange, Proceedings of the Intelligent Systems: A Semiotic Properspective Conference, Applied Semiotics, , USA (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created September 30, 1996, Updated October 12, 2021