Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Concurrent Engineering Through Product Data Standards



Gary Carver, Howard Bloom


Concurrent engineering involves the integration of people, systems, and information into a responsive, efficient system. Integration of computerized systems allows additional benefits: automatic knowledge capture during the development and lifetime management of a product, and automatic exchange of that knowledge among different computer systems. Critical enablers are product data standards and enterprise integration frameworks. A pioneering assault on complex technical challenges is associated with the emerging international STandard for the Exchange of Product model data (STEP). Surpassing in scope previous standards efforts, the goal is to enable a complete, unambiguous, computer-readable definition of physical and functional characteristics of a product throughout its life cycle. U.S. government, industrial, and standards organizations are cooperating in a program, Product Data Exchange using STEP (PDES), to develop and implement STEP in a shared- database environment. PDES will lead to higher, integrated levels of automation based upon information standards and frameworks. U.S. manufacturers will benefit from concurrent engineering without sacrificing strengths and traditions of individuality, initiative, and intellectual property rights. Concurrent engineering, through information technology and standards, represents the power of a new industrial revolution. The role of the NIST National PDES Testbed, technical leadership and testing-based foundation for the development of STEP, are described.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 4573
Report Number


STandard for the Exchange of Product model data (STEP), PDES, product model data, product life cycle


Carver, G. and Bloom, H. (1991), Concurrent Engineering Through Product Data Standards, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created April 30, 1991, Updated October 12, 2021