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Investigating the Impact of Standards-Based Interoperability for Design to Manufacturing and Quality in the Supply Chain



Kevin Fischer, Phil Rosche, Asa Trainer, Allison Barnard Feeney, Thomas D. Hedberg Jr.


To achieve industry's vision of the Model-Based Enterprise (MBE), the MBE strategy must include model-centric data interoperability for design to manufacturing and quality in the supply chain. The Model-Based Definition (MBD) is created by the OEM using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools. This information is then shared with the supplier so that they can manufacture and inspect the physical parts. Today, almost all suppliers use Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) and Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) models respectively for these tasks. Traditionally, the OEM has provided design data to the supplier in the form of 2-dimensional (2D) drawings, but may also include a 3-dimensional (3D)-shape-geometry model, often in a standards-based format such as STEP AP203. The supplier then creates the respective CAM and CMM models and machine programs to produce and inspect the parts. In the MBE vision for model-centric data exchange, the CAD model must include product and manufacturing information (PMI) in addition to the shape geometry. Today's CAD tools can generate models with embedded PMI. And, with the emergence of STEP AP242, a standards-based model with embedded PMI can now be shared downstream. This project investigates the ability to utilize a STEP AP242 model with embedded PMI for CAD-to-CAM and CAD-to-CMM data exchange. The project also identifies gaps in the tools, standards, and processes that inhibit industry's ability to achieve model-centric data interoperability cost-effectively in the pursuit of the MBE vision.
Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR) - 15-1009
Report Number


model-based enterprise, model-based definition, CAD/CAM/CMM


Fischer, K. , Rosche, P. , Trainer, A. , Barnard Feeney, A. and Hedberg Jr., T. (2015), Investigating the Impact of Standards-Based Interoperability for Design to Manufacturing and Quality in the Supply Chain, Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created December 8, 2015, Updated October 12, 2021