Standardization of exchanges of PLM data becomes more and more important in the industrial world : for continuity of the digital chain in integrated enterprise (interoperability), for certification and verification of PLM models (legal requirements), for their long term rchiving (need for a neutral, complete, open data format).

For 3D models, standards have been defined and used, like IGES, and now STEP.
STEP is an open and neutral standard managed by ISO, designed to cover the full scope of needs for exchange and archival of PLM data. An open format as STEP is the most suitable solution for needs like archival or certification.

STEP is actually the basis of current and future works on standardization of exchange and archival of PLM data, including 3D models. STEP is intended to cover all the needs of interoperability in PLM.
This leads to address domains which can be complex, and interconnected.

This involves works on standardization (data definition, organization), they can require exploratory works, prototypings, interoperability tests, they can lead to complete the standard with use modes, recommended practices, works on validity of exchanges: validation criteria, test procedures...
The purpose is to have a standard covering the needs of the industry and widely used, for interoperability and archival of PLM data.

These activities are managed in the frame of forums and work-shops, dedicated to implementation, "good practices", user requirements, proposals for evolution, of STEP.
Datakit actively participates in these forums and work-shops, as a solution provider and as an expert in data exchange, in order to be ahead of works on data exchange standards especially STEP, and provide its users the most complete and up-to-date exchange solutions.

Actual engagements of DATAKIT are active technology watch with participation in actions of definition and implementation of the standard STEP :

  • Interoperability tests, recommendations of use:

    DATAKIT participates in STEP CAx-IF forum, jointly managed by ProSTEP iViP in Germany and PDES.Inc in the USA.
  • Long term archiving:

    DATAKIT participates in LOTAR group as en expert and a solution provider for archiving based on STEP.
  • Evolution of the STEP standard:

    DATAKIT is member of commission AFNOR/IDMI, mirror for France of committee ISO TC184/SC4, hence taking part in standardization of PLM data, in particular the digital model
  • Improvement of interoperability, validity criteria of exchanges and archivals:

    DATAKIT is an actor of research project SIP managed in the frame of IRT SystemX, focused on interoperability of PLM data, validation of exchanges, definition and architecture of standards like STEP, this can involve studies, pilot projectss, prototypes, in order to define more efficient standard and interoperability rules for the industry

Christian CAILLET, STEP expert at Datakit interviewed by AFNET

Following pages present principles of STEP, its organization, how it applies in the domain of PLM, current and future definitions regarding CAD. And also the main activities on implementation of STEP, like CAX-IF forum and LOTAR group.

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