Modern manufacturing enterprises are built from
facilities spread around the globe, which contain
equipment from hundreds of different manufacturers.
Immense volumes of product information must be
transferred between the various facilities and machines.
Today's digital communications standards have solved the
problem of reliably transferring information across
global networks. For mechanical parts, the description of
product data has been standardized by ISO 10303 (STEP).
This leads to the possibility of using standard data
throughout the entire process chain in the manufacturing
enterprise. Barriers to realizing this principle are the
data formats used at the machine level. Most computer
numerical control (CNC) machines are programmed in the
ISO 6983 "G-code" language. Programs are typically
generated by computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) systems
that use computer-aided design (CAD) information.
However, "G-code" limits program portability for three
reasons. First, the language focuses on programming the
tool centre path with respect to machine axes, rather
than the machining process with respect to the part.
Second, the standard defines the syntax of program
statements, but in most cases leaves the semantics
ambiguous. Third, vendors usually supplement the language
with extensions that are not covered in the limited scope
The replacement for G-code is so-called "STEP-NC", the
name STEP-NC meaning the STEP standard extended for NC.
STEP-NC is a new model of data transfer between CAD/CAM
systems and CNC machines. It remedies the shortcomings of
"G-code" by specifying machining processes rather than
machine tool motion, using the concept of workingsteps.
Workingsteps correspond to high-level machining features
and associated process parameters. CNCs are responsible
for translating workingsteps to axis motion and tool
|Place of Publication||Espoo|
|Publisher||VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland|
|Number of pages||24|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
|MoE publication type||Not Eligible|
|Series||VTT Working Papers|
- ISO 10303
- ISO 14649