A new software platform to support feature-based process planning for interoperable STEP-NC manufacture

A. Nassehi*, R. Liu, S. T. Newman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Computer numerical control (CNC) manufacturing has evolved with the use of faster, more precise and more capable CNC controllers and machine tools. The enhancements in machine tools however have not been integrated under a common platform to support computer aided design (CAD)/computer aided manufacturing (CAM)/CNC software interoperability and as a result a plethora of standards are being used for these systems. ISO 10303 (STEP) and ISO 14649 (STEP-NC) seek to eliminate the barriers in the exchange of information in the CNC manufacturing chain and enable interoperability throughout the manufacturing software domain. With the progress on standardization and implementation, computer systems in the manufacturing process chain require evolution to support the STEP-compliant planning and manufacture. The current paper introduces a novel software platform entitled the Integrated Platform for Process Planning and Control (IP3AC) to support STEP-NC compliant process planning (computer aided process planning (CAPP)/CAM). A prototype process planning system (PPS) based on the platform is then presented as a sample application in the light of future interoperable planning and manufacture. The PPS has been developed with the application of a two-stage strategy for STEP-NC part program generation, namely general workplan generation and specific workplan generation. The work is verified through the use of case study components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-683
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • CNC
  • Process planning


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