International Standards Consortium 07.03.13 | Volume I

PDES, Inc. Celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2013!

PDES, Inc. will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in August 2013. Formed in 1988 as a member-supported consortium, PDES, Inc. has grown to 26 members from industry, government and academia around the globe. This international consortium has committed tens of thousands of resource hours to projects that have accelerated the development and implementation of product data standards. Over the last three decades, PDES, Inc. has been instrumental in the publication of ISO 10303 Manufacturing Standards (STEP), including parts AP 203, AP 209, and AP 210. Today AP 203, Configuration controlled 3D design, which is supported by many CAD systems for import and export, is still a critical part of STEP. The LOng Term Archiving and Retrieval (LOTAR) International Project, an affiliated, international PDES, Inc. project, published six new standards through the Aerospace Industry Association (AIA) and the National Aerospace Standards (NAS) organization in the NAS9300 series. These LOTAR standards have enabled the packaging of data and information for enterprise reuse and repurpose applications as well as enabling data exchange between products. Other significant milestones over the last few years have included:

  • A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with LOTAR International. PDES, Inc. and ProSTEP agreed to combine AP203 and AP214 to form the AP242 STEP. (2009)
  • The first Business Object Model was developed for an ISO standard as part of AP242. (2010)
  • The Start-up phase for the Product Life-cycle Support Implementers' Forum commenced. (2011)
  • The Customer Supplier Interoperability (CSI) project received the Defense Manufacturing Achievement Award. (2012)

(Click on image below for full-size version.)

PDES Timeline
PDES, Inc. Timeline (1988-2013)


Alain Roche of Dassault Systèmes Awarded the Bryan K. Martin Technical Excellence Award

Dassault Systemes  
Alain Roche  

SCRA Applied R&D’s PDES, Inc. consortium announced the annual Bryan K. Martin Technical Excellence Award winner. The 2013 award was presented to Alain Roche of Dassault Systèmes at the Spring PDES, Inc. offsite meeting held in Gaithersburg, MD in May.

Roche has been involved in the testing of ISO 10303 (STEP) since 1999 and joined the LOng Term Arching and Retrieval (LOTAR) project in its early stages. He has added tremendous value as a technical leader and contributor and is a key contributor to the Recommended Practices published by the CAx-IF to aid other STEP implementers in their endeavors. Roche regularly assists other participants in clarifying technical issues and has played a leading role in many of the successful efforts to extend the STEP manufacturing standard.

Roche, a renowned expert for the implementation of STEP in many areas, carries considerable weight with the user community when evaluating the feasibility of new requirements. Dr. Michael R. Jahadi, President and Chairman of the PDES, Inc. Executive Board said, “Roche is one of the key contributors to the CAx-IF and that Roche’s technical expertise and leadership in proposing new technologies for STEP have set an example for the entire PDES, Inc. team.”

The PDES, Inc. Executive Board established the Bryan K. Martin Technical Excellence Award in memory of Bryan K. Martin, whose exceptional record of strong leadership and tireless work helped to achieve PDES, Inc. goals. The Board presents this award annually to a PDES, Inc. member who has demonstrated superior technical contributions to the program.

General Manager's Updates

General Manager  
Jack Harris
General Manager,
PDES, Inc.

As work began on last year’s (FY13) Technical Development Plan (TDP), the PDES, Inc. Executive Board recommended that a fresh look be taken at what drives projects and how the membership value of the projects is defined. To that end, an Executive Board Working Group (EBWG) was chartered to review the drivers and definition of projects. Dr. Howard Harary, from NIST, undertook the creation and leadership of that working group almost a year ago. At the May 2013 Board meeting the EBWG’s work was briefed, and Board approval was requested to adopt the team’s recommendations as the baseline for determining PDES, Inc. project acceptability. That approval was granted and the FY14 TDP, currently under development, will be aligned with those requirements. (See the figure below; click on figure for full-size version.)

strategic plan
PDES, Inc. Strategic Plan

The value of being a PDES, Inc. member is twofold: to leverage international research and development (IR&D) in a pre-competitive collaborative environment and to extract best methods that can be directly applied to improve business and technical performance. I believe that this new project planning framework enhances the delivery of both of those components of value.

The PDES, Inc. Board thanks Dr. Harary and his team for delivering an improved structure to align and define projects for inclusion in our TDP.


Computer-Aided x Implementor Forum (CAx-IF)

The CAx Implementor Forum (CAx-IF) is a joint testing effort between PDES, Inc. and ProSTEP iViP. The objective of the forum is to accelerate CAx/STEP translator development and ensure user requirements are satisfied by the STEP Standards. Now in its 14th year, the CAx-IF is conducting its 32nd round of testing. The scope for this round includes:

  • Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) both as representation (the actual data required to drive computer aided design and coordinate measuring machines) and presentation (the human-readable display of the data in the 3D model)
  • Geometric Validation Properties for independent curves
  • Tessellated Geometry as a simplified geometry format for composites and analysis
  • Production Models to test the overall robustness of implementations
    Dassault Systemes
CAx-IF Round 32J PMI Test Model

In preparation for this round of testing, the Forum participants have been updating recommended practices documents for PMI representation and presentation, geometric and assembly validation properties, and composite materials. Additionally, a new test suite document was developed for this round.

A recent accomplishment of the Forum is the development of the on-line Implementation Coverage tool. This tool not only allows users to ascertain the STEP functionality supported by their Computer Aided Design system provider, but to also compare the common functionality implemented by two systems.

Click here for more information on the CAx-IF.

Managed, Model-Based 3D Engineering

What do planes, trains and automobiles have in common? Regardless of original design tool, their product data can be exchanged using the ISO manufacturing standard, ISO 10303:242 Application Protocol: managed, model-based 3D engineering data (AP242). The AP242 standard is a merging of two of the most widely used manufacturing standards: AP203 configuration controlled design; and AP214 automotive design.

AP242 contains new capabilities not found in either of the original application protocols and is closely aligned with the tolerancing standards. The modular architecture used to develop the standard allows capabilities to be refined or even added more easily. To ensure usability, the standard is actually tested during development by the CAx-IF.

AP242 is the first ISO 10303 manufacturing standard to contain a business object model. The purpose of the business object model is two-fold. First, it is better suited for communication with domain experts in aerospace, defense and automotive domains because it is created using the vocabulary of these experts. Second, it also facilitates the development of Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs) to allow implementations of the standard to be developed for appropriate platforms.

AP242 can be used to define any complex or simple product for the automotive, aerospace, and rail industries, and even consumer products and ship building. The following list provides an overview of some of the business drivers behind the development of the standard.

  • 3D Model based design – freedom from drawings and increased efficiency with a 3D master design
  • Long term archiving – keeping data accessible for 50 years or more
  • Engineering Visualization – increase availability of 3D data for many applications
  • Supplier integration – exchange of product data across an entire supply chain using one standard
  • Data sharing across product life cycle – design for support, maintenance, refit, sustainability, and disposal
  • Other usage scenarios, including:
    • Engineering analysis
    • Manufacturing data exchange
    • Manufacturing simulation
    • Numerical control planning
    • Inspection planning
    • Quality improvement
    • Reduction in supply chain related costs

Upcoming PDES, Inc. and Affiliated Meetings
Ronald Reagan Center
Ronald Reagan Center,
Site of the World
Manufacturing Forum
October 2013

  • AP242 Workshop - Charleston, SC, September 16-20, 2013 (registration and details)
  • PDES, Inc. Offsite & Affiliated Meetings - Charleston, SC, September 23-27, 2013 (registration and details)
  • PDES, Inc. Technical Advisory Committee Meeting - Charleston, SC, September 26-27, 2013 (registration and details)
  • World Manufacturing Forum - Washington, DC, October 22-23, 2013 (more info)
  • PDES, Inc. Executive Board Meeting - Rosslyn, VA, October 24, 2013
  • ISO TC184/SC 4 Meeting - Gyeonju, South Korea, November 3-8, 2013


5300 International Blvd. |North Charleston, SC 29418 |