A STEP-compliant method for manufacturing knowledge capture

X. Zhang, B. Afsharizand, W. Essink, S. T. Newman, A. Nassehi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)


Over the last 50 years the development of CNC machines has seen a plethora of part programming languages. These programming languages have provided major barriers for the interoperability of information between CNC machines and Computer-aided (CAx) systems. Thus the process knowledge in existing part programs cannot easily be recycled and reused, due to an inability to interpret these forms of data. In fact, the process knowledge in the existing part programs is vital to develop process plans for new products, reduce leading time, and accumulate knowledge to enhance the product quality based on previous knowledge. In this paper, a STEP standard compliant method is proposed to recycle manufacturing knowledge from shopfloor in a universal manner. An EXPRESS model of CNC programming languages has been developed, though which different programing dialects can be translated into neutral data model. Based on the neutral data, a process comprehension method was used to capture process knowledge from CNC part programs and represent the knowledge in a standardised format. The EXPRESS model also forms a basis for a comprehensive machine tool modelling to assistant process planning activities. The proposed method is implemented in a prototype system and an industrial inspired component is used to validate the knowledge capture method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia CIRP
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • CNC
  • Knowledge management
  • Part program
  • Resource modelling

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