Manufacturing firms are seeking more efficient methods of CNC manufacture. ISO14649 informally known as STEP-NC has been proposed as a high-level hierarchical manufacturing information model as a replacement for the low-level machining instructions of ISO6983 and RS274D. In this paper, the applicability of STEP-NC as an enabler for creating an adaptive global manufacturing system is examined. The overall framework of the system is presented followed by an outline of its information requirements. Suitability of STEP-NC to support each requirement is then studied with the necessary additions highlighted. Finally, a test component is used in conjunction with a prototype of the advanced global manufacturing system to demonstrate the applicability of the STEP-NC standard to support manufacturing information in such a system. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.