This study focuses on the rise and significance STEP-NC as the most efficient model to transfer knowledge and communication on different CAD and CAM structures to improve the product design and overall project management. The paper will be divided into six chapters: 1) Introduction chapter which will include the statement of the problem, significance of the problem, purpose and scope of the study, the relevant definitions, the assumptions of the study as well as its limitations; 2) Literature Review chapter which will present an analysis of all the prior studies done on similar topics; 3) chapter variables and hypothesis creation where all the variables (dependent and independent) will be listed; 4) methodology chapter which will include data collection processes and the qualitative procedures used; 5) results and presentation of data chapter which will include all statistical calculations and the regression analysis; 6) conclusion chapter which will includes discussion of results and recommendations for the future. Both the statistical and qualitative results of the studies show that there was a very strong connection between the implementation of Step NC and the dependent variables (communication amid machines, transfer of relevant knowledge and product design).
Statement of the Problem
The problem being aimed to tackle here is the technological processes needed in the manufacturing process to improve end result. Hence, the study aims to analyze the impact that the implementation of Step NC in the manufacturing process has on the overall company performance in different internal and external factors.
Significance of the Problem
It is not a hidden fact that the use and access of technology and computers has increased globally amongst both the business and industrial sector, nevertheless, there are many analysts who still question whether its use is having more negative effect then positive on overall performance, project development and communication. With the advent and increased advancements in the technological sphere, it is only normal that the business sector employs more technology or computer-based instruments in their medium as well. The use of new and improved technology has obviously seen the consequential increase in the financial expenses like for instance the yearly financial allotment increased from a mere $21 million to a whopping $729 million in a space of six years from 1995 to 2001 (Market Data Retrieval, 2001). Hence, it has become more important to understand the most fruitful processes as well as the best way to apply them. This study will focus on the one of the more popular processes -- Step NC in the manufacturing process.
This particular research will bear considerable worth for the manufacturing departments in the business world, due to the fact that this particular study will encompass the concept of challenges, problems and job performance of these departments under the adoption of newer technologies, the following two points will be focused on:
1) The conclusions deduced from this particular study will extend the notion regarding the developmental manipulations of technology in the manufacturing process.
2) This particular research will also be of immense help for policy formulators in the business sectors in metropolitan centers and smaller vicinities, in making effectual judgment regarding relevant development.
3) The material along with the conclusion of this particular study will certainly enhance and modernize the methodologies of the investigations linked to technological incorporation in the manufacturing process.
Purpose and Scope of the Study
In the modern world where technological advancements lead to newer ways to improve the manufacturing process, it is important to understand how these advancements can be best applied and bring the most benefit. The purpose hence of this study was to analyze the application of one such modern process -- Step NC -- and how it, after implementation in the manufacturing process, impacts the different aspect of the company performance, namely the communication and transfer of knowledge amid machines and the impact thereof on the project outcomes. The scope of the study will hence be one that makes inroads in analyzing the implementation of technological practices in the manufacturing process. It will help in understanding the different processes that will help different companies attain the best end results from the customers' prospects as well as their own.
STEP (Standard for Exchange of Protocol data) is an ISO certified global standard (10303) created in 1984 but is updated regularly. For instance, it is now capable of transferring all product data along with part geometry. The more sophisticated version of STEP comprises of application protocols (APs) that help in describing how information for a specific function can be exchanged (Gordon, 2007).
The STEP-NC standard is an additional part of STEP which makes it possible for a CAD/CAM design to interact with CNC commands. The STEP-NC file contains three portions; 1. Work plan, 2. Technology description and 3. Geometry description (Calabrese and Celentano, 2007).
Assumptions, Limitations & De limitations
All research studies have been founded on certain assumptions that the researcher takes for granted. These assumptions allow the researcher to view the world from a certain point-of-view, while ignoring other points-of-view. In our study we plan to view the subjects as reasonable human beings who have a logical point-of-view. They are rationale in their thinking and their approach and are by and large in line with scientific thinking. Furthermore, we will assume scientific thinking and common sense thinking are more or less the same process (Trochim, 2007).
The first limitation of this study has been the viewpoint assumed; this study investigates the impact that the implementation of Step NC in the manufacturing process does on the overall company performance in different internal (including employee performance, decision making procedures, HR strategies, amongst others) and external factors (including PR and media influence, competitor advantage, technological investment by the government amongst others). Secondly, since this study is being carried out in (insert chosen city here), therefore, this study is limited to just this location where the cultural and industrial structures will play a huge part along with the investments in technology that the government will be willing to make. Thirdly, the subjects will be limited to the business sector only, not the industrial sector. Lastly, data collection will be limited to interviews and questionnaires to gather information. These restraints will be discussed in detail in chapter 4 when dealing with the methodology section.
Due to the rising prominence of a mutual model-based design, it becomes imperative that data can easily pass along through various CAD systems. In programs such as these, 3D solid models hold important information required (like geometry, notes, GD&T data, material properties, etc.) which helps in explaining any particular product from the point of its inception till dumping. This is especially helpful in allowing companies to computerize digital-life-cycle and reduce expenses. To easily transfer files from different CAD systems, the esteemed IGES and STEP standards were used to create neutral file formats. Both of these systems (IGES and STEP) are used in the model-based mixture in a diverse manner (Gordon, 2007).
IGES was developed in the late 1970s for the purpose of replacing geometry. It has not altered very much since then. In 1996 the last version of Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (Version 5.3) was released, while Version 6.0 is currently being developed. Nevertheless, IGES are still predominantly used in the market, particularly for converting 2D drawings. It accepts free-form surfaces, annotations, wire frames and also has just started supporting solid models (Gordon, 2007). A direct contrast of this the STEP and Step NC processes explained before.
AP 203 and AP214 are mostly incorporated in all major CAD systems both of which focus mostly on developing designs for mechanical items. Further APs in the standard procedure contain them for AEC, shipbuilding, NC machining and factory-floor layout, etc. Along with STEP comes along Conformance Classes (CC) which are frameworks on how to create software using STEP (Gordon, 2007).
It is useful to know that all key 3D MCAD programs include a preprocessor or a reader along with a writer, or a postprocessor for IGES and STEP. The initial program's preprocessor analyses the CAD file and develop a version that can be understood with the STEP or IGES protocol which the user has chosen. After this, the system that collects data post-processes the outcome for additional work (Gordon, 2007).
The ISO10303 standard (also known as STEP - Standard for Exchange of Product model data) (ISO, 1994a and 1994b) lay a foundation for recounting production information along the process line, for CAD to 3D CAM, permitting practical usage and sharing of databases (Calabrese and Celentano, 2007).
The plan of procedure is distinguished by a number of executables which are pre-ordered or reliant on the systemizing real life conditions. This of course is only possible if and when conditional controls are being employed. The executables are usually of 3 kinds: working steps, the NC operations as well as the program designs, the most important of them being the working steps because it explains the manufacturing aspects. The working procedure symbolizes 3D (region) machining features…