Development of a STEP-compliant inspection for discrete components

The measurement and inspection of manufactured parts play a vital role in manufacturing industry and is considered an integral part of the quality control. Though this is recognized, the state of the art in measurement and inspection of components is still recognized as a separate island of automation with no formal overall integration of standards and specifications. Although the introduction of probing has enabled automated inspection processes to become commonplace, the solutions for the in-process gauging at CNC machine tools and the programming of coordinate measuring machines is still vendor specific. The introduction of new standards for data exchange, such as STEP, AP219, and STEP-NC, has influenced the future direction of the inspection process. In light of current research in this field, a STEP compliant inspection framework for a component is presented. This framework aims to provide a capability to establish standardized measuring and inspection across the total CAx chain. It will facilitate the use of information downstream in the chain, such as an inspection workplan, workingsteps, and a mechanism to close the loop and feedback of inspection results to component model design. In order to achieve this integration STEP-NC (ISO14649) along with AP219 has been used in this research to provide the basis of a STEP-compliant inspection framework.