In recent years, information has become an important resource for managing the life-cycle activities of product development. Due to the heterogeneous and distributed nature of product R&D, related product data in electronic forms are often poorly managed even within the product design phase alone. As the result, an international standard for product data exchanges, STEP, is emerged and developed cooperatively by many organizations. This paper describes two main data models using STEP-EXPRESS representation scheme. One model is defined to represent the assembly structure of a product, the other is to describe the process of engineering changes in the design/redesign stage. These two models are essential in conveying the most updated product information for the concurrent engineering practice, particularly for complex product designs. Using the STEP-compatible data modeling technique, the product data integration between product structures and detailed CAD data is achieved without further efforts. Data involved in all product life-cycle activities are captured under the same format without any information loss. Furthermore, the integrated architecture for a heterogeneous design environment is also described that aims to achieve the information communication and sharing among various design systems.

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