Let’s put the Band back together
For the first time since the pandemic, members of the LOTAR project as well as the MBx Interoperability Forum were able to get together for a full week of face-to-face meetings. From 18-22 September 2022, more than 50 participants met in Mt. Pleasant, SC, USA, with even more experts joining online. While over the past three years, much could be accomplished through online meetings, the large number of attendees as well as the intensity of the discussions during the week demonstrated the continued interest in LOTAR as well as the added value of personal exchange. Going forward, the team will now meet in person twice per year (March in Europe and September in the US), complemented by two online workshops (June and December).
From a project management point of view, the initial plans for 2023 were drafted and the five-year roadmap was updated. It was discussed how LOTAR standard documents can be validated, to ensure the stated requirements are implementable and that the underlying standards are stable, in domains that do not yet have an established Interoperability Forum. In parallel, the team is contributing to harmonizing the external balloting and publication processes at ASD and AIA.
The technical teams have out a lot of work into starting the review and update process for LOTAR parts that have been published for a while, such as EN/NAS 9300-100 for 3D Mechanical CAD, as well as developing new concepts that will become scope of STEP AP242 in its fourth Edition planned for 2024. The other domains, i.e., PDM, Composites, Electrical, and MBSE, also used the joint meeting to gain momentum and go through a long list of topics that really benefit from having all experts in one room.
In parallel, the CAx Interoperability Forum also held a successful meeting in which the group celebrated closing its 50th round of testing. Results were reviewed and the next steps determined for topics including PMI at Part and Assembly Level, Alternative Shape Representations, Composite Materials, Kinematic Mechanism and User-Defined Attributes. The meeting week ended with a comprehensive user / vendor Roundtable, attended by more than 80 participants on site as well as on-site, and including STEP vendor updates from 13 companies.
The team will meet again 20-24 March 2023 in Toulouse, France.
For more details, see the Workshop Summary.