With the advent of globalization, enterprises, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), need to be efficient, effective and to embrace innovation. These characteristics are vital in order to face the global market environment, which raises the need for collaboration and interoperability in a more demanding and competitive industrial scenario. Interoperability and standardization are proven approaches to leverage collaboration and help establishing business networks, increasing competitiveness of organizations. However, some of these organizations have been experiencing some problems when trying to adopt one of the most important standards for the exchange of product data, the STEP (ISO10303). These problems are due to the poor software support and usage of complex technologies. This paper proposes as a solution, a framework for the harmonization of STEP conceptual models and knowledge with other standard technologies commonly adopted by today's organizations. The results presented in this paper has been supported and validated in the scope of the some European/International industrial research projects like the IMS SMART-fm (www.smart-fm.funstep.org), Athena-IP (www.athena-ip.org), and InterOp (www.interop-noe.org).
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