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21Oct93 EUROPE: CHIPS POINT WAY TO STEEL COST CUTS.

Experts have successfully demonstrated a computer system they say will cut the cost of steel construction by 30 per cent.The CIMsteel project is a pan-European scheme to introduce computer integrated design and manufacturing for the steelwork industry.The technology for the project - which engineers say could bring down the cost of steel construction by 30 per cent - was demonstrated in Genoa.Engineering data was transferred over a computer network between four steelwork design programmes which had been brought together for the first time.The four programmes came from France, Italy, Austria and the United Kingdom.The CIMsteel project brings together 43 firms from eight European countries with Taywood Engineering leading the UK side as chair of the UK steering committee.It has been striving since the mid 1980s to formulate a standard leading to the production of computer software to integrate the various stages of steel production.This is known as the Open System and will allow different companies - architects and fabricators for instance - to communicate directly by computer.The successful demonstration of the scheme is a big boost for the project.Another demonstration is scheduled for next summer in the UK and the standard is expected to be introduced in 1995. CONSTRUCTION NEWS