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News of the Board
The ASTM Board of Directors last met on Oct. 15-17, 2001. The following is a summary of the actions taken by the board at those meetings and reports heard by the board.

For further details on any of the following topics contact: James A. Thomas, President, ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Dr., PO Box C700, W. Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959 (phone: 610/832-9598).

Technical Committee Business

The Board approved the following revisions to ASTM technical committee scopes and titles:

• Committee C15 on Manufactured Masonry Units: The committee’s scope has been changed to make it consistent with its past and ongoing standards activities, incorporating the phrase “the manufacturing and use of manufactured-masonry units.”
• Committee E13 on Molecular Spectroscopy: This committee’s title has been changed to Molecular Spectroscopy and Chromatography to reflect the April merger of E13 with former Committee E19 on Chromatography.
• Committee E35 on Pesticides: The committee’s title has been changed to Pesticides and Alternative Control Agents. This change was requested because of the creation two years ago of a new E35 Subcommittee, E35.30 on Natural Multi-Cellular (Metazoan) Biological Control Organisms. The agents covered by this subcommittee include pest control activities beyond the definition of “pesticides.”

The formation of two new main committees was approved by the Board:

F10 on Livestock, Meat, and Poultry Evaluation: The United States Department of Agriculture has recognized that standardization is essential for improved quality, efficiency, and accuracy in the evaluation of carcasses; they and other stakeholders will use ASTM’s standards development process to achieve this end. The ASTM standards to be developed by Committee F10 will be used to enhance fairness in regulating livestock commerce. The USDA will reference these standards to support the Packers and Stockyards Act. States will also use these standards in support of their weights and measures program. Key stakeholders involved in this activity include federal and state agencies, trade associations, equipment manufacturers, academia, producers, and packers.

F35 on Compatibility of Machine Tool Components with Industrial Lubricants: The machine tool industry produces the manufacturing technology needed to shape metal into products with high-performance tolerances, from engine blocks to drive shafts, from jet engine blades to space probe parts. But failures are occurring in the manufacturing process as the result of the incompatibility of the machine tool’s various components. With the increasing use of automated manufacturing, standards are critical for this industrial sector to prevent production line slowdowns due to failures. Key stakeholders include machine manufacturers, various components producers, industrial lubricant and metalworking fluid producers, and the mobility industry. The activity has global participation and impact.

Committee on Standards

The Board approved a request from the ASTM Standing Committee on Standards to revise the ASTM Fire Policy, Section F of the Form and Style Manual for ASTM Standards. Prior to the change, the Fire Policy considered all fire standards to be of one of three types: fire-test-response standards, fire hazard assessment standards or fire risk assessment standards. It further required that all fire standards carry one of three caveats. In actual fact, there are many fire standards that don’t fit these categories, such as terminologies, some guides (including those describing how to write fire hazard assessment or fire risk assessment standards), some specifications that don’t describe test methods, or some practices that don’t describe test methods. With that in mind, the Planning and Education subcommittee of Committee E05 on Fire Standards recommended a change in policy, permitting the use of standards that do not fit one of the three categories, and providing improved caveat wording for such standards.

New Business Model of ASTM Committee F29 on Anesthetic and Respiratory Equipment

The Board heard a presentation on the new business model adopted by Committee F29 on Anesthetic and Respiratory Equipment. The committee wishes to ensure continued use of ASTM’s balanced and open forum and administrative resources for the development of non-ASTM deliverables, namely 1) International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission draft work items in the ISO/IEC format, 2) U.S. national positions for ISO, and 3) the adoption of certain ISO/IEC standards as American National Standards. Toward this end, the committee has restructured its business plan to include fees appropriate for funding the work and has made provision for the balloting of non-ASTM deliverables within ASTM’s system.

Gallup Study Report

The Gallup Organization presented the results of a study conducted this summer on the perceptions of ASTM customers and members of ASTM’s standards development and delivery processes.

The results of the survey were very positive. Eighty-five percent of customers indicated a high level of satisfaction; most did not indicate that there are products or services that ASTM should provide but doesn’t, and most report very good experiences with ASTM Customer Service. Eighty-three percent of ASTM members indicated a high level of overall satisfaction with ASTM’s services.

Submission of ASTM Standards to ISO as New Work Items

The Board unanimously approved a practice for submitting ASTM standards as new work items into the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The practice includes steps that must be taken before submitting an ASTM standard to be used as the basis of an ISO standard, including consideration by the U.S. Technical Advisory Group and by the ASTM main committee’s executive subcommittee. The practice also includes a notification form that must be completed, signed by the main committee and U.S. TAG chairmen, and returned to ASTM. Upon receipt, ASTM will grant permission for the standard to be submitted to ISO according to ASTM’s Policy on Intellectual Property.

Global/U.S. Government Update

The Board heard a report from ASTM Vice President of Global Cooperation Kitty Kono on new global initiatives and coordination with the U.S. government on standards issues.

An Open House was scheduled for Nov. 29-30 at ASTM International Headquarters for invited leaders of the National Member Bodies of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada. The agenda planned included presentations from Mark Hurwitz of the American National Standards Institute, Linda Lusby of the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT), ASTM Chairman of the Board Don Marlowe, and ASTM Board members Luis Ordonez (Efiterm, Mexico), Wayne Holliday (LTV Steel), N. David Smith (North Carolina Department of Agriculture), and Anthony Fiorato (Construction Technology Laboratories).

Kono also reported on the signing of a memorandum of understanding between ASTM and ICONTEC, the national standards body of Colombia. The agreement is meant to strengthen the relationship between ASTM and the Instituto Colombiano de Normas Tecnicas y Certificacion (ICONTEC) in order to: enhance the ability for ASTM and ICONTEC standards to support the needs of the Colombian people, continue growth of the Colombian economy, and aid in the development of Colombian national standards for health, safety, and the environment. (See the January 2002 issue of SN for more information on this agreement). Kono reported on possible upcoming agreements between ASTM and standards bodies in Uruguay, Trinidad and Tobago, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

In addition, the Board heard reports of technical committee-based efforts to expand global participation, including the MOU between ASTM Committee D01 on Paint and Related Coatings, Materials, and Applications and ISO Technical Committee 35 (see feature article, A New Global Standards Strategy, for more details); the efforts of Committee D30 on Composite Materials and F24 on Amusement Rides (see the March and August issues of SN, respectively, for details); and campaigns for new international members within committees such as A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel, and Related Alloys.

In standards-related news from Washington, D.C., Kono reported that, at the time of this meeting, an amendment to a bill that is designed to waive a 1912 restriction on the use of government agency funds for participation in standards developing organizations has received unanimous support in the U.S. Senate. At the time of this meeting, it was hoped the amendment, known as the ANSI Amendment, would receive similar support from the House of Representatives.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

The ASTM staff and Board recognize that ASTM must stay “ahead of the curve” in dealing with the changing realities faced by all standards developing organizations. Several members of the ASTM staff presented an in-depth profile of plans both under way and completed for standards development and delivery that will keep ASTM in front into the future. Some highlights of the presentation include:

Enhancing the Development of Technical Information:

• Templates are available online to aid committee members in writing standards according to the ASTM Form and Style Manual and in the proper electronic format.
• Electronic copies of standards are available to members for revisions.
• Internet infrastructure has been developed to permit the electronic submission of ballot items and online balloting.
• Interactive Standards Development Forums continue to be a valuable tool for permitting 24/7, global access to the standards development process.
• Tools are being put in place to permit virtual meetings.
• The ASTM Help Desk for the ASTM Web site is now staffed by an in-house ASTM staff member.

Enhancing Information Delivery through:

• Production, including putting an SGML/XML electronic publishing system in place, instituting on-demand printing capabilities, improving the production flow of technical papers, and improving fulfillment services.
• Formats and Packaging, including
rethinking the formats and packaging of ASTM Special Technical
Publications and journals, providing Web publication of papers before print, and developing new concepts for STPs.
• Creating Added Value, including making historical standards available, providing a standards change history, and creating links to similar standards in the ASTM Web site Store.
• New Content, including initiating new publishing opportunities for ASTM manuals and data series and creating opportunities for new product distribution (such as selling ISO standards through ASTM). //

Copyright 2001, ASTM