Manufacturing, Standards and Quality
In this issue, our cover stories expand into territories related to, but also beyond, ASTM International standards development. The articles cover ground familiar to our many readers who work daily within the changing realities of manufacturing, quality assurance and regulatory compliance.
Take, for example, the interview with Robert Noth, Deere & Company’s manager of engineering standards and current chair of the American National Standards Institute’s board of directors. In addition to years of experience overseeing Deere’s standards program, Noth has also taken leadership roles in the universe of standards developing organizations and conformity assessment bodies. In this interview, he explores the value of participating in standards development activities, the vagaries of complying with regulations in markets around the world and the relationship between standards developers and the stakeholders they serve.
Like Deere, most manufacturers pursue techniques such as standardization that streamline processes, take advantage of new technologies, ensure quality and gain market access. Articles following the interview cover how one manufacturing trade association has studied and proposed solutions for technology and resource issues facing its constituency today (for article, click here), how two government agencies help exporters navigate the waters of compliance with various market regulations (for article, click here), and how the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award has underscored the importance of quality processes in the U.S. in its 20 years of existence (for article, click here).
Other features in this issue focus on ASTM International and take us to Sweden, Israel, Peru and South Africa. You’ll find coverage of the ASTM board of directors meeting in Stockholm and stories of how the ASTM memorandum of understanding program has benefited the national standards bodies of the latter three nations. Finally, take another trip through the last 10 years by reading the second half of a two-part photo feature on ASTM International’s 110th anniversary.
As I was reminded while I compiled the anniversary article, it has been quite a decade for ASTM International, as it has been for an international business community that has experienced the benefits and challenges of the globalization of diverse economies. ASTM International stands at the ready to continue to meet industry needs for technical documentation that will fuel the coming decades of worldwide commerce.