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 November 2005 ASTM International News

Sino-American Consumer Safety Summit
FAA/ASTM Briefing
Japanese Delegation Visits ASTM International
New Proficiency Testing Program
ASTM Staff News
Kenyan Standards Body Signs MOU with ASTM International

Inaugural Sino-American Consumer Product Safety Summit Held in Beijing

In late August, Hal Stratton, chair, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and other CPSC staff traveled to Beijing, China, for the first biennial Sino-American Consumer Product Safety Summit. The summit was hosted by Minister Li Changjiang, who heads the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of the People’s Republic of China, CPSC’s counterpart in China.

This summit was held in accordance with the CPSC and AQSIQ memorandum of understanding signed in 2004. Highlights of the summit included the signing of a Plan of Action on Cooperation, which will further efforts between CPSC and AQSIQ on improving consumer product safety using special working groups in the areas of toys, fireworks, cigarette lighters, and electrical products.

Other events that took place during the CPSC visit to China included:

• Meetings with staff from China’s Ministry of Commerce in Beijing to explore areas of mutual interest and possible future cooperation;
• Meetings with the vice mayor of Shanghai, Zhou Yupeng, in charge of Product Quality, Safety, Export and Import, officials from the China State Bureau of Technical Supervision, and the China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine; and
• Meetings with U.S. retail-buying offices and the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

ASTM International was represented at the summit by Chris Lanzit, executive director of the China Office of the Consortium for Standards and Conformity Assessment, of which ASTM is a member. Among the other parties represented were the certification and testing organizations Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., the Canadian Standards Association and Intertek ETL Semko; the U.S. retailers WalMart, Best Buy, Home Depot, Target, and Loewes; toy manufacturer Mattel; as well as U.S. trade associations such as the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. The general consensus of the U.S. participants was that the inaugural summit was both useful and worthwhile in setting a common agenda for future cooperation on consumer product safety.

The next summit will be held in 2007 in the United States and will alternate between the U.S. and China after that. //

Aviation Standards Are the Topic of FAA/ASTM Briefing

Executives from the Federal Aviation Administration met with ASTM International members and staff at Airventure – a premier show and convention in the aviation world, hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association – on July 28. The briefing provided an update to the FAA on the status of ASTM’s standards initiatives in the aviation sector. Among the representatives for the FAA were Administrator Marion Blakey, Assistant Administrator Nick Sabatini, and Director of Aircraft Certification Service John Hickey. ASTM staff and the chairmen of ASTM Committees F37 on Light Sport Aircraft, F38 on Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems, and F39 on Normal and Utility Category Airplane Electrical Wiring Systems presented information.

The meeting focused on the ongoing partnership between the FAA and ASTM International, which has led to outstanding successes in aviation standards initiatives to promulgate standards references for FAA regulatory programs. This includes the portfolio of 24 standards developed by Committee F37 in 36 months, the one standard and six ongoing drafts developed by Committee F39 in the past year, and the three standards and 15 drafts by Committee F38 over the past 18 months. The FAA also expressed its pleasure with the ability of the F37 program to modify some seven standards over the course of about 60 days in order to support regulatory changes.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the FAA acknowledged the unprecedented successes in standards development and a desire to continue to work with ASTM International where appropriate. What had been released in a press briefing earlier in the day was reinforced – that the speed and integrity of the ASTM International process satisfies the FAA objectives of safety and industry responsiveness – making for a far better regulatory environment than rule-making alone. Follow-up would be in the form of providing further education on standards systems to FAA staff so that ASTM programs can continue to serve the safety and technical needs of the administration most effectively. These standardization initiatives, in support of the aviation industry’s needs from both a private- and public-sector perspective, have played a key role in helping entire segments of the aviation community to take flight.

Organized in 2002, ASTM Committee F37 was formed to respond to the FAA’s call for the recreational aircraft industry to develop consensus standards. Committee F38 was organized in 2003 to address issues related to design, performance, quality acceptance tests, and safety monitoring for unmanned air vehicle systems. Committee F39, formed in 2004, develops standards for electrical wiring system design, fabrication, modification, inspection and maintenance procedures and processes for aging aircraft electrical wiring systems. The representation within these committees includes active FAA participation in concert with all interested stakeholders: aircraft and parts manufacturers, instructors, user groups, pilots, and regulatory representatives. //

Japanese Delegation Visits ASTM International

Delegates representing the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport visited ASTM International headquarters in September to discuss international standards, the U.S. system of standardization, and the use of ASTM International standards in the construction sector. The half-day session provided a good opportunity for open discussion and exchange of information. //

Left to right: Katsuaki Shirakami, Mitsugu Tanaka, Kitty Kono, James Thomas, Jessica Hychalk, Kunikazu Teramoto, Teresa Cendrowska, Masaru Hashimoro, James Olshefsky.

ASTM International to Launch New Proficiency Testing Program

ASTM International will launch a new proficiency testing program on dissolved gas analyses of in-service insulating fluid in February 2006. The program will be offered to laboratories who need a statistical quality assurance tool that will enable them to improve and maintain a high level of performing ASTM standard D 3612, Test Method for Analysis of Gases Dissolved in Electrical Insulating Oil by Gas Chromatography, on in-service insulating fluid oil samples and comparing their results with other laboratories worldwide.

The new PTP will be conducted twice annually. Program participants will receive a sample of an in-service mineral insulating fluid plus test instructions for each trial. Participating laboratories will perform Method A, B or C, whichever method is normally conducted within the facility, using ASTM D 3612. Each lab is required to report a single determination, as the program does not allow for the reporting of averages from replicate determinations.

Upon completion of the tests, each laboratory electronically submits their test data to ASTM-PTP for use in generating statistical summary reports. Reports contain: 1) coded laboratory test results; 2) statistical analyses of test data; 3) charts plotting test results versus lab identification; and, 4) other pertinent information.

Summary reports will help participating labs monitor strengths and weaknesses of their performance, periodically compare test results and calculated statistical parameters with other laboratories, and compare test data for a given quality parameter with laboratories using the same D 3612 method. Program participation is not contingent upon performing all D 3612 methods.

Laboratories can now be registered for the program startup in February 2006. The cost for 2006 participation in both the February and August trials is $350. In order to receive the February test samples, registration cut-off is Jan. 5, 2006. After this date, contact ASTM-PTP at astm@ptp.org for registration options. An official registration form is available from www.astm.org under Proficiency/Crosscheck under Electrical Insulating Fluids. To register a lab, download a registration flyer, complete it and fax it back to ASTM-PTP Center at 610/ 832-9668. For more registration information, contact: Jamie Lake (phone: 610/832-9682). //

Recent Staff Additions, Transfers at ASTM International

Brynn Murphy Iwanowski has joined ASTM International as a staff manager in the Standards Development Department in the Technical Committee Operations Division.

Iwanowski comes to ASTM from Mid-Atlantic Associates in North Wales, Pa., where she worked as an environmental scientist performing Phase I and Phase II site characterizations, and subsurface and groundwater investigations for state and insurance report writing. Prior to that, Iwanowski did a planning externship at Parsons Brinckerhoff in New York, N.Y. She also held a Seismic Station Internship and a Mt. Bethel Fens Internship at Lehigh Earth Observatory in Bethlehem, Pa.

Iwanowski has a bachelor of arts in earth and environmental science from Lehigh University.

Monica Mobley has joined the ASTM International staff as manager, meetings and special events, in the Meetings and Special Events Section of the Technical Committee Support Department in the Technical Committee Operations Division.

Mobley brings 10 years of experience in the hospitality industry to ASTM. She came to ASTM from the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, where she served as hotel program director. Monica also worked for the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association as assistant to the program director and served as sales and event manager at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. Mobley has a bachelor of arts in history from Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga., and an M.B.A. in marketing from Drexel University.

Joseph Koury has taken the position of manager in the Standards Development Department in the Technical Committee Operations Division. Koury started working at ASTM International in February 2002 as manager, meetings, in the Meetings and Special Events Section of the Technical Committee Support Department in the Technical Committee Operations Division.

Koury has a bachelor of arts in communications with a concentration in writing from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and a master of arts in English from East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. While matriculating at East Carolina University, Koury served as an instructor of English composition and literature. //

ASTM International Signs MOU with Kenya Bureau of Standards

The national standards body of Kenya has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with ASTM International. The MOU was signed by James Thomas, ASTM International president, and John Masila, managing director, Kenya Bureau of Standards, in September.

James Thomas, president, ASTM International, and John Masila, managing director, Kenya Bureau of Standards, sign the MOU.

The purpose of ASTM International’s MOU program is to promote communication between ASTM International and national standards bodies; promote knowledge of each other’s standards development activities; facilitate greater worldwide participation in the ASTM standards development process; and facilitate the development of national standards that will aid each country’s health, safety, environmental and economic conditions. ASTM International has now signed MOUs with the national standards bodies of 42 countries. //

 
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