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ASTM International in Japan and China

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In July, ASTM International President Jim Thomas and Vice President of Global Cooperation Kitty Kono accompanied three ASTM members to Japan and China for industry workshops. The workshops, organized by ASTM with the Japanese Standards Association (JSA) and the Shanghai Institute of Standardization (SIS), were intended to bring together representatives of the steel, plastics, rubber and carbon black industries from the United States and the host countries for discussion of standardization issues.

The ASTM members who attended the meetings and offered their expertise in standardization for their U.S. industry sectors were Paul Graboff of ASTM Committees D20 on Plastics and F17 on Plastic Piping Systems, Jeff Melsom of D11 on Rubber and D24 on Carbon Black, and Phillip Speer of Committees A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel, and Related Alloys and A05 on Metallic Coated Iron and Steel Products.

The workshops in Tokyo, hosted by JSA and organized by that association and ASTM, were attended by over 80 representatives of Japanese industry and government. Hiroo Wakai, executive director of JSA, welcomed the participants; Takamitsu Wada, a senior researcher at JSA, spoke about the market relevance of international standards. Presentations on U.S. industry and standardization were made by the ASTM delegation.

In addition to the workshops, the ASTM delegation was warmly received by other Japanese industrial and trade organizations. They were welcomed at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to discuss the relationship between ASTM and Japanese industry. Kono and Thomas also met with Masami Tanaka, executive director of the Japan Chemical Industries Association and Koji Tanami, managing director, Japan Bank for International Cooperation. Graboff, Melsom and Speer learned about Japanese production and standardization of plastics, rubber and steel during their respective visits with representatives of the Japan Plastics Industry Federation, the Japanese Rubber Manufacturers Association, and the Japan Iron and Steel Federation.

In China, the Shanghai Institute for Standardization hosted the ASTM delegation in similar meetings with representatives of the same industries. Hu Guoliang, SIS president, welcomed the group at the Shanghai workshop; presentations were made by the ASTM staff and members and by Chinese steel industry experts.

Li Yuguang, a senior engineer with Baosteel, the largest steel producer in China, educated listeners about Baosteel’s capacity and product lines and their use of ASTM standards. Li noted that over 100 ASTM standards have been adopted by Baosteel, and that this adoption:

1) Helps her company access the international market.
2) Helps show compliance to norms when dealing with international automotive manufacturers.
3) Provides a common technical platform between Baosteel and its customers.
4) Offers Baosteel the consistency between ASTM test methods and specifications, such as the hardness test found in standard E 18, Standard Test Methods for Rockwell Hardness and Rockwell Superficial Hardness of Metallic Materials, developed by Committee E28 on Mechanical Testing, and standard A 677, Specification for Nonoriented Electrical Steel Fully Processed Types, developed by ASTM Committee A06 on Magnetic Properties.
5) Provides consistency in sample size for testing, thereby reducing costs.

Li also noted that involvement in ASTM provides Baosteel employees with the opportunity to participate in developing the standards they use, as well as the chance to attend ASTM symposia, committee workshops and seminars, and standards-related training.

Memorandums of Understanding

Recently, Albania, Bolivia, and Saint Lucia signed memorandums of understanding with ASTM International. The purpose of the memorandums is to strengthen the relationship between ASTM and signatories in developing countries and allow ASTM to assist that country’s national standards body in their standards development and adoption efforts. //

Copyright 2002, ASTM