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A01 STEEL, STAINLESS STEEL AND RELATED ALLOYS A04 IRON CASTINGS A05 METALLIC-COATED IRON AND STEEL PRODUCTS B01 ELECTRICAL CONDUCTORS B05 COPPER AND COPPER ALLOYS B07 LIGHT METALS AND ALLOYS C01 CEMENT C04 VITRIFIED CLAY PIPE C07 LIME AND LIMESTONE C09 CONCRETE AND CONCRETE AGGREGATES C11 GYPSUM AND RELATED BUILDING MATERIALS AND SYSTEMS C12 MORTARS AND GROUTS FOR UNIT MASONRY C13 CONCRETE PIPE C14 GLASS AND GLASS PRODUCTS C15 MANUFACTURED MASONRY UNITS C16 THERMAL INSULATION C17 FIBER-REINFORCED CEMENT PRODUCTS C18 DIMENSION STONE C21 CERAMIC WHITEWARES AND RELATED PRODUCTS C24 BUILDING SEALS AND SEALANTS C27 PRECAST CONCRETE PRODUCTS D01 PAINT AND RELATED COATINGS, MATERIALS, AND APPLICATIONS D04 ROAD AND PAVING MATERIALS D07 WOOD D08 ROOFING AND WATERPROOFING D09 ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC INSULATING MATERIALS D11 RUBBER D14 ADHESIVES D18 SOIL AND ROCK D20 PLASTICS D35 GEOSYNTHETICS E05 FIRE STANDARDS E06 PERFORMANCE OF BUILDINGS E33 BUILDING AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACOUSTICS E36 ACCREDITATION & CERTIFICATION E57 3D IMAGING SYSTEMS E60 SUSTAINABILITY F01 ELECTRONICS F06 RESILIENT FLOOR COVERINGS F13 PEDESTRIAN/WALKWAY SAFETY AND FOOTWEAR F16 FASTENERS F17 PLASTIC PIPING SYSTEMS F33 DETENTION AND CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES F36 TECHNOLOGY AND UNDERGROUND UTILITIES G03 WEATHERING AND DURABILITY C14 GLASS AND GLASS PRODUCTS C21 CERAMIC WHITEWARES AND RELATED PRODUCTS D01 PAINT AND RELATED COATINGS, MATERIALS, AND APPLICATIONS D06 D09 ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC INSULATING MATERIALS D10 PACKAGING D11 RUBBER D12 SOAPS AND OTHER DETERGENTS D13 TEXTILES D14 ADHESIVES D15 ENGINE COOLANTS AND RELATED FLUIDS D20 PLASTICS D21 POLISHES D31 LEATHER E12 COLOR AND APPEARANCE E18 SENSORY EVALUATION E20 TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT E35 PESTICIDES, ANTIMICROBIALS, AND ALTERNATIVE CONTROL AGENTS E41 LABORATORY APPARATUS E53 ASSET MANAGEMENT E57 3D IMAGING SYSTEMS F02 FLEXIBLE BARRIER PACKAGING F05 BUSINESS IMAGING PRODUCTS F06 RESILIENT FLOOR COVERINGS F08 SPORTS EQUIPMENT, PLAYING SURFACES, AND FACILITIES F09 TIRES F10 LIVESTOCK, MEAT, AND POULTRY EVALUATION SYSTEMS F11 VACUUM CLEANERS F13 PEDESTRIAN/WALKWAY SAFETY AND FOOTWEAR F14 FENCES F15 CONSUMER PRODUCTS F16 FASTENERS F24 AMUSEMENT RIDES AND DEVICES F26 FOOD SERVICE EQUIPMENT F27 SNOW SKIING F37 LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT F43 LANGUAGE SERVICES AND PRODUCTS F44 GENERAL AVIATION AIRCRAFT A01 STEEL, STAINLESS STEEL AND RELATED ALLOYS A04 IRON CASTINGS A05 METALLIC-COATED IRON AND STEEL PRODUCTS A06 MAGNETIC PROPERTIES B01 ELECTRICAL CONDUCTORS B02 NONFERROUS METALS AND ALLOYS B05 COPPER AND COPPER ALLOYS B07 LIGHT METALS AND ALLOYS B08 METALLIC AND INORGANIC COATINGS B09 METAL POWDERS AND METAL POWDER PRODUCTS B10 REACTIVE AND REFRACTORY METALS AND ALLOYS C03 CHEMICAL-RESISTANT NONMETALLIC MATERIALS C08 REFRACTORIES C28 ADVANCED CERAMICS D01 PAINT AND RELATED COATINGS, MATERIALS, AND APPLICATIONS D20 PLASTICS D30 COMPOSITE MATERIALS E01 ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY FOR METALS, ORES, AND RELATED MATERIALS E04 METALLOGRAPHY E07 NONDESTRUCTIVE TESTING E08 FATIGUE AND FRACTURE E12 COLOR AND APPEARANCE E13 MOLECULAR SPECTROSCOPY AND SEPARATION SCIENCE E28 MECHANICAL TESTING E29 PARTICLE AND SPRAY CHARACTERIZATION E37 THERMAL MEASUREMENTS E42 SURFACE ANALYSIS F01 ELECTRONICS F34 ROLLING ELEMENT BEARINGS F40 DECLARABLE SUBSTANCES IN MATERIALS F42 ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGIES G01 CORROSION OF METALS G03 WEATHERING AND DURABILITY D21 POLISHES D26 HALOGENATED ORGANIC SOLVENTS AND FIRE EXTINGUISHING AGENTS D33 PROTECTIVE COATING AND LINING WORK FOR POWER GENERATION FACILITIES E05 FIRE STANDARDS E27 HAZARD POTENTIAL OF CHEMICALS E30 FORENSIC SCIENCES E34 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY E35 PESTICIDES, ANTIMICROBIALS, AND ALTERNATIVE CONTROL AGENTS E52 FORENSIC PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY E54 HOMELAND SECURITY APPLICATIONS E58 FORENSIC ENGINEERING F06 RESILIENT FLOOR COVERINGS F08 SPORTS EQUIPMENT, PLAYING SURFACES, AND FACILITIES F10 LIVESTOCK, MEAT, AND POULTRY EVALUATION SYSTEMS F12 SECURITY SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT F13 PEDESTRIAN/WALKWAY SAFETY AND FOOTWEAR F15 CONSUMER PRODUCTS F18 ELECTRICAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT FOR WORKERS F23 PERSONAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT F26 FOOD SERVICE EQUIPMENT F32 SEARCH AND RESCUE F33 DETENTION AND CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES G04 COMPATIBILITY AND SENSITIVITY OF MATERIALS IN OXYGEN ENRICHED ATMOSPHERES D08 ROOFING AND WATERPROOFING D18 SOIL AND ROCK D19 WATER D20 PLASTICS D22 AIR QUALITY D34 WASTE MANAGEMENT D35 GEOSYNTHETICS E06 PERFORMANCE OF BUILDINGS E44 SOLAR, GEOTHERMAL AND OTHER ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES E47 E48 BIOENERGY AND INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS FROM BIOMASS E50 ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT, RISK MANAGEMENT AND CORRECTIVE ACTION E60 SUSTAINABILITY F20 HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES AND OIL SPILL RESPONSE F40 DECLARABLE SUBSTANCES IN MATERIALS G02 WEAR AND EROSION B01 ELECTRICAL CONDUCTORS C26 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE D02 PETROLEUM PRODUCTS, LIQUID FUELS, AND LUBRICANTS D03 GASEOUS FUELS D05 COAL AND COKE D19 WATER D27 ELECTRICAL INSULATING LIQUIDS AND GASES D33 PROTECTIVE COATING AND LINING WORK FOR POWER GENERATION FACILITIES E10 NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS E44 SOLAR, GEOTHERMAL AND OTHER ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES E48 BIOENERGY AND INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS FROM BIOMASS A01 STEEL, STAINLESS STEEL AND RELATED ALLOYS C01 CEMENT C09 CONCRETE AND CONCRETE AGGREGATES D02 PETROLEUM PRODUCTS, LIQUID FUELS, AND LUBRICANTS D03 GASEOUS FUELS D04 ROAD AND PAVING MATERIALS D15 ENGINE COOLANTS AND RELATED FLUIDS D18 SOIL AND ROCK D24 CARBON BLACK D35 GEOSYNTHETICS E12 COLOR AND APPEARANCE E17 VEHICLE - PAVEMENT SYSTEMS E21 SPACE SIMULATION AND APPLICATIONS OF SPACE TECHNOLOGY E36 ACCREDITATION & CERTIFICATION E57 3D IMAGING SYSTEMS F03 GASKETS F07 AEROSPACE AND AIRCRAFT F09 TIRES F16 FASTENERS F25 SHIPS AND MARINE TECHNOLOGY F37 LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT F38 UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS F39 AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS F41 UNMANNED MARITIME VEHICLE SYSTEMS (UMVS) F44 GENERAL AVIATION AIRCRAFT F45 DRIVERLESS AUTOMATIC GUIDED INDUSTRIAL VEHICLES D10 PACKAGING D11 RUBBER E31 HEALTHCARE INFORMATICS E35 PESTICIDES, ANTIMICROBIALS, AND ALTERNATIVE CONTROL AGENTS E54 HOMELAND SECURITY APPLICATIONS E55 MANUFACTURE OF PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS E56 NANOTECHNOLOGY F02 FLEXIBLE BARRIER PACKAGING F04 MEDICAL AND SURGICAL MATERIALS AND DEVICES F29 ANESTHETIC AND RESPIRATORY EQUIPMENT F30 EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES G04 COMPATIBILITY AND SENSITIVITY OF MATERIALS IN OXYGEN ENRICHED ATMOSPHERES C07 LIME AND LIMESTONE D14 ADHESIVES D16 AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS AND RELATED CHEMICALS D20 PLASTICS D26 HALOGENATED ORGANIC SOLVENTS AND FIRE EXTINGUISHING AGENTS D28 ACTIVATED CARBON D32 CATALYSTS E13 MOLECULAR SPECTROSCOPY AND SEPARATION SCIENCE E15 INDUSTRIAL AND SPECIALTY CHEMICALS E27 HAZARD POTENTIAL OF CHEMICALS E35 PESTICIDES, ANTIMICROBIALS, AND ALTERNATIVE CONTROL AGENTS F40 DECLARABLE SUBSTANCES IN MATERIALS E11 QUALITY AND STATISTICS E36 ACCREDITATION & CERTIFICATION E43 SI PRACTICE E55 MANUFACTURE OF PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS E56 NANOTECHNOLOGY F42 ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING 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Features

Features

An Interview in China

ASTM International President James Thomas (left) and Ms. Liu Zhiyang, editor in chief of China Standardization, conducting this interview.

ASTM President Sits Down with China Standardization Magazine

On a recent visit to Beijing, the staff of China Standardization magazine interviewed ASTM President James A. Thomas. In excerpts from that interview, Thomas discusses the challenges of standards development in the global marketplace, ASTM International’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China, and China’s use of and participation in ASTM’s standards and standardization process.

China Standardization: Mr. Thomas, as we know, you’ve been working with ASTM for four decades since you first joined it in 1972, and you must have witnessed many historical moments. Would you briefly give us an overview of the development of ASTM in the past years? How has ASTM contributed to economic globalization?

James Thomas: The principles which form the basic foundation of ASTM International have not changed. Our commitment to openness, transparency and due process remains as strong as ever. What has changed is the environment within which we operate and the way we conduct our business operations.

Standards are a critical component of trade, and the application of high quality, globally relevant standards is critical to industry success. ASTM International standards are held in high regard in all markets around the world and the participation of technical experts from all countries is critical to our long-term success. …

During my years as president, ASTM International has expanded its reach into many important world economies. We have opened offices in Mexico City, Mexico; Beijing, China; and just recently Brussels, Belgium [and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada]. We have continued to expand our business operations through product distribution partnerships in over 80 countries.

One of my fondest memories is the official opening of our office in Beijing. We began our operations in China as one member of a four-organization consortium but quickly realized the importance of our work in China and made the decision to open our own stand-alone operation. It has provided ASTM a great opportunity to understand the culture and dynamics of the Chinese market, the importance of standards to China as they compete in the global market and to enhance our service level to our growing number of Chinese experts who have joined ASTM technical committees. I am encouraged by our past accomplishments in China, and I am excited about future opportunities to expand our collaboration with key stakeholders.

The globalization of industry and the competition that comes from a shrinking global marketplace will add to the challenges presented to standards developers by our membership. We will be pressed to provide products and services better, faster and at low cost. We will have to find new ways to meet the cycle-time needs of industry as they also try to keep pace with rapidly changing technology. Industry will look to organizations like ASTM to become solution providers.

ASTM International will be positioning itself to add value to global industry not only in the area of standards development but also by offering services such as proficiency testing, training and certification in an effort to improve global competitiveness and support innovation. ASTM and other members of the global standards community must work closely with our stakeholders to understand their needs and to do all that is necessary to meet their expectations. The future will be exciting and challenging as we work to enhance our capabilities to provide outstanding service to a membership base that is global and that demands efficiency. I am confident that ASTM International is properly positioned to meet these challenges.

We all know that ASTM International has been more focused on developing standards in the fields of construction, metal, energy consumption, the environment, etc. In recent years, ASTM has also expanded to sustainability and sustainable development; for example, in 2008, ASTM established Committee E60 on Sustainability. How does ASTM understand sustainability and sustainable development?

The trend toward sustainability has been very important in recent years in both the private and public sectors. The programs in sustainability continue to grow and it’s important that we bring specific sustainability initiatives to the forefront. Sustainability is a very complex subject, which involves environmental, economic and social considerations. ASTM has actually developed a spreadsheet of all ASTM and additional globally relevant standards in the sustainability area. People can visit our sustainability website. They’ll be able to get a broad view of all of ASTM’s working areas and also work done by other organizations in sustainability.

Our Committee E60 that you mentioned is actually the focal point of the sustainability work in ASTM. It develops standards related to the environmental performance and sustainability of building materials, building components, building systems and buildings individually and in aggregate. In addition, it’s working on issues related to the hospitality of green meetings. E60 also has just initiated a new subcommittee on sustainable manufacturing. This subcommittee has four work items under way to help evaluate manufacturing processes for sustainability improvement.

However, E60 is just a very small part of the work that ASTM is doing in sustainability today. We actually have over 30 other ASTM technical committees that are working on product-specific activities in the construction area and energy-related areas. So, it requires a significant focus on coordination, and I think that’s one of the challenges that we will be facing as we move forward.

ASTM traditionally has been an organization that was broken into committee silos. We have committees on cement, concrete, gypsum board, thermal insulation, roofing and many others. But when you deal with sustainability, it cuts across all of these committees. In the past, committees could work in isolation, but now they all need to coordinate their efforts. So that’s a new challenge for organizations like ASTM, not only to coordinate work within its own committee structure, but also coordinate its work outside of ASTM. So sustainability is an important new area of standardization, but one that also provides challenges, so that we can avoid duplication of efforts, redundancy of activities, and we can meet the needs of industry and governments with a solid collection of quality standards that reflect the needs of the marketplace.

ASTM has maintained many cooperative projects in China for some time, and even set up an office in Beijing years before. Also, as early as 1991, ASTM joined hands with the China Association for Standardization to publish ASTM Standardization News in Chinese. Would you talk about how ASTM understands the China market?

China is a dynamic and large market with both domestic and international standardization needs. This makes it difficult to be very specific. Generally speaking, China has become the world manufacturing center where almost all the industries have been developing to some extent. This is very closely aligned with the broad sectors that ASTM International has been involved in for standards development and maintenance for over 110 years. I have observed trends as well.

I know that the Chinese government has been focused on raising its level of understanding and participation in international standardization. This focus has enabled it to achieve growing success in its participation in both the technical committee and policy levels of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Because no one organization provides all the standards which the global marketplace requires for successful operation of a government (in terms of regulation and procurement) or an enterprise, China has also engaged more effectively in other international standards development organizations such as ASTM. Chinese enterprises are leading in this trend. I believe this effort to diversify is beneficial to China and to the organizations in which it is engaging.

Speaking for ASTM, there is evidence of increased membership by Chinese companies and individuals in ASTM, greater utilization of ASTM standards by SAC under the terms of the memorandum of understanding that is in place between ASTM International and the Standards Administration of the People’s Republic of China, and active engagement by Chinese entities in ASTM technical committees.

Currently there are 442 Chinese experts participating in more than 90 of ASTM’s 144 technical committees; over 60 student members have also joined ASTM from China.

Based on the annual report, which is provided under the MOU signed with SAC in 2004, we have reports which document the use of over 1,000 ASTM standards by China. This includes almost 400 adoptions, over 50 standards which were consulted, 549 which are referenced in Chinese regulation, and more than 20 that are normatively referenced.

With a growing number of delegation visits to ASTM headquarters (over 70 delegates have visited ASTM headquarters in 2012 alone), engagement in technical meetings via ASTM’s web-based tools and my observation of an increased number of Chinese participants at various ASTM technical committees … it is reasonable to say that China sees value in learning about and engaging in ASTM. Over time, I have seen Chinese experts not only observing committee activities, but becoming more actively engaged by providing input and even taking leadership roles. (A delegate from SAC 323 on Electromagnetic Shielding Materials, working for the Shanghai Institute for Measurement Technology, is leading a task group within ASTM Committee D09 on Electrical and Electronic Insulating Materials.) As noted, I believe this is mutually beneficial and I encourage this trend to continue.

About the promotion of standards, ASTM has published many documents in digital form in addition to hard copy format. Would you talk about the digital publication of ASTM standards and how to promote standards on the Internet?

ASTM International continues to evolve and grow as both a developer and distributor of standards and related information. ASTM produces standards in multiple formats with 82 percent of all current information distributed to customers electronically. By the end of November 2012, ASTM will complete a major conversion of all standards from SGML to XML data format. We are very proud of this accomplishment since it will enable us to meet the changing needs of our customers more dynamically.

In addition to this project, ASTM is also actively involved in developing videos that will be embedded in our test methods to provide added value to our information users. Our customers and members not only want easy access to data, they also want it delivered at reasonable cost. ASTM is dedicated to providing all information at the lowest cost possible and will achieve this by implementing a range of attractive pricing models. Our goal is to provide ASTM information to the desktop of every engineer that is part of the global industrial community.

The internet has changed the way ASTM International interacts with its customers. All standards are available from our website as individual downloads but the definite trend is to order a subscription package from ASTM, which enhances access and significantly lowers cost. We continue to make improvements to our ordering and delivery processes, all intended to create a positive experience for our members and customers.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.