Search ASTM
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 PAPER AND PAPER PRODUCTS 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 TECHNOLOGIES
Bookmark and Share

ProVocative

ProVocative

A Commitment to Standards

An Interview with Philip Piqueira, Global Standards Leader for GE’s Industrial Solutions Business

General Electric participates in standards development through its work on numerous committees and organizations. Philip Piqueira discusses why this business strategy and its continuance is crucial for GE.

From your perspective as the global standards leader for General Electric’s Industrial Solutions business, would you discuss the reasons that GE is at the standards development table?

GE’s philosophy is to foster an environment in which engineers can design, innovate and requisition product while inherently complying with internal and external requirements and standards. In conjunction with that philosophy, GE businesses and associates participate in a large number of domestic standards organizations and trade associations across businesses such as appliances, energy, healthcare and lighting (see sidebar for more about GE and ASTM International). In addition, more than 80 GE associates participate on 30 technical advisory groups in the U.S. National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission.

GE is at the standards development table primarily to influence decision making at the international, regional, national, state and local levels to create positive change in policy, regulations and standards that impact our products and services.

Once they have been developed and are utilized, how do standards benefit GE?

A few years ago, GE’s Industrial Solutions business developed a device called an arc fault circuit interrupter, which was designed to prevent fires in residences by sensing low voltage arcs that could not be detected by traditional thermal magnetic circuit breakers. Unfortunately, there was a strong likelihood that these devices would not be used by homebuilders because they were more costly, as a result of the electronics, than more common overcurrent protective devices. However, GE and other AFCI manufacturers were successful in having the installation code mandate their use. These devices have proven to be so effective in reducing low voltage arcing fires that their application, as mandated by the installation code, has increased dramatically. Consequently, GE’s participation in the development of the AFCI standard and in the installation code has improved both our market access and consumer safety.

An additional example of regulatory compliance comes from GE’s wind business. In 2002, the state-owned power transmission operator in Ireland identified the need to develop more stringent connection requirements for wind farms and invited GE Wind, as an experienced and credible technology provider, to contribute to the grid code development. As a result of GE’s leadership in the development of these requirements, GE’s products continue to comply with the standards and there has been no disruption to our product lines. Thus far, approximately 160 GE wind turbine generators have been installed in Ireland.

I would also be remiss in not saying that there have been a number of examples that illustrate the cost of not proactively participating in standards development.

At a time when return on investment is determined in monthly instead of yearly timeframes, how does your department/division make the case to executives for long-term commitment to standards development? What recommendations would you make for raising senior executives’ awareness of the value of standards development and standards?

The traditional methods of cost/benefit analysis, such as return on investment, are extremely difficult to apply to standards participation because the value associated with this work can often be intangible and the time frame may be lengthy. However, we recognize that the best way to overcome the value perception, or the lack of value perception, is to publicize the successes. When a company’s views are successfully promulgated, then the standards professionals within that company need to make sure that their success is communicated. Similarly, when a company takes a hit because it was not at the table to push the issue, then those same standards professionals also need to communicate the failures. Sometimes, the failures are more valuable than the successes in making a point. Some best in class organizations are best in class because of their failures. The importance of publicizing the successes of standards participation is critical not just at the executive level but also for mid-level managers to continue to support this work.

How do you educate younger employees, or even university students, about standards participation and make it attractive to them as a career path? How does standards development work benefit GE staffers?

The process of educating both university students and younger employees with respect to the personal benefits of standards participation, including its attractiveness as a career path, has certainly been challenging. Typically, engineering programs do not cover standards as an element of their curricula; consequently, the first exposure that most university students have to standards development is when they enter the workplace. When I entered the workplace years ago, I had no idea how the standards, a significant aspect of my product designs, came to be. And I certainly didn’t recognize, at that stage of my career, that my career path was going to take me through standards.

Consequently, one of the most important areas to focus on in order to highlight the importance of standards development as a career path is to enhance the linkage between standardization and academia. Organizations like IEEE, NIST, NEMA1 and ASTM International have initiated standardization projects with academia because they believe that these linkages will form an effective pipeline for future standards development. It is further recognized that establishing relationships between academia and standards communities will foster additional standards engagement between university students and standards development organizations and that this engagement will hold the key to opening new markets, reducing costs, increasing efficiency and strengthening competiveness.

As part of these initiatives, it is critical for industry to recognize and publicize the benefits they receive from standards development work. Industry needs to recognize employees for their contributions on standards committees, give them the time to do that work and reward them appropriately.

What challenges do you face in your work to unify and integrate GE Industrial Solutions standards activities on a global basis? How does this work mesh with GE’s overall involvement in standards development?

The greatest challenge that I face integrating GE Industrial Solutions global standards activities deals with ensuring that appropriate GE associates are assigned to all of the relevant standards committees that impact our business on a global basis. The skill set required to perform standards work is unique in that associates assigned to standards committees require a combination of technical strength and strong interpersonal skills. Further, in standards work, committee experience is a significant asset, which is somewhat at odds with our GE culture, in which product assignments tend to be short-term. Consequently, there is a constant tension between our staffing needs and our standards objectives.

What are your greatest challenges in the global standards development arena and what trends do you see for SDOs and standards development participation for the future?

There are a number of challenges that exist in the global standards development arena, but I believe that the most important challenge is that the value of standards participation continues to be difficult to quantify. Industry applies resources to initiatives based upon cost/benefit ratios, but the characteristics of standards work — primarily achieving consensus and transparency — usually do not lend themselves to this kind of analysis. Recognizing that industry often operates on timetables where the ROI of new product launches are measured in timespans of one year or less, it easy to see why industry struggles with understanding the value of standards development.

With that being said, I believe that standards professionals and standards organizations will continue to launch educational initiatives, through university outreach programs and virtual workshop programs, that will educate industry, from top executives all the way down through the organization, with respect to the benefits of standards participation. As part of these initiatives, business case studies will continue to be developed that illustrate the benefits of standards engagement.

Hopefully, programs like these will continue to gain traction to attract capable and talented individuals who will become the future leaders of the global standards community.

GE and ASTM International

General Electric, an American multinational conglomerate familiarly known as GE, offers diverse products and services in several industries. The corporation, headquartered in Fairfield, Conn., operates several segments:

  • Power and water
  • Oil and Gas
  • Energy Management
  • Aviation
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation
  • Home and business solutions
  • Capital

These segments include staff members who work on ASTM International technical committees.

GE Global Research, the center for technology development for all GE businesses, participates on such ASTM International committees as E04 on Metallography, F42 on Declarable Substances in Materials and G01 on Corrosion of Metals. ASTM International’s aviation committees, including F44 on General Aviation Aircraft, have representatives from GE’s aviation businesses. GE’s inspection technologies business is represented on E07 on Nondestructive Testing. And GE Healthcare, which provides services in medical imaging, diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, and disease research and drug discovery, has staff who are members of Committee E55 on Manufacture of Pharmaceutical Products.

Reference

1. IEEE, NIST, NEMA are, respectively, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

Philip M. Piqueira is global standards leader for the General Electric Industrial Solutions Business and has responsibility for unifying and integrating his company’s standards activities on a global basis. He represents GE on several standards organizations, including the American National Standards Institute, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, UL and the U.S. National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission. Piqueira has been a GE staff member since 1979 and has held engineering positions that include engineering managerial responsibility for circuit breakers, safety switches, disconnect, panelboards and switchboards. He received the ANSI Meritorious Service Award in 2007 for contributions to the U.S. voluntary standardization system and the NEMA Kite and Key Award in 2002 for standards leadership.

Go to other ProVocative articles.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.