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Standardization Conference Held in Hannover, Germany

The Hannover Fair held in April in Hannover, Germany, one of the world’s largest trade fairs, was the site of a “Standardization Future Conference,” a gathering of European and U.S. standards professionals to discuss electrotechnical standardization from the perspectives of trade and economy. The conference was organized jointly by the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI) and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The purpose of the one-day conference was to foster dialogue highlighting standardization initiatives under way in the United States in the electrical and electronics industries as well as future challenges of standardization in that sector in Europe. The 131 attendees included corporate, institutional, governmental and administrative representatives, primarily from Europe. Pat Picariello, ASTM director of developmental operations, attended the conference on behalf of ASTM.

The program included introductory speeches by Dietmar Harting, president of ZVEI and of Deutsches Institut für Normung, the German standards institute, and John Fogarossi, minister/counselor for commercial affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, with a welcome address from Torsten Bahke, director of DIN. Edelgard Buhlman, German federal minister for education and research, discussed standardization and innovation; Jonathan Menes, executive director for trade development at the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, covered the DOC’s standards initiative; and Ulrich Blum, chair, economics department, Technical University of Dresden, spoke on the challenges of the future.

The speeches were followed by panel discussions on European and U.S. approaches to standardization. Panelists discussing the European approach included representatives of the German Commission of Industrial Safety and Standardization, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, the General European Commission, the U.S. National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Rittal Corp., and the Federation of German Industries.

Picariello attended the concurrent panel on the U.S. approach to standardization, which included representatives of the American National Standards Institute, Underwriters Laboratories, ZVEI, Siemens, and Bosch und Siemens Hausgerate. Panelists each provided an overview of their positions, reflecting varying viewpoints on the international harmonization of standards, the role of social and cultural differences in technical barriers to trade, the difference between the U.S. standards system and that of most other nations, and the role of the customer especially in the information technology standards development process.

Lastly, a panel of industry standardization professionals discussed industry needs for standardization. Participants included representatives of DaimlerChrysler, Hekatron, Endress+Hauser, Rockwell Collins, IBM, and Emerson Process Management. //

Training Programs Update

The ASTM Technical and Professional Training Program recently held two classes in oxygen system safety in Brussels, Belgium, in cooperation with the European Industrial Gas Association. A class on Oxygen Systems Operation and Maintenance was held on June 22 and Fire Hazards in Oxygen Systems was held June 24-25. Fifty students attended each class, representing every European country, along with students from Israel, Saudi Arabia, and China.

ASTM International’s Japanese training partner, the Geo-Environmental Technology Research Center, continues to provide training in the Japanese language in the use of ASTM’s environmental site assessment standards. Earlier this year, classes were held in Osaka, Tokyo, and Fukuoka, with a total of 61 students in attendance. A similar partnership with India’s Global Resources Management Group resulted in the May presentation (in Bangalore) of two classes on the use of ASTM standards for textiles. //

Intern from Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision

ASTM International welcomes Zhang Li Hong, vice director of the Standardization Division at the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision, in her two-month internship at ASTM Headquarters, which began on June 2.

Zhang’s internship has been developed as part of the cooperation agreement signed last year between ASTM and the Shanghai Institute of Standardization, which reports to SMBQTS. In addition to provisions for the internship, the agreement also provides mechanisms to encourage and facilitate the participation of Chinese professionals in ASTM standards development activities through SIS, for both organizations to hold training courses in the use of ASTM standards in China, and for SIS to translate the index volume to the Annual Book of ASTM Standards.

“This internship program serves as a bridge between ASTM International and SMBQTS,” says Zhang. “Knowing the vital importance of standardization and its contribution to commerce between China and the rest of the world, we believe that understanding ASTM’s standards development processes will help to enhance the objectives of the ASTM/SIS agreement.”

Zhang says she hopes that her internship will:

• Build a strong relationship between ASTM and SMBQTS; Provide a way for SMBQTS to help more Chinese professionals and enterprises understand ASTM standards and participate in ASTM’s standards development process; and
• Help ASTM learn more about China’s standardization system. //

The 2004 ASTM board of directors met at the headquarters of Deutsches Institut für Normung, the German standards institute, in Berlin, Germany, in April. (From left, top row): Christopher G. Ingersoll, Lars Flink, Akira Aoki, Joshua J. Jacobs, Robert L. Jordan, Rey G. Montemayor, John S. Snodgrass, Ramani Narayan, and Jon S. Traw; (middle row): James S. Moulthrop, Vincent Diaz, N. David Smith (vice chair), Arthur D. Schwope (chair), Anthony E. Fiorato (vice chair), Gregory E. Saunders (Finance and Audit Committee chair), and Richard F. Kayser; (front row): Roger E. Stoller, Richard J. Schulte (past chair), Wayne N. Holliday (past chair), Paul K. Whitcraft, Julie A. Clifford, and Warren D. Ketola. Not pictured: James A. Thomas (president), Jeffery A. Melsom.

Copyright 2004, ASTM International