Industrial leaders are being challenged to automate or face the consequences of losing competitive markets to more automated competition. The implication is that future profits will be related to the degree of automation. Technology can support this automation today, but can modernization support tomorrow's technology? Without a set of standards in support of an integrated approach to automation, the automating pioneer may be committing the company to technical obsolescence or continued capital investment. This paper calls for development of an integrated set of standards in support of automation that will ensure a modernization capability through implementation of new technology.
This paper describes a matrix approach to the development of hierarchical standards based on (1) ASTM standards for computerized systems, (2) the application of Military Standard MIL-STD 881A on Work Breakdown Structures to automated integrated manufacturing, and (3) the International Standards Organization reference model of open system interconnection.
A call is made for ASTM to take the lead in the following areas: (1) the development of functional requirements for an integrated set of standards, (2) the tasking, support, and coordination necessary for the development of these standards, (3) the dissemination of the standards, (4) the development of evaluation methods for testing compatibility and interoperability of new technology in compliance with this integrated set of standards, and (5) the implementation and utilization of an electronic mail/information network technology to shorten the time needed to develop standards by consensus.