Is this story about food?

Yes, it could be but, it is also about the amazing things I’m experiencing as a Taco, in the world of standardization.

This year I’m the Chairman of the Board of Directors at ASTM International. This organization is at the forefront of all Standardization Organizations.

ASTM International announced that it will hold its board meeting and related events in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, on Oct. 13-16.

Let me tell you how that is amazing.

Among other things, we’re involved in Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, and have a Center of Excellence with parties like NASA. Really cool things for space crafts and planes are happening there. Can you imagine that the weight of any part is far less when you can print hollow-parts? That is impossible when machining these parts, as you cannot get inside without leaving an open space afterwards for example.

More examples of interesting standardization topics are degradable plastics; American football helmets and firefighters suits. There are over 12,000 ASTM standards that operate globally.

Creating a chapter in the Middle East

As the standard of living is growing very fast in the Middle East, standardization becomes of paramount importance in this area. ASTM is setting up a chapter in this part of the world, with important parties like companies, governments and trade organizations to support standards development. This helps in building trust between the involved parties, enhancing trade and development. How does that work: if you know you can trust a product from your supplier, you have to perform less quality control or do less testing and thus saving money and time.

What is a standard actually?

A standard test method is a detailed description of how to perform a specific test, to produce a trusted test result with a defined bias. An example is how to test if railway steel for rail bars is of good quality? You have to agree on how to test hardness and expansion coefficients. This is actually how ASTM started. But you can imagine how important that is if you want to develop the railway system in the 19th century?

All standards come down to people

It’s about the people and ASTM International’s help people to comply with the 6 principles of Standards Development by the World Trade organization:

  • Openness: open to people and organizations
  • Transparency: information on proposed new standards, revisions and approvals is accessible through standards trackers, eNews and other tools and channels
  • Impartiality and consensus: robust process for achieving consensus
  • Effectiveness and relevance: identified by the marketplace
  • Coherence: avoid duplication of work persue standard in a smart way
  • Development dimension: over 100 memorandums of Understanding with developing countries

Very inclusive as we signed the United nations policy document for Gender Equality.

Katharine Morgan, ASTM International President, and myself

It is the people that make the amazing story for me. Please see the attached interview with some other storylines.

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