International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

IEC e-tech – November 2011

IEC e-tech: November 2011

November 2011 edition

pdf file 1.95 Mb



Managing Editor e-tech :

Philippa Martin-King


Editor in Chief:

Gabriela Ehrlich


Articles may be reproduced in whole or in part provided the source, "IEC e-tech" is mentioned in full.

fibre optics



We take components for granted. Yet, they are so fundamental to our electricity-loaded everyday life that there will always be some form of cable, fuse, switch, connector, or wiring in every electrotechnical system.


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Global Visions

Getting quality right – global engineering


A recent IEC Global Visions interview with Dr Kazuo Kyuma, Executive Vice President and Group President Semiconductor & Device, Mitsubishi Electric, discusses the role of quality in a global world where each customer is unique and where conditions change depending on the region.


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Klaus Wucherer

ISO General meeting


The IEC President, Klaus Wucherer addressed the assembly in New Delhi, India underlining the importance of cooperation. "Consensus-based international standardization requires a lot of cooperation," he said.


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AFSEC training event in Kenya

AFSEC training


A joint IEC-AFSEC training event in Kenya, focused on harmonizing electrotechnical standards to facilitate the interconnection of the African power grid. Jack Sheldon was present to familiarize attendees with IEC processes and tools for international standardization.


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2012 ISO/IEC Sales & Marketing Forum

2012 joint ISO-IEC Marketing & Communications Forum


Following the successful event in December 2010, the dates for a third joint ISO-IEC Marketing & Communications Forum have been confirmed. The final programme will be available shortly but in the meantime you can reserve the dates.


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Cable, switch and cord certification

Cable, switch and cord certification


Few people pay much attention to the cord or switch of an electrical device when purchasing a new product. These factors are overlooked in preference to design, size, price and overall performance. How does the IECEE help build that strong consumer confidence?


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IECEx certifies trace heating cables

IECEx certifies trace heating cables


Pipelines, tanks and vessels that store or transport potentially explosive substances are more often than not subjected to extreme climatic conditions and huge temperature variations. Confronted with the problem of protecting equipment from freezing or ensuring that products were stored at the correct temperature, engineers have come up with the solution of electric trace-heating cables.


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High quality fibre optics through IECQ certification

IECQ certification ensures high quality of components used in fibre optics


From long-distance phone calls to cable TV and Internet, fibre optic lines have revolutionized communications. Fibre optics enable businesses and industry to move large amounts of data at high speed. It's an area that is expected to grow tremendously in the years to come.


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Nomination of IEC TC 117 chairman

Nominations this month


SMB has approved the nomination of Amnon Mahalalel as Chairman of IEC TC 117: Solar thermal electric plants. He is the first Chairman of this new Committee and his first term runs from 1 November 2011 to 31 October 2017.


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Undersea cables

Wires expand the use of special cables offshore and under the sea


A key element of power distribution, often overlooked entirely, is that of the cables and wires sector. This oversight is equally applicable in the telecom domain. Undersea cables are used to transmit power or to exchange electronic data or voice and represent a particularly interesting and fast expanding segment of this market.


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Safe wiring protects against propagation of fire in buildings

Protection against the propagation of fire in buildings


A surprising number of fires are caused by electrical faults that are associated with wiring or wiring devices. Statistically, there are more fires due to wiring than there are fires caused by cords and plugs, light fixtures, switches, receptacles, outlets, lamps or light bulbs. You can't have a building without electricity and if you want the electricity to be distributed it has to go through the relevant wiring which can be made safe by following the guidance of IEC TC 20 and testing regularly.


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From copper to optical fibre

From copper to optical fibre


RF signals, used to carry multimedia, voice or data content, may reach end-users through cable or over the air via electromagnetic wave propagation or satellite reception. Yet they rely primarily on cables for distribution from source to transmitters and antennas and final connection to receiving equipment. RF signals can be transmitted electrically or optically via coaxial cable or optical fibre; sometimes both approaches are used together in integrated networks.

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Connecting the world


Connectors play a vital role in any device. Yet they rarely attract much attention because the focus is generally on the device itself, be it a computer, telephone, photovoltaic module, or life-saving machine in a hospital. Connectors are simply expected to enable the effortless operation of the system in which they are installed. They are inconspicuous, yet must be both easy to access and to handle.


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Relays in all their forms switch on and off


When a high-power system needs to handle a large number of amps because of the current it's drawing, a traditional hand-operated on-off switch with its direct connection doesn't serve much purpose. Temperatures can rise to such a level that the wiring inside simply is not able to handle the power and will melt!


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Safe electrical installations of ships and offshore units

Ensuring the safety of ships and fixed offshore units


IEC TC 18: Electrical installations of ships and of mobile and fixed offshore units, prepares International Standards for the maritime sector; its SC 18A deals specifically with standards for electric cables. TC 18 has established a formal relationship with the IMO (International Maritime Organization) to collaborate in the field of electrical systems on ships and offshore units where the safety of ships and of their crews largely depends on the reliable operation of electrical installations.


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RF equipment

Keeping copper in the loop


RF equipment is widely used for the distribution and transmission of data, voice and multimedia content for the telecom, broadcast, ICT and other sectors. As copper cable technology has evolved to meet increased requirements and stay at the cutting edge of technology, IEC TC 46 and its Subcommittees and various working groups prepare and update standards for RF cables, connectors and other components to ensure they remain effective and relevant for the industry.


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Expansion of market for fibre optic-based components and systems

Maintaining the signal with fibre optics


The growing need for electronically-distributed content – multimedia, voice, data – from many sectors and actors has fed the expansion of the market for fibre optic-based components and systems ever since the invention of the first low-loss optical fibre in 1970 and the initial installation of optical fibre networks in the early 1980s.


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Webstore competition and more

Dynamic moves for customer satisfaction


The IEC Webstore is structured so as to allow users to purchase IEC publications in either electronic or paper format. It also provides access to a broad range of additional information on International Standards for electrical, electronic and related technologies. This month the IEC Webstore has launched an end-of-year competition and...


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IEC TC 86 publications on fibre optics

Optical fibre publications


As the fibre optics sector keeps expanding to meet global bandwidth demand, IEC TC 86 and its subcommittees are publishing new standards for fibre optic interconnecting device & passive components, such as connectors for optical fibres and cables, adaptors for fibre optic connectors and basic tests and measurement procedures for these devices. FDIS publications are available from the Webstore.


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