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

IEC e-tech – April 2013

IEC e-tech: April 2013



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Editor in Chief:

Gabriela Ehrlich


Managing Editor e-tech :

Claire Marchand



Janice Blondeau

Aliyah Esmail

Morand Fachot

Zoé Smart


Driving and flying made safe


The April issue of e-tech will focus on transportation and more specifically on EVs (electric vehicles), be they electric cars or electric urban transport vehicles.


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Electric cars take off with new standards


With EV prices falling, sales are set to soar with an obvious need for relevant Standards. If 2012 was the year that hybrid vehicle sales moved up a gear, 2013 will be the year that brought drivers more choice. As automotive manufacturers unveil a vast array of plug-in hybrid and all-electric options, IEC standards are proving instrumental to consumer adoption.


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Electric urban transport


More than half the world's population now live in cities, according to UN data. By 2025 there will be 37 megacities, each home to more than 10 million people. The growing use of electric buses, trams and metropolitan "light railways" offers environmentally friendly options to reduce local emission of pollutants significantly in the expanding cities of the future.


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Workshop explores e-mobility safety issues


IEC ACOS (Advisory Committee on Safety) organized a workshop on safety in the area of e-mobility last February. The workshop covered safety aspects related to all kinds of electric vehicles for the transport of people and goods. IEC President Klaus Wucherer attended the workshop and addressed a number of significant issues.


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"A great and interesting life"


Boris Kit, world leading space scientist who turned 103 in April was also an IEC expert. Kit's life was shaped to a remarkable extent by the twists and turns of 20th century history. He shared with e-tech some of the striking episodes and chance events of what he described, rather unassumingly, as "a great and interesting life".


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The electric car is already here!


As the attention of the public turns to the gradual introduction of electric vehicles it is frequently overlooked that motor vehicles have evolved from nearly solely mechanical machines to complex systems that rely entirely on thousands of electric and electronic components to run reliably and safely. Dozens of IEC TCs and SCs prepare International Standards for these parts and components that now make up around 50% of the value of cars.


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Profile: Karen Higginbottom


Karen Higginbottom has been Chair of ISO/IEC JTC (Joint Technical Committee) 1: Information technology, since November, 2008 and she has participated in the Committee since 1992. In 2012, she was recognized with the Thomas Edison award for her leadership and dedicated work. e-tech spoke to Higginbottom about her role as Chair of JTC 1, how things have evolved and future priorities.


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So that accidents do not happen


Many manufacturing sectors have been making extensive use of equipment, such as machine tools and robots, for decades. The operation of many industrial machines entails risks for workers. Adding electrical equipment that keep operators at a safe distance or halt operation automatically in case of danger is an attractive solution. IEC TC 44 prepares International Standards for electrical equipment designed to do that, ensuring the safer operation of industrial machines.


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Supporting EV development


In 2012 IECEE launched a specific programme for EVs focusing on charging systems, plugs and inlets. This service comes as a complement to the other product categories that already provide testing and certification for a multitude of parts and components used by car manufacturers.


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IECEx key to Australasian Ex sector


Two members of the IECEx staff attended the AOG (Australasian Oil & Gas) Exhibition and Conference early this year and were surprised and pleased to see that IECEx was cited and its logo present in many of the exhibitors’ booths as well as in presentations.


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Avionics aims to manage green issues


The IEC has recently published the 2nd edition of IEC/TS 62239-1, Process management for avionics – Management plan – Part 1: Preparation and maintenance of an electronic components management plan, which now includes the management of lead-free termination finish and soldering of avionic components


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CANENA: A global outlook


CANENA, the Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standards of the Nations of the Americas, held its annual meeting on 27-28 February 2013 in Montreal, Canada. IEC Vice-President and SMB Chairman James E. Matthews III provided an update on IEC activities and priorities, and offered insights into the role of the MSB in identifying and setting strategies for IEC involvement in future technologies.


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CANENA: a perspective from Stephanie McLarty


IEC 2010 Young Professional Leader, Stephanie McLarty presented on ensuring continuity through developing the next generation of international standardization experts at CANENA 2013. In this interview, e-tech asked McLarty to share her experiences and learnings from this forum.


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Standards play a leading role


The cooperation between the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the IEC helps advance trade and eliminate technical barriers to trade. A lack of International Standards can hurt trade as products are no longer made in one country; products are now made in the world. IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk and Affiliate Country Programme Executive Secretary Françoise Rauser represented the IEC at the March 2013 WTO TBT Committee meeting.


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Expanding energy - A global need


In 2011, the UN (United Nations) Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, made sustainable energy one of his five priorities by creating the SE4ALL (Sustainable Energy for All) initiative. By 2030, the UN has envisioned universal energy access for all countries, with the focus being on access, efficiency and sustainability especially in rural and remote areas. The IEC is one of many organizations and agencies participating in the UN’s efforts to further its sustainable energy goals


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The SMB (Standardization Management Board) has approved a number of nominations as well as the extension of the term of office of one Chairman.


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Easier voting


The IEC helps its members keep their IT costs down. This is done by developing and providing free of charge, industry leading IT solutions that do not require expensive licensing or other fees to make them work.


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Lighting the way ahead


Today's motor vehicles are equipped with dozens of lamps of different types to meet multiple needs. The IEC recently published the latest edition of an International Standard that takes into account the latest developments in lighting technology and details the performance requirements of lamps for road vehicles. This standard will enhance road safety and will be of particular interest to the automotive industry and regulatory bodies.


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