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

IEC e-tech – June 2013

IEC e-tech: Month 2013

Supersmall, superfast


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Editor in Chief:

Gabriela Ehrlich


Managing Editor e-tech :

Claire Marchand



Janice Blondeau

Aliyah Esmail

Morand Fachot

Zoé Smart

Laurianne Trimoulla


Supersmall, superfast


Mini, pico, nano, micro are prefixes that are getting ever more common in the electrotechnology world. They are used to describe components, such as MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems), technologies (nanotechnology), installations (pico hydro-stations) or networks (minigrids).


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Disruptive printing


Printed electronics is set to revolutionize the electronics industry and many other domains. It will prove a disruptive, yet creative process that will allow the production of new low-cost electronic devices. An IEC TC was set up recently to prepare International Standards in the field of printed electronics.


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IEC shares vision with energy leaders


The recent GSEP (Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership) annual summit, in Washington, DC, brought together the heads of the largest electricity companies in the world. The IEC was invited to participate in the programme and also hosted a session on energy microgrids for disaster resilience and recovery.


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The IEC helps keep the power on


The new brochure Electrical energy... the IEC helps keep the power on provides insights of how the IEC and the thousands of experts who participate in its work are committed to bringing reliable and safe electricity to the world, including the 1.3 billion people who so urgently need it.


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Citius, Altius, Fortius…


"Faster, Higher, Stronger" – the Olympic motto could very well reflect the evolution of civil aviation. Planes are flying faster, higher and further than ever, as well as transporting more passengers, nearly 3 billion in 2012, with increasing safety. This has much to do with major advances in avionics, the electronic systems used in commercial, civil and defence aerospace applications. IEC TC 107 develops process management standards for avionics.


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Small is beautiful


The trend to reduce the size of many systems and devices is gathering pace. It is driven by cost, energy efficiency and environmental considerations. It is most noticeable in electrotechnology where components are designed and made to be integrated into other equipment and systems. This makes the latter smaller, more efficient, reliable and cheaper to operate. Many IEC TCs are involved in ensuring the success of this trend.


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Printout for the future


Printed electronics is a relatively new technology that uses an additive process to create a variety of electronic components and systems. It is rapidly advancing from research and inventions into production and mass market. Calls for standardization in this sector by the industry led to the creation of IEC TC 119.


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Keep safety sky high


The safety of all aircraft has been increasingly reliant on avionics, electronic systems designed and manufactured for aerospace applications. Avionics products must be particularly robust and reliable. IEC TC 107 prepares technical recommendations and specifications, and standards for the avionics industry to ensure this is the case.


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Focus on industrial automation


The development of automation brought enormous changes to the industrial world and the rapid evolution of IT enabled engineers to create increasingly complex control systems that integrated fully with the factory floor. The IEC has a number of TCs that prepare International Standards connected with specific areas of industrial automation and IECEE just launched a new service entirely dedicated to industrial automation


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Preventing dust explosions


While dust is often the byproduct of a production process and treated as waste, it can also be an important element in the manufacturing of products such food products, pharmaceuticals or pigments. Coal, wood, grain, sugar starch, certain metals, dyes and plastics all generate dust. The large majority of industrial dusts are combustible, and dust explosions can occur in any enclosed area. IECEx certification provides a high level of protection for all industry sectors operating in those hazardous environments.


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MEMS tested and certified by IECQ


MEMS have become an indispensable component of all types of electronic devices and equipment, increasing the performance, accuracy and reliability of existing technologies in ways not possible before. From thinner and smaller consumer electronics to smarter surgical tools consumer, among others, these new technologies are helping us move forward.


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Increasing global energy safety


At CEM4, the Clean Energy Ministerial which was held in Delhi in April, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the publication of a new IEC International Standard for stand-alone lighting kits for rural electrification. IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk represented the IEC at the mini-grid development roundtable. He outlined how the IEC can facilitate the broad roll-out of energy technologies, providing truly global reach and state-of-the art expertise.


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Stimulating national adoption


In April 2013 a workshop and training was held in St. Lucia with the aim of reducing barriers and challenges to the adoption of International Standards and stimulating participation in international standardization work in Latin America and the Caribbean. Amaury Santos, IEC-LARC Regional Manager, delivered a well-rounded training programme to help workshop attendees and their countries to increase participation in the IEC.


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Frederica Scott Vollrath designs a winner


Frederica Scott Vollrath, a freelance designer based in Berlin, Germany, was the winner of the 2013 WSD poster competition. organized by the World Standards Cooperation, on the theme "International Standards ensure positive change". The winning poster will be a central part of the promotion and celebration of World Standards Day 2013 on 14 October.


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Upcoming global event


This month we would like to draw your attention to a global event that may be of interest to the IEC community: the 2013 Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Energy Summit, which will take place in Berlin, Germany, on 30-31 October.


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Meeting expectations


The training programme put in place by the IEC has picked up speed in 2013: After Latin America in March, a new series of workshops were held in Southeast Asia in May. Four countries were on the agenda: Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. The workshops brought together about 40 participants in each location and received very positive feedback.


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The SMB (Standardization Management Board) has approved one ACOS (Advisory Committee on Safety) nomination as well as the extension of the terms of office of existing TC (Technical Committee) Chairmen and one ACEC (Advisory Committee on Electromagnetic Compatibility) member.


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Keeping in touch


Since Monday 10 June 2013, the IEC website has a new functionality: a feedback button, located on the top right hand side corner of the screen. This should make it much easier for all users to ask questions, make comments and suggestions or get support.


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Very small yet global


Nanotechnology, the manipulation of matter on atomic and molecular scales, is expected to be one of the key technologies of the 21st century, providing opportunities for the development of new products. Its rapid growth requires International Standards as it moves into an industrial phase. These address materials as well as so-called gratings, which are objects central to nanotechnology.


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