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

IEC e-tech – October 2013

IEC e-tech: October 2013

The year in review


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Editor in Chief:

Gabriela Ehrlich


Managing Editor e-tech :

Claire Marchand



Janice Blondeau

Aliyah Esmail

Morand Fachot

Zoé Smart


International Standards are more important than ever


IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreewijk talks about the ever increasing importance of IEC International Standards and Conformity Assessment Systems. Standards in combination with conformity assessment are used by companies and countries as a strategic instrument in accessing more markets faster and at less cost.


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Disruptive but creative technologies


Printed electronics and nanotechnologies are transformational processes expected to become two of the key technologies of the 21st century. They will provide opportunities for the development and production of new, smaller and low-cost electronic devices and other products.


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IEC work supports renewables' expansion


With growing global energy needs and concern about the adverse impact of burning fossil fuels, efforts are under way to tap and store all possible sources of renewable energy. IEC TCs and SCs prepare International Standards for all renewables sources.


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Robots enter all domains


Deployed in car manufacturing to replace workers for hazardous tasks just over 50 years ago, robots were later introduced into other domains, such as homes and medical premises. Robots of all sorts have improved and expanded the range of their activities significantly.


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Personal and public electric transport


Public and personal transport vehicles are increasingly dependent on electrical systems for propulsion and countless other functions, even more so in urban environments. Many IEC TCs and SCs prepare International Standards for these vehicles.


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Working for a brighter and greener future


The world’s lighting industry is constantly expanding, driven by many factors that include a need to check power consumption. The quest for energy-efficient lighting extends beyond lights bulbs alone to include various advanced light management systems that deliver precisely the right light to the right place at the right time in offices, homes and even on roads.


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TC work to help thwart potential threats


As concerns about potential risks to power and telecommunication grids from nuclear devices and electromagnetic weapons grow, IEC subcommittee work takes centre stage to prevent electromagnetic interference from nuclear and other weapons.


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Tackling noise effectively


Noise is second only to pollution in terms of negative environmental impact, a fact often overlooked as it is not as easy to see. IEC TC 29: Electroacoustics, work aims to measure and lower the negative impact of noise.


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Helping turn solar power into electricity


Energy generation from PV (photovoltaic systems) is a relatively recent source of renewable energy. It has been expanding dramatically in recent years and is set to provide a growing share of the future global energy mix. IEC TC 82 prepares International Standards that play a central role in the development of PV technology.


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Making the world a safer place


The last 12 months have been extremely successful and fruitful for IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components. Increased collaboration with international organizations, outreach to developing countries and the introduction of new services and product categories have contributed greatly to confirming IECEE as the leading global certification system for electrical and electronic products.


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Reining in explosive atmospheres


The demand for IECEx and its Schemes is constantly increasing. The System organized several events during the year to raise awareness, help audiences get better acquainted with IECEx services. In early 2013, IECEx launched a mobile application to show international certificates for equipment used in explosive atmospheres, a first in this field..


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Failures avoided


For IECQ, the year began with the launch of a new and totally revamped IECQ website which provides, among others, quick access to documentation and certificates,as well as information on long-established programmes and new services such as IECQ CAP (Counterfeit Avoidance Programme) and IECQ AQP (Automotive Qualification Programme).


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Honouring IEC Award winners


Each year the IEC pays tribute to the commitment and work of some of members of the IEC family who, through their outstanding leadership and expertise, have contributed to making products and electrical systems safer, more energy efficient and more compatible.


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New hands on the IEC tiller


Since the 2012 IEC General Meeting, the Commission has seen a change of leadership, in the form of a new General Secretary & CEO, Frans Vreeswijk, and a new Vice-President, Shu Yinbiao, who has the responsibility for leading both Market Strategy Board membership renewal and the technology-watch effort.


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Mentoring and training


In a world in constant evolution, where new technologies are developed every day and new markets are emerging, the role played by IEC standardization and CA (Conformity Assessment) activities is bound to be more important than ever. For this to happen however, the IEC needs to increase awareness of, and enhance participation in its work. To this end, the IEC has set up specific programmes aimed at its members and Affiliate countries.


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Go Ahead, Get Ahead


IEC NCs (National Committees) have selected their 2013 IEC YPs (Young Professionals) who will represent their country at the third YP workshop to be held during the 77th IEC General Meeting in New Delhi, India, on 21-23 October 2013.


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Committed to IEC Standards for all


The IEC Affiliate Country Programme offers a form of participation in the IEC without the financial burden of actual membership and enhances the participation of developing countries in International Standardization. It provides these countries with a greater awareness of standardization and conformity assessment. It helps them understand how existing International Standards can be adopted at a national level, then applied and used for greater safety and efficiency in the context of economical and industrial expansion.


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IEC is part of the energy conversation


Access to energy is one of the most important challenges facing the world today. In 2011, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made sustainable energy one of his five priorities by launching the SE4ALL (Sustainable Energy for All) initiative. By 2030, the UN has set a goal of universal energy access for all countries, with a clear emphasis on efficiency, energy safety and sustainability. At both international and regional levels the IEC is part of the energy conversation, participating in the SE4ALL platform and attending key meetings of energy leaders.


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The year in events


Every year the IEC organizes and participates in a number of events, promoting IEC activities, engaging stakeholders and staying on top of the latest developments in electrotechnology and beyond. This article provides a round up of key events attended by Central and Regional Office management in the past 12 months.


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Paving the way for e-mobility


The IEC has embraced EV  development from early on, with a large number of IEC TCs (Technical Committees) and experts working on different aspects of the vehicles themselves as well as connection to the grid. The safe use of the cars is, of course, of prime importance and two workshops – ACOS and Fully Networked Car 2013 – were organized this year that took EV safety as their central theme.


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IEC Global Visions interviews


Some of the world’s leading CEOs and CTOs have recently been interviewed by IEC Global Visions. From different perspectives, these captains of industry explained why, notwithstanding today’s economically challenging conditions, they were keener than ever to spend more time and invest more resources in IEC activities.


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Share your work


With 165 countries in the IEC family, more than 13 000 technical experts who work in standards development, hundreds of CBs (Certification Bodies) and TLs (Test Laboratories) in the three IEC CA (Conformity Assessment) Systems, there is no shortage of stories to be told within the IEC community. In 2014, as in previous years, the e-tech editorial team will be reaching out to you to get your story.


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IEC website improvements


The IEC is constantly striving to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its online presence and working platforms. The bigger changes that have come into effect over the past months include the makeover of the IEC website homepage, an upgraded myIEC tool, support and feedback a click away, a new voting system and the complete revamping of the IECQ website.


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Rural electrification support for developing countries


The IEC, World Bank Group and United Nations Foundation have announced an initiative to provide developing countries with access to important technical documents, the IEC/TS (Technical Specification) 62257 series, that support rural electrification, at a specially discounted price, to help bring electrical energy to some of the 1,3 billion people without access or only limited energy access.


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