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March 2021: IEC in the News

In March, a number of publications discussed the work of the IEC. Below, a round-up of these articles by topic.

Industry trends

Several articles provided their insight on future trends such as digital twins, automation and artificial intelligence. These articles mention the role of standards in helping to define requirements for performance, safety and interoperability. Three articles focus on the role of automation for innovation and specifically mention IEC 61131 which addresses automation interoperability. Another article provides details about the new ISO/IEC standard for graphene.

Industrial cyber security

Industrial cyber security remains a hot topic with several articles detailing how manufacturers can guard against cyber-attacks. These articles primarily focus the threats generated by the digital transformation and how IEC 62443 provides a framework for stronger cyber security. Several articles also detail the convergence between the IT and the OT environments.

Solar energy

IEC Standards are essential in defining the test methods to use for PV modules. Two articles mention IEC testing standards: IEC 62804 used for measuring Potential Induced Degradation (PID) and IEC TS 63126 which defines testing requirements for PV modules deployed in hot environments.

Cyber security is also a concern for solar power plants. An article in Solar Power World details the risk of Internet-enabled inverters and the potential risk they pose to utility-sized solar power plants.

Ensuring safety

Several articles examine the issue of safety although for different applications. In Health & Safety International, IEC 61482 is mentioned in terms of protection against electric arc hazards. The safety of robots is addressed in Microcontroller Tips which specifically mentions IEC 60601-1 for robots used in medical environments. And, an article in IoToSphere looks into safety of using open source software with critical applications.

Tools for smart manufacturing

Several articles highlight the requirements for Ethernet connectors and cables in smart manufacturing to ensure the transmission of high data rates and power. Sensor technologies and Device-type managers (DTMs) are also expected to drive smart manufacturing.

Next generation motors

Two articles specifically address innovation in motors with a focus on energy efficiency. These articles note the energy consumption criteria established by the IEC and their adoption by regulators. Another article examines the service conditions for motors including those referenced in IEC 60034-1.

Waterproof phones

Increasingly, phone manufacturers advertise the IP ratings of their products to help consumers understand its water resistance. Several articles provided an overview of the different IP ratings and whether certain phones can be considered waterproof.

Government regulation

Standards can be used to help governments define their national regulations. In Zimbabwe, IEC Standards for renewable energy and rural electrification will be adopted. Another article details the decline in US manufacturing productivity in comparison with other countries such as China and Germany. The article highlights how innovation by start-ups can be quantified using performance and testing standards developed by the IEC, among others.


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