Global relevance

IEC Global Visions – broad participation results in better standards

By Gabriela Ehrlich

In this latest IEC Global Visions interview, Keith Nosbush, Chairman and President of Rockwell Automation, the world's largest industrial automation and information company, shares why his organization participates in IEC standardization work and why he encourages other companies to join the process to further increase the quality and relevance of IEC International Standards.

Increased efficiency

The most important trend in manufacturing today is the transformation of IT (information technology)-connected manufacturing to an optimized plant and supply network. This trend is motivated by three drivers: the need for global competitiveness, an agile supply chain and sustainability. Resources are finite; both in terms of raw materials and fuels, and energy costs are volatile. Manufacturers need to explore new ways to produce, using less raw material and energy and reusing waste to reduce landfills. In short: production processes need to become more efficient.

Rockwell offers a multitude of innovative services in the area of emission reduction, recycling and waste management. Rockwell's participation in IEC standardization helps the company to develop standards that are globally recognized. This is very important for a multinational automation supplier with a global customer base; it enables Rockwell Automation to provide consistency and be more productive and efficient.

Personal involvement in IEC standardization

Nosbusch's personal experience in the IEC may well be the reason why he fully supports his company's participation. Says Nosbusch: "I've had personal involvement in the standards working group as a convener. It was very evident to me that being part of the standards organization, and driving towards a global standard created more opportunities for us as a company. It enabled multiple suppliers to work together to create larger markets. This in turn generated faster adoption of technology and therefore created larger opportunities for all of us to go after. We also were able to convene with all of the experts on a subject area, and to take the best practices of multiple companies and embed them in standards. We were able to utilize that knowledge to create very effective standards that were practical but also appropriate for the global market place."

His personal advice

When asked what advice he would give to a company that is not yet fully engaged in IEC work, Nosbusch says: "My advice is to get engaged. I think your involvement is what makes it a better process. Your voice added to the input from numerous other businesses creates a better standard. It's that collaboration and the alignment of industry, of knowledgeable people and best practices that all of them bring to the table that creates a better global standard."