IEC-GM-Festhalle-Frankfurt
Hannibal / VDE
2018-08-28 92 0

Frankfurt Agenda - a product of the IEC General Meeting 2016

Fundamental aspects and the results of the discussions in the Reinvention Laboratory were summarized as the "Frankfurt Agenda" and forwarded to the IEC. "Connecting Communities - Reinvent Standardization" is the motto of the Frankfurt Agenda which aims to help shape the future of standardization.

Contact

Dr. Gerhard Imgrund

Frankfurt Agenda - in detail

1. Widening of our organizational structure

The IEC is to create open platforms to foster the networking of interested groups and organize cooperation with other standardization organizations and consortia in order to play a leading role in the standardization of future cross-cutting issues.

The IEC is to create open platforms to foster the networking of interested groups and organize cooperation with other standardization organizations and consortia in order to play a leading role in the standardization of future cross-cutting issues.

As digitalization progresses, our world is becoming increasingly networked and interconnected. This is leading to greater convergence of technologies across many different areas and applications. Technologies that were originally outside our industrial sector are gaining in importance for our stakeholders. This also means that we need to step up our standardization activities across disciplines and sectors. We need to work with new groups of stakeholders with whom we have never worked before. The IEC is currently widely recognized as an international standardization platform that includes almost all stakeholders. Nevertheless, we must recognize that standardization activities for many of the internet technologies expected in the future are often carried out within industry forums and consortia. To ensure that we remain relevant for our industry, we need to find ways of reflecting the needs of our stakeholders in these organizations.

In addition, many of the IEC/TCs are still following a product-based approach. Manufacturers, however, are focused – both now and in the future – more on systems than on products and they need a coherent portfolio of standards. Different platforms will inevitably lead not only to fragmentation of standards/specifications, but also to increased difficulty in managing the complexity created by the systems. To meet market requirements, product-oriented IEC silos must be dismantled and all IEC experts must be integrated into new structures that support a systems approach.

At its General Meeting in Frankfurt, the IEC was therefore encouraged to become the hub of a cross-discipline moderation platform that brings together all its internal and external experts with experts from forums, consortia and research institutes and also organizes standardization activities for our stakeholders outside the organizational boundaries of the IEC in standardization organizations, forums and consortia.

Timely market launches are a core demand of industry, which is why the relevant standards must be made available as early as possible. Therefore, the IEC must always be aware of the latest technology trends and systematically identify them at an early stage.

2. Refinement of our tools and processes

As the home of industry, the IEC should provide future-oriented digital standardization processes and tools.

As the home of industry, the IEC should provide future-oriented digital standardization processes and tools.

As we heard on several occasions during the course of the 80th IEC General Meeting, standardization must become faster, even taking place in real time. "A digital year is only 100 days" was one of the statements. Standardization should not only be a follower, but also a driver of innovation.

Standardization must also become faster if it is to keep pace with the accelerating product cycles. Since the further development of products is a continuous process, standardization must also evolve to include real-time processes. Standardization must therefore become a single continuous process, instead of continuing to consist of a succession of individual processes.

To this end, the IEC should provide open platforms for the timely development of digital products such as standards, reports on results or agendas. All existing IEC tools and procedures should be challenged and the following should be introduced by the IEC:

  • new tools for collaborative online work and
  • new communication formats such as social media.

The timely market launch of new standards that meet customer expectations in full can only be achieved if the normative requirements are tested early on during the development process of the individual standards.

The IEC should therefore work closely with external test platforms (in test centres) as an efficient and reliable feedback loop in parallel to the development of standards.

3. Innovation of our portfolio

The IEC and its entire community should evolve to become the leading provider of digital standards and services.

The IEC and its entire community should evolve to become the leading provider of digital standards and services.

The IEC and its entire community should evolve to become the leading provider of digital standards and services.

We need strategies to transform standards into digital standards and services. Today we still write standards in the same way we did in 1906. The only differences are that paper has been replaced by word processing programs and PDFs, and typewriters by laptops. Yet we observe how easy it is for traditional working methods to be replaced by new, disruptive business models from one day to the next in our everyday lives – both at home and at work. The success of new business models is largely based on the following two main characteristics:

  • consistent digital transformation that facilitates completely new approaches and
  • the consistent development of digital services from the customer's perspective.

The adaptation to customer needs is epitomized by a simple requirement for standardization which was uttered during the Frankfurt IEC General Meeting 2016 in the Reinvention Laboratory: "I want to be able to download a standard." The aim is therefore to make the content of standards directly usable – e.g. in development tools or test benches.

The IEC must focus on customer needs when developing its standards. Therefore, the IEC must develop efficient and up-to-date digital products and services with a high practical value that are easier for our standards users to find, read and use.

To achieve this, the IEC must find a way to develop database-oriented and code-based standards. Furthermore, the IEC must adopt open-source and open-community approaches to provide not only human-readable standards but also "fast-to-use" standards in the form of reference software or formally described and machine-readable standards.

4. Development of our business models

The IEC should work closely with its national committees to develop joint new business models for the profitable marketing of digital standards and services.

The IEC should work closely with its national committees to develop joint new business models for the profitable marketing of digital standards and services.

Different users also have different requirements for standards. Flexible and modular standards content can be supplied digitally in various standards products based on customers' current requirements. Numerous examples, such as machine-readable standards and "requirements engineering", services such as reference software for immediate testing during development (similar to the open source approach) and a guideline for the world of standardization were presented in the Reinvention Laboratory.

These ideas can also be described as "standards as a service", in analogy to "software as a service". They provide an insight into the future development of our products and services, which in turn require new business models – as we are currently experiencing in numerous digital transformation cases.

The IEC and its national committees should therefore develop new, profitable business models to continue the development of standardization and to help finance the creation of consensus-based standards.

5. Strengthening our conformity assessment services

The IEC should develop its platform for globally recognized conformity assessment systems in close cooperation with international and regional regulators such as the WTO, UNECE, the EU Commission and others.

The IEC should develop its platform for globally recognized conformity assessment systems in close cooperation with international and regional regulators such as the WTO, UNECE, the EU Commission and others.

The IEC is home to both electrotechnical standardization and conformity assessment. These are two interlinked services that meet the demands of industry. The IEC already operates four recognized conformity assessment systems, offering internationally recognized certificates for products, personnel and services based on international standards (mainly IEC standards).

At the IEC General Meeting in Frankfurt, all agreed that the IEC should expand its platform for globally recognized conformity assessment systems.

To achieve this objective, the IEC community needs to take the following measures:

1) Cooperation with regulators

The most efficient way for manufacturers to demonstrate compliance with laws/regulations is to use conformity assessment procedures based on international standards which are recognized by national regulators. The goal is for: "One standard, one test, universally recognized". To achieve this goal, regulators should be encouraged to base their national laws/regulations as far as possible on both IEC standards and IEC conformity assessment systems. The IEC should therefore intensify its cooperation with international and regional regulators such as the WTO, UNECE and the EU Commission. The national committees should approach their national regulators to support this dialogue.

2) International cooperation

2.1 Since IEC conformity assessment systems are based on IEC standards, every possible effort should be made to ensure that IEC standards are also suitable for conformity assessment systems. There are currently many conformity assessment documents that supplement IEC standards. The IEC should therefore establish close links between its two pillars of standardization and conformity assessment, and set up corresponding procedures for closer cooperation in order to reduce conformity assessment documents to a minimum.

2.2 Ensuring tight time-to-market schedules represents one of the core concerns of industry.
Efficient and resource-saving test procedures can be supported by uniform (basic) tests. These would prevent multiple tests of the same issue having to be carried out to different IEC standards. The IEC should encourage its Technical Committees to create a toolbox of basic tests that can then be applied directly in the IEC standards.

2.3 IEC standards are currently being manually transformed into test procedures. To reduce the time to market, the IEC should offer machine-readable standards that can be integrated directly into test equipment (in addition to human-readable standards). A first promising approach for this was presented in the form of the "Digital Twin" in the Reinvention Laboratory.

6. Preserving our core values

Digitalization will not call into question the traditional values of standardization. The creation of international safety standards is a core task of the IEC and will remain so in the future.

Digitalization will not call into question the traditional values of standardization. The creation of international safety standards is a core task of the IEC and will remain so in the future.

Full digitalization is essential if the IEC is to continue to exist and meet the expectations of its stakeholders.

However, the IEC should not forget its history and core mission, which ensure its global reputation and acceptance among its stakeholders, especially regulators. Safety standards were and will remain one of the cornerstones of the IEC.

Safety standards cannot be developed in an "expedited procedure", but must be based on the involvement of all parties concerned. To this end, the national delegation principle must be respected and safety standards developed and adopted in full consensus.