High technologies obviously meet contemporary standards
Over a thousand specialists have come to Minsk from around the globe, to discuss the development of new technical standards and regulations in the field of electrical engineering
The event was truly of high status. The previous three sessions of the International Electrotechnical Commission were held in Tokyo, New Delhi and Oslo. After Minsk (in 2016), Berlin will take the baton.
The Commission notes that its general assemblies are usually held either in states with developed high-tech industry or in the most promising regions of the planet. Belarus belongs to the second category: our potential for electrical engineering arouses little doubt worldwide. Our country has definite advantages, including well-developed infrastructure, and a high level of education.
In his welcoming speech, Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov noted that Belarus’ membership of international standardisation organisations has helped form a considered technical policy for the state, reducing expenses and simplifying international trade.
The International Electrotechnical Commission was established almost 110 years ago. In 1905, American St. Louis hosted a World Fair, where delegates discussed the necessity of co-operating via technical communities. There were few common terms for electrotechnical devices, so the need for a common language was obvious, as was the need to standardise some technologies. To promote global progress, it’s invaluable for companies and inventors to use the same definitions, and to ensure that technologies are compatible.
The International Electrotechnical Commission is influential, comprising 83 member states, including Belarus. Our country joined in 1993 and boasts 224 technical experts and 54 organisations within its 92 committees and subcommittees. Recently, experts discussed issues of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, while planning absolutely new electrical lighting devices. Thinking about machinery which consumes and generates electricity, they also looked at technologies being used in ordinary white goods: washing and dishwashing machines, vacuum cleaners and kitchen devices.
At the International Electrotechnical Commission session in Minsk
The Chairman of the State Committee for Standardisation, Victor Nazarenko, comments, “Experts and specialists gathered in Minsk to find an answer to the key question: what is coming tomorrow? Speaking of the International Electrotechnical Commission’s modern tasks, one of its heads recently noted that enterprises are always in competition with rivals, so finding norms of usage is vital in planning the way forward.”
Mr. Nazarenko underlines that Belarus is focused on sales abroad and so must meet technical standards. Similarly, it must ensure that it takes part in setting these standards, so that its industries have a fair chance of complying. To do otherwise would be to lose sales markets and reduce export geography.
Frans Vreeswijk, the International Electrotechnical Commission’s General Secretary, agrees, saying, “It’s vital for your experts to actively contribute to discussions and become involved at the same level as international specialists. Only in this way can you contribute to setting standards suitable for your enterprises, which will result in export growth.”
Some time ago, the Commission compared the importance of the international standard system with the importance of the air that we breathe: we take it for granted until its absence! Since the organisation’s establishment in 1906, it has developed over 3,000 standards: on final produce; in the field of terminology; on methods of electrical device testing; on electronic components; and within other spheres. Its standards are only recommendations but they define the lower end of technical demands: a level which must be passed to ensure a place on the world market.
The Commission unites 166 states: 83 of them — including Belarus — are members, while others are observers. 98 percent of the global population lives within their territories and their facilities produce 96 percent of world electricity. With this in mind, the General Assembly offers a true advantage: improving Belarus’ image internationally.
Mr. Nazarenko notes, “In the past, Belarus offered to host the General Assembly’s session. The International Electrotechnical Commission’s heads have assured our Government that they will do everything possible to promote our country. As a result, experts always mention Belarus, its industry and investment attractiveness, saying that we are a reliable partner.”
The International Electrotechnical Commission is a non-commercial organisation guiding standardisation in the field of electric, electronic and related technologies. It comprises representatives of national standardisation services and was established in 1906. At present, the Commission unites over 76 states. Initially, it was located in London but, in 1948, its headquarters moved to Geneva. The organisation has regional centres in Singapore, San Paolo and Boston. Its membership is open only to acknowledged organisations of national standards.
By Vladimir Khromov