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Since the mid-18th century, manufacturing has been affected by technical innovations that have led to the gradual replacement of many craft-based activities by mechanized and automated processes. From weaving to the mass production of automobiles and consumer goods and the introduction of information technology (IT) in manufacturing, these processes have had an influence on all areas of life. The emergence of 3D printing is the latest in a long line of disruptive technologies to make its mark on manufacturing.
The lighting sector is experiencing a deep transformation across the world as new energy-efficient lighting technologies that first appeared a few years ago gain wide adoption. They are being adopted throughout the world as countries seek to control their energy consumption. IEC Technical Committee (TC) 34: Lamps and related equipment, and its Subcommittees (SCs), develop International Standards for electric light sources including energy-efficient lighting solutions.
As we transition into a smarter world, more buildings are becoming connected to improve overall efficiency. They incorporate new technologies, which manage everything from lighting, heating and energy, to security systems. Many functions, processes and systems of intelligent buildings are entirely dependent on network infrastructure, which must run smoothly and above all be secure.
Energy efficiency represents the biggest source of untapped energy in the world and, by helping slowing down final energy consumption, one of the main contributors in the reduction of noxious gases emissions. Improved electrical energy efficiency is made possible by standardization work performed by many IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and starts with electricity generation, distribution and storage.
Given today’s low-cost or free crystal-clear voice calls and the real-time transfer between continents of vast volumes of data, including multimedia content, it’s easy to forget that just 150 years ago it took nearly two weeks for news from London to reach New York. The laying of the first fully working transatlantic telegraph cable from Ireland to Newfoundland cut that time to a few hours. IEC first President Lord Kelvin played a key role in the success of the project.
The IEC remains committed to reducing e-waste and fostering re-usability of electronic devices’ power supplies. First there was the universal charger for smartphones, followed by the single charger for notebook computers. Now it’s time for a single cable for audio/video, data and power supply – thanks to work by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) and the IEC.
Electric propulsion has been used on waterways since the 1880s, where it is primarily installed in small boats transporting a limited number of passengers on rivers or lakes. Outperformed on water and on land in the early 20th century by more efficient internal combustion engines with their longer range, electric propulsion is now making a comeback on waterways. A number of IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and Subcommittees (SCs) develop International Standards that provide essential support for this renewal.
Radio frequency (RF) equipment is still widely used for the distribution and transmission of data, voice and multimedia content in the telecom, broadcast, information and communications technology (ICT) and other sectors. As copper cable technology has evolved to meet increased requirements and stay at the cutting edge of technology, IEC Technical Committee (TC) 46 and its Subcommittees (SCs) and various Working Groups (WGs) prepare and update Standards for RF cables, connectors and other components to ensure they remain effective and relevant for the industry.
It happens to every parent at some point. Your child is playing with her toys in the living room. You step out of the room for a minute, knowing that the room has been baby proofed, feeling confident that nothing could happen. Then you come back and see that your curious little one is chewing on the television cord. A raft of nightmare scenarios pass before your eyes as you imagine what could have happened while you were gone. Then you shake yourself and remove the cord from your child’s grasp. You are able to do this because IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components, tests and certifies the safety of audio/video equipment.
In addition to its regular Technical Committees, the IEC has a number of Strategic Groups, Sector Boards and Technical Advisory Committees which report to the Standardization Management Board. This month, e-tech announces various changes and nominations.