Global standardization must be the goal

Speaking at a press briefing during the 36th Conference of the German Committee of Standards Users, organized by DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) Hartmut Schauerte outlined the government's policy with regard to standardization. In a globalized world, standardization has become even more important as a means of opening up international markets. Germany's position as export world champion is closely linked to successful standardization. Consumers in particular benefit from standards as these improve competition, thus encouraging the development of products that are safe and affordable. Schauerte also emphasized that, by increasing efficiency, standardization also has an environmental significance. "Global standardization must be the goal, and for Germany this holds true more than ever. The sooner we standardize, the sooner we are at the forefront, and the quicker we can give German manufacturers an advantage," said Mr Schauerte.

Using as an example one of today's current topics, the energy efficiency of electric motors, Markus Reigl, Head of Standardization at Siemens AG in Munich, demonstrated how advances in industrial design can be incorporated in standardization. The international standard DIN EN 60034-30, which classifies efficiency classes for three-phase motors (IEC 60034-30) enables companies to sell their products on the global market. In the words of Mr Reigl: "Our sales market is the world. Standardization can play a key role in dismantling non-tariff and other trade barriers.". Electric motors consume 30 to 40 % of electrical energy worldwide. Energy-efficient electric motors can help reduce consumption by up to 7 %. According to calculations by the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI), replacement of the approximately 30 million old motors that are currently installed in industrial facilities by new ones would result in savings of more than 5.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. This is equivalent to 3.4 millions of carbon dioxide or savings in electricity costs of 440 million euros – making this an active contribution to environmental protection.

Efficient processes, an ideal technical infrastructure and continual improvement are the means by which DIN guarantees successful standardization, according to Heinz Gaub, Member of DIN's Management Board. The reasons for the success of German industry are the same as the reasons behind DIN's success. At the same time he gave a reminder of the need to sharpen company awareness that standardization is a matter to be dealt with at top management level. In addition, knowledge about the role of standardization as a strategic instrument should be more fully integrated in university curricula. This is already the case in China, where there are courses for standardization specialists at higher education level.