ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, was founded in 1947 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization has produced more than 20,000 standards, created by representatives from 165 member countries, to ensure safety, reliability and good quality for products and services. Standards allow players in disparate world regions to speak a common language when referring to goods or services, and they help businesses minimize errors and waste.
ISO 9001, which sets the criteria for quality management systems, is a well-known standard used by more than one million companies and organizations across the globe. Other standards used in manufacturing include ISO 14644 (for cleanrooms), ISO 14001 (for environmental management systems), ISO 1009 (covering paper dimensions), ISO 12647 (for print process parameters), ISO 16763 (used in print binding), ISO 4216 (for UV curable resins) and ISO 51818 (covering electron beam dosimetric procedures).
Other ISO standards, however, pertain to and facilitate operations in ways that might surprise, and in places that might astound.
Climate Change + Ocean Ports = The Next Supply Chain Headache
Trans-ocean shipping and supply chain woes are front page news since the pandemic threw a wrench into international trade and commerce. The ISO Organization is working on mitigating the inevitable – the shipping and receiving boondoggle that will emerge when climate change and sea level rise wreak havoc on ports from Los Angeles/Long Beach to Houston to New York/New Jersey.
ISO 14090 provides a systematic framework, which all organizations – in any sector, large corporations or small, beginners on climate resilience or leaders in the field – can apply to determine their own risks and then plan to adapt to them. The Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure and the United Nationals Conference on Trade and Development already point to the value of this standard.
Bio-Hazard Icons on Medical Devices and Packaging
How to make it clear – to everyone, everywhere – that a medical device or its container or its waste receptacle is a biohazard and needs to be handled with extreme care? ISO 15223-1, that’s how!
This standard, adopted globally for documentation of a wide range of medical devices, packaging, instructions and containers, applies to the symbols used as warnings. It is designed for medical device manufacturers with an international reach, to create consistency across products and regions, and to make information clear and unambiguous.
ISO in Space – Who Knew?
Someone has got to help with air traffic control for the satellites orbiting the Earth, and ISO stepped up to do the job.
ISO/TR 16158 covers space systems, for the purpose of avoiding collisions among orbiting objects. It allows satellite operators to collaborate. It also describes techniques for perceiving close approaches, for estimating the probability of a collision and for survival after impact, and for deploying maneuvers to avoid collisions. Now we can all sleep better at night.
Nix the Carbon Emissions, Aim for Zero-Energy
Leaders of corporations and institutions who want their buildings to have a lighter carbon footprint can turn to ISO/TS 23764 for valuable guidance. The standard outlines a step-by-step approach to reduce energy consumption in buildings and implement renewable energy sources. It covers heating, cooling, hot water, lighting, elevators, renewable energy, energy management and more.
One of the experts who developed this guidance stated that, in addition to helping organizations reduce carbon emissions, the standard also will support the market for new products and technologies in this sector, and help attract investors.
Honey, They Hacked the Car
With the proliferation of technology in cars and trucks, the threat of a cyber-attack on a key operational automobile system or one of its computerized accessories has evolved into a real concern. Vehicle manufacturers can turn to ISO/SEA 21434 for a standard that addresses the cybersecurity perspective in the engineering of electrical and electronic automotive systems.
This standard helps auto manufacturers stay current on cyber-attack methods, and lays out the vocabulary, objectives, requirements and guidelines so that the entire supply chain can stay on the same page. The standard draws on recommendations from SAE J3061, a resource with guidance from experts around the world.
Amazed by the scope and reach of ISO standards? For more information, visit www.iso.org.