International team of data pioneers wins top ISO award


1 October 2007

Incompatibility between computer systems is of increasing concern as information technology continues to develop at a rapid pace and the number of different systems grows.  Last week the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recognised the achievements of an international team which has supported the efficient exchange and sharing of industrial information for over a decade.

Subcommittee SC4, Industrial data, of ISO technical committee, ISO/TC 184, Industrial automation systems and integration, of which BSI British Standards is a member, was awarded the Lawrence D. Eicher Leadership Award at the 30th General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland last week. 

The major efforts of SC4 have focused on a series of standards known as STEP – Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data (ISO 10303, Product data representation and exchange) – for different functional areas, covering product design, analysis, manufacture and maintenance.  The STEP standards and data modules represent hundreds of millions of dollars of proven investment and have been used in the shipbuilding and automotive industries and on products including the Boeing 777, Airbus 380 and the Eurofighter.  

Howard Mason, Chair of ISO/TC 184/SC4 and Information Standards Manager at BAE Systems, who received the award on behalf of the subcommittee, said:  “This award recognises the professionalism and commitment of all the experts who have contributed to the development of SC4 standards, and emphasises the business benefits that they deliver to industry.”

As part of its work SC4 has pioneered the standardization of reusable information modules that provide common definitions which can be used as ‘building blocks’ in multiple standards to enforce interoperability for the end user and to simplify implementation for software vendors.
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