I am now back from the IEC meeting for a bit more than a week so thought an update worth sharing.
The plenary meetings themselves in which I participated for the week are predominantly related to the ‘business’ of developing standards since it is in the working groups that most of the actual document development is done. This year’s meeting was no different in that the majority of associated working group meetings were held the week before the plenary sessions and the plenary week also had a 1-day forum (mini-conference) at which key new technologies were discussed and presented. Topics at this year’s forum, representative of the discussions in industry at large included: Wireless, digital communications/buses, data transfer between and across systems / various levels of the enterprise, energy efficiency, digital factory, safety, security, and EMC/EMF.
The meetings themselves progress from working groups to Committees, and then the TC itself meets all day Friday. The committees are: 65A – system aspects; 65B – field devices (sensors & actuators); 65C – communications (buses); and 65E – integration in enterprise systems (EDDL, OPC, FDT are here). Like any session in which the majority of participants are engineers we always had at least one issue every session that was “worked” longer than may have been necessary but in the end all was resolved and in general the meetings ended on time. There were not any contentious issues this time around with the biggest point of discussion the “Ubiquitous Sensor Network” initiative coming from ITU/ISO that hopes to eventually connect everything to everything else which starts a potential ‘turf war’ on who is responsible for developing the standards. The ‘turf war’ is less about which organization develops the standards and more about who has the knowledge to do so since the experts migrate to certain committees based on the scope of those committees so that the resulting standards will actually work.
The next TC65 meeting will be in the United States in the Fall of 2012 (group meets every 18 months) so watch for developments and consider subscribing to the IEC newsletter at http://www.iec.ch/newslog/
More about Ubiquitous Sensors in a future blog.