Setting the Standard

Setting the Standard

This piece was originally published as the chairwoman’s column in the October 2016 issue of electroindustry.

Maryrose Sylvester, Chairwoman, NEMA Board of Governors; President & CEO, Current, powered by GE

Digital World Connections Technology Background

NEMA’s 90th anniversary is the perfect time to reflect on the critical role technical standards have played in catapulting living standards globally. The seemingly simple concept of ensuring product performance and compatibility is the basis for the hyperbolic curve that traces the pace of technological innovation.

The value of a telephone at the beginning of the twentieth century increased in proportion to the number of possible connections to other compatible telephones. Standardization made possible the creation of a vast communication network of enormous value to consumers, businesses, and government.

Fast-forward to the present. Standards are creating information technology platform networks that, like initial telephone networks, are generating unprecedented economic benefits. Compatibility is the catalyst that enables an Internet of Things and undreamt technological advances.

Outdoor lighting systems equipped with sensors provide authorities with air quality information, traffic movement, and suspected unlawful activities. Traffic signals can talk to automobiles to smooth traffic flow and reduce the frequency of collisions. Doctors can access medical imaging results remotely and make diagnoses as easily as in the hospital.

Economic growth is more dependent on standards today than at any point in history, as technology is growing increasingly complex. NEMA companies are at the forefront of innovation that is disrupting incumbent technologies and economic relationships that have dominated the last century.

The electroindustry recognizes the importance of collaborating with other industries, such as automobile manufacturing and information technology industries, in both hardware and software. Future gains will depend on the electroindustry’s ability to leverage winning outcomes through robust collaboration with an increasingly wider assortment of industries.

The engines of future growth will use networks as their fuel. If you have not yet done so, now is the time to think creatively about how to connect your products in new and previously impossible ways—and an ideal place to do it is in your NEMA Sections.

We are the electrotechnical and medical imaging experts; who better than us to set the standard?

Read the October 2016 issue of electroindustry.

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