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CASE STUDIES: Compatibility

Case Studies: Compatibility
Companies across the nation rely on standards and conformance to increase efficiency, reduce cost, and boost market access for their products and services. Here are a few examples of how standards and conformance facilitate compatibility, thereby increasing competitiveness and quality while reducing costs and duplicative efforts:
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Computers store letters and other characters by assigning a number for each one.  In the 1970s and 1980s, a variety of custom-built fonts and platform-specific character sets were developed in an attempt to achieve this requirement, but no single encoding system was adequate to cover all the letters and symbols in common use in all the languages worldwide.  In the late 1980s, work on a single character encoding standard was launched by two separate entities: the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and a group that coined the term “unicode” and would later develop into the Unicode Consortium. The efforts of the two groups eventually resulted in the creation of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2, Universal Coded Character Set, and the merging of their character repertoires in 1993, which appeared as ISO/IEC 10646-1, Information technology - Universal Coded Character Set (UCS), and Unicode Standard 1.1, Universal Coded Character Set (UCS).

Today, both ISO/IEC 10646:2014 and the Unicode Standard are used for encoding multilingual text for the exchange of data internationally on over 80% of webpages, and are found on virtually all modern computer systems and devices.  These standards are the result of an extremely successful partnership between ISO, the Unicode Consortium, and INCITS (the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards), which serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 2, Coded Character Sets.

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– International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), INCITS (the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards), and Unicode Consortium

While our products feature unique components that differentiate us from our competitors, we also rely on enabling components like fittings and fasteners that can be produced to standards and be available “off the shelf.”

Contributing our knowledge to develop these standards made good sense. The more standardized components we can use to deliver reliable functionality, the less we, and our customers, have to pay.

– Deere & Company

Thanks to the standards and conformity assessment initiatives that define interoperability and functionality of innovative video technologies, multimedia services support new business opportunities such as internet protocol television (IPTV) and over-the-top content (OTT). International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission Joint Technical Committee 1, Subcommittee 29, Working Group 11, Coding of Moving Pictures and Audio, (ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 29 WG 11), known as the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), has developed a large portfolio of standards in multimedia coding, transport, and systems that together provide a full range of multimedia services including text, audio, still images, animation, video, and interactive content forms.

To advance the latest technological innovations for the next generation of products, services, and applications, MPEG has developed ISO/IEC 23006, Information Technology - Multimedia Service Platform Technologies (MPEG-M), a standard for advanced IPTV services. Launched as a collaborative effort in 2008 with the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) IPTV initiative, MPEG-M is based on a flexible architecture capable of accommodating and extending in an interoperable fashion many features that are being deployed on the web for multimedia IPTV content like that available on Hulu, Netflix, or Apple TV. MPEG-M also utilizes standard MPEG technologies such as high efficiency video coding and dynamic adaptive streaming over hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP).

The MPEG-M suite of standards extends device capabilities with advanced service features such as content generation, processing, and distribution by a large number of users. It facilitates the creation of new services by offering à la carte service components as well as global, seamless, and transparent use of services regardless of geo-location, service provider, network provider, device manufacturer, or payment provider. MPEG-M offers a diversity of user experience through the easy download and installation of applications produced by a global community of developers. And it fosters innovative business models through the ease of design and implementation of media-handling value chains whose devices interoperate because they are based on the same set of MPEG technologies.

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– International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Standards are a vehicle of communication for producers and users. They serve as a common language, defining quality and establishing safety criteria.

Costs are lower if procedures are standardized; training is also simplified.


Sound technical standards benefit the user, as well as the manufacturer, by improving safety, bringing about economies in production, eliminating misunderstandings between manufacturer and purchaser, and assisting the purchaser in selecting and obtaining the proper product to meet his or her need. In addition, the process of standardization allows manufacturers to come together to reach consensus on the best way to describe a product or system and their performance characteristics.

NEMA product groups devote much of their time, effort, and resources to voluntary standardization activities.

– National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)

Managing the business of standards helps avoid the heavy start up and recovery costs to repair or replace an [internal] standards system, helps prevent costs incurred through incorrect or non-current standards, and allows standards to more readily function as enablers for other major business processes.

– "A Corporate Executive’s View: Standards–How to Break the Love/Hate Cycle" By Laura Hitchcock of The Boeing Company, excerpted from Standards: The Corporate Edge, an ASTM International publication

Digital photos have advanced e-commerce and become an essential part of merchandizing opportunities. Image sharing is also one of the most popular modes of online social interaction, with millions of digital photos distributed every day via e-mail and on enormously successful social networking sites. The technology that enables digital photography is the industry adoption of the joint photographic expert group (JPEG) image coding standard, the baseline for which was published in 1992 in ISO/IEC 10918-1, Information Technology - Digital Compression and Coding of Continuous-tone Still Images: Requirements and Guidelines. And the introduction of ISO/IEC 10918-5, Information Technology - Digital Compression and Coding of Continuous-tone Still Images: JPEG File Interchange Format (JFIF), made the popular file extension ‘.jpg’ synonymous with JPEG compressed images.

JPEG has continued to advance innovation via subsequent standards such as ISO/IEC 15444, Information Technology - JPEG 2000 Image Coding System: Core Coding System, a comprehensive imaging coding system addressing new requirements not included in the original JPEG standard; ISO/IEC TR 24800, Information Technology - JPSearch, addressing the need for image search and retrieval; ISO/IEC CD TR 29199, Information Technology - JPEG XR Image Coding System, covering extended range technology; ISO/IEC NP 29170, Information Technology - Advanced Image Coding (AIC), covering coding of audio, picture, and multi- and hyper-media information; and, most recently, the new work item ISO/IEC DIS 18477-1, Information Technology - JPEG Extensions HDR Image Coding System, addressing the needs of high-dynamic range imagery, currently under development.

The exceptionally successful JPEG standard and its descendants are utilized every day by millions of users worldwide, not only in the basic sharing and printing of digital images, but in digital cinema, remote sensing, image surveillance, digital culture imaging, archiving, image search and retrieval, and high-dynamic imagery.

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– International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and International Telecommunication Union-Technology Standardization Sector (ITU-T)

Harmonizing U.S. packaging machinery safety standards with international standards helps U.S. manufacturers compete globally with a common product design. Risk assessment is a requirement consistent with the E.U. directives.

Also, global consumer goods manufacturers are now requesting the machinery manufacturer share the documented risk assessment with the purchaser. This levels the playing field for all machinery manufacturers.

– Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI)

The financial services industry benefits in many ways from standardization. Banking and financial transactions (card/retail, corporate, credit, payments, securities, etc.) are made up of standards, including codes, transaction sets, data, and more.

Banks and financial services companies rely on data security standards to protect transactions. Standards allow financial transactions to flow with "straight through processing" in an efficient, effective, and secure manner.

– Accredited Standards Committee X9, Financial Industry Standards

Industry standards used in tree care management provide the baseline knowledge for all our industry education and credentialing programs. In addition, they are used as the basis for most large commercial, municipal, utility, and governmental contracting.

These standards are so essential to the services our industry provides, it would be difficult for our organization or our member companies to place a concrete value on them.

– Tree Care Industry Association

Standards are critical to our global licensing and registration program. They enable manufacturers all over the globe to provide equipment that meets the requirements of the oil and gas industry users.

By using standards, the purchasing, oil, and gas industry user communities can source quality products all over the globe.

– American Petroleum Institute (API)

Standards allow more organizations to offer sought-after products and services, thereby increasing innovation, competitiveness, and quality while reducing costs and duplicate efforts.

– Wincor Nixdorf Inc. USA

Immediately after the tragedies of September 11, 2001, the virtues of biometrics were debated by many. In response, a significant amount of research and development, testing, and education was launched for biometric applications within border control, document security, data integrity, and identity management. The need to achieve one-to-one verification for linking a passport to its rightful owner led the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to strive to utilize biometrics as a vital tool in combination with other technologies for global interoperability of e-passport specifications.

To facilitate the goal of global interoperability, ICAO Document 9303 Part 1, Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTD), leveraged standards developed by International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission Joint Technical Committee 1, Subcommittee 37, Biometrics, (ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 37). Data formats covering biometrics for face, finger, and iris images were published in ISO/IEC 19794, Information Technology - Biometric data interchange formats, and a logical data structure (LDS) instantiation in ISO/IEC 19785, Information Technology - Common Biometric Exchange Formats Framework (CBEFF), was used as a definition to contain the data. These standards supported ICAO’s selection of facial recognition as the globally interoperable biometric for machine-assisted identity confirmation for MRTD, with the option to incorporate specifications for finger and iris images as well.

More than fifteen years later, deployment of e-passports, considered to be the most secure in the world, is well underway. ICAO estimates that as of December 2012 there were 430 million e-passports issued by 108 nations using the JTC 1 SC37 standards. This program serves as a model for effective collaboration and cooperation - between industry through subcommittees of ISO/IEC JTC 1, and the governments of the world through ICAO.

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– International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Beyond the bottom line: standards impact quality, lead-time, factory flexibility, and supply chain management.
Standardization and conformity assessment activities lead to lower costs by reducing redundancy, minimizing errors, and reducing time to market.
Demonstrating compliance to standards helps your products, services, and personnel to cross borders. Standards also make cross-border interoperability possible, ensuring that products manufactured in one country can be sold and used in another.
Businesses not only reduce the economic risk of their research and development activities by participating in standardization, they can also lower their overall R&D costs by relying on previously standardized technologies and terminologies.