Little Bits of History


Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 23, 2012

ISO logo

February 23, 1947: A new worldwide standardization group is founded. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the ISO began as an idea proposed in October 1946. At a meeting at the Institute of Civil Engineers held in London, delegates from 25 countries saw a need for “international coordination and unification of industrial standards.” A meeting held in Paris in April 1947 produced a list recommending 67 ISO technical committees. The early “Recommendations” they produced were derived from standards that had been developed nationally, approved, and then were to be re-introduced nationally.

ISO is neither an acronym nor initialization of the full name of the group. The official languages for the entity are English and French. The full name in English is the International Organization for Standardization. In French, it is Organisation internationale de normalisation. ISO, pronounced eye-sow (rhymes with how), is from the Greek word isos, which means equal. Since the name changes according to the language, the Organization chose to represents itself with ISO. The logo is a blue background with a globe marked with longitude and latitude lines and ISO covering the globe itself, all in white.

Today, there are 158 out of a possible 195 countries who are part of ISO. There are three types of memberships. Member bodies are the most representative. Correspondent members are countries without their own standards organizations. Subscriber members are countries with small economies. The 36 non-participating countries are small nations. The ten Subscribers members are given reduced membership fees. The 47 Correspondent members are given more access to the development of standards. The 105 Member bodies are those that can vote.

Some standards, although a rare few, are available for free. Most have to be purchased. This has led to a charge of unfairness with some saying the cost is too great for small or open source projects. There is a complaint about the time required to actually set standards. In a fast paced electronic world, time is of the essence. There have also been charges of committees being swayed by mega-institutions, such as Microsoft, for the setting of internationally accepted standards.

We looked at that bad experience and said this is a great opportunity to use a problem solving strategy we’re going to use in the future under ISO, a process to resolve issues related to quality. – Tom Hicks

Scalable took existing policies and did a gap analysis, to see what was needed for ISO compliance. – Kevin Doyle

In addition, we have external auditors. The most important technologies applied to improve the refinery production are safety, health, and the environment. Thirteen new systems were applied to achieve the ISO Certification. – Husain Ismail

We designed the facility from the customers’ perspective, investing heavily in new shop capabilities and making sure the layouts would be more conducive to efficient, timely work flows. Our ISO-9000 initiatives and Kaizen innovations have helped along the way. We have room on this new site to grow in place literally for decades to come. – Dave Ford

Also on this day:

The Rotary Club – In 1905, the Rotary Club was formed.
Cato Conspiracy – In 1820, the plot to kill British cabinet members was exposed.
Gutenberg Bible – In 1455, the Gutenberg Bible was published.

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