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Year of the Taco
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Year of the Taco

Iíve actually written this column a little early, because the real Taco Day is celebrated on October 4. But hey, I canít help the fact that thereís no LABinsights edition planned for that day. Besides, my topic today is bigger than just me. Iíd like to call your attention to the importance of standardization in the widest sense of the word. As you may know, I am the 2019 Chairman of the Board of Directors of ASTM International. I consider it a great honor to represent more than 32,000 international volunteers.

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This article was originally published in LABinsights, March 2019 www.labinsights.nl © maXus media INSIGHTS Year of the Taco Taco van der Maten advisor to the LABinsights editorial board Text: LABinsights | Translation: Wordís Worth | Photography: FOODnote Iíve actually written this column a little early, because the real Taco Day is celebrated on October 4. But hey, I canít help the fact that thereís no LABinsights edition planned for that day. Besides, my topic today is bigger than just me. Iíd like to call your attention to the importance of standardization in the widest sense of the word. As you may know, I am the 2019 Chairman of the Board of Directors of ASTM International. I consider it a great honor to represent more than 32,000 international volunteers. The various types of standardization they are involved in are organized by 150 different committees. I will highlight a few areas of interest that may inspire you in your daily job. The largest ASTM Inter- national committee is the petroleum and fuels committee, D02. Every large oil producing company in the world is on it, as are smaller companies and institutions. The Dutch NEN is one of the government agencies that are on the committee. Shell is on the committee. And so are biofuel companies. Current topics include the development of more sustainable fuels, the require- ments these need to meet and worldwide harmonization of such requirements. But ASTM International also runs committees for quality assurance of marihuana or the production and transport of nuclear fuels. Almelo-based Urenco has a seat on the latter. ASTM has a database of training courses connected to the very long list of standardized lab tests. This enables you to take a relevant standardization course and have your laboratory earn accreditation for specific test methods. Hot topics in standardization are Additive Manufacturing (AM)ó or 3D printing ó, exoskeletons and commercial space travel. For AM, ASTM has set up various Centers of Excellence in cooperation with the AM industry, government and universities in the US, the UK and Singapore. Even NASA is involved. Itís fantastic to see how standardization contributes to innovation. Important aspects of standardization include not only devising lab tests to test the rheological characteristics of AM Ďinkí, but also reaching an agreement on which file format to use. The Safety Equipment Institute is another branch of ASTM, which tests and certifies safety equipment. This ranges from safety shoes to American football helmets. All these examples show that ASTM International is standardizing many, many processes worldwide in order to facilitate trade and make the world safer. Itís no accident that ASTM Internationalís motto is ĎHelping our world work betterí. And let me tell you, itís an amazing experience to lead this international organization. Iím proud to share it with you. Itís made my year! April 2019 | LABinsights 17
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