—Adrian O’Connell, Acting Chief Executive Officer
At the time of writing we are coming to the end of another busy month for Standards Australia.
From new standards to help consumers engage with health contact centres, to the establishment of a Smart Cities Advisory Group to bring infrastructure and data together through standards, our work sits at the centre of much of so much of what we are driving forward in Australia today.
The single common theme across all these agendas is that together, industries, governments and other communities can achieve much more by working together with shared objectives and common goals. As we look ahead at the work we have in the pipeline, we have much more to deliver this year.
We were also able to say thank you and goodbye to Dr Bronwyn Evans this month, as Bronwyn finished her term as Chief Executive Officer. Having worked with Bronwyn for more than 5 years, I can attest to her deep commitment and passion for the work that we all do, and we wish her every success for the future.
As our Board works towards the appointment of the next CEO, I look forward to supporting Standards Australia and ensuring that we continue to make Australian life better.
In Conversation with Frank Schrever
Standards Australia: How do standards impact your professional career?
Frank Schrever is the Chairman of SF-041, Safety of Machinery, the technical committee of Standards Australia responsible for all of the AS 4024 series which includes other technical and machine specific standards.
Frank joined SF-041 in 1999, initially as the representative for the Institute of Instrumentation, Control and Automation (IICA), latterly Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute Ltd (AMTIL) and has been chair of the committee since 2011.
Frank has over 40 years’ experience in instrumentation and automation markets. Along with his committee commitments, Frank has managed a number of subsidiaries of multinational companies, and in 2010, Frank established his own consultancy providing machine safety training, risk assessment and validation services.
Frank Schrever: Machine safety standards have had a huge impact on not only my career, but also on the entire automation industry. Since 1996, when the first edition of AS 4024, Safety of Machinery
, was published, there has been a revolution in the design of machinery safety control systems because of the global underpinnings of this standard. All sectors of the industry have been impacted, whether they be designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers, system integrators, industrial electricians, safety professionals or machine operators. The law has long asked for removal of machine risks by design, and this standard was the first, and remains the only, comprehensive guide as to how to do this.
SA: Do you think the robotics industry is still growing?
FS: The robotics industry is growing very rapidly, and with many parallel streams. There are the traditional industrial robotic arms, which now can have collaborative applications, allowing humans to safely work beside them in carefully designed situations. There are service robots and personal care robots which are exploding in the range of applications. Autonomous robots, such as farming robots, are rapidly evolving, to the point where a single human may soon have swarms of these machines assisting in the management of large acreages.
SA: Will standards expand the sector in Australia?
FS: We have recently hosted an international meeting of ISO/TC 299, Industrial Robots, at the University of Melbourne. Australia is very involved in the development of the latest robot standards. This will assist the many groups that are involved in robot development in Australia, to be at the leading edge of global standards compliance.
SA: What are some of the lesser known uses of robotics?
FS: Perhaps some of the lesser known applications are in the areas of limb replacement where a person can receive a tailor-made replacement body part which will respond to signals from the brain to accurately control the robotic assembly. This will revolutionise how we deal with these medical issues and restore (possibly even enhance) motor functions to people whose conditions previously could not be addressed.
SA: What do you think the future of standardisation looks like?
FS: The future of standardisation in the area that I am involved in, will increasingly involve software and probably image analysis. The holy grail of machine safety is having the machine ‘see’ the environment around it, interpret this correctly in all conditions, and behave according to this analysis, i.e. stop when it sees imminent danger to a human. We are still a fair way from this result, but without careful, global standardisation, we will not achieve it.
Working at Standards Australia
In late 2018, the HR and Learning and Development Team conducted an employee engagement survey, with incredibly positive results returned.
“What do you like most about working at Standards Australia?” received the unanimous response of “the people”.
If you are interested in joining our incredibly diverse, dynamic and committed team, jump onto our website and browse the opportunities
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