Our birthday Standards Heroes have been nominated by their peers to represent all our contributors - individuals we consider to be the real heroes of standards, in Australia and internationally. We thank those who contribute their knowledge and expertise, service, and time to Standards Australia for the benefit of the Australian community.
Bruce Cannon has positively impacted the welding industry and subsequent standards for a number of years. His work is recognised internationally.
How did you become involved in standards development?
In 1993 I was seconded from my employer BHP Steel (now BlueScope) to assist the the Welding Technology Institute of Australia (WTIA) as their Welding Engineer. The role included standards representation on a number of committees active at that time, particularly those relevant to the fabrication of structural steels.
What role have standards played in your career?
Involvement in standards has presented the opportunity to see some of my work as a welding engineer rise from the development phase through to the ultimate implementation via input to standards for the betterment of Australian industry. This led to a later secondment on an international project which included visitation to and working with subsidiaries in Asia and North America.
What is a project you’ve been particularly proud to have helped deliver?
Whilst globalisation has been with us for some decades, the adoption of international standards in particular has its challenges given that many represent a way of doing things foreign to Australian practices which in the welding industry, more aligned with North American practices.
As early as 2004, it was noted that consideration of the adoption of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard for the qualification welders could hold many benefits for Australian industry and the decision was taken by Committee WD-003 at the time to align the welder qualification standard AS 2980 with the core requirements of ISO 9606-1, a decision which led to New Zealand co-joining this standard in 2007.
At the time, a direct text adoption could not be considered due to important technical differences however these were later resolved, and Australia adopted ISO 9606-1 as AS/NZS ISO 9606.1 in 2017 given its then relevance to the defence industry. This standard has now gained in importance within the transport and pressure equipment sectors as well, in addition to its primary use within the steel structures sector. More recently I have had the opportunity to represent Australia’s interests at ISO in the revision of ISO 9606 and provide feedback to the drafting committee on the Australian experience with this standard. This work is ongoing.
Outside of standards development, what have been some highlights of your career?
Without a doubt, opportunities presented by the secondment to the Welding Technology Institute of Australia (WTIA) has led to additional opportunities and secondments which broadened the scope of my work and presented opportunities to interact with the steel fabrication industry in particular. Whilst this brought with it a great deal of job satisfaction, it also presented me with the unique opportunity to provide input and feedback to Australian Standards through other nominating organisations (e.g. BOSMA) to ensure that our standards remained current, technically sound and practical to implement.
What do you think the future of standardisation looks like?
Without a doubt, we will see greater adoption of ISO standards, however, it is important to note that direct text adoptions are not always practical given that they often represent European welding and testing practices which do not necessarily align with Australia’s best interests. It is therefore crucial that our committee members comment accordingly on ISO drafts and preferably, attend the relevant ISO meetings to provide direct input to ISO standards likely to be considered for adoption in some form. With many Standards Committees now being inactive, ISO input is vital as Australia no longer has the resources needed to manage all our Australian welding and related standards of which there is now over 250 standards to maintain. It should be noted that adoption of ISO standards does not always present the best technical solution particularly where our forebears have developed sound standards which may simply need to be aligned with current best practice to take them into the future, the recent revision of AS 1796 Pressure equipment — Qualification of welders, welding supervisors and welding inspector standard being is a great example.
Is there anything you’d like to say or mention about Standards Australia’s centenary year?
Over the years that I have been active on various standards committees, I have had the privilege of working closely with a range of dedicated and highly skilled volunteers and Standards Australia personnel. The strength of Standards Australia continues to lie with its people, both employees and committee volunteers. Development of these crucial personnel resources will see the organisation continue for another 100 years.