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ISO and ASTM Sign Agreement on Additive Manufacturing

Collaboration should speed standards development and availability

Published: Monday, October 24, 2011 - 10:14

(ISO: Geneva) -- The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and ASTM International have signed an agreement to increase their cooperation in developing international standards for additive manufacturing—which refers to the process of joining materials to manufactured objects, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to “subtractive manufacturing” methods, such as machining.

The Partner Standards Development Organization (PSDO) cooperation agreement was approved at the ISO council meeting that took place in September 2011, in New Delhi and signed by Rob Steel, ISO’s secretary-general, and by James Thomas, president of ASTM International.

The agreement provides new opportunities for the two organizations to adopt and jointly develop international standards that serve the global marketplace in the field of additive manufacturing. It specifies development approaches, as well as publication and distribution arrangements. The agreement is expected to optimize stakeholder resources in developing standards on additive manufacturing where both ISO and ASTM have expertise, helping to shorten standards’ development time and their availability to the market.

The decision to set up the PSDO agreement follows the recent creation of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 261—Additive manufacturing. ASTM’s committee F42—Additive manufacturing technology, already had important work in this area, and it was decided that both groups would benefit from combining their expertise.

“ISO’s aim is to facilitate the international exchange of goods and services through the development of international standards,” says Steele. “Adopting a spirit of inclusion and cooperation vis-à-vis other standardizing bodies can only increase the market relevance of our standards, while ensuring an effective and efficient use of resources.”

“As opportunities to forge collaborations in global standards development emerge in exciting new areas such as additive manufacturing, ASTM International stands ready to work with others to avoid duplication of effort and better serve our stakeholders,” says Thomas.

The agreement was approved by the respective governing bodies of ISO and ASTM International in consultation with the ISO national member body where ASTM has its legal seat (ANSI).

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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 162 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system. ISO is a nongovernmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society. View the ISO Standards list.