Mentioned several times in this trend watch supplement, regulations, standards and certifications provide a driving force for new products. From the size of the motor (i.e., NEMA 17) to how communications are handled within a network (i.e., Profibus or fieldbus) and even the type of facility that manufactures the product (i.e., ISO 9000 certified), standards play a critical role in establishing trends as suppliers implement new technologies and processes to meet these standards.
Standards aim to reduce and simplify the design effort, yet in many cases, there are so many standards manufacturers must provide several variations in one unit or several different products to address each standard.
Users looking for products with specific capabilities know exactly what IEC IP67 or NEMA 6 ratings mean to a product's ruggedness and waterproof status. But is being ATEX certified important in the application? For those who don't know, the list below could prove very useful.