The Internet keeps growing as a valuable tool for the standards community. Now available online are updated versions of the various procedures maintained by the Executive Standards Council of the American National Standards Institute. Standards users can view the progression of such documents at www.ansi.org/public/library/revise/procedure_updates.html. Engineers also can now browse and obtain electronic editions of codes and standards of ASME International (The American Society of Mechanical Engineers). From www.asme.org/codes/ they can buy and download critical code information that once took hours or days to receive. In addition, the Society of Automotive Engineers has posted its SAE J1939 Standards Collection and companion documents on its website at www.sae.org/products/ j1939.htm. J1939 harmonizes the way multiple microprocessor-based electronic control units communicate in autos. Another global organization has launched a program to make the Web even more useful as a standards medium. The International Federation of Standards Users (IFAN) has posted a 17-question survey form at www.nkn.nl/IFAN_quest.htm. The group urges anyone in industry or commerce who is concerned with standards to fill out the questionnaire online. IFAN will evaluate results and present them on its website. That, IFAN hopes, will give all standards developing bodies a better profile of the latest requirements of standards' users.
More and more robots are becoming more autonomous all the time. Now Lockheed Martin has completed a demo mission with two completely autonomous robotic vehicles performing resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
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