The standby symbol is well-known to all of us and has become a bit of an icon for techies all around the world.
Outside of the IEC, few people know that it is one of the organization’s earliest Technical Committees – IEC TC 3 – that produced the world-famous symbol. Like all the other symbols used for electrotechnical equipment, it can be found in a database published by both IEC and ISO (IEC 60417 and ISO 7000).
“Each symbol is standardized separately. Part of our work is to make sure that they continue to be used throughout industry,” says TC 3 Chair Eirik Selvik. The symbols represent conductors and connecting devices, semiconductors and electron tubes, measuring instruments, lamps and signalling devices, etc… Each symbol is shown “as is” in the databases. “Rules for the application of these symbols, especially in documentation, are provided in IEC 61082, a horizontal publication specifying the preparation of documents used in electrotechnology,” Selvik adds.
Meeting demands from the digital world
The work of TC 3 does not stop there, however. Emphasis has shifted towards the management of information and the creation of computer interpretable classification and identification systems used during the whole life cycle of a device, system or plant.
“The move from a paper to a digital world started in the 1980s. We gradually changed our focus to finding a way to convey information so that it meets new digital needs,” Selvik explains.
2019 has already been a busy year for the TC. It has published several new editions of standards. IEC 81346-2 is one of them. It’s a horizontal publication which can be used by all IEC TCs and can be applied throughout all technical areas and branches of industry, whether energy, chemical, construction, automotive, shipbuilding and marine… It establishes classification schemes with defined object classes and their associated letter codes.
Rendez-vous at the General Meeting in Shanghai
The TC will be holding a workshop at the GM to present the results of its reflection as well as new developments. It will take place in the morning of October 24 in the Pudong Shangri-la River Wing building. “We really want people from other TCs to attend and for them to express their specific needs for graphical symbols, documentation and representations,” Selvik says.
Find out more about the work of IEC TC 3 in : https://iecetech.org/issue/2019-04/Sign-of-the-times