Sometimes life takes unexpected turns. As a sales representative many years ago I didn't know I, later on, would become a representative for Troax AB developing standards for SIS. I have been travelling for some years now on this quest of mine, and one of the most frequent questions I get is – Why? Why do you do it?
1. I had to answer customers questions
It all started 16 years ago as I started my career with Troax Denmark as a sales representative selling machine guarding. My knowledge of the machinery directive and standards was close to zero. I realized quickly that in order to be successful AND provide my customers with complete solutions, I needed to become a consultant, not JUST a salesman. When customers asked questions, I needed to have answers. I needed to study!
2. I wanted the knowledge to be able to provide the best customer service
Keep in mind, 16 years ago not only was MY knowledge of standards limited but so was my customers’ knowledge. Research taught me that there were a few standards that would need to be focused on. EN294 and EN811, which today are combined into ISO 13857, concentrated on safety distances from machinery. Then there was EN953 which is now ISO 14120, this centred around the actual guards themselves. In order to offer complete customer service, I needed to understand these standards inside and out.
3. I love developing standards
I guess my studies and “real world” experience had an impact, even within Troax. It became obvious that the company needed a full-time resource devoted to nothing but safety, standards and making sure the complete product line would both meet and exceed the needs of the workplace. I was asked to become a member of Work Group 7 (WG7) which is an international collection of “experts” where you’re nominated to join and contribute. For five years WG7 worked on and developed ISO 14119 former EN 1088, a standard for machine safety and use of interlocking devices. Honestly, from that moment and project, I was hooked. Standards have been my focus ever since.
4. I want to make a global impact
I believe in ISO standards more than ever. As business becomes more and more automated AND more and more global, the need to harmonize standards becomes an absolute necessity. China has decided to adopt the general machine safety standards this Autumn. Australia has adopted most of the machine safety standards and many others are either on board or close. In my opinion, within ten years, ISO standards will be more important than trade agreements. The reason is if you follow ISO standards and everyone accepts ISO standards, the world CAN become everyone’s marketplace.
So, I’m Chasing Standards because at Troax, protecting people, property and processes should be a consistent and available to all.