New standards being drafted for emerging business areas

Over 40 to be crafted by next March, with 900 bodies expected to adopt them

Standards under development include how drones can be used to inspect buildings as the use of drones is safer and more efficient than human inspections.
Standards under development include how drones can be used to inspect buildings as the use of drones is safer and more efficient than human inspections.ST FILE PHOTO

New standards are expected soon for emerging business areas such as those for drones, additive manufacturing and video analytics.

They are expected to help guide the development and adoption of cutting-edge innovations here.

At a media briefing yesterday, the Singapore Standards Council (SSC) said that over 40 new standards would be developed from April this year to March next year and over 900 organisations were expected to adopt them.

SSC was set up by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and works with industry, academia and government organisations to review and develop standards in Singapore.

There are more than 700 standards at work across all industry sectors here today.

ESG and SSC said in a press release: "The adoption of standards has enabled Singapore companies to uplift their capabilities in terms of improving productivity, facilitating innovation and meeting international benchmarks for practices, systems and performance.

"This in turn helped Singapore earn the trust of businesses and partners around the world and enhanced its position as a trusted hub for businesses."

One recent standard was the technical reference for autonomous vehicles (AV), which provided AV technology developers with clear guidelines on safety, vehicle behaviour, cyber security and data management.

It covered issues such as how fast AVs should travel and the amount of space between them on the road.

The standard, which was launched this year, will support the pilot deployment of AVs in areas like Punggol early next year.

Other standards under development include how drones can be used to inspect buildings as the use of drones is safer and more efficient than human inspections.

  • THREE EXAMPLES

  • Pneumatic waste conveyance system:

    The pneumatic waste conveyance system is an air-suction system that carries waste from individual buildings through an underground network of pipes. It aims to convey waste in a more sustainable and efficient manner.

    A national standard for this system was launched in March this year. It provided guidance on design, installation, operation and maintenance to support nationwide deployment of this new technology. The designs of these systems have to comply with the new standard from Jan 1 next year.

    Parcel locker network

    A technical reference on data interchange for last-mile delivery using the parcel locker network was launched in May last year. It provides requirements so that different operators can work together with their various parcel locker networks.

    It also caters to a wide range of delivery scenarios such as retrieval and return of parcels.

    Autonomous vehicles (AV)

    The technical reference for AV was launched in January this year and provides AV technology developers with guidelines on safety, vehicle behaviour, cyber security and data management. The guidelines are benchmarked against international standards to mitigate risks and uncertainty when developing and deploying this emerging technology.

    Sue-Ann Tan

This standard is expected to be used for inspections of industrial, residential and commercial buildings in Singapore.

A standard is also under development to set safety requirements for the design, operation and maintenance of additive manufacturing facilities.

Another standard relates to the deployment of video analytics and surveillance systems by the security industry.

It will be for the installation, operation and reliability of video analytics and surveillance systems, and how data interoperates between security and other systems.

ESG director-general of quality and excellence Choy Sauw Kook said standards help to raise the quality of products and services, allowing companies to gain market access overseas.

They also support industry transformation and enable emerging areas and innovation.

"My hope is that companies leverage on standards as a strategic tool to help them differentiate and compete more efficiently on the global stage," she added.

Ms Choy also explained that the standards are managed according to cycles to ensure they are updated and outdated standards are withdrawn.

Technical references are reviewed every three years, while Singapore standards are reviewed every five years on average.

SSC chairman Robert Chew said that moving forward, standards would be developed for emerging areas identified in initiatives like the Industry Transformation Maps and Smart Nation push.

SSC would also continue to help shape international standardisation by participating in international standard-setting bodies such as the International Standards Organisation.

Ms Choy said: "It is important for Singapore to deepen its involvement in the global conversation on standards to ensure that our industries contribute to the development of new international standards and meet requirements as they are launched."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2019, with the headline 'New standards being drafted for emerging business areas'. Subscribe