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AU TC 130 - Chairperson’s message

It is almost a decade since the founding of the Australian Technical Committee for Graphic Technologies and the creation of the Colour Standards website. Officially, we are known as the Australian Mirror Group for ISO TC 130 and operate under the auspices of Standards Australia. We are directly responsible for the submission of all ISO ballots on the development of new and revised international standards to Standards Australia who then submit them to ISO*. To the observer this may appear to be a relatively passive role rubber-stamping the ideas of others. However, I can inform you that Australia is a very active participant in this process that continues to play a constructive and meaningful role.

While the initial focus of the Australian Technical Committee (and this website) was on standards relating to colour and its reproduction, the work of the ISO TC 130 is not focused on this alone. As a result, the scope of the ISO TC 130 and, by association, the Australian Mirror Group (AU TC 130) has continued to broaden over time. Accordingly, the membership of the committee has changed to represent industry stakeholders that come together and share expertise in the pursuit of recognised processes and technologies that support a sustainable, efficient and competitive industry.

Australia has always felt the need to keep abreast of international trends and has often lead the way. It was this perspective that inspired the Lithographic Institute of Australia (LIA) to engage with Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA) and initiate the founding of the committee. Since that time we have engaged with the local industry as well as our international cohorts in the ongoing development of standards-based print production as it responds to ever-changing technologies and market conditions. Standards-based colour reproduction is now well founded in many Australian enterprises as a result of the early promotional work carried out by the committee and its members but there is always more to do.

We need to awaken those that have not heard the message to the benefits of standards-based print production and rekindle the interest for those early adopters because one thing is certain about standards: they don’t stand still. Keeping up with developments in ISO standards and their parallel Australian equivalents is an essential base to the ongoing success of the industry.

This is an industry in a constant state of transformation and standards need to reflect this. To address this challenge the ISO TC 130 meets face-to-face twice a year but a process of review and communication between its members occurs continually. They participate in more than 10 Working Groups, Joint Working Groups (with other ISO Technical Committees) and Task Forces focused on subjects as varied as terminology, process control, data exchange, printing conformity assessment (and certification), colour management, environmental impact to name a few. They grapple with new technologies, instrumentation, measurements systems, substrates and processes, lighting, safety and ergonomics. A lot of this work happens in the ‘background’ between experts from manufacturers and suppliers, industry representatives and educators. It may have a low profile but it has its rewards and I am proud to say that Australia’s involvement is at the very apex of some of this work through the active participation of members of our committee. It is our intention to continue the promotion of standards-based print production by updating the Colour Standards website and informing the industry of our activities in more detail with current information in order to better fulfil its intended purpose.

My message to the industry is that the development of graphic technologies is a continual process. A process that requires the shared knowledge and expertise of our industry as well as other sectors of the economy. We live in an expanding world of hybrid technologies in which ISO and Australian standards bring stability and understanding. They underpin a more efficient and productive manufacturing environment and provide the foundation for the industry’s long-term viability and sustainability through the promotion of high quality, low-cost, energy-efficient production processes that are vital in a globally competitive world where lean-manufacturing and quality assurance are vital components.

Mark Stegman
AU TC 130

*ISO is not an acronym. It is a word derived from the Greek isos, meaning equal. The official name for ISO in English is the International Organisation for Standardisation. In French, it is Organisation internationale de normalisation. As a result, it would have different acronyms in different languages.