Held annually on 14 October, World Standards Day is a global event honouring the efforts of countless experts and their commitment to uniform standards. TÜV SÜD's involvement in standards dates all the way back to 1881, when its predecessor organisation established Germany’s first universal standards for the manufacture and inspection of steam boilers, and thus essentially laid the foundations for the standardisation of technical inspection. Today, TÜV SÜD and its staff of around 24,000 work all over the world, providing third-party compliance testing and verifying that products and services are in conformity with standards, thereby facilitating international trade.
This year's World Standards Day has the theme of “Standards Build Trust”, which aligns closely with “Inspiring Trust”, TÜV SÜD's anniversary theme. And no wonder, given our active association with standards and the similarities between our areas of operation: numerous organisations, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the German Institute for Standardization (Deutsche Institut für Normung, DIN), work with expert committees to develop new standards. Compliance with these standards is then ensured by third-party testing and inspection organisations such as TÜV SÜD. TÜV SÜD is celebrating both the company’s 150th anniversary and also – as the company is Germany’s oldest TÜV organisation – 150 years of technical safety in Germany. On 6 January 1866, 22 companies in the Baden region of Germany established the Mannheim-based Association for the Inspection and Insurance of Steam Boilers (Gesellschaft zur Ueberwachung und Versicherung von Dampfkesseln mit dem Sitze in Mannheim). The idea caught on, and the establishment of the Mannheim association marked the birth of technical inspection in Germany.
Universal standards for the manufacture of steam boilers from 1881 onwards:
Around 15 years after the foundation of the first steam-boiler inspection association, similar organisations had sprung up all over Germany. At that time, experts were still free to apply their own interpretations of “orderly functioning”; even though the German Federation of Steam Boiler Inspection Associations had been in existence since 1873, there were still no binding standards for steam-boiler safety in place. However, between May and June 1881, the Federation and the German Association of Steel Manufacturers agreed on principles for material testing during the manufacture of steam boilers. These standards, known as "Wuerzburger Normen", were the first preemptive measures to be introduced by the technical inspection industry with the aim of minimising the likelihood of boiler accidents as early as the construction stage. Further standards with a similar purpose were approved in Hamburg in 1884, establishing guidelines for the calculations used in making boiler bodies. The first standards to ensure greater safety of industrial equipment were thus established.
Corporate mission as relevant today as 150 years ago
“Greater safety” was also the rationale behind the establishment of TÜV SÜD's predecessor organisation in 1866. The specific event that triggered the establishment of the organisation was a disaster that had occurred roughly one year earlier at Aktienbrauerei, a Mannheim-based brewery. The mission of the new organisation was to carry out regular steam-boiler inspections to prevent accidents in the future.
Today, TÜV SÜD has around 24,000 staff and a global network of operations – while remaining true to its roots. The company applies high-calibre expertise in testing technologies and products and ensures they are reliable, safe and sustainable. The concept of third-party technical testing and inspection has quickly established a firm footing in Germany. Striking a balance between technological progress and people’s desire to feel safe and secure has become a societal need.
Further information is available at http://www.tuv-sud.com/worldstandardsday2016.
Press-contact: Heidi Atzler