SBB logo

CASE STUDIES: Innovation

Case Studies: Innovation
Companies across the nation rely on standards and conformance to increase efficiency, reduce cost, and boost market access for their products and services. Here are a few examples of how standards and conformance foster innovation:
Submit your own case study

Digital photos have advanced e-commerce and become an essential part of merchandizing opportunities. Image sharing is also one of the most popular modes of online social interaction, with millions of digital photos distributed every day via e-mail and on enormously successful social networking sites. The technology that enables digital photography is the industry adoption of the joint photographic expert group (JPEG) image coding standard, the baseline for which was published in 1992 in ISO/IEC 10918-1, Information Technology - Digital Compression and Coding of Continuous-tone Still Images: Requirements and Guidelines. And the introduction of ISO/IEC 10918-5, Information Technology - Digital Compression and Coding of Continuous-tone Still Images: JPEG File Interchange Format (JFIF), made the popular file extension ‘.jpg’ synonymous with JPEG compressed images.

JPEG has continued to advance innovation via subsequent standards such as ISO/IEC 15444, Information Technology - JPEG 2000 Image Coding System: Core Coding System, a comprehensive imaging coding system addressing new requirements not included in the original JPEG standard; ISO/IEC TR 24800, Information Technology - JPSearch, addressing the need for image search and retrieval; ISO/IEC CD TR 29199, Information Technology - JPEG XR Image Coding System, covering extended range technology; ISO/IEC NP 29170, Information Technology - Advanced Image Coding (AIC), covering coding of audio, picture, and multi- and hyper-media information; and, most recently, the new work item ISO/IEC DIS 18477-1, Information Technology - JPEG Extensions HDR Image Coding System, addressing the needs of high-dynamic range imagery, currently under development.

The exceptionally successful JPEG standard and its descendants are utilized every day by millions of users worldwide, not only in the basic sharing and printing of digital images, but in digital cinema, remote sensing, image surveillance, digital culture imaging, archiving, image search and retrieval, and high-dynamic imagery.

Arrow Want to learn more? Check out the full-length case study.

– International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and International Telecommunication Union-Technology Standardization Sector (ITU-T)

Thanks to the standards and conformity assessment initiatives that define interoperability and functionality of innovative video technologies, multimedia services support new business opportunities such as internet protocol television (IPTV) and over-the-top content (OTT). International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission Joint Technical Committee 1, Subcommittee 29, Working Group 11, Coding of Moving Pictures and Audio, (ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 29 WG 11), known as the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), has developed a large portfolio of standards in multimedia coding, transport, and systems that together provide a full range of multimedia services including text, audio, still images, animation, video, and interactive content forms.

To advance the latest technological innovations for the next generation of products, services, and applications, MPEG has developed ISO/IEC 23006, Information Technology - Multimedia Service Platform Technologies (MPEG-M), a standard for advanced IPTV services. Launched as a collaborative effort in 2008 with the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) IPTV initiative, MPEG-M is based on a flexible architecture capable of accommodating and extending in an interoperable fashion many features that are being deployed on the web for multimedia IPTV content like that available on Hulu, Netflix, or Apple TV. MPEG-M also utilizes standard MPEG technologies such as high efficiency video coding and dynamic adaptive streaming over hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP).

The MPEG-M suite of standards extends device capabilities with advanced service features such as content generation, processing, and distribution by a large number of users. It facilitates the creation of new services by offering à la carte service components as well as global, seamless, and transparent use of services regardless of geo-location, service provider, network provider, device manufacturer, or payment provider. MPEG-M offers a diversity of user experience through the easy download and installation of applications produced by a global community of developers. And it fosters innovative business models through the ease of design and implementation of media-handling value chains whose devices interoperate because they are based on the same set of MPEG technologies.

Arrow Want to learn more? Check out the full-length case study.

– International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Aerospace has been at the center of America’s technological leadership for the last century.

Underpinning all these accomplishments is the vast wealth of technical data housed, maintained, and disseminated through standards.

– Aerospace Industries Association

In 1980 a computer scientist at Bell Labs was seeking an efficient, flexible computer code for system programming that also provided high-level features for program organization.  He turned his vision into C++, a programming language that quickly gained widespread interest.

At the time, the available description of C++ was somewhat vague, and various providers of C++ compilation systems interpreted the description differently.  As a result, industry stakeholders began spearheading the formation of a committee to standardize the C++ language. The X3 organization, now known as INCITS (the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards), brought together compilation system vendors, industrial and academic program developers, and academics to establish what has evolved into technical committee PL22.16 - Programming Language C++.

In 1998 the first C++ international standard was published by ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC22/WG21, C++, for which INCITS task group PL22.166 now serves as the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG). As of 2014 the original C++ standard has been revised and expanded twice and is now identified as ISO/IEC 14882:2014, Information technology - Programming languages - C++.  Each version has had wide support meeting the expectations of both C++ vendors and users.  The next major revision is planned for release in 2017, aptly nicknamed C++17.

Arrow Want to learn more? Check out the full-length case study.

– International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and INCITS (the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards)

In the 1970s, hospitals began using computers to process digital medical images. Initially, most devices stored images in a propriety format and transferred these files over an internal network or on removable media. These incompatible systems made images inconsistent and sharing information difficult, expensive, unreliable and inefficient. In order for physicians, hospitals and patients to fully reap the benefits from digital medical images and information, the medical community called for interoperability and a standard method for transmitting medical images and their associated information.

In 1983, the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) formed a joint committee to create a standard method for transmitting medical images and their associated information. Within ten years the standard grew to utilize computer network standards and was renamed Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM). DICOM includes standards not only for images but also for patient records, studies, reports and other data groupings, and has contributed to improvements in image quality and presentation consistency.

The DICOM standard permits the transfer of medical images in a multi-vendor environment; provides a strong base for developing and expanding picture archiving and communication systems; and supports interfacing with medical information systems. DICOM is utilized in virtually every medical profession that uses images including cardiology, dentistry, endoscopy, mammography, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pathology, pediatrics, radiation therapy, radiology, surgery, as well as veterinary applications. As patient information transfers to digital forms, all Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems that include imaging information as part of the patient record will require DICOM.

Ultimately, the benefit falls to the patient. Physicians have better access to images and reports allowing them to make a faster diagnosis, potentially from anywhere in the world. As a result, patients can obtain faster, more effective care.

- The DICOM Standard’s Development and Maintenance is Managed by the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there was an increased focus on using x-ray and gamma-ray screening technologies for homeland security applications.  However, the international community found itself at a loss for comprehensive performance standards against which these technologies could be evaluated.

In 2005, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) launched an effort to identify and develop national voluntary consensus standards for the use of x-rays and gamma rays in the screening of carried items and human subjects at airline checkpoints, airline checked baggage, air cargo, and other venues, as well as the associated radiation safety concerns.  The result was the development, renovation, and promulgation of x-ray safety (i.e., IEC 62523-2010, HPS N43.17-2009) and image performance (i.e., IEEE N42.44-2008, ANSI N42.46-2008) standards that significantly benefit passengers and users of air transportation services, government agencies, equipment manufacturers, and the international community – creating a safer air transportation infrastructure for all.

A conservative, rough-order-of-magnitude (ROM) estimate of the economic benefits associated with x-ray screening standards is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.  For example, it is estimated that x-ray screening machines would be 40% more costly in the absence of consensus standards.  If the average cost of an x-ray screening device is $300,000, and there are 6,000 in usage, an ROM estimate of savings to manufacturers is $720 million.  And the total social benefits of air transportation security standards are higher since the ROM estimate only considers the direct beneficiaries of increased airline travel security. 

The economic benefits of air transportation security also extend to indirect beneficiaries whose lives and business are more secure because air transportation is more secure, such as other potential terrorist targets like highrise buildings, nuclear power plants, and government buildings.  In addition, significant efficiencies and savings are achieved by a reduction of the number of design versions of x-ray equipment as a result of common requirements, common measurement language, and common configuration controls provided by the standards.

Arrow Want to learn more? Check out the full-length case study.

– National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce

NAVSTAR GPS (Navigation Satellite Timing and Ranging - Global Positioning System), the largest avionics procurement and installation program in the history of the Department of Defense (DoD), illustrates how strategic standardization can have global impact and revolutionize the way the world functions.

By using a standard radio navigation signal and code provided by the Air Force, the U.S. and its allies realized significant economies of scale through buying, leveraging, and lowering total ownership costs, and reducing acquisition costs while supporting interoperability and logistics readiness. GPS transformed military strategy and logistics, affected many commercial industries, and became the worldwide standard for navigation.

Initiated in 1983 and launched in 1989, GPS cost over $12 billion to develop and deploy. The current annual cost for DoD to operate, sustain, and modernize the GPS is about $500 million. However, the cost of strategic standardization that enabled a single technological solution to a shared problem was infinitesimal compared to the benefit. By making the GPS interface standard available to the entire world, the GPS program produced a global economic impact too large to calculate, and total dollar savings unknowable, but the benefits and potential for GPS is infinite.

Arrow Want to learn more? Check out the full-length case study.

– U.S. Department of Defense

Standards have been essential to the growth of photography and imaging, from the first reloadable consumer cameras to the complex graphic workflows of today's commercial printing and publishing industries.

Throughout our history, Kodak has been a leader in developing, adopting, and promoting industry standards to meet the needs and expand the capabilities of our products and services.

– Eastman Kodak Company

Since 1938, luxury automaker Bentley has housed their entire operations – from design to production to sales – in one historic location in Crewe, England. Throughout the years Bentley has faced the challenge of updating their famous plant to meet the standards of modern motor manufacturing, while at the same time leading the industry in engineering, skills, employment, and environmental performance.

To develop an energy monitoring system through a measurable, systematic approach, Bentley implemented ISO 50001: 2011, Energy management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, a voluntary international standard that establishes a framework for small and large industrial plants, and commercial, institutional, and government facilities to improve the way they manage energy, including energy performance, efficiency, use, and consumption.

By implementing ISO 50001, Bentley has been able to establish sophisticated energy monitoring systems, target areas of energy fissures, and create strategies for improvement in areas covering the use of their boiler and compressed air systems, technology, heating and lighting, insulation, and more efficient variable speed drives on new cars. As a result, Bentley reduced energy usage by two-thirds for each car produced and by 14% overall for the entire plant, delivering savings of 230 GWh of energy – enough to power 11,500 houses for a year.

– International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Immediately after the tragedies of September 11, 2001, the virtues of biometrics were debated by many. In response, a significant amount of research and development, testing, and education was launched for biometric applications within border control, document security, data integrity, and identity management. The need to achieve one-to-one verification for linking a passport to its rightful owner led the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to strive to utilize biometrics as a vital tool in combination with other technologies for global interoperability of e-passport specifications.

To facilitate the goal of global interoperability, ICAO Document 9303 Part 1, Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTD), leveraged standards developed by International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission Joint Technical Committee 1, Subcommittee 37, Biometrics, (ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 37). Data formats covering biometrics for face, finger, and iris images were published in ISO/IEC 19794, Information Technology - Biometric data interchange formats, and a logical data structure (LDS) instantiation in ISO/IEC 19785, Information Technology - Common Biometric Exchange Formats Framework (CBEFF), was used as a definition to contain the data. These standards supported ICAO’s selection of facial recognition as the globally interoperable biometric for machine-assisted identity confirmation for MRTD, with the option to incorporate specifications for finger and iris images as well.

More than fifteen years later, deployment of e-passports, considered to be the most secure in the world, is well underway. ICAO estimates that as of December 2012 there were 430 million e-passports issued by 108 nations using the JTC 1 SC37 standards. This program serves as a model for effective collaboration and cooperation – between industry through subcommittees of ISO/IEC JTC 1, and the governments of the world through ICAO.

Arrow Want to learn more? Check out the full-length case study.

– International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) faced the challenge of linking millions of records from numerous different facilities using various information systems to create a cohesive patient-centric view of information. DFWHC was previously limited to analyzing information at the encounter rather than the patient level. This made it impossible for DFWHC to look at all visits for a single patient within or across entities and limited the ability to analyze data and identify trends.

DFWHC worked in partnership with QuadraMed to implement QuadraMed’s Smart I/X EMPI (enterprise master person index) software for record matching. This resulted in the ability to link inpatient to outpatient hospitalization encounters, link multiple outpatient encounters, calculate readmission rates, link research data to inpatient and outpatient databases, support research activity to improve healthcare delivery, track infections, and develop episodic metrics and analytic capability to evaluate chronic illnesses models.

DFWHC was ultimately able to link 7.4 million records from 136 hospitals, achieving a patient-centric view of inpatient and outpatient clinical information for research and reporting that can be used to evaluate and improve patient safety and care across the region. These advancements have led to the beginning stages of a regional health information exchange (HIE). And because the regional EMPI conforms to Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) profiles, which organize and leverage the integration capabilities that can be achieved by coordinated implementation of communication standards, it can be expanded to manage a future HIE.

– Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council; Healthcare Information and Management Systems (HIMSS) Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE)

The financial services industry benefits in many ways from standardization. Banking and financial transactions (card/retail, corporate, credit, payments, securities, etc.) are made up of standards, including codes, transaction sets, data, and more.

Banks and financial services companies rely on data security standards to protect transactions. Standards allow financial transactions to flow with "straight through processing" in an efficient, effective, and secure manner.

– Accredited Standards Committee X9, Financial Industry Standards

CCP Composites is a world leader in the production and distribution of gel coats, composites polyester resins, coatings resins, and emulsions.  Between 1998 and 2005, the company’s Houston, Texas synthetic resin manufacturing plant experienced a dramatic increase in energy expenditures, with an escalation of more than 100% in annual energy costs.  And in 2008, energy was the second largest cost for the plant, accounting for about 20% of the plant’s operating budget.

To help control these exorbitant costs, CCP Composites partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (formerly the Industrial Technologies Program) to implement a management system for energy in accordance with the Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program.  SEP provides facilities with a roadmap for achieving continual improvement in energy performance while maintaining competitiveness by use of a transparent system for verifying energy performance improvement and energy management practices through the application of ISO 50001: 2011, Energy management systems – Requirements with guidance for use.

CCP Composites’ Houston plant achieved a 14.9% improvement in energy efficiency over a two-year period; 31,700 million British thermal units of energy saved; and $250,000 in cost savings per year.  The Houston plant became an SEP Gold Certified Partner in 2010 using ANSI/MSE 2000:2008, an American National Standard for Energy Management Systems, and has a management system in place to proactively manage the facility’s energy resources in the future so it will continue to sustain improvements in energy performance.  CCP plans to become recertified using ISO 50001.

Arrow Want to learn more? Check out the full-length case study.

–– U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Superior Energy Performance (SEP)

In 2004 Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 12, Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors, was issued to address the lack of government‐wide secure identity mechanisms for federal employees and contractors. Under HSPD’s authority, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developed Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201, Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors. The guideline was developed through a public-private partnership utilizing biometric standards developed by the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) M1, Biometrics Technical Committee, and International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission Joint Technical Committee 1, Subcommittee 37, Biometrics, (ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 37).

FIPS 201 defines a reliable, government‐wide PIV card as a smart‐card based solution with on‐card common credentials and authentication mechanisms that can be used to verify the identity of federal employees and contractors. To enable interoperability, NIST issued several special publications outlining the mandatory format for biometric data carried in the PIV data model. The biometric records are required to be wrapped in a PIV instantiation metadata structure specified in INCITS 398, Information Technology - Common Biometric Exchange Formats Framework (CBEFF). INCITS 378, Information Technology - Finger Minutiae Format for Data Interchange, and INCITS 381, Information Technology - Finger Image-Based Data Interchange Format, establishconformance requirements for fingerprint records. And INCITS 385, Information Technology - Face Recognition Format for Data Interchange, definesconformance requirements for facial image records. FIPS 201 also includes specifications of an optional iris biometric record, which affords an alternative to fingerprint-based authentication and chain-of-trust maintenance. Iris image requirements are based on ISO/IEC 19794-6:2011, Information Technology - Biometric Data Interchange Formats - Part 6: Iris Image Data. And specifications for on-card comparison leverage ISO/IEC 19794-2:2011, Information Technology - Biometric Data Interchange Formats - Part 2: Finger Minutiae Data.

According to the White House of Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as of September 1, 2012, over five million federal employees and contractors (over 97 percent of employees and 88 percent of contractors) have been issued PIV cards.

Arrow Want to learn more? Check out the full-length case study.

– InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS)

In the 1980s, a new pipe-joining technology called a mechanically attached fitting (MAF) was developed, promising substantial improvements including easier fabrication, higher reliability, and lower costs over existing pipe-fitting technologies such as welding and brazing. But the Navy needed a universal test standard to verify the integrity of MAFs before authorizing their use in the fleet.

The Navy chose to work with industry to develop a non-governmental standard (NGS) for MAF testing: ASTM F1387, Standard Specification for Performance of Mechanically Attached Fittings, a flexible but stringent commercial performance standard that addresses all potential MAF designs. These efforts enabled the Navy to adopt and use many MAF designs early and successfully with substantial savings, improved quality and safety, and increased productivity. By 1993, the Navy had used many approved MAFs with excellent results and saved millions of dollars in the first few years.

Several different cost studies show that the use of MAFs saves up to 50% of the installed cost compared with the use of welded or brazed fittings. A fitter/helper team can routinely install 50 to 60 fittings in a single shift, more than double the rate at which welded piping systems typically are shop fabricated. By eliminating welding, many overhead costs relating to safety, personnel, equipment and supplies, inspections, rework, and monitoring are eliminated or substantially reduced.

By expediting the development of the ASTM standard and engaging industry in validation, the Navy brought the new technology to the fleet faster, better, cheaper, and with greater choice of products. The Navy was able to leverage the industry resources rather than conducting the research, testing, and validating using its own resources resulting in a $1 million savings. As the Navy continues to qualify new MAFs and add new applications for MAFs, the recurring savings and cost avoidance continues to grow.

Arrow Want to learn more? Check out the full-length case study.

– U.S. Navy

MedCentral Health System in Ohio needed to streamline its chart abstraction functions to enable it to efficiently meet increasing federal and state core measures reporting requirements. They were looking for a tool that would integrate seamlessly into their current clinical and financial departments and ancillary information systems.

Previously, MedCentral had no data mining applications; they relied on manual chart abstractions. Manually abstracting information buried in many different systems from many different departments can swamp healthcare organizations and poses a serious obstacle to calculating and reporting core measures in a timely manner. And when patient-quality issues are identified, isolating contributing factors can be an arduous task, dramatically slowing down and impeding the ability of a hospital to correct quality problems.

MedCentral looked to Siemens Soarian® Quality Measures for a solutions. Soarian® Quality Measures uses Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) and Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) interoperability specifications in its methods for obtaining patient clinical information, and then evaluates and reports on quality measures based on that information.

By adopting the HITSP specifications and initiating use of EHR technologies, MedCentral’s core measures reporting requirements became less burdensome to facilities and enhanced the reporting processes. In addition, MedCentral experienced improved accuracy of chart abstractions and is now positioned to more effectively manage patient quality issues.

– Siemens; Healthcare Information and Management Systems (HIMSS) Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE)

Beginning in 1979, the DoD began to address two interrelated aircraft battery issues: first, the inefficiency of the development and acquisition process meant that procurement costs for batteries were higher than necessary; and, second, many of the batteries that resulted from this process were poorly designed. This problem was particularly evident in military aircraft, whose batteries required extensive maintenance and frequent replacement. Moreover, other flaws in these batteries were causing damage to the surrounding battery compartment and other aircraft components due to leaking electrolyte.

To combat these issues the DoD standardized government designed batteries that incorporated technological improvements, cost lest to acquire, lasted far longer, and had requirements for life-cycle, service life, transportation, handling, and environmentally sound manufacturing and disposal.

Standardization afforded an opportunity to improve design and performance while lowering costs. Total reported cost avoidances for the DoD’s battery standardization initiative amounts to $454,717,000, from an investment of $9,341,000 – a return ratio of 49 to 1. About 45% of the savings came from lower procurement costs (i.e., buying fewer and cheaper batteries and parts), and about 55% from reduced maintenance costs (i.e., less frequent and faster scheduled maintenance, and fewer unscheduled repairs), reducing the maintenance performed on aircraft engine batteries by 50%. In addition, major cost avoidances resulted from reduced damage to the battery compartment and aircraft structure.

Arrow Want to learn more? Check out the full-length case study.

– U.S. Department of Defense

Standards allow more organizations to offer sought-after products and services, thereby increasing innovation, competitiveness, and quality while reducing costs and duplicate efforts.

– Wincor Nixdorf Inc. USA

In the post-9/11 environment, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) faced public fears that a dirty bomb attack could cost billions of dollars, cause extensive environmental contamination, result in hundreds of fatalities and injuries, and take years of recovery.  In response, DHS dramatically increased efforts to screen the vast amounts of cargo entering U.S. ports daily.  While some of the equipment needed to monitor cargo was already on the market, it was not able to handle use in diverse settings, nor was it designed for use by non-specialists or first-responders.

In collaboration with DHS, industry, and other national laboratories, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) coordinated and integrated the work of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Radiation Detection Standards Program N42 Committee to address radioactivity measurements, homeland security, and protection instrumentation for increased port security.  The N42 Committee developed a suite of standards for radiation detection equipment from small, handheld detectors to massive, port-screening monitors that could be used easily by non-specialists and first responders to scan massive amounts of cargo for nuclear-radiological threats.

Today, users and vendors have access to standards that set performance requirements for radiation detection equipment based on homeland security needs; increase the effectiveness and efficiency of cargo, vehicle, and other screening processes; and reduce the risk of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

Arrow Want to learn more? Check out the full-length case study.

– National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce

Beyond the bottom line: standards impact quality, lead-time, factory flexibility, and supply chain management.
Standardization and conformity assessment activities lead to lower costs by reducing redundancy, minimizing errors, and reducing time to market.
Demonstrating compliance to standards helps your products, services, and personnel to cross borders. Standards also make cross-border interoperability possible, ensuring that products manufactured in one country can be sold and used in another.
 
Businesses not only reduce the economic risk of their research and development activities by participating in standardization, they can also lower their overall R&D costs by relying on previously standardized technologies and terminologies.