The time and effort devoted to standards development often has a way of going unnoticed. 

But those who actively participate in this work feel strongly that it helps both their companies and the industry as a whole.

“International standards are used by our engineers to gain better understanding of the market requirements in places that they have never visited,” said Eric B. Smith, manager, product standards at the John Deere Product Engineering Center in Waterloo, Iowa.

“For example," Smith said, "Seeing that Saudi Arabia is adopting the ISO Agricultural Tractor Rollover Protection System (ROPS) performance standards indicates to the designer that the ROPS accepted by many markets will be accepted in Saudi Arabia. This is an example of how standards help the industry access global markets and simplify the design process on a worldwide basis.”

“One of our standards development goals is to achieve better alignment between standards in various markets,” Smith noted. “Having consensus standards simplifies the design process by harmonizing the features needed to achieve the required performance. The industry benefits from reduced design burden. The end-customer benefits by products that meet their minimum needs.”

Standards also increase customer satisfaction. Take the familiar scenario of the farmer who owns and operates a variety of equipment of different makes that need to work together.

"Interface standards are crucial to allow connection of various suppliers’ implements and attachments to tractors or self-propelled machines," said David Murray, director, product safety and standards at AGCO Corporation in Duluth, Georgia. “Standardization has also progressed into the electronic world so that field data and machine control are now interchangeable between devices made by different manufacturers.”

Standards are also crucial in raising the industry bar relative to operator and bystander safety. 

“Developing standards helps our company and everyone in the industry by sharing best practices, which create the most effective safety standards,” said Jason Hetcher, director of engineering at Super Products LLC in New Berlin, Wisconsin. “The most important thing about standards is that everyone finishes their workday safely.”

For More Information

For more information on getting involved in standards development work, contact Michael Pankonin, AEM senior director, technical and safety services (, tel: 414-298-4128).