BFPA 2024 Yearbook & Members' Directory 2024

Standards Nicky Quinn took over the role of Standards and Projects Administrator in May of last year. A large part of her role is acting as secretary for nine national technical committees. “I have a main BSI liaison contact with whom I speak almost every day,” she explains. “This level of liaison has meant that introduction to contacts and processes at these bodies has been very smooth. Much of my job involves ballots and editing standardsrelated documents. Therefore, my liaison with BSI is invaluable because my contacts understand the rules better than I do. I can call them at any time, and they are more than happy to help or clarify any query I may have.” The importance of diligent selfregulation Standards are advisory, unless they are harmonised standards in support of the European Machinery Directive when they become mandatory, and based on best practice guidance rather than being legislative and requiring legal compliance. “Nevertheless, diligent self-regulation within the fluid power industry is, of course, very important to keep equipment and systems running efficiently and safely,” says Nicky. “So, one of the things I really enjoy about my job is explaining to members the benefits of conforming to standards in our industry. I emphasise why standards are so important and back this up with insightful reasons as to why companies should conform to them.” Committee involvement Part of Nicky’s role involves encouraging employees and management from BFPA member companies to get involved in the standards technical committees. “This is certainly in their interest because it’s during these committee meetings that they get the chance to influence how the standards are developed and what goes into them,” she says. “It gives member employees a voice in the standards process and is an opportunity to be in at the start of any changes.” Industry and Standards Pillar and the new searchable library Industry and Standards is part of the BFPA’s Four Pillars initiative. The Chair of this Pillar, Neal Milne, together with his team, have generated several very useful ideas around getting the membership and industry in general to be more aware of standards that are relevant to them, as well as encourage them to adopt the principles behind them. However, probably the biggest achievement formed with the assistance of Neal’s team has been the introduction of the BFPA’s searchable library of fluid power standards. “Staying up to date regarding all the latest standards and best practices is paramount if companies are going to achieve excellence,” says Nicky. “The fluid power industry plays a pivotal role in numerous sectors such as manufacturing (including major high-tech sub-sectors such as aerospace and automotive), oil and gas, agriculture and construction. However, accessing relevant, comprehensive and up-to-date standards has often been a cumbersome and timeconsuming task. With the introduction of our searchable library, the industry has quick and streamlined access to vital standards information.” Nicky explains that the idea for the library stems from a recognition of the challenges faced in accessing pertinent standards, which previously required sifting through many sources and often relying on outdated or fragmented information. “This not only impeded efficiency but also hindered the dissemination of best practice across the industry,” she says. “To address these pain points, the new library serves as a centralised repository that consolidates the vast body of knowledge underpinning fluid power engineering.” The library has a user-friendly interface so visitors to the site can easily pinpoint Standards development moves apace in our Anniversary year 34 Nicky Quinn: “Over the years, standards have moved in line with technological developments. However, nothing seems so critical in this Anniversary year than the theme of sustainability.” Jerry Hughes: “I believe putting forward credible and valuable proposals at a national level, then reaching out at an international level, is a critically important process to ensure our industry is fully understood and supported by all relevant standards.”