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 Post subject: IEEE 1584 - Required Certification for Products/Services?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:20 am 
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I have heard a rumour that IEEE1584 are up to their old tricks again.
Back in 2012 it was to introduce royalties for use of the equations. This time I understand that the IEEE Standards Association are planning to require certification for the use of the next edition of IEEE 1584 in products and services with that Certification commanding an not unsubstantial fee for the certification.
I have a number of issues with all of this. Technical Standards are firstly produced by a number of experts including those who actively participate in the development of the standard at meetings etc. but also third parties who comment at all stages through to the ballot stage.
IEEE1584 is not the culmination of the work of a single person neither is it the work of only those members of the TC but it is the work of many people over many years some of whom, like Ernie Jones, are no longer with us. They’ll be wanting to copyright Ohms Law next!
To even consider a system of Certification of persons would be full of holes and the only benefit would be to those who certify and this is erroneous in itself. Who certifies and what qualifies them to certify? I started in this field in 1993. I’m a Fellow of the IET; Senior Member of the IEEE; Chair the European Cenelec TC responsible for this field of activity and contribute on the IEC Committees – etc. etc. I resent someone believing they have the authority to certify me or others like me.
This would be a very dangerous precedent. The IEEE need to be reminded of their roots and why the Institution was founded back in 1884 and be aware of a potential backlash if they allow a minority to capitalise on others work.
From the point of my National Committee we would be requesting to IEC to develop its own information for distribution on a global platform; to drop the official Liaison with IEEE; and basically suggesting to the UK and European industry not to reference IEEE 1584.
I would be interested if there is any substance in this rumour and will anyone be at the September meeting in Philadelphia.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Move to Certification
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:54 pm 
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I don't know where this came from and there was a move similar to this that floated around about a year ago.

If it's a move towards certification for software, there is some merit in this. Many software standards such as OPC and ODVA to name two have so many layers and so many loosely defined requirements that just about the only way to guarantee any level of compatibility is to have either a set of test standards (given these inputs, the output should be thus), or a "test fest" where everyone generates an output given a set of inputs and the committee does a statistical analysis of the results, disqualifying anyone that isn't within the margin of error of the consensus opinion. With most software interoperability standards what they do is test against each other and those that are the "most compatible" are deemed qualified.

The second reason for this is that there are many practitioners already out there that are not professional engineers. Although IEEE 1584.1 highly recommends licensed engineers, many people producing the results are not licensed engineers. One of the most glaring, obvious reasons for this is due to the "industrial exemption" at least in the U.S. 29 states have this exemption at last count and the boards of the states that don't are simply not enforcing it. Since engineers in industry don't have to be licensed, only about 20% of engineers actually are licensed. The remaining portion are split about 50/50 between those that do something other than engineering, and those that are practicing engineers but work within the industrial exemption clause. Thus there is a potential value in creating a voluntary certification process since so many individuals that perform arc flash calculations are not licensed engineers. There is precedent for this as well. EASA certifies motor rebuild shops. PEARL certifies just about every other kind of electrical rebuild. NETA certifies both testing technicians as well as accrediting testing companies. None of these organizations specifically REQUIRE anyone to follow their standards. They are all voluntary. But they offer certification as a means of proving that someone is at least serious enough about the business to take the time (and money) to show some effort. Although state licensing boards have somewhat more teeth, out in the industrial as well as product manufacturing world where effectively engineering licensing is voluntary, a professional engineering license works exactly the same way.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Move to Certification
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:41 pm 
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Thanks PaulEngr for your response.
Yes I am fully in agreement on compatibility – that is essential for any software.
Regarding certification of persons, whilst I understand what you say, I'm not so sure I agree.
A responsible organisation should, by exercising due diligence, ensure that the people they employ (whether direct or third party) are actually qualified to do what they say they can do and whilst I appreciate that the "bean counters" in their ivory, insular towers really don't care and that is the reason that more and more unqualified people are appearing on the scene - not only in this field but all fields, it is incumbent on the Professional Engineers to dig in on certain matters - especially where safety of personnel is concerned.
But, if Certification is more than a suggestion, I also believe this is the thin edge of a wedge. For those that follow this path there is already ISO/IEC17024 for the certification of persons although this is has “issues” as for a number of specialist fields it simply cannot be applied.
Unfortunately, the reality of Certification is that can result in being just another bureaucratic money spinner which introduces more cost into a system and with some of the Organisations responsible for governance of Certification it simply comes down to those who pay the fee gets certification irrespective of whether it is deserved.
I am currently auditing an electrical utility that contracts to an independent test “lab” and it is a catalogue of errors. Incorrect standards being referenced, wrong tests being performed etc. and I don’t believe there is a single person employed in that electrical test “lab” that has an electrical qualification never mind being a professional engineer or physicist. Even the basic test certificate issued would not be acceptable in a Court of Law! Yet it appears to have a plethora of certification.

But I guess this is a rumour and I would like to know more.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Move to Certification
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:07 am 
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adpierce wrote:
I have heard a rumour that IEEE1584 are up to their old tricks again.
Back in 2012 it was to introduce royalties for use of the equations. This time I understand that the IEEE Standards Association are planning to require certification for the use of the next edition of IEEE 1584 in products and services with that Certification commanding an not unsubstantial fee for the certification.

PaulEngr wrote:
So...if IEEE or NFPA or anyone else wants to turn this into a money-making parasitic scheme, so be it.

I remember the 2012 discussion about royalties on the forum. If this latest info is correct, it sounds like "certification" could be another attempt at something like royalties in another form. What are they thinking of certifying? Wouldn't this involve most of the electrical safety industry?


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Move to Certification
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:23 am 
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I've picked this up from IEC TC78 which is the international technical committee responsible for arc flash.

Basically the rumour is that certification will be a requirement for anyone who wishes to use IEEE1584.

I believe it is a discussion point for the meeting in Philadelphia in September and I'm hoping someone from IEEE1584 will pick up the post and respond.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Move to Certification
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:10 am 
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Thanks for your comprehensive response PaulEngr.

I didn't say that being a registered Professional Engineer automatically qualifies a person although here in the UK unless you are a registered Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IET it is unlikely that you would be regarded in Court as a credible Expert Witness - and of course it would be necessary to demonstrate clearly and unequivocally that you had the necessary expertise.

But what you are doing is exercising due diligence by ensuring those whom offer there services are actually qualified to do just that and that is what is lacking now in many organisations and why so many "jack the lad" engineers and technicians are plaguing the world - especially where there is a quick buck to make. The old adage "caveat emptor" is more valid now than ever before!

But certification by the IEEE is, I believe, beyond their terms of reference and if it is the same as the "Royalties" issue in 2012, then why should a chosen, self appointed few make money out of the work of others? I neither believe that to be ethical nor acceptable.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Move to Certification
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:21 pm 
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I found what I believe is the thread from the 2012 conversation about possible royalties for 1584. There do seem to be some parallels with certification for possible fees as mentioned in the first post of this thread. Let's hope this does not go down that path. Does anyone else have any other information? If this is another attempt at fund raising in the guise of certification, that could start a bad precedent. I hope I am misunderstanding this but I'm not too sure.

Link to Royalties Discussion Thread:
http://www.arcflashforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2252&hilit=royalties


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Move to Certification
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:02 pm 
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Thanks - again, hopefully someone from IEEE1584 will pick this up.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Move to Certification
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:51 am 
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I believe from the original 2012 discussion that it went something like this. The IEEE 1584 Committee was contemplating specifying the use of some sort of software library that was either commercial or pretty daunting to actually write, such as implementing Wilkin's time domain model for arc flash. The idea was that due to the complexity of whatever software calculation they were considering using instead of publishing the details of the algorithm (and it's not clear why this was not possible), they would instead publish the test results and sell licensed copies of the library. This would then in turn allow the software vendors to incorporate it into their software.

This would be akin to publishing a standard that uses the MPEG compression protocols that were fully documented but patented so that you had to get a license to use them (every DVD player sold still incorporates license fees and royalties behind the scenes). Or like the original public key encryption systems that were totally patent encumbered up until recently when the patents finally expired. These all made their way into some standards. The only difference was that instead of having to pay huge amounts of money to a software vendor, the money went to patent trolls or to software library companies who in turn paid the patent trolls.

The only time I've heard words spoken about certification actually came from the NFPA crowd, not IEEE.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Move to Certification
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:15 am 
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I was thinking about this and re reading the 2012 thread some more. Even though some details are missing right now, if this is correct, does it affect people or just software companies? Software is one thing - although a slippery slope for future standards but if this is about certifying the study person, this would be serious - and I believe unprecedented if it is a requirement for performing studies.

I can't imagine how such a thing could be implemented with the thousands of people doing studies. Thank you for this post/warning. Does anyone have any other information?


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Required Certification for Products/Services
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:12 am 
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You can't be serious! Haven't we been down this path before? If they start charging everyone - that will create a shockwave that will be felt by everyone. Charging people for providing services of trying to create a safer workplace? Are they insane or greedy or both?


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Required Certification for Products/Services
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:15 am 
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Does anyone know if and when this goes into effect and what would we have to do as well as what is the cost? This is quite upsetting.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Required Certification for Products/Services
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:55 am 
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I recently had the opportunity to speak to someone who is on the 1584 TC. He was quite disappointed with the direction being taken by 1584 as regards this issue. Apparently at the last meeting the attendees had a lot of questions they wanted answers for but IEEE refused to respond. IEEE stated they would respond by written word but later retracted. From my conversation with this fellow it was clear that IEEE did propose certification for people using the new method.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Required Certification for Products/Services
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:20 pm 
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I can understand the frustration with having to beg for donations for testing and development. But if 'IEEEe crosses the line and opens Pandora's box of basically taxing use of what is public research with public funding, especially when millions have already been donated, what will the money be used for, when will it end, and how will it be contained so that it doesn't grow into some kind of self serving entity far removed from its original intent? I have never in my experience seen such a thing contained for even a few years. For that matter pray tell what if 'IEEE 1584 is then quoted or referenced in other standards such as NESC, NFPA 70E, or IEC standards? Answer: it can't, because you can't extend the licensing/taxing into other standards unless they too have licensing schemes. 'IEEE 1584 for all intents and purposes at that point will be scrapped. Maybe not immediately but I'd say within 2-3 years at most. As it gets ripped out of 70E and other standards due to the ridiculous overhead and legal implications of the licensing/taxing scheme especially with derivative works, or research displaces it, it will quickly disappear into obscurity. Is that really the intention?

Sounds like a loaf of crap to me. Look at the mess we have with MPEG or RSA. Those 'standards' basically languished for years and MPEG in particular came extremely close to being relegated to the trash if the commercial competitors as well as Ogg-Vorbis had come into being even 1 or 2 years earlier.

We already have the unencumbered Wilkins simplified method that beats 1584 empirical. I doubt 1584 can top that by much.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Required Certification for Products/Services
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:20 am 
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This is interesting. After reading the posts about certification and possible fees (pay to play?), I did a search for patents at USPTO.gov last night. It took a while as there are many arc flash related patents but I think the link below shows IEEE holds a patent on all of this. I'm surprised this can be patented. It is assigned to IEEE with a date of 2013 so it has been out there for a while.

They seem to be claiming everything to do with arc flash calculations when you read the document. It is quite long. Is this part of what the debate is about? An organization owning the rights to a method used for safety.

Until someone can provide a definitive answer, this is mostly speculation but it seems suspicious when all of the information is taken together.

LINK: IEEE 1584 Patent


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Required Certification for Products/Services
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:43 am 
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Its crap.

For one thing it's a process patent. Change even one tiny little difference and process patents collapse. There is some double-speak in the text where they attempt to extrapolate beyond the patent but with process patents you can't do that.

There are tons of prior art, too. I can cite EPRI and ArcPro as examples that are conspicuously absent. That's never mind Lee, Doherty, and IEEE 1584 itself that are actually cited in the text. The key thing here is that it speaks to doing a linear interpolation of the results based on 3 reference voltages. The reference voltages mentioned are 600 V, 2.7 kV, and 14.5 kV.

If anything this looks like a "defensive" patent...creating a software patent merely with the intent of preventing anyone else from creating a software patent just to block trolls.

And by the way, patents do not offer any specific government protection. All that it amounts to is full disclosure of the idea and a license to sue. Typically as of about 10-20 years ago the cost to litigate a patent was around $1,000,000 and it definitely has gone up since then. It seems like attempting to license IEEE 1584 (and the attendant consequences) would consume any license fees to the point where I highly doubt IEEE would actually attempt to sue for patent enforcement as a practical matter.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Required Certification for Products/Services
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:02 pm 
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Guess it's time to jump in here. As Secretary of IEEE 1584 and the new International Chairman of IEC TC78, I have to state my comments here do not represent anything official from either of the previously mentioned standards committees.

Not much is known at this point about any details regarding the subject of certification. The IEEE Standards Association representatives will be addressing this at the next IEEE P1584 Working Group meeting in Philadelphia on September 17, 2016. The meeting is held in conjunction with the IEEE Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee (PCIC). If you are in the area, feel free to stop by - It is an open meeting that is held preceding the PCIC conference.

If you can make it, I strongly encourage you to attend the PCIC conference too. It is a real "who's who" list of people in the industry and includes many great technical papers, presentations and tutorials.

More information may be found at: http://ewh.ieee.org/soc/ias/pcic/conferences/


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 - Required Certification for Products/Services
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:01 am 
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The IEEE 1584 Working Group met in Philadelphia on September 17, 2016. The certification issue was the main topic of discussion at the meeting. As it stands right now, we were told there will be NO mandatory certification for the use of the new IEEE 1584 standard (which is still in development) This is good news!


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