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Beckhoff Employee Becomes First Representative from EU on Top IEEE Committee
Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG Posted 08/05/2020
Dr. Karl Weber will represent the German Federal Ministry in the international Government Engagement Program on Standards
VERL, Germany – Dr. Karl Weber of Beckhoff Automation was appointed as official representative of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) to the Government Engagement Program on Standards (GEPS) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The committee advises the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) and enables governments from all over the world to access and participate in the standardization processes of the IEEE, the world's largest professional association of electrical and IT engineers.
IEEE standards are essential tools to support modern infrastructure, innovation and international trade, protect consumers and address societal challenges and other public needs. The IEEE invites policymakers to participate in the GEPS to determine the direction and priorities of IEEE SA. Most market-defining IT companies, such as Microsoft, are headquartered in the U.S., but the association intends to involve European countries more going forward. Weber is now the first representative from the European Union to join the GEPS.
Intensive collaboration with international IT experts
Weber has worked on fieldbus standardization since the late 1980s, and he is involved in the international standardization organization IEC. Prior to joining Beckhoff, Weber obtained his doctorate in computer science and worked in the field of real-time communication at Siemens for 25 years. Dedicated to Ethernet communication, he has contributed experience to a wide range of projects in both industry and scientific research at Zurich University of Applied Sciences and the Industrial Automation Branch of Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB INA). Since May 2013, Weber has served as an industrial communication expert for Beckhoff and the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG). He has also been active in IEEE for 18 years and is now a senior member in addition to his new position on the GEPS.
“The dialogue with the IT world is of great importance for us. IT and industry are increasingly merging,” Weber explains. “At the same time, both industries are developing at different rates. IT is producing new variants at a rapid pace, but in industry, the technologies that have been tried and tested over many years are the basis to further develop reliable automation for machines and systems. It is important for me to see IT developments not as trends or hype, but to make established standards usable for automation in a sustainable and controlled manner.”
Common platform for further automation development
Having a representative in the IEEE GEPS provides decisive advantages for both the BMWi and Beckhoff. "We are now involved in developments in IEEE standards at an early stage and receive the necessary background information. We can take this into account both in Germany's technological orientation and in Beckhoff products and solutions. As a member of GEPS, we naturally also have a certain amount of influence and can contribute our own ideas and the requirements of our industrial customers to IT standardization,” Weber says.
For Beckhoff, the appointment of any colleague as an official representative to a top-level IEEE committee is a great honor. “With the appointment of our colleague Dr. Karl Weber, GEPS is gaining a very experienced automation expert. He is both committed to consistent standardization as a sustainable basis for industrial communication and has a comprehensive understanding of the concerns of government, the IT industry and automation and brings them together in a focused way,” says Hans Beckhoff, Owner and Managing Director of Beckhoff Automation, as well as an IEEE senior member. “The work in the IEEE is very important for us as a company. We now play a central role in worldwide IEEE standardization projects and can contribute automation technology concerns. Only if we consistently exchange ideas with other companies from the IT and electrical industries can we drive technological innovations based on common standards, thus creating added value and consistency for users, including our customers, all over the world.”
About 70 other Beckhoff employees and more than 40 Beckhoff students are IEEE members.