Standards writing as market research

Robert E. Parks

Now that an ANSI accredited optical standards infrastructure has been established as ANSI PH3.OP, it needs support in the form of dues and technically skilled personnel. Those who make optical instruments stand to benefit from their efforts. In fact, the marketing departments of optical manufacturers have much to gain and, thus, should contribute a large share of that support. At first glance, this suggestion may not make sense. What good is ANSI PH3.OP to marketing professionals? Consider a case in point. Several manufacturers of phase measuring interferometry (PMI) equipment have independently raised the question of "How should a peak-to-valley error be defined?". Should 100% of the tens of thousands of possibly noisy data points be considered or some slightly smaller fraction? And what if different manufacturers decide on different percentages?

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