The ANSI has served in its capacity as administrator and coordinator of the United States private sector voluntary standardisation system for 78 years. Founded in 1918 by five engineering societies and three government agencies, the Institute remains a private, nonprofit membership organisation supported by a diverse constituency of private and public sector organisations.
ANSI does not itself develop ANS; rather it facilitates development by establishing consensus among qualified groups. In 1995 alone the number of ANS increased by 10 per cent to a new total of 11 500 approved ANS.
ANSI promotes the use of US standards internationally, advocates US policy and technical positions in international and regional standards organisations, and encourages the adoption of international standards as national standards where these meet the needs of the user community.
ANSI is the sole US representative and dues-paying member of the two major non-treaty international standards organisations, the ISO, and, via the USNC, the IEC.
ANSI was a founding member of the ISO and plays an active role in its governance. ANSI is one of five permanent members to the governing ISO Council, and one of four permanent members of ISO’s Technical Management Board. US participation, through the USNC, is equally strong in the IEC.
Through ANSI, the United States has immediate access to the ISO and IEC standards development processes. ANSI participates in almost the entire technical program of both the ISO (78 per cent of all ISO technical committees) and the IEC (91 per cent of all IEC technical committees) and administers many key committees and subgroups (16 per cent in the ISO; 17 per cent in the IEC).
In many instances, US standards are taken forward, through ANSI or its USNC, to the ISO or IEC where they are adopted in whole or in part as international standards. Since the work of international technical committees is carried out by volunteers from industry and government, not ANSI staff, the success of these efforts is often dependent upon the willingness of US industry and the US government to commit the resources required to ensure strong US technical participation in the international standards process.
ANSI has set standards for many aspects of film production including the Archival storage of film.