Standards and Specifications are described as documents that describe the rules and conditions for how materials and products should be manufactured, defined, measured, tested, and applied. They are used to establish baselines or a minimum level of performance and quality control to ensure that optimal conditions and procedures for the purpose of creating compatibility with products and services from different periods and a range of sources. Specifications have a more limited range of application than standards and generally establish requirements for materials, products, or services. Standards and specifications may be issued by voluntary technical or trade associations, professional societies, national standards bodies, government agencies, or by international organizations. It is critical to establish the source.
Standards and specifications are of greatest utility to engineers, scientists and those working with new innovations.
Types of Standards:
- Category, type, dimension, structure, equipment, quality, grade, component, performance, durability, or safety
- Methods of manufacturing, methods of designing, methods of drawing, methods of using, or methods of operation of safety condition of production
- Methods of testing, analyzing, appraising, verifying, or measuring
- Terms, abbreviations, symbols, marks, preferred numbers, or units
- Design, methods of execution, or safety conditions
What are some points to remember when using standards?
- Some standards are government-mandated, and others are voluntary. There may be various penalties associated with not adhering to the standard.
- Standards are updated frequently to keep pace with changing technology -- check to see if the standard you are using is the latest version.
- Older, superceded versions of standards may be useful in many cases, such as legal disputes concerning the performance of a product that was manufactured when the older standard was in force. The Engineering Library DOES NOT maintain historical or superceded standards.
To locate a standard you should (ideally) have at least three of the following:
- The name of the publishing organization
- The standard number
- The title
- The subject
Credit: UCI Libraries