(This article is 4th in the series. 1st= Standards Levels of Relevance, 2nd= Types of Standards, 3rd= Emergence of National and International Standards).
Standards may be written descriptions (or conveyed through other media), mathematical formulations, graphical presentations or drawings, all setting forth the important features of objects to be produced, services to be performed, or results to be achieved and verified.
Standards for industry may be Qualitative Parameters for constituent raw materials, which can provide a reasonable output. It could be Capabilities of machines and other equipments, which combined with specific human skills help efficient handling of tasks. Standards also specify Tactics and Strategies of securing assured results. It could be devices, instruments and methodologies to verify the performance. Standards could also include mechanisms to connect, operate, maintain and replace systems.
Standards invariably incorporate Time as a disciplining factor. Time management through scheduling, sequencing, acceleration, retardation, etc., regulates all events and happenings, and thereby forms the processes.
Standards that are applied in an Industrial setting include Engineering Standards, such as properties of materials, fits and tolerances, terminology, and drafting practices. Product Standards describe attributes and ingredients of manufactured items as embodied in drawings, formulas, material lists, descriptions, or models.
Updating the Standards: Specifications continuously evolve and so do the Standards. Standards cannot remain purposeful for very long, unless continuously improvised, and their domain enlarged. Some Commercial Standards, as for example, in the fields of Information Technology, Communication protocols and Data Processing are replaced by emergent technologies even before being implemented. ISO (International Standards Organization) and BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) revise their standards, optimally every five years, but often more frequently. Improvisation updates the specifications included as standards, and enlarges the domain by including many more facets of human activities.
PROCESS OF STANDARDIZATION
Standardization is a process of identifying common features amongst various Versions of Specifications (personal, clan, trade, etc.) and assimilating them into a common and rational form. A standard emerges from equalization of divergent views, beliefs or concepts, as a consensus with intentions of efficiency and commercial advantage. ‘A Standard is that level of performance or accomplishment which has been selected as an Ideal to which actions or objects may be equated‘.
Standardization allows for clear communication between User and Suppliers, at a relatively low cost and with some degree of efficiency. Standards allow for interchangeable parts, replaceable systems and inter polarity of systems by encouraging concepts like: ‘Open-Ended-Architecture‘, ‘Modulated Plug-in Systems‘, ‘Networking‘, ‘Shareware‘, ‘Systems thinking’.