Post 219 – by Gautam Shah
‘Raw materials or Finished product‘s are transient terms for goods. A finished product is a raw material for some other process. Raw materials procured in a linear, square, volumetric, weight or liquid measures, get processed into a different ‘measure’ entity.
For products transiting from one measure phase to another, a persistent dimensioning system is very advantageous. Consistency of dimensions allows use of standard tools, equipments, plants and technologies. The dimensional consistency, if properly recognized and supported, can rationalize the conversion processes, storage, handling, and waste management.
For example metal ore is mined in volumetric measure, transported by its weight measure, bought for its yield rate value, refined into ingots for weight measures, rolled into metal sections to be used for their strength aspect.
In the ‘Post Industrial Revolution‘ period, trade and industry all over the world recognized the need for a Universal Dimensioning Discipline. At that time better coordination was also required for conversion and transmission from old measurement systems to the new SI system of measurements (Le Système International d’Unités). First worldwide understanding emerged in the adoption of SI as the Universal Measure System.
ISO MODULAR PREFERENCES
The SI also recognized that, measures as above, are either too large or small for nominal use. Such a widely spaced (1000 factored) measurement system was not amenable to unit formation for processes like planning, design, production, transportation, fabrication or execution, etc. ISO (International Standards Organization) as a result devised a practical modular system of dimensions known as ISO Modular Preferences. Most National Standards (including Indian Standards) are recommending and enforcing the same for various products and processes.
The ISO Modular Preferences help in both, dividing a whole into logical parts and combining parts into a rational whole. It also accommodates traditional modular systems, such as foot-Inch and earlier versions of the metric systems. Typically, the Foot (12″), the most popular measure of FPS has been accommodated (but not the 1/4 or 1/5 part of the Meter such as 20 or 25 cm or 200 or 250 mm). This was done for wider acceptance and to achieve a gradual changeover.
First Preference is favoured by the building materials’ industry. Plywoods and other wood products are available in modules of 300 such as 600, 900, 1200, 1800, 2400 etc. Large buildings are designed with 300 as the modular measure. But, for smaller spaces such as Bedrooms, toilets, second preference of 100 is used as a module.
Second Preference is considered to be the most appropriate one for Building components and Planning. Glazed Tiles are available in multiples of 100 mm, with sizes like 100 x 200, 200 x 200, 200 x 300 etc., and also in sizes such as 150 x 150, 150 x 200 etc. as a carry over from the old system. Fabrics have widths of 600, 900, 1000, 1200, 1800 etc. When we order Windows or Doors the width x height are measured in 100 mm increments.
Third and Fourth Preferences are more preferred for objects smaller then 300 sizes. These preferences are not to be used for basic object sizes of more than 300, unless there are strong economic or functional reasons for doing differently.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE MODULAR COORDINATION OF DIMENSIONS
There are many products where smaller modulation or variations are desirable such as Garments and Shoes. ISO Modular Preferences, do not consider the variations in naturally available materials. Furniture, fittings and fixtures designed with ergonomic profile or serving anthropometric, inconsistencies have no specific accommodation in this system.
ISO is a modular system to form a grid or matrix for macro planning and in that sense takes a superior position. Components and parts are expected to fit in the system. As a result, work-sizes of components and assemblies should be determined by taking account of space for joint and allowance for tolerances.
The ISO modular system is based on SI system (a derivative of the metric system) which originally was rational and contrived, and continues to be so. This type of Modular Coordination of Dimensions, is unnatural and does not exactly relate to human body. Its implications to our senses are extremely limited. It creates an ‘order that lacks beauty’. The system does not harmonize the variable tolerances’ requirements, and differences in fitments sizes.
ISO Modular system has very simple and predictable progression-digression, unlike many mathematical orders and systems like Corbusier’s Modulor system.
ISO Modular Preferences, as a universally agreed system of preferred measures, disciplines design, procurement, production, conveyance, handling, storage, distribution, usage, wastage and reuse or recycling of materials. The system has provided a level ground to compare standards of various countries, and evolve world standards (ISO) for various products, services and work or operational procedures. It has made the writing of specification lucid and logical. It simplifies taxation procedures, costing, estimating, and valuation. It also rationalizes deployment of human and energy resources. It has made quality control procedures very objective.
At any cross section of time, there are many creative people, who feel stifled by such an Abstract Dimension Modulating System. But one must also concede that by its universal acceptance (through ISO), a logical dimensioning tool has been made available to a vast majority of people. The Dimensioning Tool defies all localized traditions, cultural variations, anthropometric distinctions, racial biases and geographical peculiarities. The system is unaffected by time or space.