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Technical Standards: Home

What are technical standards and how are they used by engineers

What are technical standards?

A technical standard is an established norm or requirement. A standard can be defined as a set of technical definitions and guidelines, “how to” instructions for designers, manufacturers, and users. Standards promote safety, reliability, productivity, and efficiency in almost every industry that relies on engineering components or equipment.

It is usually a formal document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes and practices. The documents prepared by a professional group or committee which are believed to be good and proper engineering practices and which contain mandatory requirement. Standards can run from a few paragraphs to hundreds of pages, and are written by experts with knowledge and expertise in a particular field who sit on many committees.

Standards are considered voluntary because they serve as guidelines, but do not of themselves have the force of law. Their use is voluntary. Standards become mandatory when they have been incorporated into a business contract or incorporated into regulations.

A request for a code or standard may come from individuals, committees, professional organizations, government agencies, industry groups, public interest groups, or from an organization’s division or section. The request is first referred to the appropriate supervisory board for consideration. The board then assigns the request to an existing committee of knowledgeable volunteers or determines that a new standards committee must be formed. Once an appropriate Committee has concluded that there is enough interest and need the standards developing process is initiated.

Engineering Librarian

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John Napp
Contact:
John Napp

Associate Professor & Engineering Librarian

University of Toledo

CL 1024H

419-530-3948
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Subjects: Engineering