The earliest found example of measurement systems were found with the Indus Valley Civilization of 3000-1500 BC . Their measurements-for length, mass and time-have been described as very precise, in fact their “chert” weights weighed approximately 28 grammes, making them similar to the Imperial ounce. Marcus Vitruvius Pollio , used contemporary measurement units to assist his work which led to him being commonly known as ‘The World’s First Engineer’. His writings inspired Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, seen here, which also shows the contemporary measurement units that Vitruvius used; the span, the cubit, the yard and the fathom. In the Magna Carta , you can see the government attempting to create consistent and unified measurements of certain items. Clause 35 states: “ There shall be standard measures of wine, ale, and corn (the London quarter), throughout the kingdom. There shall also be a standard width of dyed cloth, russet, and haberject, namely two ells within the selvedges. Weights are to be standardized similarly.”
The need to standardize grew out of the Industrial Revolution. In 1841, Sir Joseph Whitworth invented a screw thread known as the Whitworth screw thread, railway companies across the nation adopted this innovation over the years and decades that followed. Companies began working in their best interests to use this industry leading product and it became organically, but not formally, a standard. From 1850 onwards, the emerging British rail network changed the face of trade in the country and exacerbated the need to formally standardize. Markets were previously local and the rail lines offered producers the ability to transport goods into different markets and collaborate nationally with other suppliers. As Woodward points out: “ Now the engineering shops of Birmingham, the steel mills of Sheffield, the cotton looms of Manchester had all Britain on their doorsteps — and beyond England there were further markets to conquer in all the other countries of Europe which, with England, were thrusting forward with their own railway networks and industrial development.” The emergence of the rail lines created a number of problems: • The diversity of the sizes and quality of products made in different regions increased the risk for businesses to order from outside their locality and damaged competition and efficiency. • Matching components bought from different regions together to form a whole unit could very rarely be done without costly adjustment. A letter to The Times in 1895, presenting the example of a contractor who had to procure iron girders from Belgium to complete an order, encouraged London iron merchant Henry Skelton to write: “ Rolled steel girders are imported into Britain from Belgium and Germany because we have too much individualism in this country, where collective action would be economically advantageous. As a result, architects and engineers specify such unnecessary diverse types of sectional material for given work that anything like economical and continuous manufacture becomes impossible…no two professional men are agreed upon the size and weight of girder to employ for given work and the British manufacturer is everlastingly changing his rolls or appliance, at greatly increased cost, to meet irregular unscientific requirements of professional architects and engineers.” In 1900, Skelton was asked to present these views at a meeting of the British Iron Trade Federation where a prominent member of the Council of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Sir John Woolfe-Barry , took interest. Sir Wolfe-Barry was a famed engineer and the architect of Tower Bridge and used his influence to persuade the Institution to appoint a committee of leading civil engineers to consider standardizing iron & steel sections. On April 26th 1901, this committee met and founded the Engineering Standards Committee , with two representatives each from the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Institution of Naval Architects and the Iron & Steel Institute.
There are 6 commonly considered levels of standardization, the first 2 of which are not produced by BSI but by individual companies. Corporate Technical Specifications are explicit sets of requirements to be satisfied by a material, product, or service. An example could be the product specifications of your laptop or iPod. These standards are quick to write because they are highly controlled by the company producing them. As we move up the diagram below, you’ll notice that each level takes longer to write as it requires consensus from a wider spectrum of stakeholders. Private standards are private documents owned and written by an organization or corporation. These are used and circulated as they determine necessary or useful. A simple example of this could be a company’s branding guidelines or the equality/health & safety policies which add a level to previously existing legislation or standards, tailored to the explicit needs of the company. The Publicly Available Specification (PAS) is a consultative document where the development process and written format is based on the British Standard model. Any organisation, association or group who wish to document standardized best practice on a specific subject, can commission a PAS, subject to the BSI acceptance process. The main difference is in the area of consensus; a British Standard must reach full consensus between all stakeholders on technical content, whilst a PAS invites comments from any interested party but does not necessarily incorporate them. This means that the timescale for the development of a PAS can be shorter, typically around 8 months. British Standards are the formally produced standards from BSI, the UK’s National Standards Body. The standards are written by consensus with input from industry, experts and other stakeholder groups like consumer representatives and academia where required. The different types of British Standards available (Specification, Code of Practice, Test Method, Guide, etc.) are detailed in the tables with your handouts. As, I said in the previous slide, there are also European and International standards bodies and these bodies produce, respectively, European standards and international standards . BSI, like most NSBs, adopts the standards at European and International level, so that these are effectively British standards as well (e.g. BS EN, BS ISO). In the case of European standards, we are obliged to adopt these and any UK work must stop (at ‘standstill’) if equivalent European work commences. This is why, for example, the international standards for quality management systems’ full registration in the UK is BS EN ISO 9000.
CEN is a major provider of European Standards and technical specifications. It is the only recognized European organization according to Directive 98/34/EC for the planning, drafting and adoption of European Standards in all areas of economic activity with the exception of electrotechnology (CENELEC) and telecommunication (ETSI). CEN's 31 National Members work together to develop voluntary European Standards (ENs). There are differences in the standardization process. There is still the public consultation process after which, taking into consideration the comments resulting from the CEN Enquiry, a final version is drafted. This draft is then submitted to the CEN Members for a weighted formal voting. After ratification by CEN, each of the National Standards Bodies adopts the European Standard as an identical national standard and withdraws any national standards which conflict with the new European Standard. Hence one European Standard becomes the national standard in the 31 member countries of CEN.
FirstGroup transport reduced energy consumption by 31%(ISO 14001) Shree Cement Ltd (SCL) reduced energy use and cost by nearly 2% (EN 16001) MERCEDES GP PETRONAS increased reliability of F1 team using British Standards Online (BSOL) Ennstone reduced employee liability insurance premiums by six-figure sum using Entropy® LG Electronics India estimates reduced energy consumption of 22% (EN 16001) Amba Research cut information security costs by 33% (ISO/IEC 27001)
All standards affect the public directly or indirectly, even though most are produced to serve the immediate needs of business and industry. Many, though, have a direct and beneficial impact on the general public. These include ‘traditional’ consumer related standards such as those for domestic appliances, or signs and symbols, as well as those newer types of standard for sustainability, social responsibility or services. The Consumer and Public Interest Network (CPIN) which started life in 1951 as the Woman’s Advisory Committee, is a network of consumer organisation and experts, co-ordinated by BSI’s Consumer and Public Interest Unit. The objective is to influence the content of standards to reflect the needs and proper expectations of the general public with regard to factors such safety and security, labelling, accessibility, fairness and redress. Representatives are recruited and supported by BSI. They come from diverse backgrounds and have a range of high quality expertise and experience. Those who are unfamiliar with standardization are given suitable training and guidance in the standardization process, including specific skills required for researching, reporting and attendance at meetings both here and abroad. The Consumer & Public Interest Network has an impact at all levels of BSI operation from the highest committee – the Standards Policy and Strategy Committee on which sits the Chair of our CPI strategic advisory committee, to the technical committees and PAS steering groups on which are CPI reps are directly involved. We have CPI Coordinators to mirror all the sectors in which BSI operates and other horizontal issues of particular concern to consumers and the public interest.
Most Standards are voluntary agreed practices and, therefore, not regulatory documents. In some cases, however, a standard may be referred to by law – like BS 1363 parts 1& 2 for 13 amp fused plugs – or be mandated by a directive from the EU Commission. Standardisation requests (also known as mandates) are the mechanism by which the Commission requests the European Standards Organisations (ESOs) to develop and adopt European standards in support of European policies and legislation. Draft mandates are drawn up by the Commission services through a process of consultation with a wide group of stakeholders. Before being formally addressed to the ESOs, they are submitted for opinion to the Member States in the Standing Committee of the 98/34/EC Directive [212 KB] . The ESOs, which are independent organisations, have the right to refuse a mandate if they do not think that standards can be produced in the area being covered. In practice this refusal happens rarely due to the informal consultation mentioned above. Please note that European standards, even developed under a mandate and for European legislation, remain voluntary in their use. Three types of mandates could be considered: study mandates to check the feasibility of standardisation, mandates requesting the elaboration of a standardisation programme and mandates for the development and adoption of European standards.
There are a number of options to consider when deciding how you wish to comply to standards. Testing One option is testing, although this option has has a number of issues that must be consideredf irst. Firstly, testing is a snap shot in time . A sample might work at that moment, in those conditions, but will they work in a year’s time? You will also need to re-test if you make any design or operational changes to the product. Test subjects can also susceptible to golden sampling , so a company can choose its best products to go through the testing process, already assured it will pass. Testers should, in practice, mitigates these issues by producing a Test Report stating “ The sample submitted complied with the requirements of [standard number]” . The CE Mark Many people believe the CE mark is a quality mark, to prove that the product has been tested and certified for quality and safety. This is not strictly true. The CE mark demonstrates compliance to the EU New Approach Directives, which is a legal requirement for all products sold within the EU. As the CE mark shows compliance with the law, rather than working to an industry standard, it is not a quality mark. Standards bodies like BSI do not have the authority to give the CE marking, although it is BSI is a Notified Body for 15 testing EU Directives and 3 medical device EU Directives. I n some cases a company can self-declare that a product conforms to these Directives. They have to carry out a 1st Party conformity assessment (self-conformity) and keep documentary proof for authorities to access as and when they wish. Certification and Quality Marks Certification programmes are systems of continual assessment to a standard. This means that any issues that might arise in testing are removed. Certification is more than just a test and more than just a quality control system. It could be for a product or a service or a process and in many successful cases, result in the awarding of a quality mark. One highly recognizable example of a quality mark is the Kitemark. The Kitemark is a term and mark owned by BSI which is issued under license and the process for obtaining a Kitemark is arguably more stringent than the CE mark, involving 3rd Party assessment and certification . In order to obtain a Kitemark, a pre-audit visit is required, which is followed up by an initial assessment visit . The product is then type tested against the relevant standard, followed by a review by that specific Kitemark scheme manager. Once all these stages are passed, the Kitemark is awarded . That’s not where the process ends, though. There are continuing assessment visits and audit testing to ensure that the requirements continue to be met. There are a number of testing and certification bodies in the UK. If the need arises that your products or services need testing or certification, you should check whether the company has been accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. This will give you and your stakeholders peace of mind over the results.
The RMS Titanic was the most ambitious engineering feat of its time, using advanced technologies and safety features and the expertise of experienced engineers to create the largest passenger liner of it’s time. However, despite all these positives, research shows that vital areas were overlooked or ignored. It could be argued that, by not complying with standards of the time, Titanic’s chances of survival were compromised. The advert overleaf for an exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science lists some of the common standards not followed by the Titanic. Hull sections were built with zinc, known to go brittle in freezing temperatures Basic safety standards were not followed due to the confidence in the ships unsinkability. Wireless operators after the liner hit the iceberg sent outdated CQD signals, rather than the new-standard SOS signals. In addition to these issues, research by David G. Brown (2000) noted that the rudder was also an issue. It met the legal requirements for ships of its size, but was closer to the minimum rather than looking at what the standard rudder size for such a large liner would be. This meant the turning circle of the liner was smaller and the iceberg harder to avoid. Many projects will rightly be concerned about meeting legal minimums, but this example shows that complying with standards can add an extra, vital layer of safety and reassurance.