Why Look to Standards

Standards are everywhere, and lots of organizations are sourcing and creating them. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission held a workshop 2019 that recently made the news, again, in July 2021. It was called “Nixing the Fix: a Workshop on Repair Restrictions”. Here’s what it's about: manufacturers are not creating products with standard parts, or their design is created so its difficult for consumers to repair. 

Are standards part of the answer? How can we proactively use them them for design? Why should we?

We can think of standards as engineering’s history of what’s worked and what’s been needed in the past, like a library of information at our disposal. Start with organizations associated with our work, then follow the leads to other standards that might help us design. And friend other engineers in other disciplines!

Even if the standards we find don’t fit our design, there may be quality, reliability, and test method ideas we can derive from them. We always need to be aware of what’s legally required: by wherever we’re selling our product for use, or through whatever contracts we may be signing with purchasers and suppliers. 

Want to know more about "Nixing the Fix?" Here's a link to the source, but there's lots more buzz in the news about it now. https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/nixing-fix-workshop-repair-restrictions

The University of Kentucky libraries posts standards organizations on their Engineering Research Guide. Check it out! Home - Standards & Specifications - Research Guides at University of Kentucky (uky.edu)

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