By Fred Schenkelberg
Standards provide guidance, a common language, and a bit of confusion. Using the right standard and using it well can help your reliability program. Using standards poorly will harm your ability to create reliable products.
Let’s consider the good, the bad, and the total fails of industry standards. There are some that provide useful information. While a few common ones should be avoided. There is a wide range of sources of standards for different industries and applications. Some standards provide detailed procedures, while others outline approaches. In general, standards provide a common way for organizations to talk to each and conduct business.
Many standards do not provide background or boundaries on under what circumstances the standard applies. This leads to the misapplication of standards and misleading results. Some standards provide little more than that found in an engineering or statistical textbook, at much more cost. Yet others provide details not found elsewhere.
Let’s discuss standards, including where to find them, how to use them, and a few stories about how standards use leads to reliability problems.