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Engineering Standards

Seminar on AS9100 and ISO9001 Standardization 

by Engr Omar Amin Omar, P.E. (TX), AS9100 Lead Auditor, Mechanical Engineer, LSSYB, CAD/CAM Engineer


Engineering Standards

Engineering standards are summaries of industrial best practices. The specifications are written in terms of functional, mechanical and electrical aspects that allow proper usage of available components to build a system. What are Engineering Standards?

  • A standard is a document that defines the characteristics of a product, process or service, such as dimensions, safety aspects, and performance requirements.  
  • Standards are a “COMMUNICATION” tool that allows all users to speak the same language about products or processes.  
  • Standards provide a “Legal,” or at least enforceable, means to evaluate acceptability & sale-ability of products and/or services. 
  • Standards are designed to protect the public from questionable designs, products and practices. 
  • Standards teach us, as engineers, how we can best meet environmental, health, safety and societal responsibilities.

Standards and Codes: Standards, codes, specifications are extremely important - often essential - technical documents in engineering and related technical fields.

Standards: A standard is a document that defines the characteristics of a product, process or service, such as dimensions, safety aspects, and performance requirements. A technical standard is an established norm or requirement. 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. 

Codes: Laws or regulations that specify minimum standards to protect public safety and health such as codes for construction of buildings. A code is a set of rules and specifications or systematic procedures for design, fabrication, installation and inspection methods prepared in such a manner that it can be adopted by legal jurisdiction. Codes can be approved by local, state or federal governments and can carry the force of law. The main purpose of codes is to protect the public by setting up the minimum acceptable level of safety for buildings, products and processes. 

Specification: A set of conditions and requirements of precise and limited application that provide a detailed description of a procedure, process, material, product, or service for use primarily in procurement and manufacturing. Standards may be referenced or included in specifications.

Technical Regulation: A mandatory government requirement that defines the characteristics and/or the performance requirements of a product, service or process.

Standard Development Organizations (SDO’s): More than 200 organizations are designated Standard Development Organizations (SDO’s). Most Standards (about 90%) come from about 20 of these SDO’s: 

International organizations producing codes and standards: ANSIAPIASHRAEASTMBSICENDINISOIEEEJISTSE, ASTM, ASME, IEEE, AISI (ASM), ASCE, MilStd (Mil Specs), are some of the most important SDO’s

Commonly used, Everyday Standards

  • Tyre Standards : Tyre Size
  • Tyres - Energy labelling requirements
  • API Oil Categories , API Engine Oil Classifications
  • Fasteners (#10-24 UNC bolt, M8 bolt)
  • Plumbing sizes (Sch. 30, 40,..)
  • Lumber sizes (2x4…not the real dimensions)
  • Electrical Wire sizes (12, 14, 16 Gauge
  • Electrical service 110 VAC, 60 Hz
  • Air pollution controls: Car Inspections
  • Building Codes
  • ISO 9000 – a quality standard used by business to say “We are QUALITY” (in US this has evolved into Q9001 as ‘nationalized’ by AQS)
  • UL rating – used as an “international” safety rating (hence Standard)
  • ISO 14000 – the international Environmental Management Guideline (standard) – and hence the ‘de-facto’ product life cycle and sustainability standard for business, industry, and Engineering Design
  • ANSI/ASME Y14.1 and Y14.5 – international drafting standards for engineering drawings
  • SAE Vehicle Dynamics Terminology J670_200801
  • Even Clothes sizes are controlled by International Standards!

Categorization of Standards

Standards by Technology

  • Automation and Control
  • Electrical 
  • Electronics 
  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Lab and Test
  • Material Handling and Packaging
  • Materials and Chemicals
  • Mechanical Components
  • Networking and Computing
  • Process Equipment

Standards by Industry

  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Automotive
  • Building and Construction
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Environmental, Health and Safety
  • Food and Beverage
  • Life Sciences
  • Maritime
  • Supply Chain

Standards by Organization

  • API
  • ASME
  • ASTM International
  • AWS
  • ISO
  • IEEE
  • IEC
  • UL
  • NFPA
  • DIN

Note: The team must consider and categorically discuss the relevant Engineering Standards (Design Standards, Product Qualification Standards, System, Manufacturing Process Standards, Quality Control Standards, Testing Standards, Safety Standards, Reliability Standards etc.) in the relevant sections of the report and appendix.


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