Standards and Precision Engineering work hand-in-hand
The important role Standards play in precision engineering
Precision engineering relies heavily on metrology, i.e. the science of measurement, and the metrics outlined by the industry's Standards. Following these guidelines mean that manufactures are able to meet certain benchmarks. By its very nature, this industry demands ever heightening levels of accuracy and specificity, where even a fraction of a millimeter could mean that a product is rendered unusable. Standards rise to the occasion and enable manufacturers to create consistently reliable products and implement guided processes.
Without such benchmarks, individual manufacturers wouldn't be aware of or be able to meet specific requirements or the level of accuracy required for a finished product.
Standards are crucial when managing risk within the precision engineering industry by informing and empowering organisations to strive to greater heights and success. They form a strong foundation upon which to build both successful products, as well as a successful company and are essential to form a strategic and integrated approach to understanding, preventing, and managing risk, allowing those in the industry to advance with confidence.
Precision engineering and Standards in specific industries
Three of the major industries that heavily rely on advancements within precision engineering are the automotive industry, the aerospace industry and the medical devices industry. All of these industries are undergoing constant change and growth, and as a result face more risks and compliance issues.
Everyday safety items, no matter the industry, have a plethora of Standards with which to comply. Within the automotive industry, airbags in cars must follow strict Standards to assist with the correct production, design and testing criteria in order to perform as needed in life critical situations.
In the aerospace industry, there are Standards to ensure that oxygen masks function correctly in the use of an emergency on an airplane. In the medical devices industry, Standards exist for every single device or product, as well as their components. Everything from implantable devices like pacemakers, to external devices such as x-ray or MRI machines, is required to comply with their applicable Standards to ensure they are as safe as possible.
The medical device industry is currently undergoing an industry wide and international upheaval due to EU MDR 2021. This is the European Union's new medical devices regulations that demands new levels of compliance across the industry. Standards will help this industry to transition to new regulatory obligations.
Common challenges within precision engineering industries
As well as helping the precision engineering industry maintain a consistent level of quality, Standards can help them to confront many challenges. Common challenges that are faced across multiple industries include:
- Ensuring the complex and dispersed network of independent suppliers and component manufacturers is compliant to Standards
- Increasing cost of hi-tech materials means there is no room for error or duplication
- The need to innovate to remain competitive in the market while still staying compliant
- Increasingly elaborate and lengthy processes in creating and assembling a final product
- Discovering and maintaining quality control issues on the test bench without greater cost
- Creating and using increasingly smaller parts that require their own Standards
Standards provide a crucial service for precision engineering. They help to ensure products, systems, and services are reliable, safe, and consistently perform the way they were intended to.
8 Benefits of Standards
Compliance with Standards has a range of benefits
Standards can affect an organisation's quality, lead-time, supply chain management and costs. They make trade across international borders easier and promote global competition, having a positive impact on economies.
Overcoming Challenges in Aerospace Engineering with Standards
Importance of Standards in the aerospace engineering industry
Working in aerospace engineering means an ongoing responsibility to remain compliant and prioritise safety of all involved. Standards are in place to constantly monitor every detail of production, and often the very diverse supply chain.
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Work in this field requires extensive physics and mathematics knowledge, with precision and accuracy. Standards provide recommended testing methods, safety & quality requirements and more to provide the guidance and framework.