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104 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2019 Standards: An Industrial-strength Glue Standards are frequently viewed as cumber- some nuisances and impediments to progress by those pressing for rapid change. The pro- cess of writing, getting approval, and promul- gating standards can be arduous and frustrat- ing. It has a lot of sim- ilarities to the creation and passage of laws in various government bodies in that there are many opinions and in- terested parties who engage in the process to make sure that it re- sults in a product that does not damage or fa- vor one solution or par- ty over another. People involved in the generation and pas- sage of legislation have equated it to sausage making. As you can imagine, it's not a very pretty process; how- ever, when done right, can result in a palatable product that presum- ably can be enjoyed by the greatest number of consumers. You would think that at some point, there would be enough laws. Yet with the changing dynam- ics of society, there is a near-constant flow of new laws to address our changing needs, and that is no less true for standards for our industry as technology evolves and changes. And just as there are many government bod- ies around the globe, there are hundreds of standards bodies around the world with some- times conflicting mis- sions in terms of the generation and guidance in the enforcement of industrial standards. In this regard, just as laws help to hold societ- ies together, standards serve the vital purpose of holding industries to- gether. They are an in- dustrial-strength glue (if you can tolerate a little tongue-in-cheek meta- phor) in that they hold the industry together. Four Types of Standards In the world of elec- tronics manufactur- ing, there is a myri- ad of standards, cover- ing virtually every as- pect of the ubiquitous products our industry Flexible Thinking by Joe Fjelstad, VERDANT ELECTRONICS

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