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What formats can I get my standards in?
Many of our standards are available in PDF (Portable Document Format), Zip,an electronic, downloadable format. You can download these files directly from our site, and then print out a copy to read.

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General
What is a standard?

A standard can be defined as a set of technical definitions and guidelines, “how to” instructions for designers, manufacturers, and users. Standards promote safety, reliability, productivity, and efficiency in almost every industry that relies on engineering components or equipment. Standards can run from a few paragraphs to hundreds of pages, and are written by experts with knowledge and expertise in a particular field who sit on many committees.

Are standards mandatory?

Standards are considered voluntary because they serve as guidelines, but do not of themselves have the force of law. For example ASME cannot force any manufacturer, inspector, or installer to follow ASME standards. Their use is voluntary.

Standards become mandatory when they have been incorporated into a business contract or incorporated into regulations.

What is a code?

A code is a standard that has been adopted by one or more governmental bodies and has the force of law.

Why are standards effective?

Standards are a vehicle of communication for producers and users. They serve as a common language, defining quality and establishing safety criteria. Costs are lower if procedures are standardized; training is also simplified.

Interchangeability is another reason.  It is not uncommon for a consumer to buy a nut in California for a bolt purchased in New Jersey.

Where does a request for a new code or standard come from?

A request for a code or standard may come from individuals, committees, professional organizations, government agencies, industry groups, public interest groups. The request is first referred to the appropriate supervisory board for consideration. The board then assigns the request to an existing committee of knowledgeable volunteers or determines that a new standards committee must be formed. Once an appropriate Committee has concluded that there is enough interest and need the standards developing process is initiated.

What does "Consensus" mean?

Consensus [as defined by American National Standards Institute (ANSI)] means substantial agreement has been reached by directly and materially affected interest categories. This signifies the concurrence of more than a simple majority, but not necessarily unanimity. Consensus requires that all views and objections be considered, and that an effort be made toward their resolution

Why are codes and standards revised?

Codes and standards are living documents that are constantly revised to reflect new developments and technical advances (e.g., new materials, new designs and new applications).