20 June, 2019

Letter to the Editor

31 January, 2013


The British Fluid Power Association (BFPA) is issuing a call to seal manufacturers and users.
·         Are you getting the industry and international (ISO) standards you require?
·         Are you required to use undesirable standards?
·         Do you know how to guide the direction of standards?
If you want to influence the answers to the above questions you will need to participate in the standards-making process. The UK has taken a very active role in the development of seals standards over the years through the BFPA Technical Committee TC7. This committee is looking for active volunteers to help continue to influence this important process (for further details, contact either the committee chairman Nick Peppiatt, email nick.peppiatt@hallite.com, or the secretary Yvonne Pearman, email: Yvonne@bfpa.co.uk).
It is often found that standards do not keep pace with developments, do not represent best practice or are just technically inappropriate.
One way to overcome this problem is through increased involvement by those actively involved in industry as seal manufacturers and especially users, both OEMs and major end-user groups. Involvement at a national level provides input to the formulation of standards – helping to prevent unsuitable standards from being implemented or assisting amendments.
You will also have advance knowledge of future standards well before implementation on both a national and international level.
Believe it or not, many international standards are implemented virtually by ‘rubber stamping’ the final draft, with many organisations not even bothering to read them. How do we know this? There are a number of examples where serious errors have been made at the drafting stage and the documents have still been accepted because only a minority of the voting parties have actually read the document. The way to avoid this is by enthusiastic involvement.
Is it worth the effort? Each time a technically deficient standard is developed your company may well be required to produce products to meet it. But then both national groups and user groups will develop their own standards to provide the technical results they require. So as a provider you can end up having to meet three or four standards instead of one.
A shining example of this is the measurement of valve emissions where there are three different standards originating from ISO, a national standards group and major end-user.
Proper involvement is the answer.
Bob Flitney CEng MI MechE, Consultant member, the BFPA.

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