The Quality standards They are rules, guidelines or characteristics that a product or service (or its results) must comply with in order to guarantee its quality. For example: IRAM 4502, ISO 14000, UNE 166000.
The quality of a product or service is defined as the combination of features both engineering and manufacturing that determine the degree of satisfaction that this product or service provides to the consumer. Although for some authors quality is the result of an interaction between subjective and objective aspects, quality standards deal with objective aspects.
The characteristics of a product required by quality standards can be very diverse: a physical or chemical requirement, a certain size, pressure or temperature, etc. Quality is also given by a combination of more conceptual characteristics, such as reliable, durable, helpful, effective, etc.
Quality standards can refer to different aspects of quality: design, concordance (between what is designed and what is produced), in use, in after-sales service.
Objectives of quality standards
The objectives of the quality standards are:
- Define the minimum characteristics of a thing. For example, for a cell phone to be considered a Smartphone it must meet certain characteristics.
- Unify products. Along with the processes and data associated with it. The classification of products facilitates their commercialization.
- Improve security. Many of the quality standards refer to the safety in the use of products.
- Protect consumer interests. Regulation through standards guarantee that the products purchased by the consumer will respond to their needs.
- Lower costs. Determining production standards lowers costs.
Uses and Benefits
Quality standards can be applied in various fields: materials (for the manufacture of other products), products, machinery, different types of management (environmental, occupational risks, security, inspection), services and processes.
The benefits of quality standards in the relationship between companies and clients are:
- A culture of quality is created within the company.
- Increase customer confidence.
- It improves the image of the company not only in the local market but also in international markets, since a large part of the quality standards respond to international parameters.
There are various national or international institutions that establish quality standards and control their compliance. Some examples are:
- European Committee for Standardization (CEN, regional)
- European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC, regional)
- Argentine Institute for Rationalization of Materials (IRAM, national)
- AENOR Standardizing Committee: national, Spain, but developed the UNE standards that have regional validity
- International Electrical Standards (IES, international standard for electrical material)
- Society of American Engineer: SAE, National, Construction and Engineering Associated Products
- American Iron and Steel Institutute: AISI, National, Steel Products
- Food and Drugs Administration: FDA, national (United States), food and drug regulation.
- International Organization for Standardization: ISO, international, apply to any activity associated with the production of goods or services. Given their wide range of application, ISO standards are the best known.
Examples of quality standards
In the following list we expose what are the quality standards used in different fields and what objectives they pursue:
- IRAM 4502. It is applied in the field of technical drawing. Determine the different types of lines taking into account thickness, proportion, representation and application.
- IRAM 4504 (technical drawing). Determine the formats, graphic elements and sheet folding.
- IRAM 10005. Applies to colors and safety signs. Determine colors, symbols, and safety signs.
- IRAM 11603. It is applied to the thermal conditioning of buildings, taking into account bioenvironmental factors.
- Iso 9001. It applies to Quality Management Systems. A company that meets this standard shows that it meets the conditions necessary to achieve customer satisfaction.
- ISO 16949 (also called ISO / TS 16949). It is associated with the ISO 9001 standard as it specifies the specific requirements for production in the automotive industry.
- ISO 9000. It is a complement to the 9001. This standard has given the Quality Management Systems a standardized language, as well as its foundations.
- ISO 9004. It applies to effectiveness (achieving goals) and efficiency (achieving goals using the least amount of resources) in quality management.
- ISO 14000. It applies to the impact of the company’s activity on the environment.
- ISO 14001. Regulates environmental management systems. Establishes compliance with local legislation associated with environmental care.
- ISO 14004. This standard guides the company on the development, implementation, maintenance and improvement of environmental management systems, in addition to its coordination with other management systems.
- ISO 17001. It refers to the conformity of both products and services, that is, their suitability. This regulation indicates the minimum requirements for each product or service.
- ISO 18000. They refer to health and safety regulations at work.
- ISO 18001. Regulates Health and Safety Management Systems. Together with the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards they form an integrated management system.
- ISO 18002. Guides on the implementation of Health and Safety Management Systems.
- ISO 18003 (also known as OHSAS 18003). It establishes the necessary criteria to include in the internal audits on Safety Management Systems and Work Greetings.
- ISO 19011. It is applied to internal audits not only related to quality but also to the impact of production on the environment.
- ISO 22000. It regulates Food Management Systems, that is, it guarantees that food is suitable for human consumption. It does not refer to flavor or appearance characteristics but to its safety, that is, the absence of dangers in its consumption.
- ISO 26000. Guides the design, implementation, development and optimization of social responsibility structures.
- ISO 27001. It is applied to Information Security Management Systems, both to avoid risks and to optimize processes.
- ISO 28000. It applies to supply chain management.
- ISO 31000. Guides the development of risk management systems, taking into account the requirements of the different sectors.
- ISO 170001. They are the standards that guarantee universal accessibility. Buildings and transport that comply with this standard facilitate the access and movement of people in wheelchairs, or blind people, etc.
- UNE 166000. It is applied to the management of R + D + i (acronym for research, development and innovation). It establishes the definitions and terminologies used by the other UNEs. (UNE 166003, 166004, 166005 and 166007 were canceled)
- UNE 166001. Determines the requirements of the projects associated with R + D + i.
- UNE 166002. It refers to R + D + i management systems.
- UNE 166006. It makes explicit the requirements of the technological surveillance and competitive intelligence systems.
- UNE 166008. Determines the necessary requirements for technology transfer processes.