A ‘standard’ is generally accepted criteria developed by an authoritative body. In hollow metal, we comply with ‘standards’ adopted by governments. The CSDMA logo is analogous to a ‘standard’ on letterhead.
The ‘standard’ reaction by a hollow metal person, when passing a steel frame, is to stop and check it out.
From the early 1960s, Canadian hollow metal product ‘standardisation’ became all the rage, fostering a host of benefits from improved hardware coordination to production efficiencies and cost savings. Mass-produced ‘standard’ hollow metal took on commodity status as readily available for immediate delivery. Manufacturers warehoused voluminous ranges of models and sizes. Standardisation also brought about hollow metal centric language that was rightfully taught as a means of describing an item uniformly, consistently and concisely.
In the intervening years, a new range of concerns and ‘standards’ arose at the corporate and national levels. Some professionals choose to favour their own set of product features which they then refer to as ‘standard’.
The result was a shift in the cognitive meaning of the word. Another was the structure of industry language.
‘Standard’ steel doors and frames is a class of products manufactured to a pre-configured set of specifications. This definition dovetails with integrated system design and development.
Hollow metal product knowledge does not come ‘standard’. It’s acquired on-the-job, over a period of time.
It’s technically sophisticated. It lives in uncommonly dedicated and detail-oriented people. It’s augmented by formal training in hardware. An inexact, incomplete or ambiguous product description written in hybrid language is the difference between profit and loss. Omit or misidentify one feature and feel the fireworks.
Systems, like standards, will be upgraded in any forward-looking realm. But in this age of new and instant everything, there are aspects of our industry that are resolute and should remain sacrosanct. When pursuing modernisation, we must adhere to key industry fundamentals that came with the advent of standardisation.