One of the things I enjoy most about my job is being a UK delegate for international standards development.

In the early 1980s my father Ian became involved with BSI (British Standards Institution), the national business standards body for the UK and I continued after he retired. Currently I am involved with two ISO (International Standards Organisation) committees to revise torque tool standards and both have had meetings in the last week.

On Monday we continued the revision of ISO 6789 2003 which has the wonderfully descriptive but rather elongated title: ‘Assembly tools for screws and nuts -- Hand torque tools -- Requirements for design conformance testing, quality conformance testing and recalibration procedure’. The Working Group is largely comprised of torque wrench manufacturers from around the world. Some fellow committee members I have known for 20 years. We know and respect each other and that really helps when we have different views on the standards, because it is easier to give way on a technical point to someone you hold in high regard.

ISO has many rules and regulations, so experience of their processes is valuable but we have an excellent secretary from DIN (Deutcher Institute Normung), the German equivalent of BSI) who keeps us on the straight and narrow. The new revision of the standard continues the evolution of ISO 6789 and in a future blog I will outline some of the key changes.

ISO 5393 1994 is the standard for "Rotary Tools for threaded fasteners -- Performance test method." This Working Group has the challenge of updating quite an old standard but without invalidating the data produced over the last 20 years under the old standard. This is the sort of problem that leads us to evolve standards rather than completely rewrite them. However, this task is more difficult today because testing equipment has become more sophisticated in recent years and we also have to consider the increased use of built-in torque shut-off devices which may or may not give the same torque values as the testing equipment. Again the ISO members are representatives of power tool companies, although last week's meeting had the very welcome addition of a customer in the form of a specialist from Volkswagen. It is always useful to get customer input in to standards and I hope that this particular involvement will continue. As the writers of these standards we try to be impartial but it is better if the team represents both sides of the requirements. 

If you are interested in the development of either of these standards, please get in touch and we will see how we could involve you.

By Neill Brodey, Managing Director