Standardization is a design feature for restricting to a minimum the feasible variety of items which will meet the hardware requirements. Standardization includes not only parts but also: engineering terms, principles, practices, materials, processes, software, etc.
Standardization encourages the use of common items. It is important that maintainability engineers strive for the design of assemblies and components that are physically and functionally interchangeable with other like assemblies and components of the system. Standardization design will reduce the need for expensive support facilities at all levels of maintenance.
Standardization, a major objective of maintainability, translates into achieving the following goals:
- Minimizing both the acquisition and support costs
of a system
- Increasing the availability of mission-essential
- Reducing training requirements both in number of
personnel and the level of skill required
- Reducing inventories of repair parts and their associated documentation.
To achieve standardization, the following design principles must be carefully considered:
- Make maximum use of all common parts and assemblies
- Reduce to a minimum the variety of assemblies and
parts required, and, in doing so, make certain that these basic types are:
used consistently for each application and that they are compatible with
existing uses and practices
- Reduce to a minimum, by careful study of the
simplification thus attained, the problems of supply, storage, and stocking
- Simplify practices, by the same means, in the
coding and numbering of parts
- Make maximum use of "off-the-shelf" components, tools, software and test equipment
Despite the advantages offered by standardization, a system should not necessarily be built around a standard item - particularly if the standard item does not meet the required performance, has a record of poor reliability or costly maintenance; or the standard item may satisfy a safety requirement in most environments but not in the unusual environment for which it is being considered. Technological advances may also dictate the development of new material or provide a superior product to replace an existing one.