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In industry, the development and application of standards that make it possible to manufacture a large volume of interchangeable parts. Standardization may focus on engineering standards, such as properties of materials, fits and tolerances, and drafting practices; or on product standards, which detail the attributes of manufactured items and are embodied in formulas, descriptions, drawings, or models. Adoption of standards makes it easier for firms to communicate with their suppliers. Standards are also used within industries to prevent conflict and duplication of effort. Governmental departments, trade associations, and technical associations help to set standards within industries; these are coordinated and promoted by organizations such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on standardization, visit Britannica.com.