What Ever Happened to All Those MIL SPECS? 12/1997

The MIL Spec reform that we have talked about previously in this column has generated some amount of disquiet regarding the commercial use of this particular set of documents. Information on documents that have been adopted by industry organizations follows below:

SAE (the Society of Automotive Engineers) has adopted the QQ-A-200 and the affiliated slash sheets, as well as the QQ-A-250 and it's slash sheets. These are Federal specifications, both having to do with Aluminum alloy. By the way, we have not received any cancellation information on our subscription for either Federal specifications or Military specifications for these two sets of specifications.

AIA (Aerospace Industries Association) has adopted MIL-STD-1312, including all individual test methods (slash sheets). This document set is the Fastener Test Methods. These documents are given the status of New Standard at AIA. Concurrently, the Federal standards (the MIL-STD-1312 series) was canceled for military procurement on August 29, 1997, and the NAS documents adopted for military use.

AIA reports that they are in process of accepting ownership of a large number of Military Specifications. The first batch numbers 382 documents and will begin with the prefix "NASM-". AIA states that the documents will be identical to the previous military documentation, with the exception of the NASM prefix and a few minor style changes. Expect that all documents transferred to AIA will be so noted in the military cancellation notice.

AIA also notes that ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) will be recognizing many aerospace de facto international standards without going through the usual lengthy process. In a simplified balloting procedure, ISO has arranged for documents from Standards Developing Organizations such as AIA and SAE (the Society of Automotive Engineers) to be listed in a special section of the ISO Catalog as de facto international standards. We will keep watch to see if this new policy is extended into other manufacturing sectors.

Expect to see more of this transfer of responsibility as the full impact of Department of Defense specification reform ripples out into the commercial sector.

Claudia Bach is President of Document Center, Inc., an information delivery service based in Belmont, CA. The company has complete collections of specifications and standards from both government sources and industry associations.

For more information on standards see Document Center's Home page Welcome to Document Center . This article was originally published by the Society for Technical Communication. If you'd like to know more about this association for technical writers see: www.stc-va.org