Standards that are Machine Applicable Readable and Transferrable (SMART standards) mark the shift from a standard as a static document to a dynamic format that can be easily transferred into a machine-readable format. This might be a CAD programme, a BIM model or an automation system.
Sectors that are heavy users of standards, such as construction, automotive and aerospace, are coming to recognize how standards that are integrated into their processes in this way can improve efficiency and make their products safer and more secure. They also allow elements of personalization and customization to come into play.
In BSI we’ve looked at how organizations use our standards and this has given us invaluable insights on how SMART standards should be structured to enrich the value they bring. By breaking standards down into sentences and clauses, they can be converted into machine-readable data items.
This will largely enhance the user experience by making it much easier to cross-reference and pull together information from multiple standards. For example, companies are increasingly using digital twins to test their products in a virtual environment, and BSI is striving to make standards compatible with this approach.
SMART standards also allow for continuous updating, in contrast to a conventional standard which is updated on a five-year cycle. A feedback loop enabled by SMART standards will allow us to improve outcomes for users on a much quicker cycle. In fact, we are already seeing self-writing standards for connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) where a software patch can change underlying capabilities overnight.
SMART standards also meet the challenge of artificial intelligence (AI) used in manufacturing processes, particularly the ethical dimension, which is an area of increasing focus. For example, SMART standards can help address bias in the way a product is tested to ensure it is inclusive and takes into account the needs of different groups.