Why Things Work

Staten Island commercial bank cites abundance of precision standards


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Avoiding the chaos that would result from incompatibilities among various products and processes is the simple logic for having sets of uniformly applicable standards.

Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based business bank, offers that engineering know-how gets credit for products and processes that can complement each other.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is one of hundreds of standards developers in the U.S.

In addition to professional societies, other groups that produce standards are trade associations and testing and certifying organizations like UL and Factory Mutual.

"You can't touch anything that does not have a standard connected to it," Mark Sheehan, managing director of development standards and certification at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), explained recently on the popular National Public Radio show “The Takeaway.”

Standards developers represent diverse industries and cover every facet of trade and commerce. According to Sheehan, "There are literally tens of thousands of individuals around the world devoted to product standardization."

For one example of how standards apply, ASME says to imagine traveling cross-country and having to change trains at each state line because of varying railroad track gauges.

Or for another, imagine owning a car for which replacement parts, like tires and oil filters, can be obtained only at a dealer 50 miles away in the next town.

A typical consumer, moreover, when buying an electrical appliance tends to look for visible evidence like the official Underwriters Laboratories (UL) stamp, showing that the product has been tested for quality and safety.

Standards, Sheehan said on “The Takeaway,” promote safety -- "the heating boiler in the basement contains an ASME certification stamp" -- and parts interchangeability -- "the toilet purchased at the local home-improvement store has uniform drill holes to fit the footings on your bathroom floor."

Because of standards that are precisely developed and classified, consumers as well as businesses receive assurances that products and processes work together, fit together and measure up to a prescribed level of quality, ASME asserts.

Standards are rules and guidelines that establish a uniform model for quality and safety.

American society, which places a premium on the consumption of manufactured goods and safety of its citizens, could not exist without standards, ASME contends.

It was in 1916 that ASME appointed a committee to formulate manufacturing standards for boilers, which had an alarming failure rate in homes and factories and on board ships.

Although safety was the primary mission of the committee, an additional focus was to reduce the multitude of regulations crossing over individual states and municipalities and to prepare a single standard for the entire country.

What soon evolved was the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, 31 volumes and 17,000 pages of specifications and rules that are now referenced worldwide.



About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office is in the community of Great Kills, and branches are in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.VictoryStateBank.com.


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