A product family standard is used to give guidance on the application of tests, and define levels and limits for a particular family of products. A family of products could be defined by the functions or use of the particular products covered within that family, such as computers belonging to the Information Technology Equipment family. They could also be defined by other common general characteristics such as fields of application for the device like Medical Devices, for example.
Product committees are often the source for developing product family standards. These committees can consist of any interested party, but are usually dominated by those in the particular field or group (i.e. Product Family) for which the committee has been formed.
Product family standards can contain test methods directly within, or, as is often the case, refer to other standards that are specifically written to address particular phenomena, these other standards are sometimes referred to as Basic Standards.
Phenomena standards or, Basic Standards, contain specific test methods and procedures along with details of test apparatus and test set-up for the particular phenomenon that the standard addresses.
Although a basic standard may give guidance on the choice of severity levels or example performance criteria, the exact methods of determining pass/fail, test limits, and how to operate and exercise the product being tested are often contained in the referring rules, requirements, or product family standard.
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