• German Machine Tool Builders' Association
  • vdw@vdw.de
  • +49 69 756081-0

Standards Committee Machine Tools

The Standards Committee Machine Tools (NWM) in the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN) is responsible for national, European (CEN) and international (ISO) standardisation of machine tools for processing metal and other technical materials. The NWM is an external standards committee of the DIN, and affiliated to the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) in terms of finances, organisation and staffing. The NWM’s work is performed in line with the standardisation principles laid down in the DIN 820 standard.

The types of machine tool mainly covered are material removal machines, components for special-purpose and transfer machines, drilling machines, turning machines, milling machines and milling-drilling machines, planing and slotting machines, metal presses, broaching machines, sawing machines for metal, grinding machines, spindle heads, shaping machines for metal, gear cutting machines.

The NWM’s standardisation activities deal with standards for construction sizes, assemblies and components for machine tools, terms, definitions and basics, designations, graphical symbols, parameters, dimensions, testing and acceptance-testing conditions for machine tools, quality, interfaces and connecting dimensions, safety of machine tools, e.g. for firming up the basic safety and health requirements of the EU’s Machinery Directive, and technical delivery conditions.

Task and goal of the standardisation work

The NWM’s principal task is consensus-based standardisation work with the involvement of all interested parties. These include manufacturers and users of machine tools and the latters’ components, plus universities, research institutes, the employers’ liability insurance associations, ministries and government agencies, and the representatives of the bodies in the DIN, CEN and ISO whom it concerns.
The primary goals pursued by the NWM’s standardisation work are cost reductions and efficiency enhancements. The latter are achieved by standardisation of interfaces and test methods, but also, for example, by specifying uniform safety-related measures.

Employees and bodies of the NWM

Above and beyond administrative management of the standardisation work, the NWM’s employees also handle substantive tasks in the standardisation process, thus primarily supporting small and mid-tier enterprises (SMEs), so as to enable these to concentrate their limited resources on the specialised issues involved. On the European and international stages, in particular, the NWM – on behalf of the German manufacturers – frequently sees to it that specialist articles are submitted to the bodies concerned. These specialist articles are drawn up in the national mirror committees, which are likewise looked after by the NWM.

The NWM’s bodies comprise 15 working committees with 48 subcommittees, which are subdivided by specialisms: type of machine or subject areas.

Submitting standardisation proposals

Any proposals for new standardisation projects mainly come from the sector itself. It is only for European safety standards that instructions for standardisation are given by the European Commission. Standardisation proposals are often submitted at a relatively late stage, i.e. when a certain technology or a certain product has already been launched on the market. It does, however, frequently make sense, both for manufacturers and users alike, to utilise the standardisation work so as to establish new technologies as a tool. For this case,development-concurrent standardisation , is available, which enjoys a high degree of support from the DIN. It substantially reduces the time needed for drawing up standards and can contribute towards synchronising the points in time when the standard is published and the product concerned is launched on the market.

“He who makes the standard has the market!” (Wolfgang Clement, Federal Minister (ret.))

Getting actively involved in standardisation work provides quite a few advantages and benefits. Only those protagonists who contribute their input to standardisation work can influence subsequent standard contents and possess an informational lead that they can translate into standard-compliant development work at an early stage. In this way, they not only set benchmarks and save costs, but they also enjoy the exchange of news and views in the standardisation bodies as an additional benefit.