UNM, Union de Normalisation de la Mécanique, is the sectorial Standardization Office of the French standardization system in the field of mechanical engineering and rubber industries, operating on behalf of AFNOR. Approved by the Ministry in charge of Industry, the domain of UNM standardization office is covering material, products and techniques derived from mechanical engineering, metal working and elastomer processing industries(excluding tires), and welding and related applications.
As a non-profit-making association, UNM, within its terms of reference, prepares the French NF standards and takes part in the development of European EN and International ISO standards which gives access to the above industries' markets. Therefore, in its field, UNM is the gateway to European and International standardization work for French companies and other key players in standardization.
UNM does not prepare standards for its own needs; it provides support to experts who take part in the work of its committees. Indeed, Standardization is a collective work that takes place in standardization committees, bodies composed of experts representing the different socio-economic partners interested in the covered topics. Within the standardization committees, the experts bring their experience, wishes, and needs, and therefore contribute to the development of normative documents which are intended for them. The standardization office only provides its knowledge of standardization, and the necessary logistics, and ensures that normative documents are published for the benefit of the experts (manufacturers, authorities, research, safety or certification organisations.).
UNM manages a collection of approximately 4,000 French standards. The publication and distribution of the standards prepared by UNM are ensured by AFNOR. UNM produces about 300 standards per year, which is around 15% of the French annual production published by AFNOR, and is therefore one of the largest sectorial French standardization offices. Updating and maintenance of the collection of standards are a top priority for UNM: nearly 80% of standards published each year are in fact revisions of older standards, allowing the collection of standards for mechanical and rubber to track the art techniques and markets in the best way. Each year, at its General Assembly, UNM publishes its activity report, illustrating precisely the actions conducted in the previous year.
UNM subscribes to the French standardizing strategy which aims at building up the most complete collection of French standards taking into account the needs of the present and future users, answering the public interest issues, and rewarding the French know-how internationally.
Therefore, the goal of UNM is to develop and to promote standardization in all its forms in the mechanical engineering and rubber industries, mainly in order to:
. improve the quality and safety of manufactured items and products,
. take into account societal and environmental concerns to minimize the footprint of these products and production processes,
thus to support sustainable economic development of companies in this sector.
The main role of UNM is to prepare and carry out the standardization program required by its members according to their standardizing strategy. At national level, UNM has to manage the preparation of draft standards within its standardization committees, on the basis of preliminary drafts provided by experts. At European and international levels, UNM prepares the French position within the relevant standardization committees and then give support to the French delegates. UNM regularly provides adequate information on the standardizing procedures and techniques to the French delegates, CEN or ISO working groups' convenors and Chairmen of technical committees, and on the context in which the projects are launched.
Lastly, UNM provides its customers with information on the French, foreign, European, international standards within its scope, as well as on the procedures of the various standardization bodies. UNM is pursuing a policy of quality improvement of its services, in order to increase its relevance on the market. Such an objective implies, in particular, a better understanding of its partners' needs and an increased participation of the industry, customers and other stakeholders.
More than 30 persons are daily at the service of stakeholders in the mechanical engineering and rubber industries; work is carried out within 4 technical departments called sectors; each sector is in charge of a specific technical field which includes a number of standardization committees.
UNM became, in November 2003, the first French standardization office certified ISO 9001: 2000. The quality approach was led in UNM like a real company project, focussing on the quality of the services offered, and intended to increase the satisfaction of its customers.
This certification has been constantly confirmed since 2003.