ASME A17 Code Week
A wide range of topics is covered at industry professionals’ annual congregation in Florida.
by Lee Freeland
The Sheraton Sand Key Resort was again host to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) A17 Code Week in Clearwater Beach, Florida, on January 13-16. The ASME A17 Standards Committee and associated code committees, including the Wind Turbine Tower Elevator, Mechanical Design, Electrical, Limited Use/Limited Application Elevators, Residence Elevators, Mine Elevator, Inspections, U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG), QEI, New Technology, Inclined Elevator and A18 Standards committees, met throughout the week.
The Standards Committee met in a large room throughout the day on January 15. Following introductions, Chair James W. Coaker presented an ASME Certificate of Appreciation to Aziz Rehman for his longtime service on A17 committees. Next, a moment of silence was held for retired member Al Saxer and major contributor John O’Donoghue, who passed away in October and December 2019, respectively. Then, the main work of the day, involving addressing clarifications and voting on suggested responses to inquiries/interpretations from committees, began. Presided over by Coaker and Vice Chairs Hank E. Peelle, III and Richard Baxter, discussions and analyses ranged from environmental conditions to emergency operations to residential issues. Many elevator types and parts/ components were discussed, and requirements (some going back as far as the 1937 code) were clarified.
Reports were then given on ISO Working Groups (WGs) endeavoring to update the code editions to reflect the state of the art. While much was already covered in “ISO/TC 178 Plenary Meeting 2019 in Frankfurt and Implications for the Future” (ELEVATOR WORLD, November 2019), it was added that the ISO 4190-1 Dimensional Standard for Elevators is complete. Work is also being done on updating the standard on building evacuation. A numerical method, in addition to the qualitative method, is being added to the standard on risk assessment, and a companion guide for the risk assessment document is being developed. The standard should be published by 2023.
WG 8 is picking up the safety-integrity-level (SIL) values for programmable electronic systems in safety-related applications (PESSRA) for lifts for inclusion in ISO 8100-1. However, PESSRA for escalators and moving walks will likely remain an active standard.
ASME Secretary Geraldine Burdeshaw then gave three presentations by the society intended to make the meetings more productive. Topics included planning and running meetings and ASME policies on copyright and conduct.
In the “New Business” portion of the meeting, CSA Group representatives presented on conformity assessment. CSA is proposing the development of two new standards to cover buffers and brakes, with a goal to finalize them before 2022, preceding the next planned ASME A17 publication (set for that year). The representatives asked for the committee to support the CSA in proceeding with its plan, although they would not entail new requirements in A17.1/CSA B44. Much discussion followed, and it was resolved to review the CSA material and keep the topic on agendas for future meetings.
US TAG to ISO/TC 178
Chair Louis Bialy presided over the US TAG to ISO/TC 178 meeting, which followed the Standards Committee meeting on January 15. The TAG also heard reports on WGs, including on WG 11’s harmonization efforts, for which it has registered a Preliminary Work Item for ISO 8104-1. WG 4 is updating ISO 8100-1 and -2 for its planned revised publication in three years. EN 81-20 and -50 will be replaced by these standards at that time. WG 4 is also updating ISO 8100-22 and -23, planned to be published by April.
New Technology Committee
The New Technology Committee met on the morning of January 16. Presided over by Chair David McColl, the group reviewed code revisions to the A17.7/B44.7 Performance-Based Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators and Safety Parameters, which will cover factors of safety, to include electromagnetic compatibility and earthquake items. Revisions for outside emergency elevators were also discussed.
The next big ISO Standards meeting is the ISO/TC 178 Plenary and Working Groups Meeting in Shanghai on October 19-20. Future ASME Code Weeks are coming up on May 11-14 in Phoenix and October 5-8 in Calgary, Canada.