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ASME Holds A17 Code Week in Florida

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The A17 Standards Committee meeting is always well attended.

Reviews are conducted, reports on global standardization work are made, and upcoming publications are detailed.

Many members and guests descended upon the Sheraton Sand Key Resort as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) held its A17 Code Week in Clearwater Beach, Florida, on January 7-10. The ASME A17 Standards Committee and associated code committees, including the Mechanical Design, Electrical, Inspections, U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG), New Technology, QEI, Special Purpose Personnel Elevators, Residence Elevators and A18 Standards (Platform Lift) committees, met throughout the week.

Standards Committee January 9 saw the large meeting of the Standards Committee. Presided over by Chair James W. Coaker and supported by Vice Chairs Hank E. Peelle, III and Richard E. Baxter, it began with clarifications and interpretations, technical revisions and reports from committees. The publication of new code editions was also discussed, with targeted dates for a new A17.3 in 2021, A17.5/B44.1 in March, the A17.1/B44 handbook in 2021 and QEI-1 in 2021.

The Commitee explained there are seven active Working Groups (WGs) with four chairs held by North American members. The focus of their work is to update the safety standards to reflect the state of the art. This includes the revision of ISO 14798 risk assessment and reduction methodology to include the contributions of safety-integrity-level (SIL)- rated design and programmable electronic systems in safety related applications (PESSRA) for lifts. Further enhancement of the risk assessment methodology includes guidelines for building interfaces and the environment. A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) contributing member added that WG 4 has a task group updating Global Conformity Assessment documents (TS 8100-22/23) and developing International Organization for Standardization (ISO) prescriptive code (ISO 8100-1/-2 and TS 8100-3). The latter was entering its final editing process with plans for its publication in 2019.

A member said WG 6 is wrapping up work on an “elevatoring of buildings” standard, which will serve as a method of determining recommendations for the number and capacities of elevators needed in a building. WG 8 is in the final editing stages of ISO 8102-6, which covers PESSRA for escalators. WG 8 also has a liaison with WG 4 and CEN/TC 10 to harmonize SIL requirements between ISO and EN 81.

Longtime ASME member and Fellow George W. Gibson is compiling a history of ASME for its 2021 centennial. A committee was to be formed to begin early planning for the event. Members were urged to nominate peers for the ASME Awards. Gibson is also involved in the Mechanical Design Committee’s review and archival of documents on the history of code development for items such as factors of safety. Gibson had requested that the policy on archiving committee minutes be revisited to make historical information available for current and future committee use.

US TAG to ISO/TC 178

Chair Lou Bialy presided over the US TAG to ISO/TC 178 meeting, which followed the Standards Committee meeting on January 9. A motion was approved for the TAG to support Gerhard Schiffner, head of codes and safety at thyssenkrupp Elevator Innovation, as candidate convener of WG 11, which is engaged in the development of ISO requirements for existing lifts.

Member reports detailing that ISO 14798 is being expanded to provide guidance on the contribution of SIL-rated devices on risk reduction. A quantitative method of assessing probability is also being developed. This will supplement the qualitative method currently in the standard. Building interfaces and environmental impacts are being incorporated, and a separate guide document (in addition to the revised risk assessment methodology document) of explanations and examples is also being developed.

Upcoming Meetings

The next big code meeting is the ISO/TC 178 Plenary Meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, on April 4-5. Future ASME Code Weeks are coming up on May 6-9 at the Embassy Suites Phoenix Biltmore in Phoenix; September 9-12 in Niagara Falls, Canada; and again in Clearwater Beach on January 13-16, 2020.

This report reflects only the author’s observations and does not necessarily reflect that of ASME or the A17 Standards Commiteee.

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