New Wire Rope Standard in the Works
A proposed engineering standard for wire rope for cranes will have separate chapters for steel and synthetic ropes, a member of the committee working on the standard told a crane and rigging conference in Edmonton last fall.
At the time, Bill Fronzaglia expected the new standard, called ASME B30.30, would be approved by a ballot at a subcommittee meeting in January. However, according to a June 2016 public schedule from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, which develops the ASME standards, the B30.30 wire rope standard was still under development. And an agenda item from an ASME B30 standards committee meeting held in Houston in May 2016 noted that the ballot on the rope standards draft had been withdrawn. That was because of “the extent of the changes to the document” in evaluating comments.
The subcommittee planned a final review of a revised document after the May main committee meeting and anticipated “resubmitting a new first ballot shortly afterward.”
Deborah Wetzel, the society’s manager of media relations, confirmed by email in July that the B30.30 standard was still under development and had not just been approved by the B30 standards committee. Once that approval takes place, the public will have a chance to review the standard and submit comments during a public review process that will be announced on the ASME website at https://cstools.asme.org.
“Since our standards are developed under a consensus process, we are unable to predict when the committee will reach consensus on this new volume,” Wetzel said, adding that “a timeline for approval/publication is not available at this time.”
Of the 29 existing ASME B30 standards, “16 are incorporated into Canadian provincial and territorial regulations,” according to an August 2014 report of the Standards Council of Canada on hoisting and rigging regulations in Canada. However, none of the ASME B30 standards are incorporated into any federal Canadian regulations. As of August 2014, B.C. had incorporated 13 ASME B30 standards, the most of any Canadian jurisdiction. Yukon had incorporated 12, Nova Scotia, 10 Manitoba 6, and Newfoundland two. None of the other provinces or territories had incorporated any.
In Europe, the situation with synthetic rope is more complicated than in the U.S., Fronzaglia said. The European Union has a machinery directive that for a piece of equipment that doesn’t have a standard, a manufacturer can create a technical file and show evidence that it works and is safe, Fronzaglia said. That enables the manufacturer to place a CE mark on the product, such as on a high-performance sling.
However, the European Federation of Material Handling has met with major crane manufacturers to develop a standard “in a short period of time” that won’t be legally binding but will act as a guideline.
And the International Standards Organization in a meeting of Technical Committee 96’s subcommittee SC 3 redefined wire rope for cranes as applying to ropes “regardless of their material properties,” Fronzaglia said.
Basically that means the committee acknowledged the need to develop a synthetic crane rope standard, he added.