The Plastics Industry Association released a couple of new safety standards with one focused on the equipment that reduces the size of plastics for processing and recycling and the other on robots for injection molding.
The equipment standard is a 47-page update about manufacturing, maintaining and using granulators, strand pelletizers, dicers and single-shaft rotary grinders that are actuated manually, mechanically, hydraulically or pneumatically and use a rotary cutting action.
This standard does not apply to other types of shredders or to pulverizers.
The new safety requirements were issued by the trade group's Machinery Safety Standards Committee following a three-year review by representatives from all parts of the industry.
The update is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and has been released as ANSI/PLASTICS B151.11 Safety Requirements for Granulators, Strand Pelletizers and Dicers Used for Size Reduction of Plastics.
"This document provides important information, vital to the safety of people working on or near some very powerful machinery and the standards for keeping these machines in top condition are essential to the future of plastic production and recycling," Tony Radoszewski, association president and CEO, said in a news release.
The machinery committee was tasked with reviewing the 2004 version of the standard, particularly its scope, normative and informative references, and definitions of clarity and unity. It was chaired by Jason Forgash, president of Bay Plastics Machinery, and David Miller, general manager for size reduction at Conair Group.
"Our goal was to update a standard that had not been reviewed for too long and to ensure that our segment of the industry is meeting the most current safety requirements available," Forgash said in the release.
The committee succeeded through collaboration, which was needed because the equipment is used for wide-ranging applications in a variety of configurations, according to Jennifer Jones, director of industry standards for the trade association.
"This group was able to apply knowledge of multiple systems to be sure the standard addresses the complexity of safety considerations presented by a multifaceted industry," Jones said in the release.
The machinery committee also released an ANSI-accredited safety standard (ANSI B151.27-2021) that covers the design, implementation, setup, operation, maintenance and modification of robots with injection molding machine systems.
These safety requirements are the result of a two-year collaboration among 46 voting members of the committee. Duane Royce, vice president of robots and automation for Wittmann Battenfeld, was chairman of the work group.
The resulting 36-page standard will guide the user through the complexity of merging plastics and robot technologies, and the corresponding safety standards for those machine systems, Jones said.
"The committee was careful to integrate references to existing industry standards while addressing gaps related to integration of the systems," she said. "Consensus standards like these help the industry invent and manufacture plastics products safely, while ensuring fairness in the marketplace."
The two standards are for sale on the association's group's website for $100 with a discount for members.