ANSI B11.20: Applications for Press Slide/Die Areas

September 7, 2021

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Laurie Harbour
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ANSI B11.20: Applications for Press Slide/Die Areas
Welcome to the newest recurring column in the MetalForming Business Edge enewsletter, focused on safety and compliance issues that require the consistent attention of metal forming and fabricating company executives. This time we focus on ANSI B11.20, “Safety Requirements for the Integration of Machinery into a System,” as it pertains to automated press cells, as they are integrated manufacturing systems (IMSs).  Author Ted Sberna Sr., from White Horse Safety, Inc., explores the concept of shared space and layout analysis, which metal formers can use to help determine zones and define spans of control for safety-related control devices.
OSHA Seeks Input on the Mechanical Power Press Standard
You may want to pass this to the appropriate people at your company. OSHA is seeking public input on potential updates to its mechanical power presses standard, 1910.217. Comments must be submitted by Oct. 26. Note: It usually takes a couple of years for comments to turn into potential updates for standards.

OSHA first issued the standard in 1971, based on the ANSI B11.1 standard, which has been updated several times since. OSHA seeks information regarding the need to update its standard; how closely the standard should follow the current ANSI standard; the types of presses that should be covered; the use and certification of equipment; presence-sensing device initiation systems; and requirements for press modifications, training and injury reporting.
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Tracking U.S. vs. Global Steel Prices Through August 23, 2021
An Argus Media report on the U.S. steel market does not bode well for steel users. According to the report, U.S. Steel will experience a 38-day outage at its Gary Works No. 6 blast furnace, beginning September 30, coinciding with Cleveland-Cliffs’ 45- to 60-day outage at its No. 7 blast furnace at Indiana Harbor, and Nucor closing its Gallatin, KY-flat-rolled mill for a month starting at the end of November.

Here is how steel prices in the United States compare globally (China and the EU).

“The crisis involving steel prices and supply continues to worsen,” says Paul Nathanson, senior principal, Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP. “U.S. manufacturers are now paying $1334/ton more for hot-rolled steel than their competitors in China, increasing the price difference by $126 in the past two weeks, and $734/ton more than their European competitors, up $118 in the past two weeks.

“The domestic steel industry’s capacity-utilization rate is up to 85 percent,” he adds, “far above the Commerce Department’s announced target of 80 percent that was used as a reason for imposing the Section 232 steel tariffs.  The U.S. market needs more steel, and one way to increase supply is to eliminate these unnecessary tariffs.”
How to Analyze Data to Make Better Business Decisions
Identifying business-cycle phases is important, as each comes with its corresponding management objectives. Give this one pager from ITR Economics a read to learn how to calculate your rates-of-change and better understand how doing so can benefit your business planning and help make the right decisions at the right time.

For example: If your company is in a recession, the article reads, you likely are cutting costs and in “save the business” mode. However, if the company’s rate of decline is slowing in the next few months and about to transition into recovery mode, you may miss the boat by staying in a “hunkered down” state of mind. You’ll miss out on opportunities by reacting rather than being proactive.
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