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New safety standards move past the drop bar

New safety standards move past the drop bar

New machinery safety standards coming this year replace the drop bar — a mechanical safety device that stops the clamp on a horizontal-clamp injection molding press from closing accidentally — with what equipment industry leaders say is the superior controls technology available today.

The change to ANSI/SPI B151.1 applies only to new injection presses. ANSI is the American National Standards Institute. The Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.’s effort was coordinated by the Injection Molding Safety subcommittee, part of SPI’s Equipment Council.

The decision is to eliminate the ratcheted drop bar, also called a jam bar, on new machines. All existing machines still must have the jam bar.

Also, vertical-clamp injection molding machines are still required to have the mechanical drop bar, because of the effect of gravity.

“It’s a physical barrier that stops the unintended closure of the clamp,” said Stan Glover, who chairs the safety standards subcommittee. That’s a big safety issue in plants where workers must reach into the molding area when they open the operator gate.

Glover said SPI is the standards-writing body for plastics machinery. SPI works with ANSI in the United States, and, for global standards, the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO.

Glover is director of sales at Zeiger Industries Inc. in Canton, Ohio. He is vice chairman of SPI’s Equipment Council, as well as chairing the safety standards group.

For the first time ever, SPI hosted an ISO meeting on Nov. 3-5 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. More than 40 world safety experts came from about a dozen countries.

SPI members and safety experts from the across the global machinery industry discussed how to better harmonize safety standards. Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. hosted a plant tour at its headquarters in Bolton, Ontario.

Jim Pilavdzic, Husky’s manager of product safety, emphasized the importance of plastics industry leaders getting involved with ISO and the standards-development process. He said the experience opens their doors to world safety experts and meet fellow professionals.



Industry, Polyurethanes, Manufacturing, General