Representatives of the Wire Rope Technical Board (WRTB) and the European Federation of Wire Rope Industries (EWRIS) met in San Diego, California, USA, in April, for three days of discussions.  This event, which occurs annually, in alternate years in the United States and Europe, is held to review standards developments in the wire rope industry.  Participants of the respective associations are designated to represent WRTB and EWRIS in this exchange of information, particularly in the areas of design requirements and operation, and to provide recommendations to various standards writing organizations in the US, Europe and internationally.

This year, of particular interest, the representatives discussed the controversy over the CEN standard prEN 13001.3-2 titled “Limit states and proof of competence of wire ropes in reeving systems.” This controversy centers on a proposed theoretical approach to determining the life of a wire rope used on cranes versus the established wire rope design factors and discard criteria found in long-standing international standards, ISO 4308 Cranes and lifting appliances — Selection of wire ropes — Part 1: General and ISO 4309 Cranes — Wire ropes — Care and maintenance, inspection and discard.  The material in the ISO standards relies on proven engineering practice and established criteria of wire ropes which can easily be used by inspectors in the field.

CEN is the European Committee for Standardization (Comité Européen de Normalisation, Europäisches Komitee für Normung), an international non-profit organization which provides a platform for the development of European Standards (ENs), certain of which, so called “harmonized standards”, are part of the EU regulations on products.  The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards, which are developed by various working groups in order to help the end users to order, use, and maintain the products they need.

Other standards which were discussed include ISO 16625 Cranes and hoists — Selection of wire ropes, drums and sheaves; ISO 6984 Round non-alloy steel wires for stranded wire ropes for mine hoisting – Specifications; American Petroleum Institute (API) RP 9B Application, Care, and Use of Wire Rope for Oil Field Service and the European standards of the same subject; and the new wire rope volume in American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B30.

The 2014 meeting will be held in France, next Spring.

The Wire Rope Technical Board (WRTB) is an association of engineers from companies that account for more than 90 percent of the wire rope produced in the United States. It’s objectives include; to promote development of engineering and scientific knowledge relating to wire rope; to assist in establishing technological standards for military, governmental and industrial use; to promote development, acceptance and implementation of safety standards; to help extend the uses of wire rope by disseminating technical and engineering information to equipment manufacturers; and to conduct and/or underwrite research for the benefit of both industry and user.

The European Federation of Wire Rope Industries (EWRIS) is a European organization established to promote and develop the common interests of Steel Wire Rope Manufacturers.  Its Technical Working Group is very much involved in helping to develop product standard in order to control quality, use and discard of rope products. EWRIS’ members are individual firms as well some European National Associations representing over 35 companies in 14 countries.

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