The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved new procedures for the development of American National Standards (ANS) for fluid power, and is inviting interested parties to take part in the ballot process. As a result, the NFPA, which serves as secretariat for the development of ANS for fluid power, will now have more flexibility in how standards are developed. Interested parties will also have a chance to vote, and determine the shape of technical standards for the industry.

With the new set of procedures in place, NFPA standards development committees will continue to develop new and revised standards and periodically review existing standards, and general over-sight of ANS' development has shifted from ASC B93 to the NFPA Technical Board and NFPA Board of Directors.

The approval of new ANS' revisions to existing standards, and withdrawals of existing standards will now take place via ballot of self-identified interested parties within the industry. If you belong to one of the following groups, you are eligible to vote on standards and may sign up to receive ballots:

  • Users of fluid power products,
  • Manufacturers of fluid power components and systems,
  • Suppliers to the fluid power industry,
  • Fluid power distributors, and
  • People with a general interest in fluid power, such as researchers, government agency representatives, and consultants to the industry.

Those interested will receive ballots periodically via mail or electronically, along with copies of standards relevant to their interests, with instructions for casting ballots. They will have 45 days to review each ballot item and related documents and vote.

No organization will have more than one vote for any given standard ballot item. If multiple people from an organization are registered to receive ballots, the organization will be asked to designate a primary voter; the others will be designated alternates whose votes will only count in the event the primary voter does not respond.

The ballot lists are currently divided into standards related to hydraulic or pneumatic technologies, or both. These categories will be further segmented as necessary, so that participants can eventually choose to receive ballots for only those items most relevant to their business and interests.

To sign up to receive ballots, go to www.nfpa.com and choose "Register to receive standards ballots" from the home page, or contact Pete Alles at: (414) 778-3350, or e-mail: palles@nfpa.com.

NFPA coordinates standards development at the industry, national and international levels. NFPA administers the approval of ANS for fluid power through accreditation granted by ANSI. NFPA also serves as the secretariat of ISO Technical Committee 131 (ISO/TC 131), which is responsible for the development of international standards for fluid power and the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO/TC 131. ISO, ANSI and NFPA standards are guides to aid the manufacturer, the consumer, and the user.