ANSI B11.20 – Safety for Integrated Manufacturing Systems

ANSI B11.20, the standard on Safety Requirements for Integrated Manufacturing Systems, has just been updated.  The 2017 (3rd) Edition replaces the previous 2004 Edition, which is now obsolete.  The committee recommends that you make the transition to this new edition within 30 months.  You can get your copy now from Document Center Inc. in either paper format or for pdf download. And it can be included in our company-wide access cloud service, Standards Online.

What is an integrated manufacturing system (IMS)?  It’s a shop floor layout that incorporates two or more industrial machines.  They manufacture, package, treat or move parts or assemblies.  They can operate independently of each other but are linked by a material handling system.  This control system results in coordinated operation.

Why do you need a safety standard for IMS’s?  To minimize the risk of injury to staff in this complex environment.  The number and types of risks are different when machines are operated in a coordinated fashion.  You should set up your safety system based on the installation, rather than on the hazards of each machine individually.

What’s new in this edition of the ANSI B11.20?  First, it is now harmonized with the ISO 11161.  The terms have been updated as part of an effort to set up consistent definitions for all of the B11 safety standards.  There are 2 new Annexes — Annex D on zone determination and span of control, and Annex E, special mode.  You’ll find significant updates toclauses 4, 5, 7, and 9.  Training will be impacted by new clause 10 and Annex F on general guidelines for operator training.  And there is also a new clause 11 for decommissioning.

Of course, Document Center Inc. is an authorized distributor of the ANSI B11 standards.  So you can search for and order them with confidence from our webstore,  Here is a direct link to the order page for the ANSI B11.20 for your convenience.

We have a number of services that support your compliance requirements and document control efforts. To learn more, please contact our staff by phone (650-591-7600) or email (  Then make us your Standards Experts!

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Claudia Bach

Claudia Bach is the President of Document Center Inc. and a world-wide recognized expert on Standards and Standards Distribution. You can connect with her on Google+

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