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Machine Tool Standards

Machine Tool Standards guide the design and construction, as well as the use of machine tools, addressing test methods and code, safety requirements, standardized terminology and measurement systems that lie underneath everything else. Through ISO, the benefits of an obvious focus on reliability and dependability spread far, taking along with them interoperability that improves efficiency and promotes trade. Other standards developing organizations, such as SAE, focus on the use of machine tools for applications specific to their industry.

General Machine Tool Standards

General Machine and Tool Safety Standards provide basic operation guidelines focused on the main terminology and optimal design principles for machine and tool safety. The basic recommendations for the safety of integrated manufacturing systems found here address safety aspects relevant to the interconnections of machines and their component parts. Standards regarding safety-related parts of control systems include software design principles and procedures for the incorporation of safety functions into machine designs. The 10-part ISO 230 series contains test codes for machine tools, applicable across the board and addressing such concerns as geometric and positioning accuracy, repeatability, deviations and tolerances, as well as noise emissions and thermal effects. Furthermore, these standards outline fire protection and prevention, as well as general risk assessment and reduction practices that can be incorporated into the operation of a multitude of different machines and tools. Visit OSHA’s Hand and Power Tool page to learn more about specific safety precautions for different types of tools.

Work Holding Chucks

Standards for work holding chucks address foundational vocabulary and safety requirements to remove or limit relevant hazards. Moving on to specific types of chucks, ISO standards proceed to cover their dimensions, geometric tests, and tolerances to assure compatibility and interchangeability between parts, as well as including test conditions for accuracy.

Machine Tool Specific Safety

Machine Tool specific standards delineate guidelines for the safe function and operation of a wide assortment of types of machines tools. These standards address safety principles for the use of turning machines, work-holding chucks, electro-discharge machines, drilling machines, pneumatic presses, milling machines, and many others. These standards specify appropriate methods of design and utilization of said machine tools in order to mange hazards and reduce risk. Also included within is the expansive ANSI B11 Machine Tools Safety Package, containing over thirty standards with each delving into a particular machine tool.

Compressors and Pneumatic Machine Tools

Standards for pneumatic tools and machines, along with compressors and air treatment, establish the basic concepts, terms, and definitions, essentially providing a standardized vocabulary to improve communication and reliable interoperability. Developed by ISO, the standards go on to lay down a series of preferred pressures.

IEC 60745 Hand Held Motor Operated Electric Tools

The IEC 60745 series of machine tool safety standards focuses on the particulars surrounding hand-held motor-operated electric tools. Starting with general requirements and moving through the particular requirements for a variety of specific hand-held tools, the series addresses their safety in the face of common hazards and their reasonably foreseeable misuse.

Assembly Tools for Screws and Nuts

Assembly tools for screws and nuts provide a remarkably simple and immediately apparent need for standardization-the shapes of all the tools have to fit the shapes of the screws and nuts. ISO standards address the different combinations of tips and bits that arise, and specify minimum values, dimensions, designations, and markings that guide those working with the tools. Additionally, test methods and conditions are provided, assuring uniformity and reliability in production.

ANSI B11 Machine Tool Safety Series

The ANSI B11 Machine Tools Safety series of standards contains safety requirements for a wide assortment of machine tools, addressing proper design, construction, set-up, operation, and maintenance, as well as risk assessment. Together, the ANSI B11 series is an extensive guide for anybody involved in the lifecycle of machine tools, whether they wind up in a small shop or a manufacturing plant utilizing large-scale industrial automation.

IEC 61029 Safety of Transportable Motor Operated Electric Tools

The IEC 61029 series of machine tool safety standards addresses the general requirements for transportable motor-operated electric tools. Moving on to the particular requirements for different individual tools, the series addresses a wide variety and delves into safety as it pertains to design, use, and commonly encountered hazards, as well as reasonably foreseeable misuse.

Other Machine Tool Standards

Other standards are those not included in the categories above, delving into specific topics such as pressure-sensitive protective devices, laser processing machinery, packaging machinery, and building construction machinery, workholding pallets, pressing and moulding tools, hydraulic fluids, lathes, lubrication, power presses, ball splines, airborne noise, and so forth. Hazards unique to each of these machines are explained in full and procedures for risk assessment and risk reduction are provided. For example, you can read more about laser-related machinery standards in this abstract from the Michigan Technological University (pdf).

Plastics and Rubber Machinery

Plastics and Rubber Machinery Standards identify significant hazards arising from use of plastics and rubber machines and specify essential safety guidelines for their design and construction. The standards cover a large variety of plastics and rubber machines such as extruders, injection and blow molding machines, size reduction machines, internal mixers, calenders, winding machines, two roll mills, presses, and more. For the latest news in plastics and rubber machine safety, visit Plastics and Rubber Weekly Magazine’s website.

Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Machinery

Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Machinery Standards address safety precautions associated with laundry and dry-cleaning machines of all sizes used in industrial as well as commercial settings. First identifying the most significant hazards associated with laundry and dry-cleaning machinery, these standards then offer guidance for safety-oriented design. Through the specification of proper usage and maintenance practices, the proper application of Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Machinery Standards helps in minimizing health and safety risks. To learn more about safety in the workplace, visit HSE's "Health and Safety in the Laundries and Dry-Cleaning Industries" page.

Textile Machinery

Textile Machinery Standards outline safety recommendations for the operation and maintenance of textile machines and their components. The machines covered include spinning machines, nonwoven machines, yarn processing machines, fabric manufacturing machines, dyeing machines, and more. Safety guidelines for the use of sewing machines, units, and systems are also included. Textile machinery standards also specify some of the hazards associated with the various types of textile machinery as well as countermeasures for each type. Visit the American Textile Machinery’s site to learn more about textile machinery standards.

Earth Moving Machinery

Earth-Moving Machinery Standards apply to machines, attachments, and derived machinery designed for loosening, picking-up, moving, transporting and/or distributing earth, or to grade earth and rock. These standards identify the hazards associated with numerous and diverse types of earth-moving machines and lay out guidelines for the reduction of such risks as those arising during commissioning, operation, or maintenance. Among the machines included here are tractor-dozers, loaders, backhoe-loaders, excavators, dumpers, scrapers, pipelayers, trenchers, landfill compactors, cable excavators, and rollers.

Forestry and Agriculture Machinery

Forestry and Agriculture Machinery Standards provide safety fundamentals involving the design, construction, and acceptable implementations of machines associated with forestry and agriculture. The machines referenced in these standards include woodworking equipment, irrigation machines, seed drills, various mowers, pruners, chain saws, and many others. Safety concerns and hazard prevention techniques unique to each of these machines are expounded upon. Read more about what makes Agriculture Machinery Safety so vital from the Texas AgriLife Extension Service (pdf).


As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.