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AISC, in association with MSCI and TCSS, Announces Effort To Develop A Consensus Standard For Electronically Tracking Shipment Information

November 10, 2003 From American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc.

The American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. (AISC) announces formation of a balanced, industry committee to develop a consensus “Standard for Electronic Advance Shipment Notices and Bar Coding of Structural Steel Shapes.” This is the continuation of an ongoing effort of the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI), the Technical Committee on Structural Shapes (TCSS), and AISC to provide for more cost effective, efficient and automated ways to ship and receive structural steel shape products.

The committee will follow recognized, national consensus standard protocol, including broad-based industry and public interest participation, formal balloting, a process for resolution of negative ballots and conflicting viewpoints, an appeals process, and a period for public review and comment before the Standard is released for publication in its final form. The Standard will not be submitted for formal certification as an ANSI standard; and, therefore, is not intended to replace or supplant any existing or executory ANSI standards involving related subject matters. However, the procedure utilized for developing the Standard will closely follow the ANSI National Consensus Standard Protocol.

The standardization will involve computer-to-computer exchange of information about the structural steel products being shipped from producer to distributor to end customer. The Standard will be implemented through bar code tagging of shipped products.

“This creates a powerful set of business opportunities for both suppliers and receivers of goods,” explained Mike Engestrom, technical marketing director for Nucor Yamato Steel and TCSS chairman. “The entire shipping and receiving process and all the companies involved can now be informed about the who, the what and the how of the shipment of every item. Receiving items becomes vastly more efficient because each item now has a bar coded license plate that carries with it detailed information about when it is being received, who sent it and how it is being sent.”

It is anticipated that the human-readable information on the bar-coded shipping label will comply with ASTM A6, Section 18.2; and that the bar code format would follow AIAG Standard B-10, Code 128. Additionally, the label would be linked to an electronic advance shipment notice (ASN) that would contain information about the supplier, the shipment, and the method of transportation. A unique supplier shipment reference number would link the bar-coded shipping label and the ASN.

“In this way the receiving company can create a far more efficient and cost effective receiving operation since it will know ahead of time, via the ASN file, what to expect when a shipment arrives, including supplier identifying information, receiver order information, shipment and transportation method information and product or item information describing exactly what has been shipped and should thus be received,” said Bert Tenenbaum, president & chief operating officer of Chatham Steel Corporation and chairman of the Plates & Shapes Division for MSCI.

AISC will serve as the Secretariat for the balanced, industry committee that will develop this Standard. Three interest categories will be represented on the committee: Producer representatives (steel shapes producers), User representatives (metals service centers and steel fabricators), and General Interest representatives (all other interested parties). Membership on the committee will be sufficiently diverse to assure reasonable balance without dominance by a single interest category.

Potential representatives of each interest group should be professionally qualified by education and experience. Persons who wish to apply for membership on this committee or to nominate another to serve on the committee should forward a written application/nomination to H. Louis Gurthet, President, American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc., Suite 3100, One East Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois, 60601-2000, not later than November 30, 2003. Committee members will be expected to comply with written AISC Consensus Standard protocol and with the written AISC Conflict-of-Interest and Anti-trust Compliance policies.

For more information contact:

Scott Melnick
VP of Communications
(312) 670-8314
[email protected]

American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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