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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: from Electronic Benefits Transfers to Theatrical Chain Hoists


In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publishes snapshots of the diverse standards initiatives undertaken in the global and national standards arena, many of which are performed by ANSI members and ANSI-accredited standards developers. Two of the latest selections follow:

Electronic Benefits Transfers
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 40 million Americans participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp program. SNAP benefits are issued utilizing the electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system, providing participants a magnetically encoded payment card that can be used at participating retailers.

To ensure EBT transactions are processed accurately, the Accredited Standards Committee X9, Inc. (ASC X9) has published ANSI X9.58-2013, Financial Transaction Messages - Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and cash benefit programs. This American National Standard (ANS) provides all parties involved in EBT processing for the SNAP and cash benefit programs with technical specifications for exchanging financial transaction messages between an acquirer and an EBT card issuer processor. It specifies message structure, format and content, data elements, and values for data elements used in these federal programs.

An ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer, ASC X9 seeks to develop, establish, maintain, and promote standards for the financial services industry. ASC X9's standards are used throughout the industry as well as by the federal government to facilitate delivery of financial services and products to users, and to promote global commerce.

Theatrical Chain Hoists
Fly systems, also called theatrical rigging systems, fill the ceiling and wings of most theaters and performance venues. Fly systems are composed of chains, cables, pulleys, counterweights, and related devices that enable stage crews to quickly, quietly, and safely hoist components such as curtains, lights, scenery, stage effects, and people.

To ensure the safety of performers and stage hands alike, PLASA recently released a new ANS for electric chain hoists. ANSI E1.6-2-2013, Entertainment Technology Design, Inspection, and Maintenance of Electric Chain Hoists for the Entertainment Industry, sets guidelines for serially manufactured electric link chain hoists having capacity of two tons or less used in the entertainment industry. ANSI E1.6-2-2013 is a member of the ANSI E1.6 suite of powered entertainment rigging standards.

PLASA, an ANSI-accredited standards developer and organizational member, is a non-profit trade association representing the North American entertainment technology industry. PLASA seeks to develop safe and sustainable standards that promote compatibility among equipment, products, and systems of competing manufacturers for the live entertainment equipment industry.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]