Chairman’s Message by Bob Port

Summer is typically a time to kick back, relax, and ease up on responsibilities – but that’s not the case for our organization this year. As I continue transitioning to my new role as chairman, I am continually impressed by the whirlwind of important projects taking place at headquarters.

Currently, all hands are on deck to complete several initiatives. One of the most notable: The revision and rewrite of the Carbon Dioxide Industrial Refrigeration Handbook (the CO2 Handbook). Two years ago we charged IIAR’s CO2 Committee with updating the handbook, which was originally published about a decade ago, to reflect the most recent safety and operations standards available. Today, the updated version is nearly complete.

The first individuals to receive the final product will be the nearly 300 IIAR members who attended our CO2 workshop in Colorado Springs, Colo., earlier this year. We promised attendees we would provide the handbook at the conference, but had to delay its release due to the wide scope of work the update entailed. To ensure conference attendees receive the handbook as soon as possible, we will send sections of the document to them as we complete them, rather than waiting to release the handbook until the entire project is completed. For non-conference attendees interested in accessing the new handbook, we will begin accepting orders shortly. Our goal is to have the entire handbook completed by 2014.

While we are moving full speed ahead to complete the CO2 handbook, at headquarters we are also focused on completing and releasing the IIAR-2 ammonia refrigeration standard. The release of this standard, which we update and re-release every five years, is critical to the ammonia refrigeration industry because it establishes a comprehensive framework for all of our other standards. As part of the revision, the IIAR-2 will include updates relating to minimum safety requirements for equipment, design, and installation of closed-circuit mechanical refrigeration systems using ammonia as a refrigerant.

A wide variety of committee members, volunteers, and consultants are involved in the IIAR-2 update and release, and that wide variety of perspectives is helping ensure we create the best resource possible.

But it’s not just our CO2 Committee and the committees involved in the IIAR-2 rewrite that are working hard on special projects. The Safety Committee is working with the Ammonia Safety Training Institute (ASTI) to create a new ammonia safety video; the Education Committee is working on a variety of training materials and scholarship programs; the Standards Review committee is creating a new suite of standards for the industry; the Research Committee is working to identify important research topics; the Marketing Committee is spreading the word about IIAR and the value it provides the industry, the International Committee is determining how to raise the bar around the world when it comes to safety and operations of ammonia refrigeration systems; and the government relations committee (our newest committee) is creating new partnerships with government officials and spreading the word about the challenges and opportunities we face as an industry.

While each committee is focused on different initiatives, collectively they are making the ammonia refrigeration world safer by ensuring all of us have access to the best resources available.

At the same time it is focused on committee work, IIAR is also looking for new opportunities to grow as a presence on the global stage, continuing to foster communication with all our international partners.

IIAR leadership is taking an active role in traveling to many industry events to represent IIAR, both here and around the world.

The ongoing support and participation of our membership makes all of these projects and opportunities possible. Thank you for continuing to enrich our industry with your collaboration, input, and knowledge. I’m looking forward to keeping you updated on the progress of these projects and initiatives, and the many others we have slated for the rest of the year.