Chairman’s Message by Bob Port

The IIAR 2014 Conference and Heavy Equipment Show in Nashville is just around the corner, and that means my term as Chairman is almost over. Although the past year has flown by, we’ve reached many of our biggest objectives, and we expect to continue< building on that success in 2014.

Our primary focus entering the year was the revision and rewrite of the Carbon Dioxide Industrial Refrigeration Handbook (the CO2 Handbook), and the completion and release of the IIAR-2 standard.

Two years ago, we charged the IIAR’s CO2 Committee with updating the handbook to reflect the most recent safety and operations standards. This was a massive undertaking which required the diligent work of two IIAR members in particular: Jeff Welch and Brian Marriott. They worked as a team to complete this project on behalf of the industry and they deserve enormous credit for their efforts in completing it.

Meanwhile, the energy, effort and resources required to revise the IIAR2 standard, while in the middle of a leadership transition, to Dave Rule, our new president, was testament to the dedication of a wide variety of committee members, volunteers, consultants and our staff.

The release of this standard is essential to the ammonia refrigeration industry because it establishes a comprehensive framework for all of our other standards. Prior to this update, IIAR-2 was more closely focused on design standards for systems and equipment with some coverage of installation.

It has not previously covered all the aspects of safety, such as: the applications of systems; where ammonia equipment can be used; and how safety standards should be used in different applications.

The new IIAR-2 includes updates relating to minimum safety requirements for equipment, design, and installation.

The development of this new document is one of the most important projects IIAR has ever undertaken on behalf of the industry, and it will have significant code implications when it is completed.

This year has certainly been a full, exciting year, culminating with our annual conference, where we are proud to welcome astronaut Mike Mullane as our keynote speaker.

We have over 130 exhibitors participating in our exhibit hall this year, representing a more diversified crosssection of our industry and the largest exhibit floor ever. Many are unveiling new products, and there will be an impressive display of larger equipment.

Exclusive to this year’s conference is a PSM/RMP training program and a free ammonia safety training program.

Over the past year, we have continued to strengthen our ties internationally, and those efforts are reflected at this year’s conference, where we will welcome more international guests than ever before. Recognizing this, we will offer simultaneous translations for both the business meeting and the codes luncheon. We will also have a full Spanish language program, five Spanish language technical papers and two Spanish language workshops.

Overall, the IIAR technical program will consist of eight technical papers, eight workshops, a research panel, an international panel and a closing forum discussing the characteristics and applications of small charge systems, which is one of this year’s hottest topics.

There will also be 10 technomercials, or product display presentations, and we will have a special workshop presented by David M. Wulf, a director from the Department of Homeland Security, Infrastructure Security Compliance Division. Director Wulf will provide an insider’s view of the DHS as it relates to the CFATS program and its impact on our industry.

One of my final goals before leaving office is to lay the foundation for a dialogue on the role of ammonia refrigeration regarding codes and standards as we turn toward the commercial world.

As I conclude my term as chairman, I’d like to urge all our members to become actively involved in the committees and leadership of IIAR. The demands on our organization are greater than ever, and it has become evident to me that we need more and more committed people to help shoulder the load.

There has been tremendous growth over the past year, and my term, working with our staff and the many committed volunteers has been incredibly rewarding.

From a productivity perspective, it’s clear to me that IIAR member dues represent money well spent. Faced with two substantial projects during the past year with the release of the new CO2 Handbook and the pending release of the new IIAR-2 Standard, we rose to the challenge and exceeded expectations.

Neither of these objectives could have been reached without the focus and fortitude of you, our volunteer membership, and our headquarters staff. I offer a heart-felt thanks to everyone who played a part in IIAR’s success this year.