IIAR Annual Conference Heads to Long Beach

The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration 2023 annual Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo will take place in Long Beach, California, March 12th15th with a Foundation Golf Outing on March 11th and the first ever Foundation Pickleball/Cornhole Tournament on March 12th. The event provides four days of technical knowledge, networking, and industry-sponsored events for those involved in the natural refrigeration industry.

“Our registration so far has outpaced last year’s performance where we saw almost 1,300 registrations in total, so we expect to surpass that number,” said Ben Dawes, advocacy and digital marketing manager for IIAR.

There will be numerous educational opportunities throughout the conference, and attendees can earn professional development hours. The sessions get started on Sunday with the Vessel Design, Analysis, and Inspection program, which will feature four speakers who will examine aspects of vessel design, specification, fabrication, inspection, and maintenance and repair. It is designed to give attendees a greater awareness and knowledge of the complete life cycle of pressure vessels.

“The vessels are an integral part of every refrigeration system. How you design them, how they are used, and how you install, maintain, and operate is critical,” said Eric Smith, IIAR’s vice president and technical director. “We have some of the foremost experts lined up to provide their insights on this important topic.

”IIAR has also created several workshops, including an AIM Act workshop. Participants will be speaking on various aspects of the AIM Act, covering everything from EPA requirements, what refrigerants will be phased out to how the financial industry sees sustainability. The panel also includes a professor who will address how students see environmental work. “Then we will be opening it up for about a half hour of audience questions,” said Gary Schrift, IIAR’s president.

The workshop panel, Solving the Technician Shortage, will address the significant labor gap in the refrigeration trade. The panel will review the results of NASRC’s recent technician workforce assessment, explore key challenges, and identify strategies to strengthen workforce recruiting training, and retention.

“I am excited to be teaming with an allied association, NASRC, which shares a common mission with IIAR, which is to advocate for natural refrigerants. The NASRC focuses its attention on commercial refrigeration, especially for grocery stores. But we can certainly learn from each other and help each other reach our common vision,” Schrift said.

IIAR is hosting a Women in Natural Refrigeration (WiNR) panel discussion and workshop on Tuesday afternoon, which is open to all attendees. In this workshop, titled: Diversity and Inclusion in Natural Refrigeration, attendees will learn firsthand from other professionals and leaders in the industry about their experiences that helped them in shaping a successful career. The workshop portion will also present an internationally published study about the experience of women and other groups within the industry which will help attendees identify opportunities arising from those experiences. “We want women and men to attend this panel discussion and workshop because everyone should understand how we can improve diversity in the industry, and the benefits that can be realized from doing so,” Schrift said, adding that the workshop will present the Women in Cooling report.

Other workshops include Efficiency in Large Refrigerated Facilities for Perishable Foods, CO2 System Add-Ons: Calculations and Field Measurements and Next Generation CO2 Pumps.

Several technical papers will be presented during the conference.

The IIAR Regulatory Panel will feature longtime IIAR member Peter Thomas of Resource Compliance Inc. “He has put together a terrific panel consisting of representatives from California state regulators and end users,” said David Sainato, IIAR’s director of education.

History shows that regulatory decisions enacted in California can influence federal law and federal enforcement interpretations. “We’ll explore the current environment of California regulations with representatives from CalOSHA and CUPA/CalARP, as well as an end-user from E&J Gallo,” Sainato said.

Attendees can participate in several technomercials, presented during exhibit hall hours and in the exhibit hall, which cover updates to equipment and services. The sessions are commercial in nature and allow vendors to incorporate technical information and training into a program that promotes a product or service.

This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Janet Lapp, is a psychologist, author, and consultant for workplace transformation. Her unique interactive approach engages the audience in a change lab, where they first assess their leadership skills, then leave with tools to transform from where they are to where they need to be.

Networking opportunities will take place throughout the event. In addition to the WiNR Reception, there is a First Timer’s Reception, Chairman’s Reception, and several coffee breaks. On Monday, attendees can take part in a “Block Party” at The Cove at Long Beach Convention Center.

The Exhibit Hall, which will feature several key industry partners, will be open on the 12th, 13th, and 14th. “We have a record number of island large booths—20 x 20 and larger—so we should have a record number of equipment pieces on display and a very full exhibit hall,” Schrift said.

The largest spaces on the exhibit hall floor, each with 400 square feet or more of booth space, have been taken by Bitzer,Carnot, Century Refrigeration, Colmac Coil, Danfoss, Evapco, Frascold, Frick, Güntner, GEA, Heatcraft, Howden, Innovative Refrigeration Systems, Lu-Uve Group, M&M, Mayekawa, MrBraz and Associates, SGS, Vilter, and Zero Zone.

Register for the conference online at http://www.iiar.org