IIAR Annual Conference Returns with In-Person and Virtual Learning Opportunities

The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration 2022 annual Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo will return to an in-person meeting this year in Savannah, Georgia, March 6-9, with a Foundation Golf Outing on March 5th. The event provides four days of technical knowledge, networking and industry-sponsored events for those involved in the natural refrigeration industry. IIAR will also record each technical session and make recordings available online about a week later for those who can’t attend in person.

“Conference registration is looking strong, and exhibit registration is strong as well,” said Eileen McKeown, vice president for marketing and sales for IIAR. “We’ve seen a lot a lot of interest in the event this year, and we have signed on some new exhibitors.”

Attendees can obtain professional development hours for both in-person and online attendance. Each technical session will earn attendees PDH credits related to the session topic. There will be several educational opportunities throughout the conference. They get started on Sunday with the Refrigeration Controls Education Program, which will feature four industry speakers focusing on refrigeration controls and automation. They will cover everything from control system basics to end-user applications of controls and end-user expectations.

“This topic has not been a focus of IIAR technical programs for some time, and everyone needs controls and automation for their natural refrigeration systems,” said Gary Schrift, president of IIAR.

Eric Smith, IIAR’s vice president and technical director, said the session will also cover developments as they apply to the future of controls, including the use of trending technologies for predictive maintenance, the use of applications such as 5G remote opportunities, and when or whether such applications are appropriate.

Several technical papers will be presented during the conference (learn more on page 20). Additionally, Bent Wiencke, Nestle USA (retired), will present the workshop Determining Leak Rates in Ammonia Refrigeration Piping. The workshop will review the fundamental elements of a forthcoming guideline and computer program that have been developed at the request of the IIAR government relations committee and supported by other committees to aid end-users in their reporting requirements.

“We recognize that in our industry, we want to neither under report nor over report the amount of ammonia that gets released in an incident,” Smith said. “These tools will help end-users to quickly and more accurately determine the amount of ammonia that has been released in an incident. These results would be used for reporting purposes, and the guideline and computer program will provide a consistent methodology for the industry to use.”

There will also be several panels, including an IIAR Regulatory and Code Update Panel, an ARF/IIAR Research Committee Panel, and a Closing Panel on recent IIAR publications and the new IIAR membership structure.

Attendees can participate in several technomercials, which cover updates to equipment and services. “Technomercials are a benefit because the content comes directly from the industry. The sessions are commercial in nature and allow vendors to incorporate technical information and training into a program that promotes a product or service,” McKeown said.

This year’s keynote speaker, Jack Uldrich, is a well-recognized global futurist, speaker and author. He frequently speaks on technology, change management and leadership. His most recent book is Foresight 20/20: A Futurist Explores the Trends Transforming Tomorrow, and his forthcoming book is Business as Unusual: How to Future-Proof Yourself Against Tomorrow’s Transformational Trends, Today.

Networking opportunities will take place throughout the event. They include a First Timer’s Reception, Chairman’s Reception and several coffee breaks. On Monday, attendees can take part in A Night in Savannah, which will take place in Johnson Square, the oldest and largest square in Savannah. “Barring bad weather, rather than having entertainment inside a building, our drinks, music and snacks will occur outside in a park in downtown Savannah,” Schrift said.

McKeown noted that IIAR is focused on attendees’ safety and is abiding by all CDC, state and local rules. “We are not going to be mandating vaccines and masks, but we will be working with local states and jurisdictions to ensure we’re following all requirements,” she said. Register for the conference online at http://www.iiar.org.