IIAR Shatters Attendance Records, Sets New Goals at Conference


The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration hit record attendance numbers, signed agreements with international organizations and introduced a new president at its 2013 Industrial Refrigeration Conference & Exhibition, an event that marked a variety of transitions and new initiatives for the association this year.

The four days of networking at industry sponsored events was an opportunity for IIAR conference goers to meet other professionals in the industry while taking advantage of the technical knowledge and resources available on the exhibition floor and at technical program presentations. At the same time, attendees were introduced to Dave Rule, who began his tenure as IIAR’s new president at the event.

“This was such an energetic conference, and it ended on a high note, as the most successful event yet for IIAR in terms of attendance,” said 2013 Conference Chair Marcos Braz. “Between the record turnout and all the other new things we had going on this year, I’d say it was really a conference of firsts.”

The conference, which was held at the Broadmoor Hotel, March 17 – 20, drew over 1,200 attendees, many of whom were new to the event.

“We had a record number of first-timer attendees,” said Braz. “That’s exciting because new attendees are the pulse of our organization. It’s good to bring in new people with fresh ideas to add to the collective knowledge our members represent.”

The new conference attendees represented a cross-section of the industry, said Braz, with many of them coming from the end-user environment, a sector IIAR has worked hard to support.

“This just shows how much the organization is growing,” said Braz. “And that’s due to the hard work that has been done over the last few years to make sure we’re meeting the unique needs of our members.”

“IIAR is working hard to carry the momentum and energy of our sponsors, exhibitors and members to the upcoming conference and heavy equipment show in Nashville next year.”

– 2013 Conference Chair Marcos Braz

The IIAR convention is the most tangible way for industrial refrigeration professionals to interact with their own industry, by networking and making use of the available technical resources, said Braz, an effort that is only possible with the support of IIAR sponsors and exhibitors.

This year, the conference boasted more exhibitors than any other year and also garnered a record-breaking number of sponsorships at the event. “These sponsorships are so important because they help us sustain the conference financially, and they allow us to provide the things, like coffee breaks, lunches and social functions, that make it nice for everyone,” said Braz.

As for exhibitors, one of the many ways they support the event is by introducing new information and creating a culture of communication that showcases the knowledge and technology of the industry.

“The participation of the exhibitors and sponsors was vital to the record success of this show,” said Braz. “Their work demonstrates how active and helpful our industry is.”

Nevertheless, it wasn’t just the sponsors and exhibitors that made the conference a success, said Braz, who pointed out that IIAR members took up new initiatives at the committee level.

“All of the IIAR committees were very active at this conference,” said Braz.

“We’re thankful for the talents and resources that our members bring to this organization, especially the effort of all of our staff in making such a large event a great success.”

– 2013 Conference Chair Marcos Braz

He added that the work of the committees was especially important this year because they supported the work of IIAR’s international committee, which orchestrated the signing of new agreements with delegations representing the ammonia refrigeration industry in India, Colombia, Chile, Australia and Europe.

The memorandums of understanding, signed at the conference, highlighted IIAR’s focus on international relationships, calling for the exchange of publications, technical knowledge and resources as well as plans to pursue new joint initiatives.

“This was an important moment for IIAR because we were able to expand our reach as a true international organization,” said Braz. “That wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of all of our committees. They produce and refine the accumulated knowledge and resources that come with over 40 years of experience in this industry.”

“Because of them, we are able to expand the knowledge of our industry to other countries with the know-how that only IIAR can provide.”

IIAR views the partnerships that were formalized at this year’s conference as a way to support the growth of the industry around the world, said Braz. “These agreements, combined with the work of our committees, represent a pool of knowledge that is being made available to countries that might otherwise have a hard time accessing the experience of our industry. It’s an opportunity for the future growth of our organization’s members and the global exchange of information.”

While international agreements were being formalized, IIAR’s conference attendees were participating in the conference technical program, which included eight workshops, eight technical paper presentations, five technical paper presentations in Spanish and eight technomercials.

More “firsts” on display at this year’s conference were two Spanishlanguage workshops and one Portuguese-language workshop. In addition, a conference guide was available to members for the fi rst time as a mobile application.

“This year there was broad involvement of our members,” said Braz. “We got several comments that this was one of the most interesting conferences from a content perspective.”

Braz said the technical program, as well as a special CO2 technical presentation, gave IIAR “the opportunity to extend the conversation to other natural refrigerants,” this year. Two technical papers in particular focused on the use of natural refrigerants in applications that extend beyond traditional settings. These papers, in addition to the other ideas presented at this year’s meeting underscore the importance of always looking ahead as an industry, said Braz. “As an organization, we’re always ready to hear about developments in our own field, and this year, there were plenty of opportunities to do that.”

Beyond the technical program, another factor that drew attendees to the 2013 conference was the chance to socialize and enjoy the Broadmoor hotel. “The Broadmoor was a great place to relax and enjoy catching up with friends and colleagues in the industry,” said Braz.

We’re very thankful for “the talents and resources that our members bring to this organization, especially the effort of all of our staff in making such a large event a great success,” said Braz.

Now, IIAR is working to prepare for 2014, a year that is even more important for the association because it will feature IIAR’s heavy equipment show, said Braz, adding that the event only happens once every three years.

“IIAR is working hard to carry the momentum and energy of our sponsors, exhibitors and members to the upcoming conference and heavy equipment show in Nashville next year.” IIAR’s 2014 Industrial Refrigeration Conference & Exhibition, Heavy Equipment Show, will be held March 23 – 26 in Nashville, Tennessee.

IIAR Names Members of the Year, Honorary Life Member


recognized two of its board members, Paul Bishop and John Collins, by naming them both Members of the Year in 2013. The Member of the Year award is usually given to only one recipient a year, but, said IIAR chairman Bob Port, “These two enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers have contributed so much to the success and growth of our organization that we wanted to recognize them both this year.”

As Chairman of the International Committee and Chairman of the Code Committee, both Bishop and Collins went “above and beyond” to complete projects and lead initiatives important to the industry, said Port. “John has worked tirelessly with the code committee, and has really driven its efforts this year, and Paul has done the same thing with the International Committee.”

“They have skillfully executed one of the most demanding volunteer positions in this organization, the role of committee chair,” he said. The Member of the Year award is given to individuals who make outstanding contributions to the ammonia refrigeration industry through their service to the association over the preceding year. However, said Port, “Both of these men have given so much time to IIAR, we’re really recognizing them for their efforts over the past five years.”


IIAR’s honorary life member, Brian Marriott, was recognized by IIAR for the constant work he has done on behalf of the industry while holding several leadership and volunteer positions. The honorary life membership award is given by IIAR to members whose service extends well beyond their traditional terms of office and who have made contributions that have a lasting impact on the industry.

“Brian has contributed so much to our organization over the years, it was a joy and an honor to be able to nominate him for lifetime membership,” said IIAR chairman Bob Port. “He’s served for many years on the standards review committee and over the years he has put in so many hours reviewing those documents. When he wasn’t working, he was always finishing up some IIAR standard or responding to questions on behalf of our organization.”

Marriott’s leadership of IIAR includes a year-long term as chairman of the IIAR Board of Directors from 2008 to 2009, as well as his current role as chairman of the CO2 Committee. Marriott retired last year, but Port said he doubts that will slow Marriott down. “He’s still working hard for our industry. Like any dedicated ammonia guy, Brian has managed to fail at retirement.”

Andy Ammonia Award Winners Recognizedfor Technical Paper Contributions

The Andy Ammonia awards for the 2013 IIAR Industrial Refrigeration Conference & Exhibition were presented this year to Dave Malinauskas of CIMCO Refrigeration and David Sánchez Rojas of Parker Hannifi n. The Andy Ammonia awards are determined based on the results of the technical paper evaluation forms completed by those who attend technical paper sessions. Malinauskas won the award for his paper, Ice Rink Case Study: Comparing a Transcritical CO2 Direct System against an Ammonia Heat Recovery System. The paper presented the results of a case study which compared the energy consumption of three types of refrigeration systems; a basic ammonia refrigeration system with no heat recovery, an ammonia heatrecovery system, and a carbon dioxide transcritical heat recovery system. Meanwhile, David Sánchez Rojas won the award for his Spanish language paper, Estudio de un caso real de golpe hidráulico en tuberías de refrigeración con amoniaco (Case Study of Hydraulic Shock in Ammonia Refrigeration Piping). The paper examined a recent occurrence of this phenomenon in a vegetable processing facility and presented design recommendations for piping and valve arrangements to minimize the risks associated with hydraulic shock while improving system safety and efficiency.