IIAR’s International Activity Grows Despite Pandemic

The global health crisis has impacted nearly all aspects of the refrigeration industry, and by extension, the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration and its committees have had to adapt to the changing landscape. Against this headwind, IIAR’s International Committee, led by Yesenia Rector, has been working to expand the Institute’s footprint beyond North America.

Activity in Costa Rica has been very encouraging, Rector said. Costa Rica has already adopted IIAR Standards 2, 4 and 8, and authorities there are now looking to do the same with IIAR Standards 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9. “We expect to see this adoption by as early as the beginning of next year,” she said. “They’re actively working on that.”

Costa Rica’s wholesale codification of all of IIAR’s Standards into national norms is important for two reasons, Rector said. First, it will greatly improve the safety and efficiency of the industry in the country, which will in turn reflect positively on the industry on a global scale. Second, it increases IIAR’s visibility and authority as a standards-creating body.

Once the standards are adopted, Rector said, the next step is to educate, train and certify industry professionals – an effort that is also ongoing in Costa Rica. IIAR along with its Costa Rican partner CIEMI (College of Industrial Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) is offering Spanish-language materials from IIAR’s Academy of Natural Refrigerants for local industry professionals. There are 32 individuals currently taking the course, which is delivered online through IIAR’s learning management system.

Rector said she hopes Costa Rica can serve as a model for the rest of the world. “The idea is that once our standards are codified anywhere in the globe, they will come to IIAR to seek further education,” she said. “That’s where IIAR will take the leading role.”

This Costa Rican model is starting to play out in Colombia. Rector said she has been meeting with the county’s code-writing bodies, who are interested in following the same process as Costa Rica. “We’re in the beginning stages, of course, but they are motivated,” she said, adding that the educational component of the process is already in motion. Working with its national partner ACAIRE (Asociación Colombiana De Acondicionamiento Del Aire Y De La Refrigeración), Colombia’s first online course on IIAR-2 is set to begin in late August.

Educational tracks are also set up in Argentina through the country’s IIAR chapter, which are open for registration through the middle of September, Rector said.

Looking farther into the future, the international committee hopes it can resume its in-person events. As of now, there are events planned for May 2021 in Lima, Peru, and Guayaquil, Ecuador. A trade show is also planned in Mexico in 2021.

Beyond Latin America, IIAR is getting very close to securing a partnership with a new organization in Spain.

“AEFYT [Asociación de Empresas de Frío y Sus Tecnologías] already signed the MOU, and our board is about to sign,” Rector said. “This will be another organization being added to our allied associations across the globe. It’s great – we’re looking forward to working with them, and we can be very effective partners in the industry.”