President’s Mesage by Dave Rule

There’s a lot going on these days, both in our industry and at IIAR’s headquarters. Regulatory issues have seen an increased focus for our organization while new technologies like low charge systems continue to grow in importance.

As your president, it has been my honor to lead your staff and work with our dedicated Board of Directors on several new projects and initiatives that address the trends and challenges that will have a major impact on our industry in the next five years.

I’ll use my column this month to give you an update on those projects and initiatives, all of which have prepared us to look forward to the next year as our membership continues to grow, thanks to the invaluable experience and participation of our members.

First, no post-conference message is complete without mention of our industry’s biggest event, the IIAR Industrial Refrigeration Conference & Heavy Equipment Show, which was held this year at the end of March in Nashville, Tenn.

Our most recent annual conference demonstrated the successful work of the IIAR on so many levels. As part of a volunteer membership, we provide the essential technical standards, educational tools and other materials we depend on as an industry to improve the efficiency and safety of natural refrigerants.

You can read more about the conference, including our groundbreaking attendance, in the message from your new Chairman, Marcos Braz, and a special post-conference feature story, both in this issue.

It is always exciting to participate in an event where the enthusiasm and dedicated work of our membership – represented by end-users, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, faculty and students from around the world – is on full display, and this year was no different.

One new dimension of our program in 2014 was the participation of Department of Homeland Security Director of Infrastructure Security Compliance, David Wulf.

Engaging with IIAR on the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program is a major goal of the Department this year, and one that Mr. Wulf communicated to our Board and membership in two special sessions.

As a special guest at IIAR’s meeting, he shared information on the DHS regulatory program and invited IIAR members to get involved in the stakeholder discussions that are currently advancing the mission of his division.

Given our organization’s focus on regulatory issues, fostering a close relationship with DHS as well as other government agencies – like OSHA and EPA – will be a continued priority for IIAR in the coming year.

Informing the regulatory environment is increasingly important, especially as new technologies that make use of ammonia and other natural refrigerants open the door to new commercial applications and present new ways to meet the nation’s environmental goals.

The move towards systems that make use of low charges of ammonia was one subject I heard discussed over and over again at our recent annual meeting.

This change has major implications for our entire industry especially when it comes to changes in design, the use of ammonia, CO2 as a secondary refrigerant and even regulatory issues.

Part of the reason this year’s conference saw record attendance levels was because many of the new technologies that were on display at our show have the potential to shape how we do business in the future.

IIAR will continue the momentum started at our conference with one important new project we’ll be unveiling this year: the addition of a web-based learning management system.

With IIAR’s new LMS, we’ll be providing several key capabilities we’ve heard members request.

Our new system will allow us to provide videos, webinars and other training materials that can be accessed electronically on a subscription basis. These materials will help us support the training needs of our members and their facilities as well as provide a platform that members and regulators will be able to use to access major IIAR publications on their computers, tablets and other mobile devices.

With this project, and our continued publication of industry news and reference material like the recently released CO2 Handbook, IIAR’s prospects for growth this year are very strong.

Our success in these projects is directly related to the dedication and hard work of the many volunteer members serving on the various technical committees, executive committee and the board of directors.

These individuals have been and will continue to be our most valuable resource. I invite everyone to participate in IIAR and I look forward to working with all to fulfill the global mission of our organization.