President’s Message by Dave Rule

There’s a lot going on at IIAR headquarters these days. We’re growing and expanding with new initiatives, programs and goals for the new membership year. That growth just reflects the expansion of our industry in general. New technologies like low charge systems, greater adoption of CO2 , and other developments are taking natural refrigerants in new directions, and IIAR is helping pave the way.

Your staff and dedicated Board of Directors are focused on membership and committee work that will address the trends that are already shaping the future of this industry.

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 & Exhibition, which was held this year at the end of March in Orlando, Fla.

I’m proud to announce that our most recent event was a great success, showcasing the 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.

This year’s outstanding technical paper program was no exception. Among the highlights were papers on CO2 systems, commercial applications for natural refrigerants and low charge systems.

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.

Our attendance numbers, exhibitor and sponsor support were at record-breaking levels.

The IIAR Conference isn’t the only place we’re seeing growing involvement from our industry. Our membership numbers are on the rise again this year, and we’re working hard to bolster even more support with our 2016-2017 membership drive.

If you are working with a company or individual who is not a member, I encourage you to share your experience and the value you’ve found in being an IIAR member.

With today’s rapidly changing regulatory environment and evolution in system technology, it is imperative that those working with ammonia and other natural refrigerants become an IIAR member and participate in our industry.

Depending on your contractor or engineer to keep you informed of these changes and regulatory responsibilities does not adequately protect your interests or meet the needs inherent in operating a safe and efficient refrigeration system.

To meet those member needs, IIAR is moving forward on a number of significant programs across IIAR committees.

The Education and Marketing committees are developing IIAR’s new Engineering Certificate program with the first curriculum training mandate focused on the IIAR-2 standard, to be introduced in early October.

Member engineers from all sectors of our industry will have the opportunity to complete this course work and take an exam at the 2017 IIAR Conference to obtain a certificate demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of the design safety standard of the industry.

Additional certificate programs on IIAR standards and other engineering design practices are planned following the 2017 conference.

The IIAR Safety and Standards and Compliance committees are also working to produce important member resources. The Safety committee is reviewing the IIAR Series I videos and developing a safety webinar presentation for later this fiscal year.

The IIAR Standards and Compliance committee is moving forward on writing the IIAR-6 standard for maintenance and the new RAGAGEP standard to provide guidance for existing plant facilities. The committee is also reviewing updates for the Ammonia Data Book and the ARM manual.

Meanwhile, the Government Relations and International Committees are working to expand IIAR’s influence. The Government Relations committee is coordinating efforts with the IRC to provide a second refrigeration training webinar series for OSHA inspectors. Also, a new program is being developed to assist plant facilities in training and communications in emergency preparedness and coordination with the first responder community. And the International Committee is embarking on an aggressive effort to expand the IIAR chapter program in the Americas, China and India.

This is an exciting time to be a member of IIAR and participate in the many programs that are underway to improve the operations and safety of our industry.

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’m looking forward to working with the IIAR community this year to achieve all of our goals, and I invite everyone to participate in IIAR to help us fulfill the important mission of our organization.