President’s Message by Dave Rule

In this issue, we’re presenting news on one exciting new activity in our industry and our organization – to build and deliver IIAR’s first education program. IIAR is working harder than ever to deliver on its promise to membership: to broaden the reach of our member base by addressing major issues that are occurring in our industry to promote the ongoing growth and health of industrial refrigeration.

Whether those issues are regulatory or operational, our focus on standards creation and new emphasis on education is critical in answering and addressing the issues we face.

We’re dealing with changes – both good and bad – that have resulted from the increased regulatory impact that the phase out of HFC’s has had. Those changes, and others have made dealing with the regulatory environment the first thing on everyone’s list.

IIAR has, over the last few years, significantly increased the regulatory outreach work we do as an organization. And at the core of that work is IIAR’s standards building process.

I’m happy to report that the effort we have all put into that process over the years is paying off in a big way.

By building a close relationship with OSHA and EPA, as we develop our standards, we’ve succeeded in getting the support of these important agencies. Lately, both OSHA and EPA have endorsed IIAR standards and encouraged all their inspectors to use them. That’s a big change from even a few years ago, when standards from other industries were applied to our facilities during inspections.

In the past we did not have a method to direct regulatory agencies on the guidelines they develop and use to audit our industry. But now that we’ve involved them in our standards creation process, they’ve bought in to our industry’s efforts to participate in the regulatory environment.

Building on IIAR’s successful standards strategy, the new education program will take this effort one step further, to educate both our own membership and the regulatory community on our standards, what they address and how they should be applied.

This issue’s cover story dives into that subject in detail, with a review of the new IIAR Academy of Natural Refrigerants and the first education product we’ll release, the IIAR-2 certificate. So in this column, I want to focus on what’s coming next, after the IIAR-2 certificate.

As I mentioned, IIAR’s new education program will reflect our standards development effort, so we’re focused on the several new standards creation efforts underway this year.

First, the IIAR Standards Committee is writing a standard for “Safe Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Closed Circuit Ammonia Refrigeration Systems.” This standard, IIAR-6, will provide the industry with much needed guidance for maintaining ammonia systems and proper documentation to ensure safe and efficient operation. IIAR is addressing RAGAGEP with a standard to define practices for upgrading facilities, including incorporating existing safety and regulatory guidance.

We’re also in the early stages of developing a CO2 standard to cover installation and maintenance of CO2 systems. This will be a significant standard because CO2 technology is becoming more important than ever before.

The development of a CO2 standard is also a hallmark moment for IIAR, because it represents the organization’s expansion into new member sectors and a chance to define what future regulatory oversight will look like.

The supermarket industry is focused more and more on CO2 technology, and the growing industrial applications for CO2 are also garnering the attention of many.

Right now, there is no definitive standard for CO2 , so it is a big step for IIAR to take the responsibility on behalf of the industrial and commercial refrigeration sectors to define what the use of CO2 should look like.

This effort has also been an exciting way to invite new refrigeration sectors to be part of the work of IIAR. We have made a concerted effort to reach out to the commercial, manufacturing and end user communities to ask them to participate in this standard’s development.

Finally, this year we’ll begin drafting a new ARM program that is specifically focused on low-charge, small package ammonia systems. While not a standard, this revamp of the ARM program – which was originally developed to address large systems under ten thousand pounds – will help define how smaller systems in commercial applications should operate.

From there, the new IIAR ARM program will help us provide the industry with training and guidance on small and package systems.

As an industry, our passion and dedication for what we do easily translates into the kind of “can do” attitude that is necessary to turn out much of the work I’ve described above.

I’ll end this month’s column with a challenge to IIAR members and nonmembers alike. This year, become your industry’s best advocate by taking an active role in the work of your IIAR organization. Get involved in the work of the IIAR committees and lend your voice and experience to our industry.

With your help and hard work, IIAR and our industry is poised for unprecedented growth.