Concluding today at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., the annual conference and exposition of the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration placed a firm emphasis on educating attendees about impending standards changes.

Key among the topics discussed was mechanical integrity (MI) programs. Noting that MI provides improved infrastructure reliability and decreases the likelihood of uncontrolled releases, Doug Reindl, a professor at the University of Wisconsin and principal with the Industrial Refrigeration Consortium, offered the rationale that MI programs provide a secondary defense that makes facilities safer. “Mechanical integrity is an ongoing process that starts with observation,” he emphasized, and it includes being alert to issues during shift rounds, during preventive maintenance duties and along with use of computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS).

Also during the education seminar, Jim Kovarik of Gamma Graphics Services explained nondestructive testing technologies that can be used to identify corrosion under insulation on ammonia pipes and vessels. An overview of a mechanical integrity for equipment program from Bill Lape, a director of EHS, offered insights from someone tasked with managing an MI program.

The session concluded with a look at draft standard BSR/IIAR 6-201x, which specifies the minimum requirements for inspection, testing and maintenance applicable to stationary closed-circuit ammonia refrigeration systems. Jacqueline Kirkman of Cargill Meat Solutions, a member of the committee working on IIAR 6, spoke about the standard during the educational seminar on Sunday. She noted that IIAR 6 will serve to help develop mechanical integrity programs and will include ways to implement an MI program. Kirkman noted that a second public review of the draft standard is now open for public comment until April 16. The committee is targeting October 2018 for the final standard.

Check out our website for more updates to our IIAR 2018 coverage. To learn more about IIAR, visit