By Scott Lynch, ABMA President & CEO
Twenty years ago, very few would have predicted today’s abundance of natural gas in the marketplace and the significant shift from coal power. At that time, there was some talk about renewable sources of energy, but it was something for the future and extremely cost prohibitive.
While we cannot completely predict what our energy sources will look like in 20 years, one thing is for sure, the energy evolution will continue, and the boiler industry must understand the challenges and opportunities on the horizon to continue to offer timely solutions to the end-user community. This is why companies are members of ABMA.
Our members continue to tell us they are better informed, connected and positioned to thrive due to their involvement in ABMA. And there is no better place than our meetings to obtain knowledge and connections and no recent ABMA meeting is more focused on preparing our members for the future than our upcoming 2020 Annual Meeting, which takes place in January outside of San Diego.
ABMA is recruiting presenters that will address many of the burning questions that are expected to impact the boiler industry.
• What is the future mix of energy sources and the outlook on renewables? How are companies evolving their sustainability policies?
ABMA has confirmed Douglas Kot, Department Head of Sustainable Buildings and Communities for DNV GL, a global leader and the largest technical consultancy and supervisory to the global renewable energy market (particularly wind, wave, tidal and solar) and oil & gas industry—65% of the world’s offshore pipelines are designed and installed to DNV GL’s technical standards. He has been involved with green building and sustainable planning for more than 20 years, leading the technical development of dozens of high-performance and zero net energy buildings, advising on energy systems, water efficiency and reuse and material impacts. Doug has a knowledge of the energy sector and expertise in energy trends that our members need to hear.
• What end-user sectors are shifting their processes and potentially transitioning from traditional forms of steam and hot water?
Food and beverage processing is an important sector for the boiler industry and a shift has begun that will have a direct impact on our companies. ABMA has engaged the Cold Pressure Council, which is working with its members on the adoption of High-Pressure Processing. They will be presenting at our Annual Meeting to ensure our members understand the high-pressure technology, what makes it a good alternative and how our members can work more closely with food processing companies to solve their needs for steam and hot water.
• How are we protecting ourselves and our end-users from cyber hacks and continue to expand the connectivity of our products?
Another big trend in the energy sector is how to create more connectivity in the energy management system and collect big data while ensuring data is safe. ABMA is pleased to share that Sherri Davidoff, noted cybersecurity expert, author, speaker and CEO of LMG Security will also be presenting at the Annual Meeting. Davidoff is an MIT grad and one of the first female white-hat hackers in an industry still dominated by men. Her company, LMG Security, is a nationally recognized, full-service cybersecurity consulting firm that specializes in penetration testing, compliance, digital forensics, and training.
As a recognized expert in digital forensics and cybersecurity, Sherri has authored courses for Black Hat and the SANS Institute. She has provided cybersecurity training at many notable organizations, including the Department of Defense, the American Bar Association and FDIC.
• Is a recession on the horizon? How are today’s economic trends going to impact future revenue and investment?
No ABMA Annual Meeting would be complete without Dr. Alan Beaulieu from ITR Economics. One of the country’s most informed economists, Dr. Beaulieu is President of ITR, and his keynotes always enable our members to prepare for the year ahead and to capitalize on emerging trends.
All these sessions will be extremely impactful, but this is just the beginning. Our Product and Market Groups will also be finalizing presentations specifically related to the subgroups:
• Alternative Energy
• Burner Technology
• Commercial Systems
• Controls & Instrumentation
• Deaerator Technology
• Environmental Affairs & Services
• Industrial Systems
• International Markets
• Rental Boilers.
For an updated agenda, visit the ABMA website at ABMA.com.
If you are a boiler manufacturer or supplier, knowledge is king and attending our meetings offer you valuable resources to advance your company. If you are an end-user of boiler products, you want to work with a company that has the knowledge to address your hot water and steam challenges. These companies are members of ABMA.