The Industrial Heating Equipment Association has opened its 2003 annual meeting to all companies involved in thermal processing equipment manufacture.

In a move that can benefit all users of heat processing equipment, the Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) has opened its 2003 annual meeting to all companies involved in thermal processing equipment manufacture. In previous years, attendance has been limited to member companies only.

Certainly, by opening its annual meeting, IHEA, headquartered in Arlington, Va., hopes to attract new members. But, based on my experience with the organization, I believe its decision was motivated by much more than a drive for new members. IHEA is a dynamic, proactive organization that works vigorously to provide leadership in areas such as standards development, legislative and regulatory monitoring, energy and environmental concerns, equipment technology, business management, personal development, education and safety. Opening the meeting will help promote accomplishing those goals.

A look at history shows that IHEA has both its own as well as the users? and manufacturers? best interests in mind. Evidence of this includes IHEA?s Allied Partnership with the Department of Energy?s Office of Industrial Tech-nologies in Washington. The primary goal of the OIT/IHEA Allied Partner-ship is to raise awareness of energy-efficient heating processes and system designs. To accomplish this, the organizations mutually agreed to develop assessment tools, tip sheets and fact sheets, a training program to support the systems approach, an apprenticeship program, a sensor and process controls forum, and a materials forum.

Since the partnership was formed in June 2001, much progress has been made on these plans. The first sensors and process controls forum was held last November, and a report that summarizes the insights of the workshop participants is available on IHEA?s web site. And, working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn., OIT/IHEA has developed the Process Heating Assessment and Survey (PHSAT) tool, interactive software to help process heating equipment users assess how much energy their furnaces, ovens and heaters use.

In addition to its work with OIT, IHEA has taken other steps to help heat processing equipment users and represent thermal processing equipment manufacturers. In January, it merged with the Infrared Equipment Asso-ciation (IREA), which became the Infrared Equipment Division (IRED) of IHEA. IRED counts among its members manufacturers of infrared equipment for use in industrial process heating; energy companies that actively promote the use of infrared equipment in industry and work closely with manufacturing companies that share the same goals; and trade allies that supply equipment, materials and services to equipment manufacturers or end users. Prior to the merger, IREA had begun work on an infrared manual, tip sheets, case histories and infrared training seminars. The merger will produce many more positive benefits for users.

The 2003 IHEA annual meeting runs from March 23-26 at the Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort in Henderson, Nev. Call Managing Director Jim Houston at (703) 525-2513 or e-mail for more information or to register to attend.

Linda Becker