It’s the biggest HVAC&R show in Australia and it kicks off today at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour, Sydney! AIRAH pick out the 7 must-see attractions at ARBS 2018.
1. MORE DISPLAYS THAN YOU CAN POKE A SELFIE STICK AT
Once every two years the attention of the HVAC&R industry in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region centres wholly and solely on ARBS, so everyone is looking to make an impression. It’s a chance for providers of HVAC&R goods and services to show off their wares, for potential customers to look for solutions, and for everyone to do some networking.
For the average HVAC&R technician or student it’s also just a great opportunity to get a close-up look at the latest and greatest technology and engineering smarts. And good news for skint students and trainees – entry to the exhibition is free. With more than 300 exhibitors and in excess of 9,000 visitors, this year’s event is forecast to be the largest ARBS to date. Make sure you wear some good walking shoes!
2. PARTY IN THE PLANT ROOM!
The venue for ARBS 2018 is the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour, which is worth visiting in its own right – especially to check out the design of the HVAC&R systems. A total of 210 separate air-handling units (AHUs) and fan-coil units (FCUs) have been installed across the ICC, which also features a 400kW solar PV array, a centralised energy plant, rainwater harvesting and extensive CO2 monitoring.
Innovative window glazing promotes views and maximises natural light in the pre-function areas. And the distinctive shading was designed using computation fluid dynamics to model the seasonal internal temperature changes. The central plant room contains six high-efficiency centrifugal water-cooled chillers, with a total installed capacity of 22MWr. And 12 cooling towers – with an installed capacity of 25MW – deliver condenser water to the chillers, as well as the heat exchangers serving the refrigeration plant for kitchen and hospitality services. The best part is you can get access to the ICC’s central energy plant as part of the ARBS Speaker Series – a tour will be run at midday on Tuesday, May 8 (registration is $30).
3. EXPERTS ON THE STAGE
The Speaker Series gives you the chance to hear experts share their knowledge, experience, innovations and best practices across all sectors of the industry. A jam-packed program runs across all three days of the event, covering a few topics that will be of special interest to HVAC&R technicians and other people working at the coalface. Some sessions have a cost, others are free – you just need to register.
Proceedings kick off on Tuesday, May 8 at 8.30am with a session on next-generation fault detection and diagnosis (FDD) tools. CSIRO research leader Dr Josh Wall, M.AIRAH, will present the latest findings from real-world FDD case studies. It’s $45 to attend. Anyone who has struggled on a hard-to-reach job might want to hang around for the 10.30am session: Innovative Solutions to Maintenance Access Issues. This panel discussion will look at how technology in inspection and maintenance is changing the way we access plants, and reducing the risk of injury for FMs and technicians. Entry will cost you $30.
For the fridgies, the pick of the talks is on Wednesday, May 9 at 8.30am – The Modern Technician: The future of the refrigeration trade. A panel of experts will discuss what is hindering and helping the uptake of refrigeration apprenticeships and traineeships in Australia, and look at proposed changes to training packages. And if you needed another reason to attend this session, it’s free!
4. THE LIGHTER SIDE HITS ARBS
The most popular page of HVAC&R Nation will have a special section at the AIRAH stand. Three carefully selected photos of, erm, less than perfect workmanship, will be up on the wall and under the spotlight for all visitors to poke fun at. So come along, say g’day to the AIRAH team, tell us what you think of the mag and vote for your favourite Lighter Side entry. Leave your details and you’ll go into a draw to win a grand prize. You’ll find us at stall 2211/2229.
5. BEST IN SHOW
The Industry Awards Gala Dinner is a celebration of the best operators in the business, and sees gongs handed out for Young Achiever, Product Excellence, Software/Digital Excellence, Project Excellence, Outstanding Service & Maintenance Provider, and Outstanding Industry Education/Training.
Granted, at $190 a head plus $19 GST it’s not a cheap night out, but it’s a great opportunity to see who’s setting the bar professionally in Australia, and to make contacts. MC for the evening is Tony Squires, from Back Page Live on Fox Sports and The Fat on ABC, so expect a few laughs as well. The Awards Gala Presentation Dinner is at 7pm on Wednesday, May 9 at the ICC.
6. SKILLS AND THRILLS
ARBS recently announced it will once again partner with WorldSkills Australia and host the Refrigeration Championship as an independent skill category from Australia’s most prestigious skills and trade event, the WorldSkills Australia National Championships 2018.
The 2018 exhibition marks the eighth year that ARBS has hosted the Refrigeration Championship. Young refrigeration technicians will travel from all corners of Australia to participate in three days of intensive competition vying for gold, silver and bronze medals and the chance to represent their country at the 45th WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia, in August 2019. The event is held on the show floor, so you can get a really good look at the competitors in action.
7. GET SMART
Recognising the increasing importance of technology in building management, ARBS has created a new space for 2018: IBTech@ARBS. This is a dedicated precinct within the event where visitors can explore cutting-edge intelligent building technologies and solutions. Building owners and operators, design and implementation experts, product designers and suppliers will come together at the IBTech@ARBS Insight Series to explore what smart buildings of the future might look like, and what threats, challenges and opportunities they could bring.
Attendees can interact with smart building technology developers in the dedicated exhibition area and see live demonstrations of industry-specific smart building products and solutions. And, in an Australian first, IBTech@ARBS exhibitors will attempt a live integration by connecting as many devices as possible to the cloud and sharing data. Outcomes of the project will be presented to attendees.
For more information, go to the ARBS Exhibition website at www.arbs.com.au.