The final day of ARBS ended spectacularly with a total of 2143 visitors and the winners of the WorldSkills Australia National Refrigeration Competition announced.
All of the RACCA Australia Committee Members were in attendance with the arrival of John Daniels and Larry Moore from RACCA SA. Their arrival was well-timed for the RACCA Australia Committee Meeting, which was held for the majority of the morning until lunch time.
Five seminars were scheduled on the final day which were:
- A panel on Safety in Design for HVAC&R
- Calculating Cool Phase II
- A panel on a Consideration of International Approaches to Reducing HFC Emissions
- How Good Projects Go Wrong—how to reduce risk with effective commissioning processes
- Fan Technology and Airflow Basics
According to the ARBS website, the panel on Safety in Design for HVAC&R focused on the legalities and regulations around safety in design within the HVAC&R and building industries. The Calculating Cool Phase II seminar focused on the capabilities of the Australian-made calculating tool and what is in store for its future. The panel on the Consideration of International Approaches to Reducing HFC Emissions focused on providing an update to international approaches to managing HFCs from an international perspective. The How Good Projects Go Wrong seminar focused on what problems can stop a project from proceeding to plan and lessons to be learnt. The Fan Technology and Airflow Basics seminar focused on the characteristics of typical fan types and fan testing protocols.
Five product presentations were also scheduled on the final day which were:
- Is Your Building Too Hot or Too Cold? (Airius)
- The Next Level in Efficiency (Automatic Heating)
- Shortcomings in the Behaviour of Pipe Insulation (Armacell Australia)
- Variable Speed Drive series, the ACH580 (ABB Australia)
- One Supplier—Several Solutions (Victaulic)
According to the ARBS website, the Is Your Building Too Hot or Too Cold presentation focused on air circulation and destratification. The Next Level in Efficiency presentation focused on the technical aspects of condensing water heaters. The Shortcomings in the Behaviour of Pipe Insulation presentation focused specifically on efforts to comply with energy efficiency requirements in the NCC and the inadequacy of test methods to assess fire hazard properties. The Variable Speed Drives presentation focused on the launch of the ACH580, and the One Supplier—Several Solutions presentation focused on solutions to design and installation challenges within the air conditioning and building services industry.
Jai Nesbitt from TAFE NSW South Western Sydney Institute being assessed by Carl Balke.
Throughout the three days, the WorldSkills Australia National Refrigeration Competition was held with 10 refrigeration apprentices putting their skills on show and for judgement. All of the apprentices had to show that they can successfully install and commission a refrigeration system, as well as diagnose system and electrical faults. The winner will secure a place in the Skillaroos team and compete in the WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi next year, as well as a trip to Chillventa.
The winners were announced at the WorldSkills Australia Refrigeration Presentation Ceremony on Thursday evening. RACCA Australia President, Kevin O’Shea spoke at the Ceremony, comparing the nature of apprenticeships now and when he completed his own apprenticeship.
“Looking at the tasks the apprentices were tackling in the hall made me think to my apprenticeship and how different it is today from 50 years ago. In my apprenticeship we used to pull compressors apart, we would electric mould, use a lathe, run white metal bearing and blue shafts to fit bearings. Today an apprentice has a lot more diagnostic skills requirements, what with working with electronics, you might say that the apprentice 50 years ago was more of a fitter and today is more of an electronics technician.”
Kevin also spoke about how the WorldSkills Australia National Refrigeration Competition has grown, especially with sponsorship, as in the past it was expected that an apprentice should pay their own way to the Competition.
“When I first got involved in WorldSkills, it was expected that the apprentices should attend the National Competition at their own expense. I thought this was totally wrong and so I took it upon myself to fundraise.
“At first I found many supporters that would each contribute a small amount, this was such hard work. Then I thought if we could find one major sponsor to help with the cost of travel that would save me a lot of work. I approached the board of Refrigerant Reclaim Australia and they were very willing to be a major sponsor.”
Nathan McHugh of TAFE Queensland SkillsTech won the Gold Medal, with Hayden McColl of Queensland SkillsTech and Matthew Cleave of TAFE NSW South Western Sydney Institute, winning the Silver and Bronze medal respectively.
Overall ARBS 2016 was extremely successful in several ways: breaking numerous records, hosting highly anticipated seminars some of which were at full capacity, with tickets at the ARBS Industry Awards Dinner now in high demand and with presentations demonstrating what the future holds for industry products.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all at ARBS 2018, which will be held in Sydney for the first time since 2010.
Image via RACCA NSW.