This year’s IBDEA was hosted in one of the world’s biggest hospitality and entertainment hubs in the world, Las Vegas, which provided the perfect platform to discuss, deliberate and debate all areas of the beverage dispensing industry.
Analox attended to further increase awareness of the dangers of using and storing CO2, especially in a confined area like a cellar or storage room.
Fire departments across the US are already starting to advise those in the hospitality and beverage industry that if they’re using CO2 to carbonate their beverages on site, or to push beer and wine through delivery lines, then they need a carbon dioxide gas detector.
Several safety bodies and organisations including OSHA, IFC, NBIC and NFPA55 already recommend having a detector and state that it must also have a TWA (Time Weighted Average) alarm covering a period of 8 hours to protect employees who work in that vicinity for the entire duration of their work shift. The regulations state that levels of CO2 should not increase more than 0.5% over that 8 hour period.
Although these recommendations are cited in the regulations, it’s not always delivered to the end user via the fire departments or health and safety representatives dealing with the site. This is likely because the regulations have no legal underpinning, however, we’re aware of daily incidents involving people becoming overcome by CO2 and therefore believe it’s extremely important that it is addressed,
Just a small increase of CO2 can start having effects on the human body.
Analox had many discussions with customers who were aware of the problem but weren’t too sure what they needed; for us it’s easy, our Ax60+ has the flexibility to fit any brewery, cellar, bar or restaurant and includes a TWA alarm and customizable alarm set points, and for the customer its a cost effective solution plus more importantly, provides peace of mind.
The conference gave Analox a platform to ensure the dangers of CO2 were discussed but also to see what other issues the industry were facing. Distributors of CO2 tanks were combatting labelling and tracing old tank issues and those who are manufacturing the syrups for drinks were seeing a drive towards reduced sugar-based beverages.
Carbon dioxide wasn’t the only gas to be discussed; nitrogen made more of an appearance this year with the emergence of nitro coffee. Nitro cold brew coffee, is cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen to give it a rich, creamy head, similar to nitro draft beer like Guinness. Starbucks is leading the pack with the option to go ‘nitro’ in more than 1,500 of its stores.
As an inert gas which displaces oxygen in the atmosphere, nitrogen can be dangerous, particularly if it depletes oxygen levels to lower than 19.5%. It would therefore be good safety practice for an outlet using nitrogen to have an Ax60+ fitted as well, as the unit can also detect levels O2 depletion and enrichment, ensuring the safety of staff but also combatting the risk of any costly leaks.
Analox were able to meet with several of their valued partners who stock the Ax60+ in their product range providing an opportunity to showcase our latest development for the unit, the Data Output Module. This module allows remote monitoring of the Ax60+ and communications with customers systems such as Building Management Systems (BMS). The two primary communication features are 4-20mA signal over 4 channels and MODBUS Communication.
Along with viewing the new Data Output Module, the conference gave the team a chance to catch up with Analox partners including Beviclean, TomCo, General Air, Micromatic, Perlick and Chart Industries and to discuss joint ventures to highlight the issues of using CO2 and increase awareness.
The conference had the largest attendance the association had seen to date with attendees from all over the United States, but also from other parts of the world, reiterating the fact that the association is truly international.
The knowledge base of the conference attendees and associates was vast, as always, with many companies in the industry having been passed down through generations of family members, some of who are now attending their first IBDEA member conferences, retaining the former history and knowledge but now implementing progressive updates and technological advances in equipment.
While the Analox team were there they attended seminars on the importance of building insurance policies and how to make a brand impact using marketing techniques. There were several networking opportunities and an awards dinner where Analox could also present their prize to the winner of their CO2 safety quiz.
Patti Clarkson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing said, “We have been long standing members of IBDEA and I am now part of the Board of Associates. We know how important the conference is as it unites all companies involved in the beverage dispensing industry, together in one place, to discuss issues and challenges, but also provides a hub to catch up and collate feedback from partners and customers.
“This year was a great event which was very well attended. I always admire the history of the association and the breadth of knowledge of the people who attend is quite something! It’s important for us to attend this conference as the dangers of CO2 and to a lesser extent nitrogen are becoming more known and regulations put in place by fire departments more frequent. I’m sure we’ll be attending again next year.”