Delegates to the 28th CIMAC World Congress are looking back on a well-organised, highly informative event that, according to an overwhelming body of feedback, was everything a CIMAC Congress should be. Namely, an opportunity for exchanging information and networking in a well-equipped and prestigious venue in the centre of an appealing capital city with strong and obvious links to large engines and their major application. Indeed, even the weather smiled on CIMAC, enabling delegates to enjoy the long “white nights” of Finland’s high northern latitude close to the summer solstice.
In figures, a total 815 Participants from 34 countries enjoyed a Congress which included 220 papers from contributors based in 24 countries, categorised into twelve state-of-the-art topics and delivered in 47 forum sessions with 32 in the “poster session” format. In parallel also, the exhibition which is always an important integral part of every Congress attracted exhibits from 53 organisations from 13 countries and covered a total area of some 800 square metres.
Among a number of highlights were an opening ceremony that combined an exposé of Finnish culture with the strong historical theme of 35 years of Large Engine Progress – the Congress was paying its second visit to the Finnish capital, the first being in 1981 – and emphasised the challenges of the current generation of engineers in the large engine industry. As usual, the further highlights in the social programme included the Welcome Reception at elegant, historic City Hall, where the Congress was welcomed to Helsinki by local dignitaries and the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries and Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola delivered his keynote speech. And, of course, the traditional ABB Evening which this year stressed Helsinki’s significance in international trade and Finland’s Nordic maritime heritage with the chance to go aboard one of the ice breakers that keep commerce moving in the Baltic winter. Finally, at the Gala Dinner the new CIMAC Board were presented and delegates were kept enthralled by leading Finnish entertainers.
Within the Technical Programme the innovation of System Integration as a major topic with its own session prepared the ground for another new area that is set to gain in importance as improving exhaust emissions and fuel efficiency enters the new, holistic engine-within-application phase.
The Users Day - a new feature of future Congresses
As expected, the Users Day proved extremely popular. Its first inclusion was a fitting inauguration of a new permanent feature of future Congresses that cements engine operators even more firmly into the CIMAC family. Delivering his keynote speech, sponsored by the Collin Trust, Harry Robertsson Technical Director at major shipowner Stena Rederi AB outlined the shipping line’s three major focuses in future ship design: reduced environmental footprint; increased safety and increased cost efficiency – again underlining the importance of CIMAC’s new focus on system integration. Harry stated that major factors in achieving Stena’s aims would be fuel flexibility and new fuels, vessel autonomy for increased safety, reduced air resistance and further developed hull forms and propulsion arrangements, placing emphasis on electric drives, including fuel cells and hybrid and battery assisted propulsion and manoeuvring! The Congress closed with a panel discussion on “The Lowest Oil Price in a Decade – A Game Changer for Ship Operators and Engine Makers?” chaired by CIMAC Vice President Communications Axel Kettmann (ABB Turbocharging). Summarising the presentations and discussion, Axel concluded that while the low price of oil was putting a brake on investment – especially in oil and gas – as well as technical developments such as waste heat recovery and gas engines, this was countered by new challenges, and echoing Harry Robertsson, these included greater fuel flexibility, more flexible power via electric drives and hybrids, further improving engine fuel efficiency and an even greater focus on total cost of ownership.
CIMAC's new Board presented during Gala Dinner
At the closing ceremony New CIMAC President Klaus Heim exactly caught the mood of delegates, who recognised that the industry is entering a new era following the enactment of the EEDI, IMO Tier III and the progressive expansion of ECAs. “It was an outstanding event for all of us involved and for the large engine business. We look forward to some challenging, yet interesting and fruitful times ahead for our industry. On behalf of the CIMAC organisation I can state: After the Congress is before the Congress”.
The final word on a successful event goes to Robert Ollus, President of the Congress and head of the organising team in Finland whose local efforts contributed so much to the success of the event. Alluding to Klaus Heim’s reference to Congress continuity he noted: “It couldn’t have been said better, as most of us go back with new learning, new ideas, new people and new business leads to start working again at the challenges posed by the market and the industry today.”
Originally founded in Paris in 1951, CIMAC is the leading global association of the internal combustion machinery industry. It is a non-profit association bringing together and representing the large engines industry to regulators and standardizing bodies. In addition to promoting the work of National Member Associations, CIMAC supports and facilitates information exchange and understanding across the global community involved in the development and sustenance of large engines.
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For information about the CIMAC Congress 2016 please visit www.cimaccongress.com.
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