The Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) is the leading trade association for the industrial heat processing equipment industry. It’s an outlet for industry professionals to network, connect, learn and progress, and membership is open to manufacturers, professional service organizations, end users and consultants.
“IHEA is all about process heating. Whether it is a vacuum carburizing oven or an infrared powder coating curing oven, IHEA covers the spectrum of heating in manufacturing processes,” explained Mike Stowe, president of IHEA and senior energy engineer at Advanced Energy. “Its widely varied membership provides an excellent opportunity for networking and keeping up with the latest and greatest heating technology developments.”
Industrial process heating typically involves the melting, curing, forming or heat treating of metal, though other processes and materials can be used. It is often performed in a furnace or oven, and uses technologies such as natural gas combustion, infrared or induction.
To promote the process heating industry, IHEA focuses its efforts around three broader principles: driving member success, providing a foundational knowledge base and maintaining an authoritative voice.
IHEA wants its members to be successful, and to this end, it supports them in a number of ways. Networking and training opportunities give members an edge and access to industry leaders, monthly executive economic reports provide insight into market conditions to help members shape their business plans, and the association’s committee structure guarantees that areas of importance in the industry are addressed and prioritized. IHEA has committees and divisions on induction, infrared equipment, safety standards and codes, government relations, education, and marketing communication and membership.
One particular way IHEA supports its members is by ensuring it is the go-to industry resource for process heating information. IHEA seeks to provide a knowledge base for all members and users in the industry to keep everyone up to date on the latest technologies. It leads several educational initiatives, including technical trainings, workshops, webinars and courses. Furthermore, IHEA holds two larger gatherings each year: its annual meeting every spring and a seminar event in the fall.
Finally, IHEA sees its members, who are technology and industry leaders, as the authoritative voice on all things industrial process heating. Members participate in the development of new standards and governmental regulations and engage in other activities to further the industry.
Advanced Energy and IHEA
Duke Energy has recognized the value of IHEA and, for several years, has provided membership funding for Advanced Energy. It is a win-win for both parties. Advanced Energy builds important knowledge, insight and relationships in the industrial heating market, and it can use these to support Duke Energy’s customers.
“Duke Energy understands the value of participating in IHEA. Being a member allows us to be in contact with the people and up to date on the technologies that will help its customers and the energy consumers of North Carolina more broadly,” said Stowe.
Since Advanced Energy joined IHEA as a consulting member, Stowe has been the company’s main representative at the association. A few years ago, he was elected to serve on IHEA’s board of directors.
Board members hold three-year terms and may then be asked to participate on IHEA’s executive committee. Starting with treasurer, individuals work their way through different officer positions, from vice president to president and then past president.
This is exactly the path Stowe took: In 2017, he was elected IHEA’s treasurer, in 2018, he moved on to vice president, and he is now its president, a position he will hold until April 2020. After that, Stowe will transition to past president.
Stowe is looking forward to the opportunities in front of him. As president, he will oversee IHEA’s quarterly board meetings, annual meeting and various committees, and he will help promote membership and listen to others to make sure IHEA most effectively meets its members’ needs.
For close to a decade, IHEA has allowed Advanced Energy and Duke Energy to develop strong relationships, gain new expertise and help progress the industrial process heating field. “If you are in the process heating industry and are not a member of IHEA, you are missing out,” said Stowe. “I never miss an opportunity to attend an IHEA event, and I always come away with new contacts and ideas.”
You’ll find Stowe leading IHEA’s upcoming annual meeting in Sarasota, Florida, from April 29 to May 1.