The 20th IAKS Ice Maker Training seminar in Regensburg from 25 to 27 April 2017 celebrated its highest-ever attendance. Over 200 plant managers, ice makers and company representatives met in ideal conference conditions in the business section of Regensburg’s CONTINENTAL ARENA to find out about current issues, trends and good practices at artificial ice rinks. This level of participation set a new IAKS record in the almost 50-year history of this series of events. This year, those attending came from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden. The event was accompanied by a trade exhibition given by 18 companies that presented on site the latest trends in the industry.
In his opening talk, Manfred Koller, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Regensburg public utility company, expressed his delight at the impressive turnout and provided fascinating insight into the CONTINENTAL ARENA, which opened in 2015. Following this, Uwe Deyle of Planungsbüro Deyle GmbH looked ahead to the new German standard DIN 18036. Pius Frey, Chairman of the Arena Committee of the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation (SIHF) and owner of Frey & Partner GmbH, took a closer look at ice preparation and maintenance. In the late afternoon, Martin Lindner of Passau’s ice rink reported on the scope for modernisation and energy savings by using LED lighting in ice rinks.
The day’s accompanying programme started with a guided tour of the historic Old Town of Regensburg. The somewhat inclement weather had no ill-effect on the participants’ good spirits, with the tour ending at the “Brauhaus zum Schloss” tavern, the location of the evening gathering.
Wednesday opened with the talk by Peter Schäftlein, Kreutzträger Kältetechnik, on the working, operation and optimisation of NH3 refrigeration plant at the ice rink. Rico Brusch von der Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann Hall in Erfurt presented an overview of the ice maker’s place of work and equipment. After the coffee break, the focus shifted to safety at ice rinks. Simon Chalupar, Dallmeier, lectured on the scope of modern video surveillance and Guido Reusch, Gesellschaft für Kältetechnik-Klimatechnik, on hazard assessments.
Plant manager Peter Lautenschlager presented his “Donau-Arena” in Regensburg, a multifunctional hall concentrating on ice sports events, which was extended in 2015 to include further functional rooms. Eagerly awaited were the findings of the bfu study on the subject of “Impact-reducing boards in ice hockey” presented by Hansjürg Thüler of the Advisory Centre for Accident Prevention (bfu) in Switzerland. As the head of sports accident prevention at bfu, he was able to provide initial information on the tests performed and on the findings obtained.
Dieter Matz, Association of German Ice Makers (VDEM), reported on the further training for Examined Technicians for Ice Sports Facilities, given jointly by the Chamber of Trades in Cologne together with VDEM and IAKS. What is now the 5th such training started in Cologne on 8 May 2017. After this, the participants were divided into five workshops: ice disco (chaired by Klaus Meinel), ice hockey (Jürgen Schmitz), ice preparation/maintenance (Dieter Matz), building services (Matthias Just) and refrigeration plant (Uwe Deyle).
A highlight of the ice maker training was undoubtedly the discussion with a panel of experts on “the responsibility of ice makers in the running of artificial ice rinks”. Under the chairmanship of IAKS Secretary General Klaus Meinel, insight into the everyday duties of ice makers was given by Kathrin Graml-Hauser, lawyer of Graml & Kollegen, Peter Lautenschlager, plant manager of the Donau-Arena, and Christoph Stade, ice maker of Frankfurt ice sports hall. An important discussion point was compliance with and the enforcement of the house rules of ice rinks.
After the panel discussion, there was an opportunity to visit the home venue of SSV Jahn Regensburg. As so often during tours of the stadium, the team changing rooms were an excitedly awaited highlight of the tour. At the evening reception given by the Municipality of Regensburg, also at the CONTINENTAL ARENA, the many conversations turned to practical topics and experience.
On Thursday, the seminar switched to the Donau-Arena. The morning kicked off with the General Meeting of the Association of Ice Makers (VDEM). To the delight of seminar participants, all of the rest of the morning took place on their favourite surface, i.e. ice. Under the chairmanship of Dieter Matz and with the active assistance of engo, Icebear electric and Züko, six ice maintenance machines were put through their paces.
In the second part of the practical part, the newly created “markings in the ice” competition was held. The goal was to apply coloured markings to the ice surface as fast and neat as possible. The winning teams were:
1st: Andreas Schlatter (Frankfurt am Main) and Franz Gibis (Waldkraiburg) in 7:26 min
2nd: Bernd Pezold (Bad Tölz) and Martin Lindner (Passau) in 7:53 min
3rd: Martin Jaenke (Regensburg) and Thomas Rupprecht (Regensburg) in 9:10 min
4th: Alexander Deibert (Braunlage) and Sven Haarkötter (Freising) in 10:02 min
IAKS Secretary General Klaus Meinel, Dieter Knöpfle of Züko and Markus Profanter of engo handed over certificates, vouchers and models of ice preparation machines to the winners.
Another premiere at the IAKS Ice Maker Training seminar was the IceByk race staged by Ice-World Ice-Business. The winners were:
Raphael Fink (Eisarena Ritten), Johannes Diekhans (IAKS) and Jens Löker (Eisporthalle Dorsten).
Many conference participants finally took the opportunity to tour the Donau-Arena. Klaus Meinel then expressed his special thanks to host Peter Lautenschlager and his team for their outstanding preparation and exceptional hospitality; and to Dieter Matz for his organisation and hosting of the event on the ice.