The longest continuously operating trade association in the United States started with a very focused but important goal -- to reduce the number of boiler-related accidents and injuries. While boiler safety will always be a priority, the American Boiler Manufacturers Association (ABMA) now proudly leads and unites the boiler industry through advocacy, education, and awareness, and has been critical to the evolution of the industry.
Since its founding in 1888, the ABMA has advocated for the safe production and operation of boilers, facilitated advances in energy efficiency, and provided solutions for its member companies.
ABMA tackles challenges and embraces opportunities in our constantly evolving sector. Participating ABMA members are better informed, connected, and positioned to thrive in today’s global boiler industry.
Spreading The Word
In addition to their bi-annual magazine, Today’s Boiler, ABMA has introduced the Boiler Weekly newsfeed and supplemented their hardcopy Buyers Guide with an online searchable directory. Boiler Weekly serves as a year-round resource for members and end-users who want to stay up to date with the latest stories on manufacturing and the boiler industry. The online Buyers Guide includes expanded search features and links to company websites and social media.
ABMA has also launched a monthly podcast series, Inside the Boiler Room. This new program has been an instant success with almost 1,500 downloads of various episodes on important boiler topics including the installation and maintenance of boilers, need for proper training, the importance of deaeration, and much more.
Three Tiers of Membership
The ABMA currently represents 107 members, including boiler manufacturers in the commercial, industrial, institutional, and utility sectors, such as large shopping centers, hospitals, power plants, food processing facilities, college campuses -- anywhere steam and hot water are necessary. The three levels of membership include:
Active Members -- Boiler manufacturers and suppliers of major boiler-room products, including, burners, deaerators, and other related components.
Associate Members -- Organizations and companies involved with the production or distribution of boiler products and services used by Active Members, boiler owners, and operators.
Professional Affiliate Members -- Combustion or mechanical engineering students, teachers and professors, institutions of higher learning, trade schools, consultants and industry retirees.
Scott Lynch, current ABMA President and CEO, believes membership has many advantages. He explained that for a supplier or an Associate Member, the leaders in the boiler industry are all members of our organization. So, if you’re selling product into the boiler industry, the ability to access these individuals and network with them at ABMA events is a huge benefit.
For Active Members, it’s about leading through the ABMA and addressing issues as an organization with advocacy efforts that are challenging to take on individually. ABMA represents members with boiler code-setting bodies and has relationships at the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lobby for members’ interests. ABMA meetings provide opportunities to learn about the latest trends in the industry.
The ABMA staff is relatively small, with only three full-time staff people. In addition to President/CEO Lynch, who manages the day-to-day operations and oversees strategic direction, there’s Cheryl Jamall, Director of Meetings, and Shaunica Jayson, Membership and Marketing Manager. There are also two technical consultants (industry retirees) who represent the ABMA at the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and the National Board code committees, as well as experts for official comments sent to the regulatory agencies or the White House.
Partnering with related associations, such as the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), has allowed ABMA to broaden its reach and impact. Participating in NAM’s Energy & Environment Committee offers an audience with high-ranking officials at the EPA, the Department of Energy, and the White House.
May The Workforce Be With You
Another initiative the Association is tackling is the workforce. Lynch explained that there is a shortage of workers across all areas of the manufacturing industry. ABMA is working to seek out opportunities and be a solutions provider for the boiler industry. Recent examples of their efforts include hosting a Career Day at Tulsa Tech in Oklahoma, to promote career opportunities in the boiler industry and establishing a welding scholarship with Lone Star College in Houston, Texas and the American Welding Society.
Beyond the programs and services, ABMA members have the opportunity to lead the boiler industry to greater heights, be thought leaders, and continue to advance the industry in areas like workforce development.
Lynch is proud of the work ABMA is doing, saying that the Association is focused on being more than just a membership association -- it’s raising the profile of the industry and educating end users. This enhanced awareness will lead to greater impact and engagement for ABMA and its members.