AEMP Asset Management Symposium last fall focused on three key areas: technology, life cycle, and emissions. The format of the event had three different ways that information was presented and shared: lectures, panel presentations, and a world café, or group of small roundtable discussions.
It quickly became apparent that emissions was the topic dominating most of the peer-to-peer discussions. Participating members had serious concerns about some of the challenges that increasingly stringent emissions standards will present to the industry.
“Pending changes in emissions regulations represent a total paradigm shift in the way construction equipment is run and maintained,” says AEMP Executive Director Stan Orr.
The results of these discussions led AEMP to develop a new strategic plan in response to upcoming changes in emissions regulations.
A key part of this new plan is to gather and provide information to AEMP members about emissions regulations. A newly formed emissions task force is the first AEMP leadership group in some time that has been focused outwardly on an industry issue.
By using the organization's resources to identify and understand the impact of pending emissions standards, and provide that information to its members, AEMP can help our members in the equipment triangle to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to pending changes in an effective manner. It's clear that this issue will be at the forefront of our members' concerns for the foreseeable future.
Manufacturers are already addressing emissions issues. They are spending huge amounts in research and development to make engines compliant with next-generation regulations, even as diesel fuel moves from low-sulfur to no-sulfur formulations. Huge effort is being expended to design engines that maintain horsepower yet run cleaner than ever.
But the impact goes beyond engine design and fuel chemistry, encompassing filters, lubes, greases, oils–everything related to heavy equipment manufacturing, operation and maintenance.
The effect will be felt in ways not anticipated. For example, some might anticipate selling off and exporting older equipment to developing nations. Yet many loans to complete deals like this are from the World Bank, and the World Bank has emissions standards that govern what kind of equipment such loans can be used to purchase.
As a result, many of these pieces of equipment are now more likely to be salvaged, parted out, or cut up and recycled. A fleet worth $100 million today might be worth only a fraction of that in a couple of years.
AEMP will become a clearinghouse for emissions-related information, developing resources and events to help members learn what new government regulations mean to the industry and what manufacturers are doing in response. We've already covered emissions in a recent webinar, and we'll be creating knowledge center articles, setting up an online forum to discuss issues via the Web, creating a task force to open dialogue with manufacturers, and more. We'll continue to communicate and cooperate with the EPA, the Diesel Technology Forum, the Diesel Engine Manufacturers Association, and others.
“This is a critical time to respond based on the equipment triangle,” says Orr. “We'll do all we can to make sure all the players are working together to get through this.”