The board of directors of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) and the Commercial Refrigerator Manufacturers Association (CRMA) have agreed to integrate CRMA members into the ARI, resulting in the dissolution of CRMA.

CRMA has a membership of 51 manufacturers of commercial refrigeration equipment and ancillary products. Thirty-four are currently members of ARI. The remaining 17 will be added to the ARI roster, which encompasses more than 90% of the U.S.-produced central air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment.

Contractors and service technicians should experience no impact on their relationship with the manufacturers affected, said ARI’s Michael Cavanaugh, who will act as executive assistant of a newly formed Commercial Refrigerator Manufacturers Division (CRMD) within ARI.

In fact, he said all former CRMA members will benefit from the research, technical assistance, communications, efficiency standards, performance standards, and administrative support offered by ARI.

The move came as the result of an increasing regulatory environment.

According to CRMA president Ralph Coppola, “In view of complex domestic and international regulatory and energy efficiency issues, it became apparent that the issues faced by CRMA members called for professional and aggressive representation in industry and government affairs.”

Cavanaugh said talks started informally last June, when Coppola approached ARI president Ted Rees. It cumulated with a Memorandum of Understanding that will become effective April 30, subject to CRMA membership approval, which is expected.