The main objective for MCerts 2005 was to ensure that everyone responsible for monitoring and managing stack emissions monitoring is familiar with the requirements of the European Standard EN14181 and with the guidance that is available in this respect from the Environment Agency for England and Wales.
However, the MCerts event is far more than just a training event; it has become the focal point for the air monitoring community, providing a forum in which news and views on legislation and technology can be exchanged.
EN14181 is a quality assurance standard, created to ensure that monitoring uncertainty lies within the requirements of EU Directives such as the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) and the Waste Incineration Directive (WID).
John Tipping, who manages the Environment Agency's monitoring certification scheme, MCerts, expressed his delight with this year's conference: "First, it was very pleasing to note the high level of participation - I understand that delegate numbers were up by more than 20% on last year including many visitors from overseas.
"Second, following years of hard work on the part of the Agency, the Source Testing Association (STA) and industry, it is very gratifying to see the fundamentally important role that MCerts has taken in the protection of air quality.
"The success that MCerts has achieved is due in no small part to the efforts of the STA and on this, the occasion of its tenth anniversary, I would like to take the opportunity to express my thanks and congratulations to Dave Curtis and his team".
The MCerts event comprises four key components; a conference, workshops, a gala presentation dinner, and an exhibition of the world's latest testing/monitoring technologies and services.
Opening the conference, Rick Gould from the Environment Agency gave an overview of the requirements within EN14181.
William Averdieck gave a conference presentation on the standard EN 13284-2 and the QAL 3 zero and span checks employed by a number of manufacturers including PCME, Codel, Land Instruments and Thermo Electron.
Other conference speakers gave presentations on their experiences in the application of EN14181.
Almost 100 workshops took place over the two days of MCerts 2005 covering virtually every aspect of monitoring in emissions, in the workplace, and in the ambient environment.
For example, Air Monitors outlined the benefits of the new compact ambient monitor, the Airpointer, Quantitech introduced the TCR Tecora sampling system for dioxins, Thermo Electon outlined the benefits of a particulate monitor that calibrated itself by employing both light scatter and beta attenuation methods, and Cryoservice described a changeover manifold that guaranteed a continuous supply of FID fuel or calibration gas, and reduced wastage.
Feedback from industry experts was overwhelmingly positive, says the organiser.
Jim Mills, managing director, Air Monitors: "We found MCerts to be a well-focused event with quality visitors who were interested in our technology.
"We even took an order on the booth from a customer for a £10,000 instrument.
"We invited a number of colleagues from Europe and they commented how useful the conference had been and that such a conference in their own regions does not exist.
"The workshops were well attended - in fact at our Airpointer workshop we ran out of seats there were so many people there.
"Air Monitors will come again and next year probably on a double booth; MCerts has become the main show of the year in the UK for us".
James Carlyle, general manager, Ashtead Technology Rentals: "The MCerts event seems to go from strength to strength.
"We were delighted in particular with the number of rental enquiries that we received for the gas analysers in our range that already have MCerts approval.
"This includes the Horiba PG250 and the Bernath 3006 FID.
"Portable instruments such as these are ideal for the rental market because they can be used as survey tools or to analyse emissions from a number of different sources".
Des Mitchell, technical business manager, AEA Technology Environment: "In our experience MCerts 2005 was very valuable.
"It is a good forum for catching up with old friends and new contacts.
"The conference is technically focused and pulls in key contacts capable of making purchasing decisions important to our business.
"It allowed us to demonstrate our expertise in seminars and via contact on the display stand to existing and new contacts within the industry, and also to expand contacts for our business outside the UK including Ireland, Pakistan, Spain and Hong Kong".
Steve Donnelly, sales specialist, ABB Analytical UK: "Another very good show, well attended by operators, suppliers and contractors alike.
"The mix of workshops, presentations and exhibition works very well to attract a narrowly-focused audience".
Duncan Mounsor, operations director, Enviro Technology Services: "Enviro Technology Services consider the third MCerts exhibition and conference to have been very much a success.
"We had a steady stream of visitors to our stands and are confident of winning several large emissions monitoring contracts as a result of exhibiting.
"Our four presentation slots were also well attended with approximately 8-10 delegates attending each presentation.
"Enviro Technology Services also had a mobile air quality monitoring system near the entrance to Bretby Conference Centre, which also was of interest to many of the delegates attending".
William Averdieck, managing director, PCME: "A significant conference at which the key issues affecting the CEMs industry were discussed and moved forward.
"A timely occasion to demonstrate PCME's new light scatter instrument".
David McKeown, Enotec UK: "It was useful to receive our MCerts certificate approving Enotec's Oxitec oxygen analysers at the gala dinner, presented to our managing director, Fred Gumprecht.
"We will now be able to sell our equipment to customers requiring MCerts approval.
"Our Workshops promoting energy efficiency and pollution reduction were of special interest to large combustion plants - power stations etc - who will need to reduce their Nox output by 2008".
Tony Howard, managing director, Brunswick Instrumentation: "We had an excellent time at MCerts 2005, especially with the Perma Pure range of sample drying equipment and the new Gass Module for system integrators.
"We have some good leads and it also gave us an opportunity to discuss existing business with our customers.
"Compared to many shows this is one that is well focused".
Mark Pinkney, Protea: "Protea was delighted with the response received to the Protir range of mobile FTIR analysers, especially the new 204M model for combustion gases.
"As first time exhibiters at MCerts, the conference was useful in raising Protea's profile as a high quality instrument manufacturer".
Tony Bowers, Procal Analytics: "This was another good event.
"Our guests, Lafarge, won the Golden Stack Award for their stack and the installed stack tester's access facilities located at Cookstown, Northern Ireland.
"It seems that the event continues to have a growing international interest".
Lisa Manchester, CBISS: "We found the exhibition very worthwhile and will certainly be attending again next year.
"We did four workshops/presentations over the two days and all were received well.
"Indeed several people followed up with us on our stand afterwards.
"We had a strong interest in both CBISS and our sister company EIM, with several good leads".
Peter Sullivan, Testo: "From our point of view we were very pleased with the MCerts event.
"The exhibition was well attended and our stand was kept busy with lots of interest in our portable emissions analysers, including the new hand held Testo 335.
"This three gas analyser allows fast and accurate spot measurement of a range of gases including NO, NO2 and SO2.
"Also on show the market leading portable analyser the Testo 350 attracted a lot of interest with its recently introduced infrared CO2 measurement capability.
"We were particularly pleased with our workshops on portable analysers that allowed us to present the advanced technology employed in our products.
"Both workshops were very well attended, in fact the first session we did was completely full, a case of standing room only.
"The feedback from delegates was very positive and lively discussions continued well after the workshops ended".
At the gala dinner, Stuart Newstead presented MCerts level 2 certificates to 31 individuals.
In addition, certificates were awarded to the manufacturers of products that have achieved MCerts accreditation.
These companies included ABB, Servomex, PCME, Land Instruments, Environment SA, Sick Maihak, Emerson, Horiba, Becker, Monitoring Systems, Teledyne API, and EnviroTechnology Services.
The Golden Stack Award was presented to Lafarge from Cookstown, Northern Ireland, and a special award made to Charles Stuart who retires (to coach athletics) in December following 50 years in the service of the analytical industry.