MANUFACTURERS - JANUARY 2019

Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, S.A.B. de C.V. reports ramp up of a 440,000-metric-ton capacity expansion of its Rapid City, S.D., cement plant. Work at the Dacotah mill began in 2016, with a total investment of just over $100 million. The expansion increases the plant’s production capacity to 1,167,000 mt and is expected to reduce variable production costs. Tie-in of the new facilities was completed in late November, while production—suspended during that phase—has resumed and the new facilities are in the stabilization process.

“The Rapid City expansion comes at an opportune time, as our U.S. cement plants are running nearly at full capacity, and we expect to see continued, steady growth in demand across our market area,” says GCC CEO Enrique Escalante. “We will be able to serve our customers better and operate our cement logistics network more efficiently with the additional capacity.”

GCC has 5.8 million mt of total cement production capacity; 3.6 million mt is in the U.S., with plants in Pueblo, Colo.; Odessa, Texas; Tijeras, N.M.; and, Trident, Mont., in addition to the one in Rapid City. GCC of America expects to fully realize new milling capacity at the latter facility gradually over the next 18 to 24 months.

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Bruce Christensen

Dr. Bruce Christensen, vice president, has assumed responsibility for BASF Admixture Systems in the U.S. and Canada, operating from the regional business unit headquarters near Cleveland and succeeding Juan Alfonso Garcia, who was named head of Construction Chemicals Latin America late last year. Christensen will be responsible for leading the entire Admixture Systems unit with a focus on ready-mixed, precast/prestressed, manufactured concrete products, and underground construction market sectors. He has 25-plus years’ industry experience, including several years within the BASF Construction Chemicals division. He began his career as an Admixture Systems group technology manager and has held various regional and global roles in research and development, operations, marketing and communications throughout North America, Asia and Europe. Christensen holds bachelor’s degrees in both chemical engineering and materials science and engineering from the University of Minnesota, plus a Ph.D. in materials and engineering from Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., where he studied portland cement chemistry and concrete technology.

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Thomas Strittmatter

A year after joining New Jersey-based Sika Corp. as vice president of Sales – Carribean, Thomas Strittmatter has been promoted to Target Market Concrete vice president. A BASF Construction Chemicals veteran with 25-plus years in the construction industry, he will be responsible for defining and implementing the Sika U.S. admixture business strategic direction, aligning sales, marketing, research & development, operations and logistics to meet customer and shareholder expectations.

“Tom has demonstrated great leadership and business acumen during his career and first year with Sika, and is a great fit to lead our concrete admixtures business to continued growth,” says Executive Vice President – Concrete and Engineered Waterproofing Kyle Loyd. “Tom’s awareness of the industry and customer-centric approach make him a great asset to the Sika Concrete team.”

Separately, Thomas Collins has been named regional manager for Sika Concrete Admixtures. Prior to joining Sika, he served as North Region sales manager for Titan America, responsible for cement and fly ash sales throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Region. Collins has nearly 20 years’ experience in concrete construction, with a variety of responsibilities spanning sales, business development, operations, quality control, estimating and project managing. A NRMCA Level 3 Concrete Technologist, he is active in industry groups and serves as a Maryland Ready Mix Concrete Association director.

Springfield, Ill.-based Solomon Colors Inc. has announced two executive appointments: Aaron Thomas, vice president of Sales, and Todd Holyfield, Category Manager, Pigments. Thomas joins the management team as part of a wider effort to restructure the sales force and more effectively serve a wide variety of customers. Under this directive, Solomon Colors sales managers and technical representatives will focus greater efforts on ensuring customer success and improving customer service. He arrives with 20-plus years in sales and marketing, primarily in the consumer-packaged industry, focusing on growth and improving sales with Walmart and other major retailers. His background will help introduce new energy and concepts into the decorative and architectural concrete industry, Solomon Colors notes, and help the company continue growing its market leadership.

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Aaron Thomas
Todd FPO

Todd Holyfield

A Davis Colors veteran with deep involvement in National Concrete Masonry Association and Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute activities, Holyfield will oversee sales of Solomon Colors liquid, dry, and granular iron oxide pigments to the ready mixed, precast and manufactured concrete products industries, and likewise focus on the in-house ColorSelect and QuickColor pigment dispensers. His expertise and decades of experience will compliment Solomon Colors’ singular focus on decorative and architectural concrete, management affirms.

Lehigh Hanson Materials Ltd. has entered a 10-year agreement to market fly ash from the SaskPower Shand Power Station, boosting annual supply potential from the province to 215,000 tonnes. A supply contract follows a similar 2012 agreement covering fly ash from SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Power Station.

“Recycling fly ash produced at our coal-fired power stations reduces costs, provides economic benefit to SaskPower, and helps to curb the carbon output of the concrete industry,” says Vice President of Transmission and Industrial Services Kory Hayko. “During the past six years Lehigh has maximized sales of fly ash produced at Boundary Dam Power Station, and we look forward to continuing our positive business relationship.”

“This agreement is a step forward as we work to foster economic growth in Saskatchewan by selling fly ash from Boundary Dam and Shand Power stations to markets across North America,” adds Lehigh Hanson Materials CEO Chris Ward.

On the heels of an October 2018 commitment, Command Alkon assisted the Ready Mixed Concrete Research & Education Foundation reach a $12 million Troesh Matching Gift Campaign target in 2.5 years versus an originally projected five-year timeframe. “We are thrilled that our industry has come together to achieve the RMC Research & Education Foundation’s goal of achieving a 3:1 match to fully leverage the Troesh Family Foundation’s gift,” say CEO Phil Ramsey. “It’s an honor to give back to the industry players who positively impact our communities, and to contribute to the Foundation’s purpose to improve quality, sustainability and professionalism in the ready mixed concrete industry.”

Command Alkon extended an offer in fall 2018 to help the Foundation meet the remaining $200K needed through a dollar for dollar match on any new donations. The challenge was met by several associations, individuals and producers, including Ohio’s Ernst Concrete, which committed $100,000 beyond its initial contributions.

With the campaign goal achieved, the Foundation is close to being self-sustaining in perpetuity, so it can continue to invest in fundamental industry research and education. “It’s amazing what our industry has accomplished in such a short period of time—and we’re thankful for the generous support from Command Alkon and numerous others from across the industry,” notes Foundation Executive Director Julie Garbini. “We are now within striking distance of becoming the lasting resource for industry research and education we’ve long envisioned, and we are grateful to all who have contributed to achieving this goal.

Concrete and masonry contractor-driven Construction Supply Group has expanded its Southwest and Upper Midwest presence, closing deals for Dallas-based All-Tex Supply Inc., with two Oklahoma and three Texas branches; Northville, Mich.-based Masonpro Inc., with one Ohio, two Indiana and six Michigan locations; and, Titan Construction Supply in Reno, Nev. They join 10 other businesses acquired since the late-2016 launch of CSG, now positioned as the second largest distributor of its kind in North America. The Denver-based company has nearly 100 branches, payroll exceeding 1,350, and more than 60,000 stockkeeping units for 50,000-plus customers.

“We have been fortunate to bring together some of the best talent in the industry over the past two years, resulting in a stronger platform that can benefit from leveraging each other’s talents,” says Brian Henry, a partner at Sterling Group, a Houston private equity firm that has teamed with the management of acquired businesses to develop CSG as a coast-to-coast source of tools, equipment, materials and products for concrete and masonry professionals.

In a move to expand its forming and shoring capabilities throughout the United States, Georgia-based BrandSafway and Aluma Systems Concrete Construction have acquired Forming Concepts, a leading provider of concrete formwork solutions. “With their proven track record and extensive capabilities in providing self-climbing formwork solutions in the U.S. commercial construction market, Forming Concepts is a great fit for Aluma Systems and BrandSafway,” says BrandSafway Global Forming and Shoring President Glen Teel.

“Forming Concepts brings expertise in self-climbing formwork to BrandSafway. With the help of the Aluma Systems and BrandSafway teams, we will be able to provide an expanded range of products and services and offer additional expertise to our customers,” adds Forming Concepts co-founder Norton Baum.

Forming Concepts’ portfolio of high-profile projects, he adds, include Resorts World in Las Vegas; Salesforce Tower in San Francisco; Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago; FMC Tower in Philadelphia; and, 10000 Santa Monica in Los Angeles. The business will operate as Forming Concepts, By BrandSafway, an independent business under the BrandSafway umbrella.

Manitou North America, West Bend, Wis., has added two new roles to its product management and marketing teams to strengthen support for a growing number of customers and opportunities across namesake, Gehl and Mustang brands: Mike Sover, North America product marketing manager for mobile elevated work platforms; and, Julie Ryer, North America service and solutions marketing manager.

Marangoni Tread North America projects a second quarter start for expanded production at its Tennessee plant. “With unit sales up this year, production had to be increased right away. Independent retreaders’ business remains strong and we expect demand to continue to increase as we move into 2019,” says CEO Bill Sweatman. “We will be adding additional capacity to manufacture the XP Extreme Performance wide base Ringtread here in the U.S.”

The Extreme Performance line exceeds the proven benefits of the Ringtread system by combining a) Ringtread technology, spliceless, precure and double contour profile; and, b) Marangoni engineering, innovative compounds and original design.