WORLD OF CONCRETE BACK IN BIG WAY
By: Don Marsh
Indicative of improving construction industry fortunes, this year’s World of Concrete drew nearly 56,000 registered professionals, up 15 percent over 2014 figures, and saw more than 1,450 companies exhibit across 675,000 net square feet of Las Vegas Convention Center space—100,000 square feet above the prior year. Participation in the February 2-6 gathering easily met management’s projections that this year would see the best turnout since 2008.
Increases in attendee volume, number of exhibitors and seminar registrations (+23 percent over 2014 figures), notes Informa Exhibitions U.S., Construction & Real Estate Vice President Tom Cindric, “Show not only the value that World of Concrete brings to the concrete and masonry industries but also that the industry is getting stronger and poised for much success in 2015.”
“With the industry ramping up again, education became a key asset this year. Attendees took more classes than they have in the last six years, sharpening their skills for what’s to come,” adds World of Concrete Show Director Jackie James. “In addition, international attendees made a big impact scouring the show for new equipment, tools, and technology to make their operations more efficient and profitable.”
Three years of respectable concrete output gains backed the strong attendance and exhibitor participation levels. On the morning of the show opening, Portland Cement Association Chief Economist Ed Sullivan confirmed market trends fueling the positive mood across the Las Vegas Convention Center: 2014 cement shipment reports were trending an 8 percent increase over 2013 figures, he noted, and the industry is likely to match that growth pace in 2015 and 2016.
Topping Concrete Products’ radar in Las Vegas were new trucks and components, portable batch plants, filter presses, and reinforcing fibers. On the truck front: a Peterbilt Model 567 SFFA premiered, prior to delivery to Cemex (note opposite page); a Swedish equipment manufacturer, MTM, showed the telescoping EZExtenz Concrete Chute (opposite page and page 44), a 30-ft. placing device offering an alternative to truck-mounted conveyors; and, Caterpillar dealer-aligned asphalt paving equipment specialist Weiler Inc. unveiled a new mixer with tag axle (note page 48). Batch plant mainstays Concrete Equipment Co. and Vince Hagan Co. each showed new portable models engineered for quick, crane-free erection.
Underscoring concrete plant operators’ prioritizing of water management—a product of regulations, permitting and, in some markets, supply constraints—this year’s World of Concrete saw one returning and three new exhibitors promoting filter press equipment engineered for slurry and process water handling downstream of concrete reclaimers: Past exhibitor Matec America of Walnut Cove, N.C., joined by Aggregate Machinery Inc. of Salem, Ore., showing its Oquamax Concrete Wash Out Recycling Plants; McLanahan Corp. of Hollidaysburg, Pa., showing a concrete plant-scaled model adapted from its extensive mining & aggregate press series; and, Water Treatment Solutions of Hampton, N.H., whose concrete-grade Enviro System has premiered at northern California precast/prestressed producer Clark Pacific.
BASF Construction Chemicals/Admixture Systems continued at World of Concrete 2015 a product rollout cycle that started at the prior year’s show, announcing the macrosynthetic MasterFiber MAC 2200 CB (note page XX), whose polymeric formulation and physical characteristics foster chemical and mechanical concrete matrix bonds. Also in the fiber category was a new exhibitor, Seoul-based KoSteel, promoting an arch-style steel fiber, Bundrex KF 73/55 or 67/50 CA, with loading capacity up to 20 percent higher than conventional end-hook products.
Ohio-based GivenHansco, a developer of dispatching, production and enterprise information technology platforms for small and medium-sized concrete producers, has entered the mobile application arena with Keystone On-Demand (note page XX), an Android and Apple-device-ready extension of its flagship dispatch, truck tracking and financials suite.
In decorative concrete, an area of practice that has helped boost World of Concrete traffic as much as any category of the past two decades, Concrete Products especially noted ShapeCrete, a just-add-water, moldable mix Sakrete is promoting in collaboration with artisan Fu-Teng Cheng.
Among a growing roster of activities timed with World of Concrete, this year’s Concrete Industry Management Auction saw a pool of donated equipment, materials and sports or travel packages net the CIM National Steering Committee upward of $800,000, according to preliminary figures from auctioneer Ritchie Bros. World of Concrete 2016 will be February 2-5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.