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Despite cement intensity holding a predicted 2015 boom in check, 2016 and beyond look to be robust, thanks in large part to a new transportation bill

Cement consumption in the United States will continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace than predicted at the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from the Portland Cement Association (PCA). The United States’ cement market is expected to increase by 3.5 percent in 2015 to just shy of 92 million metric tons of total cement consumption, followed by larger rates of growth in 2016 and 2017, 5 percent (to 96.4 million metric tons) and 5.7 percent (to 101.9 million metric tons), respectively.

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International aims to regain ground in severe service with four-model HX Series

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Sources: Navistar Inc., Lisle, Ill.; CP staff

In one of the biggest equipment rollouts timed with World of Concrete 2016, Navistar announced in Las Vegas the severe service International HX Series, available in 115- and 120-in. bumper-to-back-of-cab (bbc), set-forward or set-back axle versions. “The HX Series is an opportunity for International to recapture a leading position in the vocational market—a segment we previously led,” said Navistar CEO Troy Clarke. “The launch underscores our commitment to innovation, dedication to uptime and position as a leader within the industry.”

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Sherman-Dixie deal shores up Forterra Building Products’ Southeast footprint

Sources: Forterra Building Products, Irving, Texas; CP staff

Forterra Building Products has acquired one of the largest independents remaining in pipe and precast: Sherman-Dixie Concrete Industries, operating eight plants in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Indiana. It is the second major deal Forterra Building Products has closed since its early-2015 spinoff from Heidelberg Cement—following by four months the acquisition of Minnesota-based Cretex Concrete Products, with 17 pipe, precast and prestressed plants across the upper Midwest.

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Topwerk Group announces CEO, NA business appointments

A leader in integrated equipment systems for concrete products across a wide range of market segments, TopWerk Group has appointed Kathrin Scheffel as chief executive officer. Since 2014, she has been instrumental with the organizational development, corporate governance and strategic integration of the four separate companies comprising Burbach, Germany-based TopWerk: Hess Group, SR Schindler, Prinzing-Pfeiffer and Hess AAC.

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Tekla transitions to Trimble brand

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Tekla Corp. is adopting the parent company Trimble brand, effective this month. Trimble acquired Tekla in 2011 and the transition reflects both the evolution of Trimble as well as its vision for the future, company officials note. Since the acquisition, Trimble and Tekla have eyed transforming the building lifecycle through advanced, accessible and intuitive technologies and driving increased collaboration across the industry.

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Martin Engineering attains key certification

A global player in bulk material handling solutions has gained the EAC Mark of Conformity (aka, Eurasian Conformity Mark) for the export of conveyor products and material flow aids, including a full line of impact cradles, belt cleaners, sealing systems, air cannons and sonic horns. The certification allows Martin Engineering business units in Europe to offer the company’s extensive product family to the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) and assures that the equipment is compliant with the EAC’s strict safety and quality standards. It will provide companies in the region, Martin Engineering management notes, with safe and efficient components for improving productivity, controlling fugitive material and clearing accumulation in chutes, silos, kilns and ductwork in a variety of cement, fly ash, aggregate and other material handling applications.

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Mack adds axle line at Hagerstown powertrain plant

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A new heavy-duty axle line anchors a $30 million investment at Mack Trucks’ Hagerstown, Md., operation, where the manufacturer has built powertrain components since 1961. “Bringing axle production to Hagerstown allows us to oversee the manufacturing process—from design to assembly—and deliver the high-quality components our customers depend on,” says Mack Trucks North America President Stephen Roy. “Building engines, transmissions and now axles under one roof also demonstrates our continued commitment to integrated powertrain design.”

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Command Alkon has promoted Monty Newport to senior vice president, responsible sales and service functions supporting the company’s integrated software solutions for construction materials industries. He has held sales and service management positions throughout a 23-year tenure at the Birmingham, Ala.-based company.

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Campbell Concrete Conroe Plant earns NRMCA Environmental Excellence honors

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The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association recognized one of the workhorse operations of Houston’s Campbell Concrete & Materials LLC in the 2015 Commitment to Environmental Excellence Awards program. The Conroe Plant received Honorable Mention in Category D (100,000–200,000 yd., annual production). Located north of Loop 336, immediately west of a residential neighborhood, it is a prime example of a producer whose management and staff understand how site aesthetics are an integral part of being a good neighbor.

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