John Harris has joined the Besser Co. Technical Service team, bringing 25 years of hands-on block and brick production experience plus plant management skills. Based in Phoenix, he will be on the front line working to bring the latest technology and new equipment to manufactured-concrete producers.

John Harris

“Enhancing our level of service to producers, by adding multi-talented, enthusiastic people, like John, is key to our commitment to consistently providing outstanding service,” notes Besser Director of Technical Service & Curing Doug Rozema.

Holger Hüppeler will lead the Lanxess Inorganic Pigments business unit, shifting this month from his post as Global Procurement & Logistics group head. He succeeds Jörg Hellwig, who will spearhead digital activities as Lanxess dLX group manager.


Holger Hüppeler

Inorganic Pigments, notes Lanxess Board of Management Chairman Matthias Zachert, “will be in the hands of an excellent industry and market expert. Holger Hüppeler will continue to build on IPG’s position as one of the world’s best-performing players in the pigment sector. With customer proximity and innovative strength, Jörg Hellwig has made IPG a leading supplier of pigments.”

The Swiss parent of Sika Corp. has closed on family-owned Butterfield Color Inc., an Illinois-based specialist in concrete coloring agents, sealers and pattern stamping tools. The business broadens decorative concrete market prospects Sika gained through last year’s acquisition of L.M. Scofield Co., the premier integral coloring agent and surface treatment brand.

“Butterfield fits perfectly with our growth strategy in North America, enabling us to reach new contractor customers and better penetrate key projects,” affirms Sika AG’s Christoph Ganz, regional manager North America. “We see great synergies from the combined technologies of Sika, Scofield, and Butterfield.”

North Carolina’s Insteel Wire Products Co. has acquired certain assets of Hazelton, Pa.-based Ortiz Engineered Products, Inc., whose value engineering methods validate use of bar mats or welded wire as an alternative to conventional rebar in concrete construction. In many applications, such substitution can significantly reduce project cost and construction timeline, contends Insteel, which fabricates welded wire concrete reinforcements at facilities in Arizona, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Peterbilt Motors Co. is poised for assembly of its 1,000,000th truck early in 2018. “Since the early days of production in 1939, Peterbilt has been the preferred brand of drivers and owner operators. That customer preference has expanded to include medium and large fleets that appreciate not only the distinctive styling and driver preference but attributes such as low cost of ownership, integration of technology and class leading uptime and durability, all supported by a strong and extensive dealer network,” says General Manager Kyle Quinn.

The company will celebrate the production milestone by hosting a SuperFan campaign, giving thousands of Peterbilt drivers and fans a platform to individually express the role the brand has played in their lives. Five SuperFans will be recognized in a promotion leading up to the 2018 Mid America Trucking Show, March 22-24 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville. One finalist will be selected as the top SuperFan and honored with the keys to the 1,000,000th production unit: a Peterbilt Model 567 Heritage. The manufacturer is accepting submissions from fans throughout the United States and Canada via a dedicated site,

Coatings and concrete materials specialist W.R. Meadows has teamed with BIMsmith to offer architects, designers, specifiers and contractors an opportunity to create their own free custom Building Information Modeling platforms. BIMsmith allows construction professionals to seamlessly combine products in wall, floor, ceiling and roof assemblies for the leading Revit design software. BIMsmith cites the only cloud-based assembly tool platform for product data management.

“As we look for ways to expand our reach into the AEC community, tools such as BIMsmith are important resources for customers to curate systems using our products,” says W.R. Meadows Director of Marketing Glenn Tench. “Specifiers are relying more and more on digital access to manufacturer data in the design process and we are pleased to have found a partner on the forefront of innovative technology.”

Arcom, the specifications-writing, American Institute of Architects-aligned entity behind the benchmark MasterSpec reference for architectural, engineering and construction professionals, has announced Avitru. The new brand name is inspired by the Roman master builder, Marcus Vitruvius, whose treatise on architecture espoused function, strength and beauty. Ancient reference aide, Avitru officials note, the brand will provide “a thoroughly modern software platform to harness and share the collective knowledge and expertise that will enable better building.”

“Innovation in today’s world doesn’t happen in silos,” says Avitru CEO Jim Contardi. “You see it when people come together to collaborate, improve on ideas and share. Design and construction is incredibly complex and requires the knowledge that comes from experience and diverse points of view. We will use our position as trusted specification experts to deliver a technology platform that captures and leverages this wisdom to help our users make better decisions.”


GM Neil Smith (center) is joined by Jeff Bryan (left) and Craig Olson.