Resource Management Associates, a longtime environmental permitting, regulatory compliance and plant design consultant to ready mixed and manufactured-concrete producers, has opened a satellite office for clients throughout the Southeast: 127 Church Street, Suite 230, Marietta, GA 30060. RMA’s New Jersey headquarters mailing address has changed from Forked River to P.O. Box 188 Toms River, NJ 08754; 888-RMA-0230.
LafargeHolcim Ltd. has launched a four-year “Plants of Tomorrow” plan to upgrade global cement production processes with artificial intelligence, predictive maintenance and digital twin technologies. The initiative is one of the largest Industry 4.0 technologies deployments in building materials production. A “Plants of Tomorrow” certified operation will show 15 percent to 20 percent of operational efficiency gains compared to a conventional cement plant, company officials note.
LafargeHolcim’s Siggenthal, Switzerland, cement plant will be the lighthouse where integration of all relevant modules are tested for the global initiative, which has commenced with 30 pilot projects. “Transforming the way we produce cement is one of the focus areas of our digitalization strategy and the ‘Plants of Tomorrow’ initiative will turn Industry 4.0 into reality at our plants,” says Global Head – Cement Manufacturing Solomon Baumgartner Aviles. “These innovative solutions make cement production safer, more efficient and environmentally fit. We are moving to fully data-driven operations in order to support further profitable growth as part of our Strategy 2022 – ‘Building for Growth’.”
Among the technologies implemented are predictive operations that can detect abnormal conditions; process anomalies in real-time; reduce maintenance costs by more than 10 percent; and, significantly lower energy consumption. Automation and robotics are important elements of the strategy. Unmanned surveillance, for one, is being performed for high exposure jobs across an entire plant. Partnering with Swiss start-up Flyability, LafargeHolcim is using drones that allow the frequency of inspections to increase while simultaneously reducing cost and increasing safety for employees by inspecting confined spaces. A new PACT (Performance and Collaboration) digital tool allows operational decision making from experience-based to data-centric by combining data from various sources and enabling machine learning applications.
Adam Wallace has joined Besser Co. as sales manager, New Products, a new position responsible for promoting the sale of equipment, parts, paid service, and training to customers and prospects for the company’s entire offering. Wallace most recently worked in sales for Schwing America, supporting ready mixed concrete equipment for key accounts in the United States and Canada. He has an MBA in Global Concrete Industry Management; bachelor’s degree in Concrete Industry Management from Middle Tennessee State University; and, an associate degree in Concrete Technology from Alpena Community College.
|Richard Dolly / Ralph Schlereth
Separately, Besser has promoted Richard Dolly to regional sales manager – West, who will lead the team of representatives Robert Frisby, Wally Hernandez and Brian Motley; and, Ralph Schlereth to regional sales manager – East, leading the team of representatives Terry McNamee, Rich Matzke, Dan Leman and Brad Meyer. Both East and West teams will continue promoting equipment, upgrades, molds, parts and services to meet specific producer needs.
“Rick and Ralph are intensely focused on providing the best customer service experiences in the industry. Their leadership skills, equipment knowledge and mastery of the industry will benefit producers throughout the United States and Canada,” says Besser Executive Director Sales – Masonry & Hardscapes Duane Rondeau.
Concurrent with the New Products and regional manager appointments, Besser has announced the retirement of Sales Director, North America John Reedy, who joined the company in 2005 as Midwest U.S. regional manager and was named sales manager, U.S. and Canada, prior to the role capping his career. Besser CEO Kevin Curtis cites Reedy’s “leadership, professionalism and industry knowledge shared throughout his career,” adding, “[He] strengthened our sales organization when we needed it the most.”
Recognizing the value of a united industry, Besser notes, Reedy devoted time to participating in the activities of state, regional and national associations. He freely shared his insights, formulated from time spent both producing block and selling equipment, parts and services. He arrived at Besser after tours of duty with Paco, GMS, RMC-Allied Ready Mix, and Williams Brothers/Blue Circle (now Georgia Masonry Supply).
William Payne transitions this month from Boral Ltd. Chief Information Officer to chief executive officer of San Diego-based heavy building materials information technology and Internet of Things specialist Coretex. Payne most recently led the creation and implementation of a digital strategy at Boral, reshaping the company’s IT function into Boral Digital Solutions and making it a pivotal element of the wider organization’s future business strategy in Australia and North America. Prior to Boral, he spent nearly a decade at global environmental services company, Veolia, with roles including executive general manager and chief information officer.
“Coretex is positioned strongly for growth in our key markets and we believe William has the skills, experience and vision to drive that growth,” says Coretex Chairman Mark Giles.
“William’s strategically-focused vision and personal passion for optimizing transportation and supply chains made him the unanimous choice,” adds retiring CEO and Cortex founder Selwyn Pellett, who will remain with the company as non-executive chairman.
“Access to key information, for the right people, at the right time, is more important than ever for businesses seeking to keep employees safe, drive productivity, all the while delivering great customer service,” adds Payne. “Coretex provides an innovative IoT platform that not only satisfies, but exceeds these requirements.”
Colorado-based volumetric mixer manufacturer Holcombe CVI has recently been approved for membership in the Volumetric Mixer Manufacturer Bureau, a National Ready Mixed Concrete Association affiliate with five other member companies in the U.S. and Canada. Holcombe CVI is the only VMMB member company located in Colorado, Texas, and the western United States.
In 2006, Brent and Cathy Holcombe purchased Quick Mix, Inc., the precursor to Holcombe CVI, and set out to improve the original volumetric concrete mixer’s design and functionality. Many years and ongoing advancements later, Holcombe CVI now boasts multiple volumetric concrete mixer models, a design patent, and exciting product innovations scheduled for release in 2020. In addition to being used around the world, Holcombe CVI mobile concrete mixers are operated by American companies building and reinforcing existing interstates, roads, and highways, working with local cities and counties to build and reinforce infrastructure.
The Kalmar unit of Cargotec Corp. dedicated its new Customer Experience & Training Center in North Charleston, S.C., last month. The facility will support hands on operation and product demonstrations in a 70,000-sq.-ft., concrete-paved yard, and bring each realistic application to customer visits and training sessions. Another important function of the center is the high-tech, AV equipped training facility, which will serve to educate Kalmar’s dealer salesforce.
The new building also serves as a customer service center for Kalmar’s North American mobile equipment product support. It houses a service area and a large warehouse to provide support for Kalmar counterbalance products in the Charleston area.
Kemco Systems, a global water and energy technology company, has recently appointed Joanie Vergo as chief financial officer. A University of Tampa graduate holding master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Accounting, she arrives with 10+ years of experience in retail, retail manufacturing/distribution and the news media industries.
Tulsa, Okla.-based vacuum lifting technology specialist Vacuworx has promoted Alan Odgers to senior vice president of Strategy from vice president of Marketing. Guided by what the manufacturer’s notes are values of safety, integrity and responsible growth, Odgers’ emphasis is on aligning and allocating resources to develop a greater understanding of the potential of new products and applications worldwide.
Separately, Vacuworx has appointed William Bomprezzi, hired as director of Business Analytics, focused on making continuous improvements within the organization and supporting global initiatives. Bomprezzi utilizes internal and external information to help inform strategic decision-making associated with key markets, products, processes and geographies.
California-based iQ Power Tools will be partnering with the American Lung Association to raise awareness of the dangers of silica dust through a new educational initiative, “Understanding Silicosis.” The partnership features two key components: 1) creation of an educational video and individual video clips highlighting the danger of silicosis for those in the construction industry, to be shared on social media and the Association’s website, www.Lung.org; and, 2) Employee Giving Campaign to fully engage iQ Power Tools staff in the American Lung Association mission.
“With over 2 million U.S. workers potentially exposed to occupational silica, more is needed to be done to bring awareness to the risk of developing silicosis,” says iQ President Paul Guth. “By teaming up with the American Lung Association, a highly respected organization, we can expand our reach and take the message of awareness to individual workers in the construction industry even further than before.”
“Our company decided it was time to ‘up our game’ in education and awareness,” adds Marketing Manager Sarah Hurtado. “This is the beginning of what we hope will be a long term partnership to develop, deliver and promote tools and resources that actively engage people and construction workers in lung disease prevention and disease management.”
MCINNIS BOLSTERS NY, RI TERMINALS; SCOUTS ADDITIONAL NORTHEAST SITES
A $500 million private capital refinancing closed last month positions Montreal-based McInnis Cement to continue ramping up terminal and rail distribution infrastructure throughout the Northeast. Outlays for 2019-20 adhere a business plan attending the producer’s 2017 dedication of a 2 million-plus ton/year greenfield plant on the eastern reaches of Quebec.
|A scheduled resumption of rail service to the Port-Daniel–Gascons site prompted McInnis Cement to include a car loadout facility in the initial plant construction. 2017 PHOTO: Concrete Products
In the U.S., a capital infusion will support a doubling of loading capacity at the Bronx Terminal, which opened in 2018 to serve metro New York and New Jersey customers and now has a second truck lane. A 40,000 metric ton (mt) warehouse is currently under construction at McInnis Cement’s Providence (R.I.) Terminal, bringing the total storage capacity to 75,000 mt; a new truck lane will be added in time for the 2020 construction season. Management anticipates further development of cement storage and transfer infrastructure, along with satellite terminals in the northeastern United States.
McInnis is also adding two cement silos at its Port-Daniel–Gascons operation, which opened with four such vessels feeding a marine terminal along a Gulf of St. Lawrence inlet. The producer recently confirmed the charter of the NACC New Yorker, a 24,000-mt self-unloading vessel; it joins the NACC Quebec (14,000 mt), Cielo di Gaspesie (35,000 mt), and Resolute unloading craft. Augmenting the ocean fleet and contributing to McInnis’ charter value proposition—building terminals at U.S. and Canadian market points maximizing bulk tanker traffic reduction—will be a rail yard that the Port-Daniel–Gascons engineering team plans to time with reopening of a railway serving the site. Loadout infrastructure and new market development suggest annual cement-by-rail volume exceeding 150,000 mt.
“We offer high quality cement, along with exceptional customer service and efficient distribution facilities. These investments will better position McInnis Cement to meet increased demand from our customers,” says CEO Jean Moreau. “With partners and investors’ support, we have all the tools to continue our momentum.”