ORGANIZATIONS – OCT 2021

The RMC Research & Education Foundation is collaborating with the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and its Research, Engineering & Standards Committee (RES) on identification of industry research needs and referral of proposals for potential funding. Members of an RES task group, chaired by Bruce Blair, president of Consumers Concrete in Kalamazoo, Mich., have developed a list of concrete materials research topics, posted on the Foundation’s website, www.rmc-foundation.org, along with proposal submittal guidance.

While not a guarantee for funding of a particular proposal, the list will give stakeholders interested in concrete materials research topics a better, timely sense of what the industry needs and be updated regularly. The hope is that it will also generate more relevant and higher quality proposals for the Foundation and industry. The Foundation’s mission is to fund both research and education projects to increase the quality, sustainability and professionalism in the industry; researchers and consultants are welcome to submit ideas on a variety of topics fitting that criteria.

In addition to providing and updating the list of research needs, the RES task group will review conceptual proposals. If there is sufficient interest and confirmation that the proposal is consistent with the research needs, the applicant will be invited to submit a full proposal subject to the Foundation’s three-tiered approvals process. The task group may provide feedback on the direction of the research after the project is funded, and members may review and comment on interim and final reports. Additional information on the research target list and RMC Foundation proposal process can be obtained from NRMCA Vice President, Technical Services Karthik Obla, [email protected]

National Precast Concrete Association producer and associate members are opening their doors November 1-12 for Precast Days 2021, a unique educational opportunity for local communities to tour operations and interface with valued employers. As of late September, 25 members had registered 30-plus plants for Precast Days events. Leading hosts are Jensen Precast (four Nevada, California plants); Shea Concrete Products (four Massachusetts, New Hampshire plants); and Wieser Concrete (three Wisconsin, Illinois plants). The continuously updated Precast Days host facilities map is posted at www.precast.org.

The American Concrete Pumping Association has released Safety Bulletin: Use of Lay-Flat Hose, plus updated Safety Guidelines for Wind Velocity and Lightning. The bulletin illustrates handling guidelines for using lay-flat hoses, which allow for improved flow control and lower placement rates than standard concrete boom tip hoses and suit pumping in tight spaces such as insulating concrete forms, columns and walls. The Wind Velocity and Lightning documents recommend practices for challenging weather events. The former reflects changes to previous generic guidelines and defers more specifically to the pump manufacturer; the latter expands on criteria for halting placement operations when lighting is present and when it is safe to re-start. The Flat Hose, Wind Velocity and Lightning publications join the association’s extensive safety library posted at www.concretepumpers.com/content.

“It is important for pumpers and contractors to understand the differences between lay-flat and standard boom tip hose applications,” says ACPA Executive Director Christi Collins. “Although similar, each have specific guidelines that should be followed for their respective uses. This new safety bulletin responds to a need for increased education when using lay-flat hoses to avoid certain hazards, such as kinking, which can cause a hose whipping. Hose whippings are a leading cause of accidents with a concrete pump.” Continually updating resources for equipment and site conditions is part of ACPA’s mission to promote a positive safety culture, she adds.

Concrete Materials & Pumping of Pineville, N.C. is building its Carolinas market footprint and adding a Louisiana presence in a deal for Charlotte-based Febcon Concrete Pumping. “Coming out of the initial Febcon management team meeting, we felt confident in progressing with the strategic acquisition,” says CMP President Doug Doggett. “The shared values and commitment to excellence align seamlessly across both businesses. Concrete & Materials Placement and Febcon prioritize a family-oriented culture, customer-first approach, and best in business, safety protocols. The systems and process infrastructure parallels ensure a smooth acquisition to deliver capabilities expansion and even better service for our prospective and existing clients.” As the company acquires strategic locations, he adds, CMP holds steadfast on a commitment to excellence and deepening of core values: reliability, respect, transparency, quality, and safety across the concrete pumping industry.

The World Cement Association has announced the addition of global energy technology company Baker Hughes as an associate corporate member. Baker Hughes operates in over 120 countries, designing, manufacturing and deploying innovative technologies and services that help make energy safer, cleaner and more efficient. Specialist capabilities include areas such as emissions management, hydrogen, carbon capture utilization and storage, and energy storage, as well as expertise in helping industrial companies with their energy transition journeys as they move toward net-zero. Baker Hughes works across the entire energy value chain and in key industrial markets, including cement.

“Reducing the impact of energy usage is one of the most important levers we have when it comes to cutting the emissions from cement manufacture and making net-zero a reality,” explains WCA CEO Ian Riley. “We are therefore especially pleased to be welcoming Baker Hughes, a global leader in this field, to our membership, and look forward to working alongside them to share the latest thinking and best practice with the international cement community.”

“Industrial sectors must prioritize achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and as one of the hardest to abate sectors, the cement industry is no exception,” adds Baker Hughes Executive Vice President, Regions, Alliances & Enterprise Sales Uwem Ukpong. “We look forward to collaborating with WCA and its members as the industry looks to cut emissions and reduce their environmental impact, through new energy frontiers and increased efficiencies.”