Paving the Year Forward

Five resolutions for the ready-mixed concrete industry. Happy New Year! From here on out, may our days be filled with more light, hope and resolutions for a better future. Taking a cue from Abraham Lincoln, who said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it,” let’s build a better outlook for our businesses and our industry. We…

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The Technology Upside in an Economic Downturn

Embrace the paradox: Invest in tech partners and people now, while an impending recession makes talent and time abundant. DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION RATIONALEResearchers preparing the 2022 KPMG U.S. Technology Survey Report asked businesses: “What are the key drivers of your organization’s digital transformation and corresponding investments?” As the United States slides into a recession, our industry is starting to feel it.…

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Alternative Materials to the Rescue!

Geopolymer concrete and fiber-reinforced polymer rebar can be the perfect match for sustainability in structural applications. Steel and concrete have a love-hate relationship. Steel brings tensile strength to concrete, making it stronger for structural applications. Alas, concrete lets water seep into the relationship and corrode the hope for a lasting union. To fix this marriage, Dr. Ruth (Westheimer) has been…

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A ‘Bit’ on Digital Currency and Ready-Mix Concrete

With Ethereum’s blockchain radical overhaul, look for digital currency to come to an industry near you. We have all heard of the cryptocurrency called bitcoin. Ether (ETH) is the second most popular cryptocurrency, and it’s about to expand into vastly new areas thanks to a recent development with the platform on which it is used: Ethereum. The Latin word aether…

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Producers’ Choice

Integration of data AND business process empower freedom of choice in a concrete technology ecosystem. The Walt Disney Co. is a world champion of vertical capture. The company’s theme parks offer families a complete package of entertainment, dining and lodging. Yet in Orlando, Fla., many visitors choose to complement or even skip Disney World for other cool things like Comcast’s…

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The Simple Value of Ultra-High-Performance Concrete UHPC mixes can significantly reduce costs and carbon footprints.

Albert Einstein famously mused “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” This can be applied to how many in the construction industry view ultra-high-performance concrete, or UHPC. While this type of concrete has been around for a long time, it is often dismissed as a complicated and expensive option. “It’s complicated” may not be…

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Graphene in Clinker Greens Portland Cement

Graphene is light, super strong and can lessen the CO2 footprint of cement. Sir Isaac Newton famously wrote, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” A giant in the natural sciences, Newton knew sustainable progress is only possible through building on incremental advances. In November, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change…

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What’s in a Name?

A ready mixed concrete truck is more than a “truck.” It’s a mobile manufacturing environment. William Shakespeare might be tempted to say a truck by any other name is still a truck, but in the ready mixed concrete industry, a mixer truck is really a mobile manufacturing environment, or MME. Let’s take a few moments to “smell the roses.” One…

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NRMCA’s Digital Transformation

The association’s latest task group champions the latest advances in technology. By Craig Yeack Once upon a time, the winners and losers in our industry were separated mainly by one thing: pricing power. Be it through consolidation, vertical integration, or just being a superior operator, pricing power is an economic term that describes a company’s ability to raise prices without…

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Shining the Light on Precast

A solid financial case can be made to use precast concrete more broadly in projects. Decades ago, some bright guy built his own septic tank with forms, casting the concrete structure first and then installing it. His neighbors asked if he could help them do that, too. Boom. Precast as we know it was born. Modern precast is critical infrastructure,…

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