Companies based in the Pacific Northwest were a significant presence at this year's World of Concrete show, held Jan. 23–26 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
World of Concrete is the commercial construction industry's largest annual international event. The show features concrete production equipment, handling tools, trucks, the latest technologies, three-hour and 90-minute seminar programs, indoor and outdoor events and demonstrations, and resources and valuable information contractors can use to strengthen their operations.
According to the show's organizers, World of Concrete 2007 shattered show records with more than 900,000 net square feet of exhibit space occupied by more than 1,700 exhibitors and more than 90,000 attendees.
Northwest exhibitors included the following companies:
Idaho: Cleanfix Reversible Fans, Grab-N-tote Concrete Slab Remover, Rhin-O-Tuff Power Trowels LLC;
Montana: Fastway, New Decorock SA / Capvil, Plum Creek Plywood;
Oregon: Ames Research Labs Inc., Cartaway Concrete Systems LLC, Concrete Decor, Conveyor Application Systems LLC, Curb Appeal International Inc., Eagle Plywood Specialties, Express Blower Inc., EZE Bend Inc., Freightliner Trucks, Hydromix Inc., ICS Blount Inc., Jewell Attachments, Jiffy Clip Inc., Long Home USA, Murphy Plywood, Pacific Wood Laminates, Parker Trading Inc., Rack-Strap Inc., Sage Software, Screed Saddles, Stanley Hydraulic Tools, Sylvan Poly Chamfer, Tripod Data Systems, Viewpoint Construction Software, Wagner Electronics, Weyerhaeuser Co.;
Washington: ADA Replaceable Tiles, Advanced Cement Technologies, APA — The Engineered Wood Association, Brokk Inc., BXWA.com, Colville Indian Plywood and Veneer, Concut Diamond Products, Cultured Clean Cut LLC, Dexter + Chaney, Dry Air Technology, Eclipse Plastic Inc., Great Alaska Adventure Lodge, Helac Corp., Helly Hansen (US) Inc., Hotsy, Hotwire Direct, Innovatech Products & Equipment, Iron Age Designs, Kenworth Truck Co., Levetec, Lighthouse Plastics LLC, Majestic Glove Co., Marathon Industries Inc., Matheus Lumber Co., Microsoft, National Association for Women in Masonry, OGO-Global LLC, Olympic Panel Products, Plastiform Co., POSDATA Inc., QuickformZ LLC, Residential Masonry Contractors Association, Rousseau Co., SASE Co. Inc., SeaMar Glove, Seattle Tarp Co. Inc., SkimStone/Rudd Co., Terex Corp., Turmac, United Coatings, Vanguard ADA System, Veriforms, Vinitronics High Visibility Apparel, Vulcan On-Board Scales, WinEstimator Inc.
Many Northwest companies used the show as an opportunity to introduce new products and services.
Boise-based Rhin-O-Tuff Power Trowels, manufacturer of walk-behind power trowels for the concrete industry, announced the Rapid Pitch blade pitching system. The new Rapid Pitch is weight counter-balanced to make pitching the blades easy and provides infinite blade pitch adjustment using a simple lever mounted on the handle.
"Rapid Pitch takes the hassle out of adjusting blade pitch," said Marvin E. Whiteman Jr., co-designer and co-developer of Rhin-O-Tuff's new line of walk-behind power trowels. "The Rapid Pitch lever enables the operator to quickly and easily adjust the blades to any setting from flat to maximum pitch."
In addition to the optional Rapid Pitch feature, Rhin-O-Tuff power trowels come equipped with a unique vibration-dampening handle that improves operator comfort, extends operating time and reduces the risk of repetitive stress injuries.
Long Home Co. Ltd. showed its hybrid concrete forming system in indoor and outdoor displays. With headquarters in of Ebetsu, Japan, the company recently established a North American subsidiary in Lake Oswego, Ore. Long Home's "Z-Forms" allow contractors to reduce their labor and material costs of concrete construction.
Yoshiyuki Hayakawa, founder and president of Long Home Co. Ltd., said he invented the Z-Form system a decade ago after watching his children playing with Lego blocks.
"We are confident that this system is appropriate for your use whether it be for single-family dwellings, multi-unit residential complexes or commercial buildings," he said.
Kenworth Truck Co. introduced its Extended Day Cab option for the Kenworth W900S model, which is used in mixer applications. The Extended Day Cab provides an additional 6 inches of length and 5 inches of cab height compared to Kenworth's traditional day cab. The Extended Day Cab also offers 2 more inches behind the wheel, additional leg room, up to 21 degrees of recline in the driver's seat, and 2 extra cubic feet of storage behind the driver's seat.
Sage Software, based in Beaverton, Ore., showed its newly available MyAssistant, a software program that integrates with Sage timberline office to create a "virtual assistant" that provides reminders and prompts for important business events.
Conveyor Application Systems LLC, of Eugene, Ore., showed the CAS AT6 All-Terrain and CAS MG Magnum material spreading equipment.
Other notable introductions at the show included John Deere's new J-Series backhoe loaders; a new start/stop system for Ingersoll Rand LightSource light towers; the QTS-Quad Trac undercarriage system from Loegering; Caterpillar's new 414E and 450E wheel loaders; the new S330 skid-steer loader, largest in the Bobcat line; and others.
Show attendees also got some peeks into the future of construction.
Leica Geosystems Inc. and Gomaco showed an automated curb-and-gutter forming machine that is now in beta testing. Bob Williams, president of Leica Geosystems, said the complicated movements of these machines, including lots of turning, make accurate machine control extremely important.
Unveiled at the New Holland/Kobelco booth was a prototype "Hybrid" 7-ton class crawler excavator. First of its kind in North America, the Hybrid features a diesel engine and a battery-powered motor, which give it the operating performance capabilities of a traditional diesel-powered machine, but with fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions reduced by 40 percent as compared to New Holland's current diesel-engine base model. Production of the Hybrid remains to be determined, said Paul Golevicz, product marketing manager.
World of Concrete went far beyond new-product displays, however.
In-depth three-hour seminars covered topics such as Concrete Basics, Decorative Concrete, Repair, Floors, Masonry, Concrete Production, and Management. New for 2007 were 90-minute seminars including Finance and Money Matters, General Business, Leadership and Management, Legal/HR, Safety and Risk management, and Technology for Construction.
Special events included the John Deere Load America, Mack Truck Safety, JLG Telehandler Skills, and Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 masonry competitions, plus the CIM Auction, Artistry in Decorative Concrete, and the Women in Concrete Luncheon and Forum.