World of Concrete 2017

Safety a Core Feature of the Show

For those who attended this year’s World of Concrete (WOC) in Las Vegas, there was no substitute for what this trade show and exposition offered them. Between January 17th and 20th, close to 51,000 industry professionals made the journey to the Las Vegas Convention Center and were greeted with a show that was packed with ideas and solutions—silica control solutions in particular—to help concrete sawing, drilling, grinding and breaking contractors thrive in what is sure to be a game-changing year.

With the implementation deadline of OSHA’s Final Rule on Respirable Crystalline Silica set for June 23rd, 2017, many of the 1,455 exhibitors focused on showcasing new products and accessories designed to help contractors work within the new permissible exposure limits, adhere to the new rule and protect workers from over-exposure to silica dust.

Tools and Equipment

A new water pump has been designed for Hilti cut-off saws.

A popular direction for core drill and rotary hammer manufacturers has been to introduce dust shrouds or collars to their product lines. Companies like Bosch and Hilti have integrated dust collars into their corded and battery-powered hand-held rotary hammers, which surround the bit at the drilling face and collect dust as it is being created. For larger core drilling applications where dry drilling is necessary, manufacturers such as Lissmac and Diteq have similar devices that use vacuum force to attach to vertical surfaces and extract dust from core holes.

For manufacturers of hand-held concrete saws, the challenge has been to incorporate dust control and collection features into what is meant to be an easily-portable piece of dry cutting equipment. The Edge saw, available later this year from Australian company Enviro Chasing, uses a combination of water and a vacuum system to deal with silica dust. The slurry formed within the blade guard is removed through a vacuum hose and into a barrel. Along the way, the hose attaches to the muffler outlet and the exhaust fumes are moved down the same hose and away from the operator. Hilti has come up a water pump system that can be fitted retrospectively to its existing range of gas-powered cut-off saws to create a wet cutting environment. This system will also be available later in 2017.

In terms of specialized HEPA dust extractions systems at WOC, the big news was Husqvarna Construction Products’ acquisition of Pullman Ermator. Both companies exhibited gas- and propane-powered industrial vacuums at their booths and Husqvarna intends to rebrand and release new units through the year.

Of course, for many concrete sawing and drilling equipment manufacturers the introduction of water to the work area is nothing new, and compliance with OSHA’s Specified Exposure Control Methods When Working with Materials Containing Crystalline Silica—commonly known as Table 1—can easily be achieved. Diamond Products demonstrated its recently-released C16 hand-held electric-powered saw with water feed system and dust port for wet or dry cutting, Merit unveiled its new gas-powered all-wheel-drive flat saw and Husqvarna showed a modified version of its FS 7000 D flat saw with a longer base plate.

Away from sawing and drilling equipment, Brokk had its new 110 electric-powered demolition robot on display at the show along with an Aquajet hydrodemolition machine the company will now distribute in the U.S. Elsewhere, GSSI, Inc. exhibited its new LineTrac XT add-on for the StructureScan Mini XT for enhanced ground penetrating radar (GPR) capabilities, while CentralPoint Solutions gave attendees a look at the company’s new CenPoint Portal management tool.

Association Training and Events

The inaugural GPR Certification course.

CSDA scheduled a record-setting five training courses at WOC 2017, marking the highest number of training courses offered by the association at a single event.

The latest addition to CSDA’s course schedule at WOC was specifically designed for GPR technicians and had 16 registered students. The two-day GPR Certification course tested students on GPR theory, proper mark out procedures, the limitations of GPR and the application of advanced locating techniques. CSDA aims to set the standard for educating and certifying the proficiency of GPR technicians with this new course, which is sure to be included in the association’s WOC 2018 schedule.

Meanwhile, at the CSD exhibit booth, excitement built each day as the association held a series of raffle drawings for some impressive prizes. A special thanks is given to those companies that donated generously for the drawings. The Winners were as follows:

Rita Ferguson (left) and Sarah Marshall (second from right) of Merit with the raffle winner.

Prize: Merit Engineering & Equipment Co. M100 slab saw
Austin Pierce, Premiere Home & Building, North Dakota

Prize: Pullman Ermator S26 HEPA vacuum
Henk Dykhouse, Diamond Drilling & Sawing, Colorado

Prize: Taylormade M1 golf driver (donated by Western Saw, Inc.)
Mark Rule, Die Hard Ramirez Group, California

Next Year’s Show
The 44th World of Concrete will be held January 23-26, 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Look out for discounted attendee registration, courtesy of CSDA*, in the September and December issues of Concrete Openings.
*Some restrictions may apply.

Author: Russell Hitchen

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