World of Concrete 2015
Largest Show in Six Years Creates Excitement in the Industry
The tagline for this year’s World of Concrete (WOC) trade show and exhibition encouraged industry professionals to “Take a Closer Look.” Judging by the reactions of those who made the trip to Las Vegas, they were happy with what they saw. Almost 56,000 people walked the exhibits at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), representing a 15% increase in attendance from 2014.
Not only was there an increase in attendees, but exhibitor numbers and booth space were also larger than last year. WOC 2015 included 1,459 exhibiting companies covering more than 675,000 net square feet of space—a 16% increase in exhibitors and an additional 100,000 square feet of booth space. The other positive news, was that the show’s seminar program saw a 23% increase in participation. With double-digit growth in several areas, the 41st WOC has been confirmed as the largest show in six years. Often seen as a key indicator for the coming year, all in the industry should be feeling confident about what lies ahead for the rest of 2015.
The Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association (CSDA) has been a cosponsor of WOC for 39 years, supporting the show by promoting attendee registration, exhibiting, sponsoring seminars and events, scheduling training and certification classes, holding Board meetings and arranging networking events. This year, CSDA manufacturer, distributor and affiliate members filled close to 40 WOC exhibit booths while a large number of contractor members walked the exhibit halls and volunteered their time at the CSDA booth.
Hilti unveiled details of its latest diamond tool range, Equidist, which uses new technology to precisely place and evenly distribute diamonds in core bit and blade segments. The Equidist range of pre-sharpened core bits range from 1.375 to 24 inches in diameter. Meanwhile, Diamond Products displayed its new line of H.D. Orange Maxx diamond blades. These blades feature heat isolation slots in the segments that keep the blades cool during high speeds and are available in sizes from 10 to 20 inches in diameter.
Elsewhere at WOC, attendees witnessed the launch of new offerings for handheld concrete cutting. ICS introduced the 701-A, a 6.5-horsepower pneumatic-powered chain saw that is 20 inches in length and weighs 29 pounds. GDM Technologies has also introduced a new air-powered handsaw, the Handicut GT. This saw weighs less than 16 pounds and can be used flat, vertical or upside down without fumes, oils or spills. Another product to incorporate “clean” power is Stihl’s TSA 230 Cutquik cut-off saw, which runs off a 36-volt lithium-ion battery. The first of its kind, the TSA 230 weighs 8.6 pounds and is suitable for making shallow cuts in concrete.
Selective demolition contractors had the opportunity to see the redesigned Brokk 400 during the show. This 11,240-pound machine has a 30-kilowatt electric motor and can reach 22 feet horizontally with 773 foot-pounds of hitting power. The new Brokk 400 also features a bigger drive axis, rollers and sidetracks plus a hydraulic quick-hitch system.
In terms of concrete scanning and imaging solutions for renovation and demolition projects, GSSI demonstrated the abilities of its recently launched SIR 4000 ground penetrating radar (GPR) control unit. This new model incorporates an IP 65 rated impact resistant design and a casted aluminum chassis with a 10.4-inch high definition LED display. The SIR 4000 is also capable of Wi-Fi enabled data transfer. Close by, Sensors & Software showed attendees how its new Conquest 100 system has been designed for the rapid grid collection and processing of GPR data. It has a high resolution touchscreen display and Wi-Fi connectivity for the identification of hidden objects and the transmittal of captured data.
What Was Learned?
While attendance for the WOC seminar program increased, CSDA also had increased participation for one of its three show-based training classes. The association’s Estimating class had 25 students—an increase from 18 in 2014. Launched in 2003, Estimating covers the function of an estimator in the concrete cutting industry and has graduated 235 students to date.
Rick Norland, the association’s lead training instructor, gave a 90-minute seminar on Maximizing Efficiency of Concrete Structure Modification/Demolition. Attendees learned how to strategically combine impact breaking and crushing with concrete sawing and drilling techniques to maximize efficiency of removing or modifying concrete structures. For those who missed this seminar, Norland will give an encore presentation during CSDA’s 43rd Annual Convention & Tech Far, Mar 31 to April 2 in St. Petersburg, Florida. For more information, visit www.csda.org or call 727-577-5004.
Also at the show, the CSDA Board of directors held an open meeting to discuss business and review the association’s accomplishments from last year. Another open event was the CSDA Next Generation reception, which drew a good crowd for the second year running and gave up-and-coming industry leaders the chance to network with peers. Look out for these events reappearing on CSDA’s schedule for 2016.
The 42nd World of Concrete will be held February 1-5, 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Based on the success of this year’s show, it is suggested that those in the concrete construction and demolition industry keep their schedules free for what should be an exciting and important World of Concrete 2016.