Follow-up report: International Concrete Conference & Exhibition

Precast concrete element manufacturers from all over the world met at the SAIE in Bologna, Italy, from 5 - 8 October 2011, in order to gather information both at the extensive SAIE PRECAST exhibition and in the accompanying ICCX Europe conference programme.
The SAIE is Italy's largest trade fair for construction, the building industry and architecture. This year around 85,000 trade visitors, 5,000 of them from foreign countries, came to Bologna to make contact with more than 1,000 exhibiting companies and to gather information. Technical lectures were offered through the cooperation with ICCX under the brand name 'ICCX Europe' and, in the context of TIPAS (The International Precast Associations' Summit), the leading concrete and precast associations were able to discuss possible cooperations as well as optimisation strategies for their association work.

One of the highlights of this year's meeting was the groups of visitors from all over the world, which were organised to a large extent by the international representatives of CPI worldwide. Among the largest groups were visitors from Russia, Poland, Australia, Spain, Brazil and Turkey. In total, visitors from almost 40 countries had registered for the exhibition and the conference. A new item at the SAIE was the simultaneous translation of the ICCX Conference lectures into different languages, which was offered to the visitors and participants in the ICCX Conference. Apart from the interest in special information about concrete and precast technology, there is also increasing demand, particularly from foreign countries, for technologies for renewable energies. The SAIE also had a platform to offer here, with the sub-section SAIEnergie 2011. Further main topics at this year's SAIE included lifting equipment and cranes, but the trade fair was also rounded off by software and IT.

Trade fair with international participation from the concrete and precast concrete element industry

The exhibitors from the concrete and precast concrete element industry once again filled Halls 29 and 30 of the exhibition centre in Bologna this year. Above all, numerous international machine manufacturers who produce machines and plants for processors of reinforcing steel were represented, but there were also manufacturers of pipe and concrete block making machines, formwork makers, producers of extruders, slipformers and pallet circulation plants as well as other machines and plants.

Conference agenda for the ICCX Europe

lookDuring the SAIE PRECAST a conference programme was offered based on the pattern of the ICCX Industry Concept, which covered five different main topical blocks in all. The ICCX Industry Concept has already met with great interest at previous ICCX events and this concept was therefore also pursued further in Bologna. In the context of the ICCX Industrial Conference, the presentations are gathered together into groups of topics, so that interested trade fair visitors can select the event of their choice, depending on their interests as concrete and/or precast concrete part manufacturers. Due to the international audience of the ICCX Europe, the lectures were translated simultaneously into Italian, English, German, Russian and Polish.

And so the conference began with the main topic of concrete techniques/concrete technology, in which speakers from various exhibitors reported on developments in the fields of concrete admixtures, colour pigments and moisture measuring technique. In this topical block, both the whole range of software solutions for the concrete industry and an innovative concrete mixing plant concept for the ready-mix concrete industry were presented to the audience.

In the second topical block, which was dedicated to concrete goods, leading manufacturers of machines, moulds and underlay boards took the opportunity to present their new items to the audience. The variety of plant designs was discussed, going into greater detail with explanations about vibration and compaction techniques. Possible solutions for developing countries were also shown in which concrete goods could be produced with turnkey concrete block making machines and low expenditure. With their new ideas and approaches regarding the subject of hardness and durability, the mould and underlay board manufacturers showed that in this product segment a great deal is happening and developments are being pushed forward.

The third main item of the conference was concerned with concrete pipes and manholes, in which innovative solutions for the ecological and economical manufacture of manhole bottoms in particular were illustrated in insightful lectures. There was also a talk on the inductive welding of steel reinforcements for concrete pipes, wherein the advantages of this technology were illustrated. The last-but-one topical block offered the visitors further detailed information on reinforcement technology. The speakers reported on the prefabrication of reinforcement cages for the concrete and precast concrete element industry and demonstrated plant concepts for the bending and cutting of reinforcements.

The conclusion of the ICCX Conference programme was dedicated to precast concrete element technology, in which exhibitors from this branch of industry spoke. Among other things there were reports on the manufacture and transport of prestressed hollowcore slabs, on increasing efficiency in the production of precast concrete elements by the optimisation of circulating plants and on different kinds of connecting systems. Furthermore, an impression was gained of the use of pumped self-compacting concrete in precast concrete element production. A case example from India was used to illustrate how a newcomer to the precast concrete element industry was able to successfully position itself on the market with a plant concept tailored to its requirements.

TIPAS – The International Precast Concrete Associations Summit

lookApart from the ICCX Industrial Conference, an international meeting of the precast concrete associations was initiated for the first time through the participation of CPI-Worldwide. This meeting, which was established under the name of TIPAS - The International Precast Associations' Summit, was organised together with BIBM, the European precast association.

Representatives from a total of 16 different countries from around the globe and every continent participated in the meeting. On page 10 in this issue you will find a detailed report on this meeting, which aroused great interest on the part of everyone involved and which will probably take place annually in alternating countries in future.