A review of the ICCX Russia 2008
In spite of troubled economic times in Russia, about 850 participants had registered to attend either the conference, exhibition or factory tours offered on at least one of the three days of the ICCX Russia 2008 event from 9th until 11th December 2008. It could be observed that, in comparison with the circumstances in the previous year, most visitors had made their choice for one particular day of the event offering the best possible programme to suit their own personal needs. The first day was especially well frequented with more than 400 pure trade show visitors who mainly came from the former GUS countries and Finland. The event was also once again held this year in the Hotel Park Inn Pulkovskaya in St. Petersburg.
On the morning of the first day, the ICCX Russia 2008 event was officially opened by the editor-in-chief of CPI worldwide, Dr. Holger Karutz. His remarks were followed by a further welcome from professor Mechtcherine from TU Dresden, Germany, who not only conducted the programme of speeches on both days of the conference but also presented two dissertations himself. The talks dealt with topics of overriding importance with an emphasis on the automated production of precast elements, concrete technology, admixtures and additives plus precast for sewer construction and traffic areas. The focus was placed on practical considerations in order to accommodate the interests of the participants who principally stemmed from the local concrete industry.
The two-day programme of talks was divided up into different topic areas. This permitted the visitors to generate their own priorities and plan their own individual timing for both speeches and exhibition. The speeches weld held in Russian, English, or German depending on presenter. However, all those who attended could follow them perfectly via headphones thanks to the simultaneous interpretation into Russian and English.
In the first topic under consideration, Prof. Hillemeier from TU Berlin and Prof. Albert from Bochum University devoted their lectures to trends pointing the way to the future for the concrete and precast industry. Their emphasis was on a general overview of current developments in concrete technology and modern planning with precast. They expounded, for example, on the great usefulness of the latest software tools in precast production facilities.
Concrete technology - day 1
This series of subjects was opened up with a speech by Prof. Mechtcherine about self-compacting, high-strength and fibre-reinforced concretes. In Russia, interest has grown ￼appreciably in recent years for modern concretes, especially self-compacting and high-strength types. Prof. Shtakelberg from Israel complemented this second block of topics with his presentation concerning the possibilities of constant monitoring during the strength development of concretes. Indeed, with the modern concretes previously introduced by Prof. Mechtcherine, these types of monitoring possibilities are of crucial importance.
Topics like durability, management and maintenance of concrete pipe sewage systems were already in great demand by Russian concrete pipe manufacturers at the ICCX 2007 in St. Petersburg. In the interve- ning time, new questions have cropped up about this range of issues which were ans- wered by another speaker, Dr. Körkemeyer, in two consecutive dissertations. Dr. Körke- meyer also kindly took over the second lec- ture in the series from Dr. Hüttl, who, at short notice, was unable to travel to Russia for reasons of health. The presentations dealt with both backups to argumentation drawn from practical experience for employing concrete pipes in sewage construction work in comparison with competitors’ products, and matter-of-fact application examples and proposals for solutions.
Paul Ramsburg from High Concrete, one of America’s largest precasters, led off into the fourth and final series of topics for the first day of the event. He related his experience in the production of various precast elements, including the utilisation of the most recent concrete technology. Michael Khrapko from New Zealand presented insights into precast systems in New Zealand and Australia at the close of the day. Some other methods than those employed in Europe or USA have become established there which can certainly find applications in Russia.
Concrete technology - day 2
The interesting tone for second day of the event was set by the remarks from Prof. Beitzel from Trier, Germany. In his lecture, he explained how the homogeneity of a mixture, and therefore its quality, can be determined and evaluated. This is an important prerequisite for durable, high-quality concretes that have to satisfy customers’ demands. Roland Schepers continued with a presentation on steel fibre reinforced concretes. Amongst other things, he demonstrated how far steel fibre reinforcing can complement traditional steel rod reinforcing and, in part, entirely replace the latter.
Zero-slump concrete is utilised in manufacturing concrete pavers. Extremely high standards of quality have to be observed in the production of this type of concrete. The most minor deviations in the water-cement value can, for example, have a great effect on concrete block quality. Prof. Mechtcherine gave many valuable tips in his talk on this topic to practitioners in concrete pro- duction facilities. Colouring zero slump concretes in an unerring and reproducible way was dealt with by Alexander Sibirjakov in his subsequent contribution. Colouring concrete products also depends very much on careful production monitoring as the smallest plus or minus deviations in quantity can lead to colours nuances that are conspicuous to the eye and which, under certain circum- stances, will not be accepted by the customer.
Fastening systems are utilised in many as- pects of the production and application of precast elements: whether it be in transporting precast, assembly work, or the force-fit- ted fastening of precast elements with one another once they have been installed. In their presentations, both Mathias Kintscher and Jens Geffert showed application possibilities for modern fastening systems. They included examples from practice for fastening systems with a view to anchoring architectural façades in additional-leaf wall systems.
The final presentation in the two-day conference event was provided by Jürgen Gläsle, editor-in-chief of opus C, an architectural concrete periodical. He demonstrated the “nicest” side of concrete in a presentation rich in images from selected architectural concrete projects. Those listening, who in this case fell more into the role of viewers, received an excellent overview of the possibilities available through modern concrete and precast technology.
International trade exhibition with 130 exhibitors
In the completely renovated Hotel Park Inn Pulkovskaya Congress Centre, a total of 130 exhibitors from Germany, America, Italy, Spain, France, Poland, Great Britain, Belgium, Austria, Luxembourg, Turkey and Russia displayed their products and services for the concrete and precast industry. The record number of exhibitors at this 4th edition of ICCX in St. Petersburg reflects the major importance of the ICCX Russia for the Russian market. Visitors at ICCX were more than ever able to draw on the abundant resources of the exhibitors as their numbers had once again increased so markedly. Exhibitors showcased their ranges of products from the sectors of mixing, formwork, processing and plant technology, conveying systems, special concrete products, additives, pigments, fastening systems, transfer systems, concrete steel reinforcing plants and IT products. The ICCX Russia 2008 trade show exhibition provided detailed insights into modern concrete technology and related industrial sectors.
Evening venue with 550 participants
The evening dinner – well-known and appreciated from previous years – at the close of the first conference day also took place this year in the Park Inn Pulkovskaya Conference Hotel. In preceding years, the evening dinner had always been held directly in the conference area but the premiere of a new venue could be acclaimed at this year’s ICCX Russia 2008. This measure was necessary as the space in the conference area was no longer sufficient due to the increased number of exhibitors. On
top of this, the extremely great demand for the evening dinner made a new, larger venue unavoidable. This led to the hotel’s own very popular restaurant, the “Paulaner”, being hired in its entirety for the participants at the event. This choice struck the right note as was shown by the course of the evening and the thoroughly positive comments the next morning.
A live band catered for agreeable background music during the excellent meal and thereafter for a convivial atmosphere for
the latter part of the evening. Many a visitor “shook a leg” on the dance floor although they, themselves, might not perhaps have held it for possible. It perhaps should not need to be mentioned that having the arrangement in a restaurant with the name “Paulaner” (a German brewery) makes one forget that the affair is taking place in Russia. The evening meal was a foray into the delicacies of Bavarian cuisine and quite a few guests still rhapsodised over the beer served – brewed in- house in their private brewery – long after having left St. Petersburg again.
Tours of Russian precast production facilities
The finale on the third and last day of the event involved the possibility of taking part in one of the two tours of precast production facilities in the vicinity of St. Petersburg. ￼Numerous participants took advantage of this opportunity and two groups with a total of 120 persons travelled either to the facilities of DSK Blok or Gatchinskij SSK. In the factories, generous provision had been made for looking behind the scenes in production. Exhaustive explanations on the part of the factory managers also made this part of the conference into a fascinating experience for all those taking part.
ICCX links the global concrete industry
In summing up, the specialist conference offered a balanced mixture from modern concrete research and applied precast technology. In conjunction with the concurrent trade exhibition, ICCX Russia once more functioned as a trail blazer for the construction industry in pointing the direction towards modern production technologies, effective marketing and international cooperation. Due to this sustained interest, the next ICCX Russia will take place from 8th to 10th. December 2009 again in St. Petersburg at Hotel Park Inn Pulkovskaya.