ICCX Latin America 2012 - Review

The many delegates who had arrived from all over South America and even Africa, as well local and international exhibitors and the organ- izers rated the first ICCX in Brazil a great success. The event started with various technical courses on 20 March 2012, included a technical conference and an exhibition, and finished on March 23 with site visits to local precast production plants. The location for the main event, the conference and exhibition, was the Conference Centre CentroSul in Florianópolis. In total nearly 600 delegates attended the ICCX indi- cating the strong interest of the regional concrete and precast industries that until now had had to wait for a specialized event of this calibre. Many delegates made use of the full 4-day programme to gain the maximum benefit from the international exposure and made very com- plementary comments on the event. With its first edition in South America the ICCX has established a strong position in the regional con- struction industry and the planning for the next ICCX in Brazil has already begun.

Technische Kurse am ersten Tag der ICCX Latin America 2012 im Hotel Majestic Palace

The ICCX Latin America 2012 took off with 3 technical courses in the conference rooms of the Hotel Majestic Palace in Florianópolis, attracting in total about 150 attendees. This great response mirrored the large interest of the regional precast and concrete industries when it comes to new technologies and international developments. The presenters of the courses, Michael Khrapko from New Zealand, Arnold van Acker from Belgium and Jaime Fernández Gómez from Spain discussed the state of the art and latest international developments in the fields of precast concrete production and application, concrete technology, concrete product production, and quality control. All courses were simultaneously translated into Spanish and Portuguese.

Close to 600 attendees participated in the ICCX at the CentroSul conference centre

The first ICCX Latin America was officially opened on 23 March 2012, attracting close to 600 attendees. The exhibition featured 90 international exhibitors from all over the world and as usual the displayed services, materials, machinery and plant technology covered all fields of concrete production, concrete product manufacture and precast concrete technology. The delegates had arrived from all over South America who for the first time had the opportunity to attend an exhibition that was strongly focussed on concrete production technology. The concrete and precast industries in Brazil are currently booming and the local industry used this opportunity to get to know international suppliers and inform themselves about latest trends and developments. Delegates from other countries of the region had the added benefit of not only international exposure but also close contact to the Brazilian industry that is often considered a benchmark for developments and technology for these countries. Consequently, the offered range of information and networking possibilities was very well received by the delegates

Scope and topics of the technical conference

The conference topics covered a range of themes relating to design, production and application of concrete, concrete products and precast concrete elements. The presenters had arrived from all corners of the globe, representing all 5 continents and gave an overview on international developments, new production technology, and modern construction methods. The overall interest in the presentations, which were held in English, Spanish or Portuguese and simultaneously translated in the respective other two languages, was very high and the conference hall always well filled. Some of the conference topics aimed directly at the Brazilian concrete and precast industries and the challenges they face in view of the coming large international sports events (Soccer World Cup 2014 and Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016). For example, the South African experiences with the Soccer World Cup 2010 were discussed, focussing especially on lessons learned during design and construction of large sport stadia and infrastructure upgrading. Other presentations covered the construction projects currently undertaken in Brazil for the Soccer World Cup and again this presentation focussed on the application of precast technology and associated production technologies. Many of the delegates had come from other South American countries and they benefitted not only from the international delegates but also from the Brazilian experts who discussed latest developments in the Brazilian precast industry. Brazil is often considered the “big neighbour” and the application of international production technology in Brazil is often used as a benchmark in these countries. As far as the Brazilian and South American construction industries were concerned, topics covered included the Brazilian precast industry in general, the challenges faced by the South American concrete block industries and other related aspects. The presentations by international speakers gave overviews on various sectors of the international concrete production industries including precast concrete bridges, concrete pipes and manholes, architectural facades and sandwich panels, and concrete blocks and pavers. Additional conference topics included busi- ness strategies, resource planning, and quality assurance during precast production. Concrete technology was discussed in view of modern concrete types, workability of SCC, and test methods for concrete durability.

Precast plant visits

The final part of the programme of the ICCX contained visits to precast production plants. Such visits are part of the ICCX tradition and have the two underlying aims of giving delegates exposure to modern production technology and exhibitors an opportunity to get to know the particularities of the local production industries so that they can adjust their product marketing accordingly. In Brazil, approximately 200 delegates attended the plant visits and they could chose between three different destinations - Cassol Pré-Fabricados, BPM Pré- Moldados and Blocaus Pré-Fabricados.

Cassol Pré-Fabricados
The name Cassol represents one of the most important construction companies and precast producers in Brazil. About 100 ICCX delegates first visited a current construction site of Cassol close to Florianópolis. This project comprises of a new parking garage that is constructed nearly exclusively using precast elements from Cassol and which was half-way finished during the time of the visit. The responsible site personnel guided the visitors through the main construction process- es and explained installation and connec- tion of precast concrete members and components.
Subsequently, delegates visited a Cassol precast plant for structural concrete ele- ments for high-rise construction. This visit was very interesting for the participants as they were exposed to the latest production technology that the Brazilian precast industry has to offer. Especially those delegates that had come from neighbouring countries in which precast technology is often still in its infant state used this opportunity to see the vast possibilities of modern production technology with their own eyes.
The day was concluded at another con- struction site, this time one of Cassols very own projects in which they are erecting a new production plant for prestressed hollow core slabs. A personal welcome by Murillo Cassol, owner of Cassol, and the presentation of an informative company video were part of the programme at this site.

BPM Pré-Moldados
BPM Pré-Moldados is a producer of struc- tural precast concrete components in Brazil and located 2 hours drive from Florianópolis. During the visit the attendees witnessed the production of hollow core slabs, foundation piles, and large structural elements for high rise construction. The owner of BPM Pré-Moldados, Nivaldo Richter, guided the delegates through his plant and discussed production technologies and current and future projects.

Blocaus Pré-Fabricados
Blocaus is one of the leading producers of concrete products in the province of Santa Catarina. The plant for manufacture of conrete blocks has very modern and efficient technology and was presented by Luiz Francisco Marcondes. Apart from concrete block production, the plant visit also entailed concrete manufacture aspects and a visit to the concrete laboratory for quality control and mix design development.

ICCX Latin America 2014
As a consequence of the success of the first ICCX Latin America and owing to the fact that the demand for a focussed technical event for the concrete producing industry is huge, the planning for the second edition of the ICCX in Brazil has already begun. The location of the event was ideal and will be maintained as the region is easily accessible from all parts of South America and also a popular destination in general.