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Sand and Gravel Dredging Vendors a Small Important Part of CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2008

CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2008 and the co-located IFPE 2008 expositions set records in March for attendance, exhibit space and number of exhibiting companies.

More than 144,600 industry professionals from around the world attended the event, which was held on March 11 through 15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The combined construction and concrete and aggregate producers exhibitions included products and services from all facets of those industries. The dredging focus was relatively small, but combined with exhibits of processing equipment, drew many sand and gravel producers who use dredges to mine their product.

The Western Dredging Association (WEDA) was represented in a booth in their usual location in the lobby, staffed by WEDA Executive Director Larry Patella, his wife Nancy, their grandson Ryan Young and friend Ralph Peabody. Dozens of sand and gravel dredging people stopped by the booth in the course of the five-day event, leaving their cards and discussing dredging issues.

Conexpo-Con/Agg 2008 covered more than 2.28 million net square feet of exhibits (211,966 net square meters), with 2,182 exhibitors. The show was 21 percent bigger than the last show, held in 2005.

IFPE 2008, a trade show for motion-control products including hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical and mechanical equipment, was also the largest in its history with more than 129,000 net square feet of exhibit space (11,994 net square meters) used by 469 exhibitors - a 16 percent increase in space compared to 2005.

AUTOMATION MEETING

On the program was a meeting by the Automation Committee of NSSGA (National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, one of the show sponsors), presided over by Jonathan Keene, electrical and automation engineer for Luck Stone Corporation. Vice chairman was Greg Webb of Olen Corporation.

The discussion centered around wireless control of aggregate operations, and several of the attendees said that it is becoming more prominent, mostly for starting and stopping equipment.

Mike Carlson, Automation Director at Dredging Supply Company, said that one site he worked with can access the operation through the Internet and monitor the operation in the office, but cannot start and stop the operation through the Internet connection.

INTERNATIONAL ATTENDANCE

More than 28,000 attendees -- more than 19 percent - were from out of the United States, hailing from more than 130 countries. There were more than 60 official international customer delegations organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce as well as in-country trade associations and related groups.

There were 14 international exhibit pavilions highlighting products and services developed outside the United States - 10 in the Conexpo-Con/Agg show (Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Italy, Korea, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and four in the IFPE show (China, Italy, Spain and Taiwan). IFPE 2008 also hosted pavilions sponsored by the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) and the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA). They also set up a pavilion to highlight sensors.

The show featured new Safety Zone of exhibits and demonstrations from industry and government groups, including the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Mine Safety and Health Administration, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and the Aerial Work Platform Training/International Powered Access Federation.

EDUCATION HIGHLIGHTS

The Conexpo-Con/Agg seminar program offered a record 130 sessions, and IFPE hosted 111 technical papers.

The shows were the industry gathering place in 2008. Some 105 allied industry groups were “supporting organizations” of Conexpo-Con/Agg and IFPE 2008, bringing their memberships to the shows. In addition to U.S-based groups, these included international industry-related organizations from Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Finland, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and Venezuela.

Conexpo-Con/Agg 2008 was also the site of the first Construction Challenge competition, initiated by show organizer Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The creative problem-solving competition was designed to interest teens in construction careers, while calling attention to industry workforce shortages and infrastructure renewal needs.

2011 SHOW

The next edition of the triennial shows will be March 22-26, 2011 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. Web sites for the shows are www.conexpoconagg.com and www.ifpe.com

This article contains extensive description from an AEM press release by Pat Monroe.

See additiional photos in our Conexpo/Con-Agg Photo Album.

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