Please note: Due to the Memorial Day holiday, the next issue of Executive Report will be June 1, 2015.

Washington

Write Your Lawmakers in Support of Highway Bill and Coal Ash Initiative

Capitol_sliderPCA launched two unique Take Action! initiatives last week. One involves the looming May 31 expiration of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the need for Congress to pass a six-year, fully-funded highway bill. The second involves legislation focused on the use of coal ash, which may move through the U.S. House of Representatives in the next two weeks.

MAP-21 Expiration: The latest extension of the MAP-21 is set to expire on May 31, 2015. With this crucial deadline in mind, PCA has launched a Take Action! initiative for cement company employees and others to tell their elected officials that Congress must pass a six-year, fully-funded highway bill without delay.

Coal Ash Legislation: The House may consider coal ash legislation in the next two weeks which memorializes the “solid waste” designation for coal ash within federal environmental statutes, and addresses concerns about coal combustion residuals stored at cement plants for recycling.

The Take Action! initiative for H.R. 1734, the “Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Act of 2015,” will encourage strong, bipartisan support on the House floor.  

Please share these links and encourage others to weigh in on these critical issues.

Contact Collin Long or Bryan Brendle

Manufacturing

PCA Introduces Particulate Matter Compliance Workshop

Due to an overwhelming response to the  panel discussion “Getting to .07: PM Compliance at Today's Cement Plant" at the recent IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference in Toronto, Ontario, PCA is introducing a more detailed one-day program this summer to help manufacturers achieve particulate matter (PM) compliance with National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP).

The Skokie workshop is ideal for staff involved with demonstrating and maintaining compliance with the PM-related requirements of the portland cement maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards. Covered topics include:

  • Basic operation and troubleshooting of dust collection systems including industry best practices, how to identify and prevent common bag house problems, addressing the causes, and how system design impacts reliability.
  • Reading the signs: dust collector controls and how these can impact compliance including what should be monitored, what the data tell us, and how education and training of plant personnel can impact compliance.
  • Preparing for effective performance testing including preliminary evaluations of the source, detailed logistics for test day, the potential for using spiking to optimize your operating parameter limits, and considerations for alarm limits on your PM CPMS.

To keep each class small enough to address questions, PCA will repeat the one-day program on three consecutive days; June 23, June 24, and June 25, from 8 a.m.– 5 p.m.

The program is free to all PCA members and associate members but registration is required. To register, please click on one of the links below:

Discounted hotel rates are available at the Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-North Shore/Skokie. Please call 1-847-583-1111 and mention that you are attending the PCA PM Compliance Workshop to receive the special discounted rate.

Contact Rick Bohan

Member News

Ash Grove Recognizes Top Energy Efficiency and Safety Excellence

Ash Grove Cement Company plants in Louisville, Nebraska, and Durkee, Oregon, recently earned company recognition for energy efficiency and safety.

The annual Ash Grove Energy Management (AGem) Outstanding Plant of the Year was awarded to the Louisville plant while the Durkee plant won the top safety honor in the company’s annual L.T. Sunderland Safety Excellence Award.

Andy Lippert, Ash Grove corporate energy director, said the AGem process involves the entire plant workforce. The program exceeded the goal of saving $20 million in energy costs across all plants and terminals and continues to drive additional savings.

Ash Grove's L.T. Sunderland Safety Excellence Award recognizes the one manufacturing facility that exemplifies more than any other the company’s goal to have safety ingrained as part of the daily work culture.

“Each year we select the top-performing plants as finalists for the award,” said Steve Minshall, Ash Grove corporate health and safety director. “For 2014, along with the winner, Durkee, the finalists were the Leamington, Utah, and Midlothian, Texas, cement manufacturing plants and the Rivergate lime plant in Portland, Oregon. These plants exhibited a high degree of health and safety competence by attaining Gold status in the company’s Safety Leadership Awards for 2014.”

Market Intelligence

End-Use Cement Segments Experience Widespread Growth

Year-end 2014 volumes reported in PCA’s Survey of Portland Cement Consumption by User Group indicate widespread growth among most market segments. Of the 18 segments tracked, 13 recorded growth in excess of 5 percent from 2013 levels. 

Full-depth reclamation with cement paving (22 percent) and roller-compacted concrete paving (26 percent) enjoyed the most robust growth, while segments heavily concentrated in residential building also demonstrated significant gains; fiber cement siding grew 21 percent and concrete brick and block/manufactured stone advanced 19 percent throughout 2014. While the oil and gas well drilling segment’s year-end volumes remained positive, its fourth quarter volumes dropped 10 percent against the same period in 2013, reflective of the steep decline in oil prices that began in late 2014.

Contact Brian Schmidt

Paving

TRB Presents Webinar on Improved CRCP Practices

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies will conduct a webinar on June 3, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET, on the improved design procedure for continuously reinforced concrete pavement.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) guide reflects modern construction practices, pavement layer materials, specifications, and best concrete pavement engineering practices. 
The standard for designing CRCP underwent significant changes in the 2008 AASHTO ME Pavement Design Guide and the designation of the software as “AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design,” from that presented in the 1993 AASHTO Pavement Design Guide.

Through the webinar, “Mechanistic-Empirical Design and Details for Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement (CRCP),” participants will learn to summarize the basic mechanistic-empirical design background and criteria utilized in the “AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design” software for continuously reinforced concrete pavement. In addition, the session will describe the continuously reinforced concrete pavement design process using the “AASHTOWare Pavement ME Design” software when given both the main continuously reinforced concrete pavement design inputs and the most sensitive design inputs and features, and explain how most continuously reinforced concrete pavements may provide road users with performance levels exceeding their original design assumptions.

A certificate for 1.5 professional development hours (PDHs) will be provided to attendees who register and attend the webinar as an individual.

Visit www.trb.org for more information and registration.

Contact Mark Justman

Education and Training

PCA Offers Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures Course

Concrete industry personnel looking for fundamental and practical concrete knowledge are encouraged to attend PCA's Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures Course.

The course will be offered October 5-8 at the PCA campus. It is based on PCA's Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures which has been the industry's primary cement and concrete technology reference since the late 1920s. 

The fast-paced, 3.5-day program combines classroom instruction, lab demonstrations, and hands-on training to help employees meet customer needs.

For more information, visit www.cement.org.

Contact Michelle Wilson