Nearly 1,000 Partcipants Attend IEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference

The 58th Annual IEEE-IAS/PCA Cement Industry Technical Conference in Houston, Texas, drew 975 participants from 28 countries last week.

Meetings of PCA's Environment and Energy, Manufacturing Technical, and Occupational Health and Safety Committees took place in conjunction with the conference. Highlights of the Monday PCA joint meeting included four technology transfer presentations by associate members and a review of the recent PCA Finish Mill Grinding Survey.

Industry speakers presented on a variety of topics. Commissioner Jeff Austin III, of the Texas Transportation Commission delivered the keynote address. Ed Sullivan, PCA senior vice president and chief economist,  gave an economic update while PCA CEO and President Jim Toscas provided a centennial retrospect and a look forward from the association’s perspective Roger Smith, president and CEO of Salt River Materials Group, gave an update on the industry's latest efforts in advocacy and market development with a focus on an industry marketing platform Franz Ulm, executive director of MIT's Concrete Sustainability Hub, discussed the Hub's role in advancing research along the technology transfer spectrum using a process of innovation, incubation, and implementation.

Conference training highlights included the first ever Fatality and Serious Injury Prevention Symposium, co-sponsored by PCA and IEEE, with a keynote address from Allen Hamblen, president and CEO of CalPortland, followed by six presentations focusing on specific safety aspects in the cement plant environment. The conference also included two days each of process training basics, management development training, primary crusher training, and both pyroprocessing simulator and grinding mill simulator training.

A total of 28 peer reviewed technical papers were presented. Technical paper award winners included: John Kline, 1st place, Assessing Cement Plant Thermal Performance, Rick Bohan, 2nd place, Additive Manufacturing Using Concrete: A Bridge Too Far?, and Terry Kerby, 3rd place, Mercury Reduction - The Plant Experience. The conference also featured two timely panel presentations: Portland Cement Sustainability from Start to Finish and NESHAP Lessons Learned.

The conference concluded with a tour of the new state-of-the-art Ash Grove Cement facility in nearby Midlothian, Texas. The new kiln line, a one-stage calciner with a daily capacity of 2,600 tons per day meets some of the most stringent environmental regulations and includes a unique reactor vessel to combust tires.

The next cement technical conference will take place in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, May 21-25, 2017.

Nashville, Tennessee, will host the 2018 conference, May 6-10, 2018.

Contact Rick Bohan