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Video: World of Concrete 2024 – show round-up

World of Concrete 2024
World of Concrete 2024

By David Fisher

Last month, the UK Concrete Show and Concrete Connect teams attended the 50th edition of the World Of Concrete (WoC) trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada (23 -25 Jan, 2024). Spanning three expansive halls, two outdoor lots and featuring a display of static trucks, it remains the largest and most important global show for the concrete and mixed masonry industries. 

Among the live demos, education seminars, competitions, key buzzwords, and product developments, the focus remains on working towards a safer, carbon-reduced future.

The electrification of previously petrol-powered tooling and equipment continues to gather pace, with a range of electrical screeding equipment and hand tools such as circular saws and cut-off machines. Key brands including STIHL Inc and Eibenstock offered ranges in this space. As well as producing less fumes for the user, they are generally significantly quieter than their fossil-fuel-powered predecessors. 

Developments in crystalline technologies are taking leaps and bounds, with 'self-healing' and 'concrete antibiotics' as both admixtures and coating applications promise to prolong the life of structures facing environmental erosion. There are too many brands to mention in this space, but the key message is repair as opposed to replace.  

This is an area in full swing, with an entire show area dedicated to 'Technology for Construction/Robotics' in the North Hall. Featuring impressive demos from semi and fully-automated production of rebar from the likes of Schnell Group, as well as automated layout systems complete with tiny robots from Dusty Robotics marking out floor layouts. Both aim to reduce production time, which in turn, produces less carbon.

There were many products offering innovation in this area, but this is truly the age of the exoskeleton. Exhibitors Hilti and Fraco were offering products of this type, with impressive live demos at their respective stands. Exoskeletal 'tool balancers' can allow the user to lift up to 37lbs (16.8kg) with relative ease and greatly reduce the strain of lifting heavier loads. Products such as this are certain to become commonplace within the construction sector in the coming years. 

Getting business done
A contingent of exhibitors who will also be present at the upcoming UK Concrete Show in Birmingham were present at WoC, including Liebherr, Columbia Machine, ELE International, Besser, Baylynx, BetonBlock, Fibo Intercon, Sicoma, Eurobend, National Flooring to name but a few.