It was a busy year at the annual World of Concrete trade show, held in Las Vegas Feb. 4 to 7. An estimated 54,000 attendees came through the show floor over the week, seeing exhibits from 1,310 companies. 

The Portland Cement Association gave it's annual economic forecast at the show, with a somewhat upbeat outlook.

Case Construction Equipment took the occasion to launch its B-Series compact equipment—five compact track loaders and eight skid steers featuring redesigned cabs with new, simplified interfaces. 

Available with mechanical or electrohydraulic controls, the machines meet Tier 4 Final emission standards. The loaders boast new creep-speed settings and standard backup cameras on the electrohydraulic models. Hydrodemo Link Over at the Liebherr booth, the company was showing off its new concrete boom truck, which features the new Powerbloc hydraulic system. Featuring a mix of open and closed circuit hydraulic design, the Powerbloc combines the features of both systems for a lighter, smaller package.  

Dueling hydrodemolition robots offered new approaches to concrete removal.

“The [Powerbloc] system was designed specifically for concrete pump applications, it has a lean setup with very few hoses and integrated components,” says Guilherme Zurita, director of concrete technology for Liebherr USA. “This unparalleled hydraulic system brings the robustness and ease of maintenance from an open hydraulic circuits, with the compactness of a closed hydraulic circuit.” 

The Powerbloc features a modular design that can handle different flow rates, and it’s smaller profile allows for the concrete boom to be stored at a lower position, reducing the overall height of the boom truck during travel. Powerboc will be the standard hydraulic system on all future Liebherr concrete boom trucks, says Zurita.

A small firm is offering to retrofit diesel-powered compact equipment with lithium-ion batteries.

With a focus on the connected jobsite and tracking construction progress, Hilti gave demonstrations of its new Tracefast system, where concrete anchor installations can be documented by a smartphone app that can scan the unique data matrix code on the head of the anchor bolt. This allows for easy confirmation of anchor type and strength during installation and QA/QC inspection.

Not be left out of the Internet of Things, Virginia Beach, Va.-based Stihl is the latest equipment manufacturer to introduce an asset management system. Designed to function with any tool that generates magnetic flux, regardless of manufacturer, the Bluetooth-enabled system currently provides operational data, but will be expanded to include anti-theft and other capabilities, according to a company spokesperson.

By Jeff Rubenstone in Las Vegas, with Jim Parsons