The International Cement Seminar Returns!

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SEMCO Publishing Brings Back the International Cement Seminar & Exhibition.

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For 37 years, the International Cement Seminar & Exhibition was one of the most anticipated annual events for the North American cement industry. After an extended hiatus, the show is back for its 38th year.

The 38th International Cement Seminar & Exhibition will be held Nov. 19-21 in Atlanta at the Cobb Galleria Center. The show is being produced by SEMCO Publishing, the owner of Cement Americas, Rock Products and Concrete Products magazines, all of which are promoting the show.

The theme of the show is Cement Technology and Transformation in 2019.

“With an industry that is facing growing opportunities along with new regulatory and social pressures, the time is right for the return of the International Cement Seminar,” said Michael Schoppenhorst, show director. “With a focus on production equipment and technologies, the 2019 event will engage attendees with sessions designed to help them do business more efficiently and safely using the latest equipment and best practices.”

Industry Ripe for Growth

The cement industry continues to show promising signs. Shipments of portland and blended cement increased slightly in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the first quarter of 2018, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) monthly survey of U.S. cement producers.

Total shipments of portland and blended cement, including imports, in the United States and Puerto Rico in March 2019 were 7.3 million metric tons (Mt), a slight decrease from the roughly 7.4 Mt in March 2018, according to the most recent USGS Mineral Industry Survey.

Shipments for the year through March totaled 19.4 Mt, an increase of 2.4% from those for the same period in 2018. The leading producing states for portland and blended cement in March were, in descending order, Texas, California, Missouri, Florida and Alabama.

The leading cement-consuming states (Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina) received 46% of the March shipments.

Masonry cement shipments totaled 199,000 metric tons (t) in March, a decrease of 4.0% from those in March 2018. Shipments for the year through March totaled 552,000 t, a slight increase from the prior-year period. The leading masonry cement-consuming states in March were, in descending order, Florida, Texas, California, North Carolina and Georgia; these states received 59% of the March shipments.

Clinker production, excluding Puerto Rico, totaled 5.8 Mt in March 2019, essentially unchanged from the output in March 2018. Production for the year through March totaled 15.7 Mt, an increase of 2.7% from the output for the same period in 2018. The leading clinker-producing states in March 2019 were, in descending order, Texas, California, Missouri, Florida and Pennsylvania; these states accounted for 52% of March production.


The International Cement Seminar & Exhibition will feature an extensive educational program from some of the industry’s key thought leaders.

“This is truly going to be a bellwether event for the construction-materials industry,” said Don Marsh, editor of Concrete Products. “We look forward to seeing our many friends from the cement, ready mixed and aggregates industries in Atlanta.”

Educational seminars will include:

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019

Keynote Address

Edward Sullivan, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Market Intelligence, Portland Cement Association (PCA)

Sullivan directs all PCA’s forward market assessments that support the industry’s planning efforts and market research. His analysis and views regarding the construction, cement and concrete industries is widely used in corporate planning efforts, the financial industry and media. His analysis also supports the cement industry’s advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., and to this end has testified before Congress.

Sullivan has been cited by the Chicago Federal Reserve as the most accurate forecaster among 30 top economists. Various other forecasting surveys have placed him among the most accurate construction economists in the country. Over the years, he has been named a “key influencer” in the domestic and international cement and concrete industry by various trade magazines. He is often sought as a keynote speaker at various industry events throughout the year.

Sullivan has more than 30 years of industrial economic analysis in support of senior executives and has played an important role in several U.S. Government automotive trade policy decisions. In the past, he has held the position of vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank Economics, Standard & Poor’s and Wharton Economics where he worked with Nobel Laureate Lawrence Klein. His background also includes positions as a senior intelligence officer at the Central Intelligence Agency, where he was awarded a commendation from Bob Gates (then deputy director of intelligence and later secretary of defense). He was also an economist within the office of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.)

Sullivan has taught economics at St. Joseph’s and Villanova Universities in Philadelphia, Fairfield University in Connecticut, as well as Columbia and Fordham Universities in New York City.

LafargeHolcim’s Weirton, W.Va., Cement Plant Modernization Project

Jared Stull, Head of U.S. Terminals and Adam Cimaroli, Senior Manager, Terminal Projects, LafargeHolcim

LafargeHolcim completed a multi-million-dollar modernization project that restored and expanded a cement terminal at its Weirton, W.Va., facility. The site, which had been inactive for 10 years, will now be used to store and distribute the company’s specialty well cements for the oil and gas industry in the Appalachian region.

The revitalization included expansion of the site, construction of a new water-based, off-loading facility, and restoration of silos. In the process of revamping the site, LafargeHolcim collaborated with the Army Corps of Engineers, the West Virginia Department of Commerce, the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle and the local community. In addition, the company worked closely with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and Environmental Protection Agency to assure all operating and environmental permits were in place.

Plant Automation: The Factory of the Future

Thomas Hacker, Cement Technology Consulting LLC

To improve customer service, cement manufacturers have started to automate the handling of loose or packaged cement in truck transport by using flexible self-service systems. An initial requirement is the automatic control of the cement-loading process so that the trucks load the quantity required by the cement customer and do not exceed the loading capacity permitted for the respective vehicle. This session will further elaborate on automation technology available to the industry to run the plant of the future.

The Importance of Real-Time Cement Particle Characterization and How It Improves Your Bottom Line

A.J. DeCenso, Preferred Process Solutions, LLC

Measuring particle size is a key component of the quality control process in any modern cement plant. Consistent particle size helps ensure a high-performance product with reliable cement strength. In this presentation, we will examine how one cement company used an innovative in-process particle size analyzer to automatically extract samples from their process, analyze them in real time and deliver a complete particle size distribution as often as once per second.

Safe Conversion to Natural Gas

Ricardo Costa, FCT Combustion Systems

In this session, FCT Combustion discusses safe conversion to natural gas. The company is a world leader in optimizing high-temperature processing plants to realize new levels of performance for productivity, emission control, fuel efficiency and flexibility to meet ever-changing requirements. Its pyro-processing products and expertise are all based on proven and scientifically validated techniques, helping global customers be competitive as their needs and industry conditions change. Its designs, engineering and product range are used in the world’s most competitive mineral processing plants.

Alternative Fuel Handling Systems for Cement Plants

Brain Giese, Beumer Corp.

Cement, and similar compounds, have a particularly energy intensive manufacturing process. Today, more and more operations are seeking new ways to fuel their facility, in an effort to reduce costs and be more environmentally conscious.  Operations like these have been able to reduce the use of primary fuels, such as coal and oil, by using various alternative fuels and raw materials such as industry/household waste, biomass and used tires.

This session will introduce the alternative fuel and raw material concept, as well as how to integrate it into the overall facility. Attendees will also have the chance to experience firsthand the successful implementation of an alternative fuel system at Aalborg Portland Cement.

Driving Efficiencies in Cement Plants Leveraging Advanced Logistics and Auto Replenishment

David Boardman, Stockpile Solutions

The implications that stockpiles have on your financials and business operations are critical ones. This session will help attendees blend the best of advanced software with the intelligence of experienced humans. Learn about no-touch inventory management. Thousands of customers are regularly managing their inventory with drones or an iPhone app. Based on the automation and intelligence built into the system discussed, inventories are happening faster, more consistently, everywhere, resulting in fewer write-offs and swift resolutions with customers, auditors and accountants. Tens of thousands of verified reports are shared every year between: measurers, managers, operations, and finance, all working together around in-depth reports and common goals.

Applying Computer Vision to Facilities and Vehicle Management

Anthony Tarantino PhD, Atollogy, USA

Atollogy leverages sensors, computer vision and artificial intelligence to improve operational efficiency, process adherence, and safety for the bulk materials industry. Customers can save up to 17% in cycle time within the first 10 weeks of implementing these solutions. This session will help attendees discover:

  • Ability to truly understand the activities of trucks in the yard, regardless of truck ownership.
  • Alert on safety hazards & breaches to comply with regulatory requirements.
  • Facts to operators to make on the spot improvements to customer experience.
  • Deep analytics to support objective sales positioning.
  • Actionable insights on process/flow changes in facility.

Make Real-Time Inventory Your Reality

Mike Mossage, Regional Vice President, Eastern U.S. BinMaster

Technology advancements have transformed measuring and monitoring inventory of cement, aggregates and sand. Non-contact sensors don’t interfere with equipment and are reliable in dusty conditions. Advancements in radar technology allow sensors to track filling and emptying for process control. Accurate volume in irregularly piled materials and large vessels is possible using 3D level sensing technology. Software and cloud-based applications enable monitoring multiple vessels and locations from your smartphone, tablet, or PC. Inventory valuation for financial reporting can be generated with confidence. Learn about the newest solutions and how they can make your operations more efficient.

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019

Cleaning and Maintaining Silos

Dennis Blauser, Marietta Silo

In this presentation, attendees will learn how to economically construct a storage silo; keep silos operating efficiently; lower or eliminate silo cleaning costs; keep silos structurally sound and personnel safe ; and lower silo operational costs. Marietta Silos is the largest concrete silo repair company in the United States.

Energy Savings and Process Optimization in Cement Production

Udo Enderle, Managing Director, NETZSCH Feinmahltechnik GmbH

Processing of industrial minerals and cement demands energy efficient technologies to minimize energy consumptions for both, size reduction and material transport. During the last years several efforts were made by NETZSCH to improve the performance of its horizontal bead mill Pamir in collaboration with Hacettepe University for grinding fly ash and cement by optimizing the material transport in the mill. The solutions found in pilot scale are being discussed and more results from production by using a Pamir 1000 are presented.

Optimized Kiln Operation by Keeping Kiln Shell Temperatures at Set Point with Controlled Water Cooling

Heinz Knopfel, ARGOS Cement US and Dirk Schmidt, Director, KIMA Echtzeitsystme GmbH

Increasingly powerful and sophisticated kiln-firing process conditions make it necessary to cool the kiln shell in order to protect the refractory material and the steel body from overheating and wear. Traditionally the cooling is done with high performance blowers and only a few plants in the world are actually working more or less successfully with cooling by water evaporation. In 2014, a team consisting of the VDZ and a cement manufacturer decided to conduct an experiment in measurement and control technologies. The aim was to develop an efficient cooling system with the medium of water. The goal was to determine at first how much water is needed to produce not an equivalent cooling effect as achieved with a conventional cooling fan. This presentation reveals the results.

Realizing Energy Savings Using A Ceramic Lined Rotary Valve In Place Of A Screw Pump

Keith E. Kressley, Coperion

Energy saving is becoming a more and more important topic in the cement industry. The air supply (screw compressor) and the material feeding device into a pneumatic conveying line are the highest energy consumers of a pneumatic conveying system. For many decades the screw pump was the most frequently used material-feeding system, but screw pumps require extremely high electrical power. Looking on this disadvantage of the existing technology, Coperion has adapted the well-known technology of rotary valves for the high wear application in the cement industry. This technology saves more than 95% of power compared to the screw pump.

MSHA’s Enforcement Focus on Structural Integrity at Cement Operations

Bill Doran, Attorney-At-Law, Ogletree Deakins

As a result of high profile accidents around the country involving structural failures, MSHA has placed a greater emphasis in its inspections on evaluating the structural integrity of silos, bins, buildings and conveyors. This has had a particular impact on cement plants.  These enforcement evaluations tend to follow a familiar pattern beginning with general observations and concerns by inspectors, demands for third party examination, and moving to comprehensive analyses by MSHA technical support engineers.  These issues can be difficult to resolve and often include requests for internal documents, allegations of unwarrantable failure and failure to timely abate.  This presentation will discuss recent cases and offer some insight into how to effectively navigate the pitfall that can arise.

High-End MSHA Training: Surviving an Inspection

Brian Bigley, Cemex

This is a high level overview of the key components of an MSHA inspection, and your role as an attendee. It will serve as a quick introductory primer for people who might have to go on, or manage an MSHA inspection, as well as a refresher for those that do them frequently. It includes discussions of your rights your company’s rights, and miner’s rights and responsibilities. We will cover handling document requests, timely manner requests, the walk-around, and common problems that can arise during an inspection, along with advice on handling each aspect.

Maximizing Conveyor Performance-Industry Standards Versus Real World Application

Mike Cremeens, Shaw Almex and Dick McConnell, Flexco

Contrasting industry standards with real-world applications, attendees of this session will learn about conveyor belt construction, operational forces, transition distances, tracking issues and other performance influences. This interactive presentation will provide the information necessary to better understand and troubleshoot real world belt conveyor performance issues. Both U.S. standards and International nomenclature will be covered.

1. Learn how conveyor belt construction and quality is designed to operate on a conveyor structure.

2. Understand rated tension versus operating tension and how to calculate both.

3. Know how to diagnose and resolve transition distance violations.

4. Conveyor belt splices both mechanical and vulcanized.

The Finish Mill Circuit In a Cement Plant Can Be Optimized by Using an Online PSD Analyzer

Jeff DeNigris, Sensors & Automation – Product Manager, NAM, Malvern Panalytical

The finish mill circuit in a cement plant can be optimized by using an online PSD analyzer. Knowing the real-time PSD from the mill can provide the means to reduce over grinding and the heavy cost of energy it causes. When the fines fraction (%<32um) increases above set limits, costly overgrinding is beginning to impact energy consumption and may also cause curing problems through rapid hydration. Likewise, an increase of the course fraction may cause incomplete hydration and early strength results may suffer. This talk will give an overview and practical examples of how an integrated on-line analysis of PSD at the finish mill can provide real time data to improve process performance and efficiency.


Concrete/Cementitious Materials Track

Calcium Carbonate for Performance Concrete

Bobby Bergman, Technical Service Chemist, Huber Carbonates LLC, Atlanta

Concrete + Carbon Dioxide Recycling

Justin Lazenby, Thomas Concrete Inc., Atlanta; and Christie Gamble, Director of Sustainability, CarbonCure Technologies Inc., Halifax, N.S.

Fly Ash Beneficiation: Advanced Methods

Rafic Minkara, Vice President – Technology, Boral CM Services LLC, Atlanta

Processing C618 Stock from Impounded Ash

Ross Gorman, Fly Ash Sales

Additional sessions were being added at press time. Go to to access the latest schedule.

Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019

Argos LogoSpecial Tour of Argos USA’s  Atlanta Grinding Facility

Located in the heart of Atlanta, along the Chattahoochee River, the Argos Atlanta Cement Plant was built in 1962 with its first production following in 1963 with one kiln and one mill. After five years, a second kiln and mill were added and would produce for the Atlanta plant for the next 38 years.

In 2006, kiln operations ceased as a result of environmental emissions. Despite no longer producing clinker, the Atlanta cement plant is a unique asset within the Argos U.S. operations, since it hosts the company’s color lab and color blending operation, as well as its grinding capabilities.

In addition, the plant has the logistical capability to receive materials and ship to Argos’ customers by rail or truck. The plant employs 40 active, non-union employees with an average of more than 22 years of service who are highly dedicated to supporting Argos’ values of safety, community engagement and environmental responsibility.

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