Industry News

Miller Formless Names Bob Grail as President

Miller Formless Co., an ACPA member, welcomes Bob Grail as President.  As company President, Bob will be overseeing operational and financial growth of the company. Prior to joining Miller Formless, he was President and COO of VT LeeBoy Inc., where he had full financial and operational responsibility; he also was charged with expanding market share while increasing shareholder value.

At Miller Formless, Bob’s goals are to provide leadership through past experiences and successes that will contribute to the foundation that has been built by previous and current owners of Miller Formless.

“My philosophy focuses on three P’s: people, product and processes,” he says, adding, “People have always been and will continue to be, the key to success for any business. Developing and continually improving product offerings and services based on customers’ needs are critical to success. We must listen to the voice of the customer and continue to innovate to that channel.”

“Improving processes to better serve your employees, your customers and to drive bottom line results will allow Miller Formless to be the most competitive solution provider in our industry, he says.”

Barco Investment Group Acquires CTLGroup

Barco Investment Group has acquired Construction Technology Laboratories, Inc. (dba CTLGroup), formerly a PCA subsidiary. Barco also acquired the PCA campus in Skokie, according to a news release from CTLGroup.

“We are excited about the purchase of CTLGroup and the historic PCA Campus,” says Cary Cohrs, Chairman of Barco Investment Group. “Through the many talented people working at CTLGroup, we expect the company will experience strong growth and further build upon its strong reputation as an industry leader.”

“PCA and CTLGroup have been an important part of the Skokie, Illinois landscape since 1968,” says Mike Ireland, PCA President & CEO. “PCA’s offices in Skokie and Washington, DC, will continue to represent America’s cement industry, while CTLGroup will get a chance to thrive under new ownership. We’re excited about the future of both organizations.”

PCA and CTLGroup staff will continue to work at the Skokie campus in addition to offices in the Washington, DC-metro area. In addition to Illinois and DC, the CTLGroup also serves clients from Texas, Florida, and Dawlat Qatar. CTLGroup began as the research and development arm of PCA in 1987 and became a PCA subsidiary in 1986, operating as an independent engineering, research and laboratory consulting firm.

This is the Week!

Friday (November 15) is the final day for online event registration for ACPA’s 56th Annual Meeting. 

If you have not finalized your plans, we urge you to make final preparations. A few hotel rooms are still available at the New Orleans Marriott, so do not to miss the discounted rate of $189/night or the opportunity to complete your online event registration. Please click on the hotel reservation link or event website to complete your registrations. You also have time to sign up for  the optional golf outing and other exciting and fun-filled excursions. 

If you’re reading this after November 15, you can still register for the annual meeting in New Orleans, but please be aware the pre-meeting special rate will expire this Friday. Still, if you’re not able to regiser in advance, please stop by the ACPA registration desk to register onsite.

ACPA members are eligible to receive a 20% discount off any registration ticket type, including those for your spouse and guests for whom you are paying. To receive the discount, please enter the following promotional code at the top of the ticket selection screen before you proceed to checkout: member20. Our one-stop registration/information website is http://2019meeting.acpa.org/. The meeting will be held December 3 through 5.

Advancing ME Design Implementation

The fourth AASHTO Pavement ME National Users Group Meeting last week provided engineers and other stakeholders the opportunity to discuss issues related to mechanistic-empirical (ME) pavement design. 

Key topics include the long-standing ME Pavement Design Guide as well as the AASHTOWare Pavement M-E Design program. Eric Ferrebee participated in the meeting and had the opportunity to talk with designers and key officials about ACPA’s perspectives on highway pavement design. ACPA has long advocated for the use of AASHTOWare’s Pavement ME for highway pavement design. We have also encouraged designers to make the transition from older AASHTO design programs.  

This meeting, which drew close to 90 participants representing 35 State DOTs and Canadian Provinces, is the largest gathering for state DOTs, AASHTO and FHWA to focus solely on AASHTOWare’s Pavement ME Design tool. 

“The design tool is the most advanced tool for designing and analyzing pavements that exists,” Eric says. “This has led to more realistic designs for concrete pavements.” Currently, because of complexity of the tool, many agencies are still working toward implementation, he says. 

“While there are quite a few agencies that have implemented it for concrete, others are still working through calibration efforts to ensure designs match with local performance,” Eric says. “For concrete pavements, we’ve seen that the lack of calibration can result in increased pavement thicknesses, sometimes between 0.5 in. to 1.0 in.  Even so, this is a significant decrease over the earlier empirical versions of the AASHTO design guide (i.e., AASHTO93, AASHTO86 and even AASHTO72). Those versions could result in variations that could add 2 to 3 in. to thickness designs.”  

“Moving toward Mechanistic-Empirical design is a big step for DOTs, but it can help create realistic and competitive designs for concrete,” he adds.

ARA has developed a new Calibration Assistance Tool (CAT), which many participants expressed interest and excitement about.  The tool should help ease some of the issues with calibrating the tool for local use. Designers and others a chance had an opportunity to see CAT demonstrations and to discuss issues with the tool, as well as overall implementation.

Workshop Emphasizes QA/QC Roles

The Southwest Concrete Pavement Association (SWCPA), an ACPA affiliate, along with the FHWA and Caltrans, presented a two-day workshop this week to provide concrete pavement QA/QC information to contractors and agency personnel. 

The “Caltrans/FHWA/Industry Workshop: Quality in the Concrete Paving Process,” detailed the benefits of a good QA/QC program and the impacts on longevity of concrete for pavements and other applications. The training emphasized the individual roles among stakeholders and how contractors and agency personnel affect quality, both personally and in a “global” project sense. 

The FHWA Mobile Concrete Technology Center (MCTC) tested concrete on two active paving projects in California and collected data prior to the workshop. The data sets were included in the workshop to further illustrate the role and importance of QA and QC. 

Experts representing the FHWA, Caltrans and the Southwest Chapter provided technical expertise and facilitated discussions and questions & answers. Scott Mueller of ACPA also participated in the workshop in support of the SWCPA. Held in McClellan (near Sacramento), the workshop concentrated on stakeholders in Northern California. 

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