The four-day World of Concrete trade show ended Friday in Las Vegas with more exhibitors from China with new technology and products showcased from the world.
Sany Group from China attracted many attendees with a huge showroom and live demonstration of its products. It claims to be the world's largest manufacturer of concrete pumps. It has several offices in China and an office in Atlanta.
At the show, Sany offered eight models in the U.S. market. The latest generation of Sany dual wall delivery pipe provides greater resistance.
Sany said its pumps provide high efficiency and feature specially designed wear components for long service life.
At least 7 other Chinese companies in the field of construction have also sent their products for display at the show. The seven companies formed a unified showroom called "China" which not only shows the presence of more Chinese companies in the World of Concrete show, but also their low priced and high quality products.
The field of construction equipment is traditionally dominated by U.S. companies. Chinese manufacturers usually could only manufacture parts for U.S. companies. However, the heavy duty equipment like pumps demonstrated by Sany marked the change of the industry.
It is the 37th World of Concrete convention and also the first time so many exhibitors and attendees from China have been seen at the world class construction show.
The 2011 World of Concrete show features several new and exciting areas such as the new Concrete Surfaces & Decorative Pavilion that included the ninth annual Artistry & Decorative Concrete, Decorative Tool Demonstrations, Concrete Polishing Demonstration Area and more.
New, green energy is also the topic at the show. The special two-hour New Technologies for Greenhouse Gas & Fuel Economy Regulation Compliance seminar provided up-to-date information on how to save energy and what the new regulations are.
Construction is a very important part in the U.S. economy. But experts at the show predicted that the growth in construction is very slow or no growth until 2013.
Ed Sullivan, chief economist of the Portland Cement Association, said the economic momentum that gathered steam during the early part of 2010 ebbed as consumer and business confidence waned, impacting consumer spending, investing and lending.
"What we'll see is very tepid growth this year and next," said Sullivan.
He said stimulus funding is no longer fueling the U.S. economy and states' discretional spending remain on the decline until their fiscal conditions improve, presumably in 2012, leaving a flat highway market for cement consumption.
According to Sullivan, the U.S. economy now is vulnerable to even modest external shocks. Although the forecast is not good, Sullivan does offer a glimmer of hope: "All this can change if job growth picks up or if a new highway bill to fund transportation projects is passed by Congress."
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, when convention executives see soft spots in the industry's general improvement, attendance at the World of Concrete comes to mind.
The paper said although the World of Concrete is still one of the city's largest trade shows, attendance has dropped significantly from four years ago and even last year. While some exhibitors prefer the thinner crowds, with a higher ratio of buyers compared to spectators, fewer visitors isn't good for hotels in the city.
"The show is a reflection of how it's challenging for everybody in the construction industry, housing and commercial," Steve Pomerantz, the show's marketing director, was quoted as saying.
Final attendance numbers have not been calculated, but exhibitors representing a wide range of concrete-related construction equipment guessed the final tally could run less than the 55,000 recorded last year. By contrast, the show hit its peak at nearly 92,000 in 2007, the paper reported.
It is estimated that companies took 515,000 square feet in exhibit space this year versus 900,000 square feet three years ago, while the number of booths has dropped from 1,700 to fewer than 1,300. The 2010 count showed 1,350 exhibitors renting 600,000 square feet.
Online hotel booking site numbers report a similar trend, with a wide variety of rooms available at rates less than half of what was charged during the International Consumer Electronics Show two weeks ago, according to the paper.
"Given the overall economy, what you will see here is kind of a crapshoot," Michael Herinickx, co-owner of Altcut Products in Henderson, was quoted as saying.