Tag Archive for 'construction industry'

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Link-Belt Unveils Second Phase of Operator Control System – Pulse 2.0

Link-Belt Construction Equipment announces the next evolution of its patented crane operating system, Link-Belt Pulse 2.0. Based on ongoing operator and customer feedback, the intuitive design of Link-Belt Pulse 2.0 provides a simple interface for crane operators with a larger display, along with programmable features that allow each operator to customize their display; and software can be updated remotely.

New touch screen and start up

The most visible difference to Link-Belt’s Pulse 2.0 is the new 10 in. (25.4 cm) display, 47 percent larger than the original Pulse screen. It has been carefully selected to deliver a high resolution screen tough enough for harsh operating environments. A resistive touch screen can be used with gloves and be seen in direct sunlight with larger, clearer images; and the unit is pivot-mounted for optimal viewing. The interface is more dynamic throughout the operating system, with larger buttons and interactive indicator lights displayed on the margins.


Once in the seat of the cab, operator startup is quick and easy with faster hardware/software response as well as fewer required operator inputs. Electronic level/list display as well as ground bearing calculator are integrated depending on model. Operators who may have felt “overwhelmed” in the past by other crane operating systems will find the 2.0 system to be the system of choice going forward. One specific feature added based on operator input is the ability to shut off the engine and still maintain the live display data for an extended period of time.

Over the air software updates

One of the most exciting enhancements with Link-Belt Pulse 2.0 is the ability to service and update a crane’s software remotely. The system includes a Wi-Fi hub and uses the serial number of the unit to determine whether any updates are available, and downloads/installs to the appropriate controller. Software maintenance can be accomplished in the field without a service call or bringing the crane in for service.

Link-Belt’s new Pulse 2.0 will be showcased at ConExpo 2017 on new crane models and demonstration units.

                Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company, with headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, is a leader in the design and manufacture of telescopic boom and lattice boom cranes for the construction industry worldwide.

Complete crane specifications are available at www.linkbelt.com.

ASTM International Committee on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates Honors Robin E. Graves with Katharine and Bryant Mather Award

Robin E. Graves, corporate manager of technical services with Vulcan Materials Company in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, has received the Katharine and Bryant Mather Award from ASTM International Committee on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates (C09).

A member of ASTM since 1992, Graves was specifically recognized for sustained service that has advanced concrete technology by performing exceptional duties in a number of leadership roles in the committee. Graves has also received the C09 Subcommittee Chairman Award in 2009, and the Award of Appreciation from ASTM International Committee on Lime and Limestone (C07) in 2012. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of Committee C09 and Chairman of Committee C07. He also has served on the ASTM Board of Directors and Committee on Technical Committee Operations.
Graves, corporate manager of technical services with Vulcan Materials Company, previously served as senior materials engineer. He has also held positions with the National Aggregates Association and Chemical Lime Company. Graves earned a B.S. in Geology and Computer Science from the University of Southern Mississippi, and holds both a M.S. and Ph.D. in Geology and Civil Engineering from the University of Florida.

In addition to ASTM International, Graves is a member of the American Concrete Institute and the Transportation Research Board.

Over 12,000 ASTM standards operate globally. Defined and set by us, they improve the lives of millions every day. Combined with our innovative business services, they enhance performance and help everyone have confidence in the things they buy and use – from the toy in a child’s hand to the aircraft overhead.

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Dodge Momentum Index Jumps in December

The Dodge Momentum Index increased 2.9% in December to 136.7 (2000=100) from its revised November reading of 132.8. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. After trending upward over the course of 2016, the Momentum Index is now at an eight-year high, although still more than 25% below its previous peak reached at the end of 2007. December’s gain was due to a 5.7% increase in the commercial component, which more than offset a 1.7% drop in the institutional component. After ending 2015 in a lull, commercial planning intentions posted remarkable strength in 2016, climbing 38% over the year. Meanwhile, institutional planning settled back in 2016, losing 6% after a strong 2015. This suggests that commercial construction activity has more room to grow in 2017 despite being at a more mature phase of its cycle, while planning in the institutional sector has yet to see the benefit of the numerous education-related bond measures passed in recent years. In December, eight projects entered planning each with a value that exceeded $100 million. For the commercial building sector, the leading projects were a $400 million mixed-use building in Atlanta GA, that will include 640,000 square feet of office space and a hotel, and a $351 million office tower in San Francisco CA. The leading institutional projects were a $140 million renovation to the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland OH and a $130 million high school in Sherman TX.

About Dodge Data & Analytics: Dodge Data & Analytics is a technology-driven construction project data, analytics and insights provider. Dodge provides trusted market intelligence that helps construction professionals grow their business, and is redefining and recreating the business tools and processes on which the industry relies. Dodge is creating an integrated platform that unifies and simplifies the design, bid and build process, bringing data on people, projects and products into a single hub for the entire industry, from building product manufacturers to contractors and specialty trades to architects and engineers. The company’s www.construction.comproducts include Dodge Global Network, Dodge PlanRoom, Dodge PipeLine, Dodge SpecShare, Dodge BuildShare, Dodge MarketShare, and the Sweets family of products. To learn more, visit www.construction.com.

Wells Fargo Analysis:

DMI Points to Growth in the New Year

  •  The Dodge Momentum Index rose 2.9 percent to 136.7 in December, from November’s downwardly revised reading, and is up almost 17 percent year over year. However, the index still remains 25 percent below its 2007 peak. Despite a strong year- end reading, we look for moderate gains in private nonresidential spending in 2017 as momentum in the institutional sector, especially health care, slows further and other forward-looking indicators (e.g. Architecture Billings Index) point to moderation in construction activity.

Institutional Planning Loses Momentum

  • In December, commercial planning grew 5.7 percent, which more than offset the 1.7 percent decline in institutional. Year over year, commercial jumped almost 40 percent, and the three-month moving average remained positive during the month, signaling the sector still has room to grow.
  • On the other hand, institutional planning is down 6 percent year over year, with the three-month moving average also registering a weak reading. We suspect that open questions around the Affordable Care Act will weigh on the sector in 2017.

Northwestern University Professor Joseph Schofer Honored with ARTBA’s Research & Education Award

Dr. Joseph L. Schofer, associate dean and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering, is the 2017 recipient of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) prestigious “S.S. Steinberg Award.” He was honored Jan. 9 during the association’s annual Research & Education Division (RED) meeting in the Nation’s Capital.

Named after the founding president of the RED, the award recognizes “an individual who has made remarkable contributions to transportation education.”

Dr. Schofer has taught for five decades, preparing transportation graduates at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels. His students have built careers in transportation planning and operations at some of the largest transit and transportation agencies in the country. Many others have entered academia to teach the next generation of transportation professionals.

Schofer’s teachings extend beyond the classroom, bringing infrastructure design, operations and policies to wide audiences through public lectures, alumni tours to locations like the Panama Canal, and a long-running podcast.

He has also been active in the Transportation Research Board (TRB) for over 40 years, leading activities in transportation data programs, planning, policy analysis and decision making. He has chaired three major policy studies, six TRB conferences, two task forces and the data and information system section. He is a winner of several TRB awards and recipient of the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ Wilbur S. Smith “Distinguished Educator Award.”

Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update – January 9, 2017

* Three federal agencies are starting an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Columbia River system of dams and related energy infrastructure. A final public comment session today, January 9, in Astoria, OR, will help set the scope of this major study. A draft EIS is expected to be ready in spring, 2020. When you look at this huge system you can see why Northwest power is “greener” than, say, Midwest power (and cheaper, since all Americans subsidized western energy developments, and likely still do, in some ways). The EIS raises critical questions about “business as usual” for dams and reservoirs, navigation and commerce, fish and wildlife and eagles and how much of that can change and still provide inexpensive “green” power to 13 million people in the Northwest. This is one to watch, for many reasons.

* USEPA holds a public hearing Thursday, January 12, starting at 9:00 a.m. at its HQ building, in Washington. The hearing is to take comments on the Agency’s proposed rule to implement the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone. The implementation proposal was published in the Federal Register on November 17, 2016. You recall, of course, that the Agency revised (lowered) the ozone standard last October, 2015. Now starts the programs and policies required to more strictly control the “precursor pollutants” – mostly volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) – that combine in the atmosphere to form ozone (O3).

* How do they do it? 388 pages each and every business day! That’s the output from the amazingly efficient and proficient and obviously inspired regulatory authors working within federal agencies, writing and pontificating about everything – literally, from nuclear weapons to school bus safety to cupcake filling to the Hualapai Mexican Vole. Total 2016 Federal Register pages: 97,110. In 2015: 82,035. Will the number go down in 2017? Wanna bet…? Oh, and if you’re interested, the total for 20 years ago – 1996 = 69,366 pages. Ahhh… those were the days…! Big Gubmint, indeed!

Tom Ewing