CEWEF conference begins

By Helen Wright02 October 2012

Chris Sleight, editor of International Construction, addresses CEWEF in Brussels.

Chris Sleight, editor of International Construction, addresses CEWEF in Brussels.

The CEWEF conference in Brussels, Belgium, has opened.

Over 130 high level attendees from across the international construction industry are present at the event, which is a networking and discussion platform involving presentations from key industry figures.

In his opening remarks, CEWEF president Thierry Schuermans said one of the aims of the event was to find answers to some of the industry's open-ended questions.

High profile speakers including Carl Lockwood, senior vice president of strategy and business development at Volvo Construction Equipment, and secretary general of the European Rental Association Michel Petitjean, are among the speakers at the event.

Other presentations are coming from International Construction editor Chris Sleight, Babcock business development director Simon Purchon, Van der Vlist Transport business development manager Bart Witzier, and Topcon European sales manager Ulrich Hermanski.

Topics to be covered include a discussion of the trends and forecasts in the industry, asset management, logistics, site management, the rental market and a look at the future of the industry.

Attendees heard a cautiously optimistic forecast for output in the global construction industry this year from iC editor Mr Sleight.

"Overall, we can expect to see 3.5% growth this year, fuelled by emerging markets, but held back, on the other hand, by the developed world – particularly Europe," said Mr Sleight.

Telematics is also emerging as a key topic, and one major issue was highlighted by Mr Petitjean from ERA, who said the rental industry was calling for more standardisation.

"Many OEMs have implemented telematics to their lines of equipment, and it is very cumbersome to make rental equipment compatible with all of these. The rental market is calling for standardisation in some data feeds such as geo-fencing, immobilisation, safety devices and alerts."

A full report of the dynamic discussions taking place at the event, together with video footage, will be available on khl.com soon.

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