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27 February 2008

The venue for this year's show.

The venue for this year's show.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is famous the world over for its ConExpo–Con/Agg exhibition, which takes place every three years in Las Vegas, US. The AEM also owns several other US shows, including World of Asphalt and ICUEE, but 2006 saw it spread its wings significantly with the launch last May of the ConExpo Asia show in Beijing, China.

Organised in co–operation with the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME), ConExpo Asia 2007 is being held just 18 months after the inaugural event, but this time in the southeastern city of Guangzhou.

Although coming close on the heels of the last event, and less than two months after the rival BICES exhibition in Beijing, the this year's ConExpo Asia promises to be bigger than last year. The AEM is expecting more than 400 exhibitors from 20 countries to take part this year, compared to the 200 or so that booked space in 2006. The total show space is expected to hit 100000 m2, compared to the 16000 m2 (net), and it is hoped visitor numbers will hit 35000 – about double 2006's levels.

Guangzhou

The move from Beijing to Guangzhou is an interesting one, but this southern city has a lot going for it. The capital of Guangdong province, it is located about 170 km from Hong Kong and its international airport, with connections available by express train (a two hour journey), bus and ferry. Guangzhou also has its own airport, New Baiyun International Airport, and with a population in the greater area of about 8.5 million people, it is mainland China's third largest city after Beijing and Shanghai

The venue for this year's show is the China Import and Export Fair (CIEF), Pazhou Complex, which is situated in the city on the Pearl River, in reach of Line 2 of the city's metro system. It is also accessible by bus and taxi.

New equipment

With April's Bauma exhibition in Germany still fresh in the memory, and next March's ConExpo (Las Vegas) show just around the corner, ConExpo Asia is unlikely to see many brand new pieces of equipment launched. However, visitors to the event can expect to see machines being introduced to the Chinese and wider Asian markets for the first time.

Gomaco for example, will be exhibiting its G22 control system, which was launched worldwide earlier this year. This has a dual language option and easy to understand graphical display with coloured pictograms depicting the machine's functions. It is currently available on the Gomaco Commander III paver and GT-3400 curb and gutter slipformer.

Also in the curb and gutter segment, ConExpo Asia will be a first chance for many Chinese contractors to see Power Curbers' 5700C. Now with a Tier 3 engine, the machine is equipped with a swivel chute for pouring in a single traffic lane. This means that the concrete truck can be lined up in front of the machine, instead of to the side. Other improvements on the previous model include higher water and fuel capacities.

New for the Chinese market from BLS Enterprises are its Tufpads Blues track pads, which the company says last +15% to +30% longer than other traditional polyurethane products. BLS developed them for the toughest of all tracked machine applications – asphalt milling – and they are available either as bolt–ons, or directly bonded to the track shoe.

Another interesting aspect of ConExpo Asia is that it will feature a series of seminars – something which is quite common at US trade shows, but which is new to China.

Manitowoc Crane Group, which will be exhibiting a Potain MC 110 tower crane built in its new Zhangjiagang factory, will for example be taking the opportunity presented by these educational events to talk to visitors about the danger of using counterfeit parts.

This is a key issue at present, and iC is aware of at least two tower crane collapses in the last year that have been attributed to the failure of a fake component.

Back on the new equipment front, Earth Products China (EPC), which represents Pile Dynamics will use the show for the Chinese launch of the company's Cross–Hole Analyzer model, which verifies the quality of drilled shafts and other types of concrete foundations by the Crosshole Sonic Logging method. Also new at the show will be the Pile Driving Analyzer, which determines the bearing capacity of any type of deep foundation with a fast, non–destructive load test.

Alimak Hek meanwhile will launch the new Alimak 650 CN construction hoist, which will extend the Alimak hoist range in China. In addition, the Alimak 450 CN VFC will be shown together with the new Alimak 650 CN.

See you there

In addition to these products, there is sure to be more equipment launched at the show. With strong support from its US members – companies like Caterpillar and Terex, the AEM is pushing hard to establish ConExpo Asia as a major event in the Chinese, and indeed global calendar of construction equipment tradeshows.

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