With more than 300 booths at this year’s Steel Conference--a show record--there’s a lot to take in on the show floor! Here are some of the most interesting things we saw in the exhibit hall on Wednesday. You can use the NASCC app to learn more and find these booths.
Step Into the Supply Chain with Nucor (booth 1206/1306/1406)
North America’s largest structural steel producer (and largest recycler!) is a popular stop on the trade show floor each year, but this year’s exhibit places a special focus on industry sustainability. At Nucor’s booth, you’ll find an interactive rendering of the circular economy of steel. As you pick up different models and place them on a receiver, a screen will walk you through each process of the life cycle of steel, illustrating its nearly infinite recyclability.
“We want people to see that the car they’re driving today can be melted down and could end up as part of a building ten years from now,” says Sustainability Specialist Luke Johnson.
Kick it Into High Gear with Lincoln Electric (booth 1014)
Buckle up and enjoy the ride at this year’s motorsports-themed booth! In addition to demos of their large robotic fabrication systems, the team at Lincoln Electric brings you iRacing simulators and a NASCAR driver meet-and-greet.
But there's a lot more to it than fast cars. “We have a lot of interactive things people can learn from,” says Senior Product Manager Sheena Suvak. “It’s one thing to walk by a booth and talk to people—it’s another to be able to get your hands on what they’re exhibiting.”
Suvak hopes their booth will be emblematic of Lincoln Electric’s dynamic range of welding products. “If this trade show is someone’s first impression of us, we want them to see we’re a one-stop shop for our customers,” she says.
Get the Scoop on Magni Telescopic Handlers (booth 1908)
As a leader in rotating and fixed-boom telehandlers, Magni Telescopic Handlers is committed to staying ahead of the curve. At their booth, you’ll find the latest iteration of their multi-use rotary telehandler, which serves as a fork lift, rough-terrain crane and boom lift—and the company says it’s the safest machine of its kind. The handler on display can lift up to 28,600 pounds of material to a maximum height of 167 feet!
“The Magni will help you erect steel more efficiently, productively, safely, and profitably,” says Chief Operating Officer Gary Weisman. “The cool thing is there are literally 100 different attachments, but the even cooler thing is the safety it affords the user.”
Take a Vintage-Inspired Selfie with CANAM Group (booth 1336)
CANAM Group is turning heads with a gleaming turquoise 1958 Mack Truck, but they’ll make sure you walk away with much more than just a cool photo.
Once you’ve snapped a pic, CANAM’s team is on hand to share their expertise on structural steel components, which spans across 12 North American manufacturing plants and more than 300,000 large-scale construction projects.
Not only are they a leading manufacturer of steel joists and deck products—“We’re also a lot of fun!” says Business Development Manager Christian Deveau.
Follow the Orange Carpet to Peddinghaus (booth 902)
Peddinghaus’ newest innovation, the PeddiAssembler, is pretty hard to miss! Situated frontmost among several of the company’s signature-green (and absolutely massive) robotic welding systems, the PeddiAssembler is a solution designed to minimize the time and manual labor needed for steel beam assembly. The machine, which requires only one operator, uses two robots—a laser scanner and a handler—to place welded steel plates.
“If Peddinghaus is your last stop on the exhibit hall floor—even if you’ve seen welding automation at other booths—you’ll see that ours is the only machine that does fitting of parts,” says Marketing Manager Megan Hamann.
Check Out Vectis Automation (booth 308)
Haven’t gotten your fill of robots yet? Neither have we! Stop by the Vectis Automation booth to see their newest mobile cobot welding tool, which employs remote skid-mounting for extended reach. Seeing these flexible robot arms at work is a highlight of the heavy machinery area!
“Our priority is keeping the automation of welding and plasma cutting as accessible as possible,” says Applications Engineer Sam Eckdahl.
Get a Taste of the Trades with Be Pro Be Proud (booth 2621)
Step aboard the enormous Be Pro Be Proud trailer to immerse yourself in an array of virtual reality simulators for welding, tractor driving, crane operation, and much more. These interactive activities are not only fun, but they are also educational--the mission of Be Pro Be Proud is to encourage the next generation of workers to embark on a career in the skilled trades.
"We're here to show people, students especially, that they can learn a new trade and start a new career in fewer than two years, no four-year degree required," said Trish Seaford of Be Pro Be Proud North Carolina. Immensely popular among adults at trade shows and students at middle and high schools, Be Pro Be Proud is working to have a presence in all 50 states in the near future.
Experience PartILLATION: Visions in Steel (booth 2602)
Didn’t catch PartILLATION in Houston? You’re in luck! The traveling exhibition is here at the Steel Conference. It’s a curated collection of portraits and other media that explore the evolution, humanism, innovation, history, and legacy of steel architecture.
Bolt Over to GWY to See the Latest Nut Wrenches (booth 1508)
See state-of-the-art turn-of-nut wrenches in action with a stop at the GWY booth.
"Turn-of-nut wrenches tighten the bolt assembly to the right rotation every time, so they make it easy for inspectors to see when a bolt has been properly installed," said Don Laro, a sales rep with GWY. The installation torque of the wrench is absorbed by the tool’s reaction arm, not the worker’s arm, which makes hex-head bolt installation faster and easier than ever.
Watch Kinetic Cutting Systems Inc. Go Beyond Plasma Cutting (booth 936)
It’s hard not to stop and marvel at the Kinetic K5200xm when you walk past--especially when you can catch the machine using plasma cutting to slice a shape out of a sheet of steel. Stay for the entire seven-minute demo, and you’ll quickly realize that the Kinetic K5200xm does much more than plasma cutting. Specialized in automated material handling, the machine has a number of attachments for transforming a piece of steel into a finished part or portion.
“We always say this is one machine that can do it all, from cutting to CNC drilling, to beveling, to marking a piece of steel,” said Kinetic’s Tiffany Lutz.
Check Out a Quik Drive® Steel-Decking System at Simpson Strong-Tie (booth 1532)
Have you ever seen a Quik Drive® Steel-Decking System at work? Stop by the Simpson Strong-Tie booth to watch the QuikDrive PROSDX150 Steel-Decking System drive bolts into a sheet of steel decking--with safety top of mind.
"From a safety perspective, this tool is ideal for users because of its ergonomic design. It’s safer for anybody below because bolts don't go shooting through the deck," said Scott Stephens, a sales rep with Simpson Strong-Tie.
Take a Closer Look at Welds with Terracon Consultants, Inc. (booth 1936)
You’ve likely heard of--or even experienced--an ultrasound scan in your body, but did you know it’s possible (and even advantageous) to use ultrasonic testing to inspect a weld? At the Terracon booth, you can see the OmniScan x3 at work. When run along the length of a weld, this device sends ultrasonic radiation into it and creates a digital report of the weld's quality, making it easy to spot any flaws that may not be obvious with common weld testing methods.
"Because it sends waves into your weld from multiple angles, phased array ultrasonic testing can save you significant amounts of time and give you a better weld inspection overall,” said Terracon Senior Construction Inspector Michael Bobinchuck.