At the IEEE-IAS/PCA 2012 in San Antonio, ZKG INTERNATIONAL met Mark Mueller, Chair of the next year’s conference in Orlando, Florida/USA, to be held from 14.-18.04.2013. ZKG asked him for some information on the conference concept in 2013.
ZKG: Mr. Mueller, which program highlights are waiting for the participants at the 55. conference in Orlando?
Mark Mueller: First and foremost, the technical content is currently being generated and we are actively soliciting abstracts. In fact, the call for papers closed at the end of August. This is the main driver for our conference and we strive to present the most up-to-date information and technical papers possible. Secondly, instead of the traditional plant tour on Thursday of the conference, we are pleased to be able to offer three unique learning experiences from the Disney Institute. They are: Disney’s Approach to Quality Service, Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence and the Business Behind the Magic. I believe this is the first time we have offered this type of outside training in our program and we are looking forward to fully incorporating the unique training opportunities our conference location provides. All of these programs offer a glimpse into how one of the world’s foremost customer service oriented companies stays at the top of their field, no matter where their parks are located. As the US cement industry once again ramps up capacity, quality products and customer service will prove invaluable.
Lastly, we have a unique banquet and awards venue with the World Showplace Pavilion at EPCOT. We will have our traditional awards banquet, followed by desserts while having a VIP viewing experience of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show and then end the evening with a Vendor’s Night at the Pavilion where all attendees are welcome.
ZKG: In 2012 a number of international participants joined the conference in San Antonio. Would you encourage cement producers or machinery suppliers from abroad to come to Orlando? Why should they participate?
Mark Mueller: Absolutely! We had 279 international participants from 29 countries attend the 2012 Conference in San Antonio. These included OEMs and cement producers alike. In fact, a German based VRM producer had the largest tutorial attendance ever at over 125 people on the Monday of the 2012 Conference and I hope that we can top that in Orlando in 2013. The fact that some 80 % of the US cement production is owned by multi-national companies should be proof enough that these companies have a vested interest in the production capacity of this market and this is the premier technical conference held in the US every year.
ZKG: In general, could participants from abroad give a presentation if it is a topic of interest for the American cement industry?
Mark Mueller: Yes. In fact, this is becoming a rather common occurrence. We have had numerous papers and presentations given by our international attendees that have been very well received and made a significant technical contribution to the conference. I only see this type of participation expanding. However, for the 2013 conference, those interested in presenting a technical paper should have already submitted their abstracts by August 31st, 2012.
ZKG: On which topics do you see the most important need for international information input?
Mark Mueller: Clearly there are a couple of topics that are driving the current cement trends. Obviously, the most pressing topic is the environmental compliance that is facing the industry. We have had numerous updates to the NESHAP and CISWI regulations which severely regulate the emissions from our plants as well as regulate what fuels are considered permissible by our authorities. There are also ongoing discussions on sustainability, maintenance issues, safety, energy efficiency and operational experiences with proven and emerging technologies. I believe our international partners can significantly contribute to the discussion.
Stay tuned to our website for further developments: