“This time they’ve outdone themselves!” a UCT attendee told another as the two exited the RehabZone following the first round of standing room only demonstrations on the opening day of the 2010 UCT show in Tampa, FL.
It was a comment often repeated throughout the three day event.
For the first time, the RehabZone included live demonstrations of several rehabilitation technologies. The demonstrations, along with a new entry and refinements to displays, set the 2010 RehabZone apart from previous versions of this educational area focusing on water and sewer rehabilitation technologies.
Since 2002, the RehabZone has been a “show within a show” at the annual Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exposition (UCT), providing information about water and sewer rehabilitation technologies with no reference to product brands.
The ‘Zone has grown in popularity over the years, and its exhibits and displays have evolved and improved to be more visitor friendly and to include new technological developments.
However, the key to its success, organizers say, is maintaining the strict “no selling” format in which competing companies cooperate to present generic information about rehabilitation technologies and the products and services they employ.
“This year, the RehabZone turned a new page in educating our industry on trenchless technologies,” said Larry Kiest, 2010 RehabZone chairperson. “Audiences for the hands on demonstrations were seated on three-tiered, 40 foot long bleacher sections and participated in an exchange of information during question and answer periods. The demonstrations included chemical grouting, robotic cutters, cured in place pipe, lateral lining and connection sealing, automated CCTV and laser profiling. It is our goal to continue to bring education and awareness of new emerging technologies to our industry and raise the bar for successful pipeline rehabilitation in conjunction with proven practices and specifications.”
Companies sponsoring the demonstrations were Aries, Logiball, Avanti, RedZone, LMK Enterprises, Cues, Cosmic Tophat and Maxliner.
The entry of the zone was framed by clear plastic pipe with 90 degree fittings. Periodically inverted CIPP liner advanced and retracted through the pipe. Once inside, the first stop was the Arizona Water Association=s Historic Sewer and Pipe Artifacts Exhibit documenting the history of pipes, tools and equipment. The exhibit has become a fixture of the RehabZone and one of its most popular attractions.
Visitors then wound their way through stations staffed by industry experts covering different rehabilitation topics that included the NASSCO Pipeline Assessment Certification Program (PACP) and Inspector Training Certification Program (ITCP), closed circuit television (CCTV), bypass pumping, sectional CIPP lining, joint and seal repairs, water main lining, lateral lining, grouting, root control and manhole linings and coatings.
The live demo area was the last stop in the Zone. “The live demonstrations were a great addition to the RehabZone,” said Daniel Magill of Avanti, one of the companies conducting a demonstration. “Demonstrations were well attended and allowed people to actually see products in action.”
Shawn Ready, operations supervisor and trenchless technologies specialist in pipebursting and sliplining, Ted Berry Company, Livermore, ME, said the RehabZone was “intriguing, as always. AFrom wooden pipelines in the historic exhibit to the latest rehabilitation technologies, everything struck my interest.”
Tony Lucas, Nelson River Construction, Winnipeg, Manitoba, said Tampa was his first UCT. “I enjoyed the whole show and especially the RehabZone which provided information on fields of underground construction that include water and sewer projects.”
“Two thumbs up for the RehabZone,” said Brad Wegner, Midlands Contracting, Kearney, NE. “The RehabZone actually is one of the primary reasons I come to UCT, and the demonstrations were a great addition this year.”
We’ll be back
As attendees exited the ‘Zone, they were asked to complete a brief questionnaire. Impressively, 99 percent said they will return for future RehabZone exhibits.
RehabZone sponsor NASSCO (National Association of Sewer Service Companies) is a national organization of several hundred members representing rehabilitation industry manufacturers and suppliers, municipalities and utility districts, engineers and contracting firms. Cooperating sponsors included the American Society of Civil Engineers Trenchless Installation of Pipelines and Pipeline Infrastructure Systems technical committees, the Water Environment Federation’s Collection System Committee and Underground Construction magazine.
Chairperson Larry Kiest is president and chief executive officer of LMK Enterprises, Ottawa, IL. Dorcas Hermes, WBE Dorcas, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO, served as vice chairperson and takes over as chair for 2011. RehabZone Committee members were assisted in planning and executing the event by scores of volunteers from organizations representing organizations providing rehabilitation technologies and services.
“The 2010 RehabZone, with the addition of live demonstrations, is a major step forward,” said Irv Gemora, NASSCO executive director and coordinating chairman of the RehabZone. “From the beginning, our goal has been to make each event better than the one before. However, we recognized that changes just to make changes were not necessary; we had a good format and concentrated on making it better and more informative. We evaluate each show and find ways to make improvements.”
However, Gemora added, the demonstrations take the RehabZone to a new level, and expands opportunities for the future.
“It’s important to recognize all the people who work behind the scenes to make the RehabZone a success,” Gemora emphasized. “Their hard work and the financial support of sponsors make this industry annual event possible.”
NASSCO is based in Owings Mills, MD. For more information regarding the RehabZone, contact Heather Myers at NASSCO, (410) 486 3500, firstname.lastname@example.org.