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European aggregates sector’s next decade

First publishedin Aggregates Business International
September October 2017
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Project AME 3D printed excavator at CONEXPO 2017

Welcome to the 10th year anniversary issue of Aggregates Business Europe. While we are proud to have covered such a vital and diverse industry for the past decade, we are keen to look ahead at what the next ten years will have in store for the European aggregates sector. Inside this issue you’ll find a number of features all addressing likely future trends within the quarrying marketplace. We look at how Caterpillar is investing heavily in developing its 3D printing parts capability – which could localise, and thus dramatically speed up, customers’ access to replacement machine parts, increasing all-important fleet uptime. We also highlight how Volvo Construction Equipment is shaping the ‘Quarry of Tomorrow’, with its pioneering electric site research project.

Manufactured sand is now commonplace in concrete used in all kinds of infrastructure projects, due to its increasingly high quality, coupled with new legislation in many countries around protecting dwindling natural sand resources. Metso, the Finnish global quarrying & mining equipment giant, has developed premium plant solutions for manufactured sand processing. We hear from two of the company’s experts in this area, who give their views on manufactured sand’s long-term prospects within the building materials sector.

This edition’s Interview with French-Swiss building materials heavyweight LafargeHolcim’s recently appointed head of R&D, Heike Faulhammer, is another future-focused article. Heike discusses the exciting possibilities offered by her coveted new role, and the importance of some of LafargeHolcim’s latest products, including the recently launched Airium, a mineral insulating foam meeting the energy efficiency challenges facing modern society.

I always enjoy reading aggregates-related articles on interesting major projects in somewhat remote locations. ABE executive editor Patrick Smith’s Quarry Profile in this issue is based on his trip to see Caterpillar machines being used to help build the Faroe Islands’ new €52 million harbour in its capital, Tórshavn.

Lying north-west of Scotland and around halfway between Norway and Iceland, the Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory of Denmark with big infrastructure ambitions, including several undersea tunnels to link islands and villages.

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