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The Semi-Automated Mason (SAM) robotics system continues to enhance productivity and enable faster, higher-quality brick masonry work on the jobsite, product engineers contend—especially on the strength of a OS 2.0 software package demonstrated last month at World of Concrete 2017.

Granulated and liquid pigments debuting at World of Concrete 2017 enable producers and contractors to approach jet black in masonry units and cast-in-place or precast concrete surfaces or structures. Orion Engineered Carbons’ Corasol and Derussol agents are based on carbon black, the smudgy film burning candles deposit on container or enclosure walls.

With an eye to global construction, structural and civil engineering markets, Euclid Chemical parent RPM International has formed Cleveland-based Euclid Group, encompassing the namesake concrete admixture and materials business, plus sister subsidiaries, operating companies or brands Increte Systems, Eucomex, Toxement, Cave, Viapol, Flowcrete, RPM Belgium and Vandex.

World of Concrete 2017 attendees were among the first to see a new Sakrete packaging scheme rolling into dealer and home improvement retail channels throughout the first quarter. New graphics for paper and other packages extend a logo unveiled in 2016 for the brand’s 80th anniversary. Sakrete showed early products bearing the scheme as part of its World of Concrete exhibit at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Along with new packaging, the producer unveiled a concrete mix specially formulated for countertops.

The third Lanxess Pigments Symposium took place in Las Vegas last month, the day before the World of Concrete 2017 opened. Under the “Trusted partnerships for sustainable growth” theme, the Lanxess Inorganic Pigments business unit provided 100-plus industry affiliates from around the globe a platform to discuss industry challenges.