Hot Mix June 2010

News from the paving and pavement maintenance industry.

Infrared Industry Introduces New International Association of Infrared Manufacturers
The infrared industry has been growing. Still, there are many contractors in the pavement maintenance industry and many existing and possible customers who don't know the benefits of infrared. KM International, KASI Infrared, Heat Design Equipment, Inc., Asphalt Reheat Systems, and Ray-Tech Infrared Corporation have joined together to form the International Association of Infrared Manufacturers.

"Now was the time to get the ball rolling," says Cliff Cameron, director of sales and marketing with KM International. Cameron says the purpose of the non-profit organization is to perpetuate, educate, and keep the industry moving forward. The association hopes to increase the credibility of the infrared industry while instilling confidence in the process and growing its acceptance. The association also hopes to educate contractors both in and outside the pavement maintenance industry on all the uses for infrared beyond pothole repair.

After holding meetings at both National Pavement Expo and World of Asphalt, the association has drafted a 58-page document including the rules, bylaws, and mission statement. This helps keep the competition between manufacturers from affecting the purpose and mission of the association because everyone is on the same page and is there for the same reasons, Cameron says. Jim Lavender, business manager with KM, drafted the document and handled the legalities of creating the association.

One of the first goals of the association is to clarify what infrared is and what the process is. The objective is to have a standardized process to help improve infrared's credibility.

"We'd also like to participate in more national conventions to get the word out on the process itself," Cameron says. "Aside from being recognized as a governing body that understands the process and makes sure the manufacturers and contractors adhere to the process, we'd like to participate in education lectures, seminars, and have the ability to get the word out to attendees at trade shows."

Although manufacturers started the association, Cameron says membership is intended to include contractors and others involved in the asphalt industry. As with any association, contractors are probably wondering what's the benefit to them.

Social networking opportunity. The association will give contractors the opportunity to network with equipment manufacturers as well as other infrared contractors. Networking can help contractors improve their infrared services as well as business practices by learning from what was successful or unsuccessful for their peers.

Help make more informed buying decisions. The more a contractor can learn about the process and the equipment available the better his buying knowledge will be.

Learn about new opportunities infrared can offer for a contractor's business.

Access to information and education. The association plans to offer a library of information on the infrared process, tips, specifications, marketing, education, and training, Cameron says. Contractors will be able to access all of this information from one source. "There is a need for empirical data on the generation of infrared for asphalt applications and for application guidelines that this association would be able to generate," adds Tom Allen, general manager for KASI Infrared Corp. "The usefulness of this information would provide to the end users a resource that does not now exist and would give the asphalt industry reliable data on the proper application of infrared for asphalt preservation and restoration." Credibility/marketing benefits. Cameron also hopes that the association will gain notoriety and contractors will be able to benefit from promoting their membership in the association.

Although just getting started, the International Association of Infrared Manufacturers sees a bright future for the association and for the infrared industry. Cameron says improving the credibility and reach of the infrared industry will be good for everyone involved. "If you raise the ocean all the boats will rise," he says.

Stewart-Amos, Victory Sweepers Partner
Frank Chulick and Mark Schwarze, presidents of Stewart-Amos Sweeper Co. and Victory Sweepers, Inc., respectively, have entered into a strategic partnership agreement. Under the joint agreement, Victory Sweepers will produce regenerative air street sweepers that will be marketed by Stewart-Amos and its growing dealer network.

Immediate production under the agreement will include 4-cu.-yd. and 6-cu.-yd., chassis-mounted regenerative air sweepers that will be marketed as the Stewart-Amos Galaxy R-4 and Galaxy R-6. The Galaxy R-4 features a high-dumping debris hopper; the Galaxy R-6 is a low-dumping unit. In keeping with a key design philosophy, neither will require a CDL for operation. Initial chassis will be the 17,900-lb. GVWR Izusu NQR and 19,500-lb. GVWR Isuzu NRR.

"This agreement brings the manufacturing volume to Victory that will keep our costs down for our parking area sweepers and allow us to more quickly expand our entire product line. Stewart-Amos gets a well-rounded sweeper line that will be very attractive to customers. I expect this to be the beginning of a long-term relationship with, ultimately, many air sweeper product offerings that will help grow Stewart-Amos' customer base, market strength and dealer network."

Under the agreement, Victory Sweepers, Inc. will also become the dealer for the combined product line in specific markets to be announced.

Kasi Acquires Eliminator Roller
KASI Infrared, Newport, NH, has acquired the Eliminator Zero Clearance Roller from Specialty Asphalt Products Inc., according to Roger Filion, KASI president.

The acquisition, which is the infrared equipment manufacturer's first, concluded in May and included the complete roller line including patents and inventory of parts and completed rollers. The Eliminator features a 2,550-lb. operating weight, articulated steering, and a design in which no part of the roller extends outside the 24-in. outside diameter of the front drum, enabling the operator to compact right up against walls and curbs and providing the operator improved visibility on both sides.

"The Eliminator is a well-designed, solid little machine that's a great fit for the infrared industry," Filion said. "The turning radius is amazing and contractors can get right up against the edge of any structure they're working near. It eliminates the need for hand tamping."

Filion said KASI will add up to a half dozen people to assemble the Eliminator at the company's facility, and he said the manufacturing operation will be up and running by the end of June.