The next step

3 August 2015

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This month's comment is being written as the dust settles on the inaugural LEEA Lifting & Rigging Conference Asia.

And following two days of intensive, but rewarding, seminars, discussions, workshops and presentations, it's satisfying to know that there is space for such an event to grow and spread to other key locations across the globe.

Delegates and speakers alike were impressed with the recent event, which saw more than 150 material handling professionals descend on Singapore for a programme that spanned issues of health and safety, training and technological developments. Cohesive networking opportunities combined with a solid mix of content means the next conference, set for Dubai in December, will surely help grow the LEEA conference portfolio going forward. Look out for our full rundown of the event next month.

Elsewhere in this issue, Sally Spencer looks at how the German economy is impacting the overhead crane sector in the country, while we also take a closer look at some of the key developments taking place across the US port landscape.

In addition, we place the spotlight on SCX Special Projects, which has been called upon to carry out the work on the retractable roof, which is located over Centre Court, ahead of this year's Wimbledon tournament.

SCX Special Projects designed, built and installed the mechanisms, used to mobilise to roof, in 2009. The roof itself was one of the first types of concertina moving structures to be constructed for a stadium in the UK.

And finally

"I'm not a long-time material handling guy so I have had to learn the language but sometimes an outside viewpoint can present solutions that perhaps haven't been considered by those on the inside. It's a delicate process and part of my challenge is achieving success across 18 product groups."

It's a typically honest statement from Matthew Smurr, someone who has served in submarines for the US Navy and now leads the ongoing evolution of MHI's increasingly customer-facing product and solution groups.

As a figure that is charged with taking the reigns for the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI) and Monorail Manufacturers Association (MMA) from Hal Vandiver, it's no small task, but for MHI, looking outside of its core business for a new key player could be a masterstroke.