WJTA Returns to New Orleans: Building on 2020 Initiatives to Advance Safety and Technology in Industry

WJTA Returns to New Orleans

Building on 2020 Initiatives to Advance Safety and Technology in Industry

Published August 2021

Preparations for the WaterJet Technology Association’s (WJTA’s) 2021 Conference & Expo are in full swing, and excitement is high for a return to in-person events.

       WJTA’s mission focuses on Advancing Safety and Technology in Industry, and the 2021 Conference & Expo offers attendees an opportunity to be a part of the movement toward safer, more efficient waterjetting and industrial vacuuming, through automation, best practices, training, and workforce development.

     Automation, advanced PPE, and more refined manual cleaning tools make the job less hazardous for frontline operators, and WJTA attendees can evaluate the latest products on the market hands-on in the exhibit hall. Expert representatives from vendors and contractors can answer questions and provide insight on applications. 

     Concrete demolition is a growing application of waterjet technology, and the 2021 Conference & Expo includes several leading OEMs and educational sessions dedicated to hydrodemolition in addition to other applications such as cleaning, cutting, and surface preparation.

     The 2021 conference program builds on the well-received updates to the 2019 educational sessions. The 2021 educational program begins on Tuesday, October 26, with the daylong Waterjet Technology Basics & Beyond Short Course, a popular program offered every two years. The short course is chaired by Colorado School of Mines Professor Hugh Miller, Ph.D., and features a distinguished faculty of presenters from industry and academia. The short course covers the basics of waterjet technology, equipment, and applications, along with highly focused treatment of key applications, including surface preparation, automation, and cold cutting.

     Education continues throughout the day on October 27 and 28, with Boot Camp educational sessions offering practical insights for contractors and asset owners. Boot Camp sessions are open to all Expo participants with topics including the following: 

  • Pump Maintenance and Troubleshooting 101
  • How to Use Data from Computerized Exchanger Cleaning Equipment
  • Using Jetting Charts to Improve Productivity, Decrease Job Time, and Better Partner with the Customer
  • Vacuum Truck Safety
  • Diesel Engine Emissions and Changes to Tier 4F and Stage V Emissions Standards
  • Safety Considerations When Using Automated Equipment
  • Updated ICRI and Surface Prep Guidelines for Concrete
  • And more

     The 2021 Conference also includes an update to 2019’s popular Asset Owner Session Track. Asset owners—representatives from facilities and infrastructure where waterjetting and vacuuming contract services are performed—are truly the end users of high-pressure technology. Due to the importance of industrial cleaning on plant downtime and production, as well as potential hazards from the cleaning operations, it is critical for asset owners to stay active and informed. In 2021, this series of sessions developed specifically for asset owners includes topics such as the following:

  • Importance of Preplanning: A Plant’s Perspective
  • Data Overload: What Data Makes Sense to Collect?
  • Case Study on Online Cleaning
  • Waterjetting Impact—Produce

     More Product and Profit Additional educational opportunities include presentations of research and whitepapers and a new panel discussion on factors in the successful use of third-party labor providers.

     Outdoor live equipment demonstrations are another unique aspect of the WJTA Conference & Expo. Attendees can see some of the newest high-pressure pumps, controls, automation and manual tooling, and more in operation and at pressure while observing safety devices and best practices.

Connecting Through the Waterjet Technology Association

     The WJTA has been active for the last several years with many new projects to serve the industry. The association’s hydroblast operator training and certification program has launched within the U.S., and in June 2021 the curriculum was updated to include instruction on automated cleaning disciplines. Work to establish a similar credential for operators of vacuum equipment has also been initiated, with an anticipated launch in 2022.

     Even in the absence of the 2020 tradeshow, WJTA has continued to keep members informed through the expanded Jet News periodical and through free live webinars, both of which are archived for members to access on demand through the website. This year has seen revisions to both the WJTA waterjet and vacuum best practices manuals, along with the release of a new medical alert card for operators of vacuum equipment. The new card provides information on the potential nature and treatment considerations for a vacuum suction injury.

     A new Hydrodemolition Committee has been formed to serve WJTA members involved in concrete applications and has grown to over 25 members across several countries. Finally, the association is finalizing details on a soon-to-be-announced scholarship program for WJTA members and their dependents that will begin in 2022. 

     To support these efforts, a new membership campaign was launched in July 2021 to help spread the word about the industry’s progress and bring new members into the organization to strengthen the WJTA.

     With these new WJTA initiatives, along with advances by manufacturers and contractors, the 2021 Conference & Expo represents an outstanding opportunity for both members and non-members alike to connect with their peers, explore the industry’s newest products, engage with WJTA’s initiatives, and, most importantly, help advance safety and technology within our industry.

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