ADSC – The International Association of Foundation Drilling held its 2012 Equipment Expo and Technical Conference March 14-17, in San Antonio; this is the only exhibition completely dedicated to the foundations industry.

Visitors to this tri-annual event were able to get a first-hand, close-up view of the state-of-the-art in the industry, as nearly 90 vendors filled the indoor trade show floor, and nearly 50 exhibitors displayed the latest in big iron in a sprawling outdoor exhibit area. (Special thanks to the weatherman – while it was rather blustery at times, the rain clouds threatened, but then thought better of it.) Exhibits were open a total of 28 hours – plenty of time for attendees to take it all in.

The technical educational and training sessions were first-rate, highlighted by the Keynote Lecture from Luis Alfaro of the Panama Canal Authority. The Panama Canal expansion project is a most high-profile and demanding endeavor, and truly is testimony to the ingenuity and capabilities of the drilling industry. Twenty-three other seminars were divided into four tracks – recent research and developments in small-diameter drilling; safety, quality control and productivity in geo-construction; recent research and developments in large-diameter drilling; and innovations in the foundation industry. The roster of presenters read like a who’s who of industry leaders, and their efforts and contributions can’t be overstated.

Networking opportunities were plentiful, with indoor/outdoor receptions, the awards luncheon and the closing-night dinner-dance. More than 2,000 industry professionals from more than 40 countries were in attendance, making it easy to learn about new technologies, current trends, best practices and the latest goings-on. The President’s Award Luncheon was especially stimulating, as both industry icons and up-and-comers were honored for their achievements – truly an inspirational experience.

It might seem a ways off, but it’s not too early to make a mental note: The 2015 Equipment Expo and Technical Conference goes down March 18-21 – right back in San Antonio.