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Concrete Science: CEMEX USA Technical Center—a Hub for Industry Innovation

Date published: Mar 2, 2016

TAMPA, Fla.—At CEMEX USA, customer centricity is a science. Need proof? Look no further than the CEMEX USA Technical Center in Tampa, Fla.

The center is ground zero for building-materials research within CEMEX USA—a high-tech, fully equipped laboratory established to provide valuable services both to groups within the company and to external customers, from testing materials when problems arise, to proactive endeavors like certifications, analyzing raw materials and creating specialty mix designs.

“Customer centricity is a core value for CEMEX, and that’s why we created the CEMEX USA Technical Center. We are proud to help our customers achieve their goals and grow their businesses,” said CEMEX USA President Ignacio Madridejos.

The lab, which has undergone a dramatic expansion over the past decade, has over 10,000 square feet of space for testing, analysis and experiments involving a myriad of materials: concrete, cement, slag, aggregates, fly ash, chemical admixtures and more. By leveraging the state-of-the-art equipment and expertise of the staff, the lab allows CEMEX to provide technical support and services that many competitors cannot without contracting an outside, third-party laboratory.

“The CEMEX USA Technical Center exists so we can be at the forefront of innovation in our industry. We want to be the ‘top-of-mind’ for our customers so they’d call us whenever they’re facing any technical issues related to concrete and concrete-making materials,” said CEMEX USA Vice President – Technical Services & Quality Assurance Hamid Farzam.

The lab has developed specialty concrete mix options for customers for everything from bridges and infrastructure, to airports, to roads, to luxury resorts—all with their own unique sets of environmental and structural challenges. No matter how sophisticated, if a project needs to be built with concrete, the lab can develop exactly the right kind of mix to do the job right.

“Our customers will send the raw materials, and we’ll evaluate different potential mixes to provide the customer solution options to whatever challenge they’re facing. By testing their materials in a controlled laboratory environment, we’re able to come up with a very specific, customized solution options to their needs,” said Jose Manuel Dominguez, director of the CEMEX USA Technical Center. “This lab helps customers to get the most out of our products and feel confident not only about the quality, but also about the support we provide.”

The lab also tests clinker samples from our cement plants and concrete samples that have been flagged as problematic in the field.

“If a potential issue is identified, our technical service managers send samples to us for testing. Using our equipment, expertise and working as one team, we’re able to identify the root cause of the problem and how to better solve it,” Dominguez said. “It’s a little like CSI, but for cement and concrete.”

That CSI-mindset is exactly what makes the lab so valuable, both to CEMEX and to its customers.

“This lab is going to play a major role in the future of this business. We’re here to develop new and improved services that add real value for our customers and for CEMEX, after all, that is what Customer Centricity is all about,” Farzam said.

CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high-quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world. For more information, visit www.cemexusa.com

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