SCPD 2024 meeting_plant tour tunnel kiln

[Image above] Attendees walk on top of a tunnel kiln at Acme Brick during Wednesday’s plant tours. Credit: ACerS

Nearly 120 attendees converged in downtown Oklahoma City, Okla., on June 17–19, 2024, to take part in the combined meeting of the ACerS Structural Clay Products Division (SCPD), ACerS Southwest (SW) Section, and Clemson University’s National Brick Research Center (NBRC).

The three-day meeting kicked off with a networking reception on Monday night, followed by a full day of informative talks and then plant tours at several local brick manufacturing sites. The meeting wrapped up with an awards banquet on Wednesday night.

ACerS SCPD chair Jim Krueger, research and production services manager at Acme Brick, says, “Our industry is a close-knit group, and seeing everyone again at the SCPD meeting in Oklahoma City did not disappoint. The plant tours were well received as was the awards banquet, which included a special thanks to ACerS staff member Greg Geiger for his many years of service to this meeting and to the SCPD.”

2024 company sponsors

Below are highlights from the 2024 Structural Clay Products combined meeting.

National Brick Research Center meeting

The meeting began with the NBRC’s Spring Executive Committee Meeting on Tuesday morning. NBRC director John Sanders along with research associates Nate Huygen and Kathy Hill provided the members with updates about the center. Sanders reminded the committee of the upcoming Clemson Brick Forum, which will take place Sept. 30–Oct. 1, 2024, in Anderson, S.C.

NBRC director John Sanders leads the NBRC’s Executive Committee Meeting on Tuesday morning. Credit: ACerS

Technical session

On Tuesday afternoon, attendees heard from 12 industry experts on a wide range of topics, including ways to improve manufacturing efficiency, brick efflorescence, surface decoration, particle size analysis, and more. (See sidebar for the full program.)

2024 technical program
ACerS SCPD chair Jim Krueger of Acme Brick welcomes attendees during the afternoon technical session. Credit: ACerS
Bob Belden of Belden Brick informs attendees about Belden Brick’s Plant 4 upgrades at their Sugercreek, Ohio, plant. Credit: ACerS

Plant tours

On Wednesday, attendees toured two plants: Acme Brick’s Oklahoma City plant and Red River Brick Union City plant. Attendees enjoyed a BBQ lunch at Iron Star restaurant between the two plant visits.

John Spence of Acme Brick guides a group through his plant. Credit: ACerS
Jimmie Henry of Red River Brick explains plant operations to attendees. Credit: ACerS

Networking and awards

Meeting attendees reconnected with old friends and built new relationships each evening, beginning with the Hospitality Suite sponsored by Danser on Monday, the Suppliers Mixer reception on Tuesday, and the awards banquet on Wednesday. During the banquet, Krueger thanked everyone for attending and recognized the presenters, plant hosts, ACerS staff, and sponsors for helping make the meeting a success.

Current SCPD chair Jim Krueger, left, presents past SCPD chair Holly Rohrer of Halbert Mill Co. with the ACerS SCPD Past Chairs certificate. Credit: ACerS
Past ACerS SW Section chair Mat Tramel of Acme Brick, left, presents current SW Section chair Nathan Fields of Endicott Clay Products with the ACerS SW Section Chair plaque. Credit: ACerS

Several awards were given out during the banquet. Alan Autrand of Red River Brick received the 2023 SCPD Best Paper award for his presentation titled “Aerial surveying program at Red River Brick.” Nathan Fields of Endicott Clay Products received a plaque for his service as the current SW Section chair, while Holly Rohrer of Halbert Mill Co. received a certificate for her service as the past SCPD chair.

ACerS SCPD and SW Section officers and NBRC staff honored Greg Geiger, ACerS technical content manager who is retiring at the end of 2024, with a certificate of appreciation for his 35 years of service to ACerS and 20 years of support of this meeting. Credit: Neil Klein, Acme Brick

In addition, SW Section treasurer Harland Dixson recognized two award recipients who were not in attendance at the banquet. He announced Luke Odenthal of Acme Brick as this year’s recipient of the prestigious SW Section Harry E. Ebright Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the SW Section. Dixson then thanked SW Section secretary Fred McMann for his decades of leadership and dedication to the SW Section and to the SW Section meeting.

View more pictures from the meeting on ACerS Flickr page. Next year’s meeting is scheduled for June 9–11, 2025, in Birmingham, Ala.