What’s New at WJTA – Webinars, WJTA Conference and Outlook

Webinar Series Continues

Based on the success of the WaterJet Technology Association (WJTA) live webinars, which were launched in July 2020, the series continues into 2021. The webinars continue to connect WJTA with its members despite meeting and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentations have been well-received by attendees.

The free series of seminars began the new year with “Three Considerations That Can Make or Break the Effectiveness of Your Waterblasting Job: Quality Jetting, Managing Pressure Loss, and Controlled Rotation” presented by Bill Shires, StoneAge Inc. on Jan. 21.

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Lydia Frenzel, Ph.D., Advisory Council, and Chris Fulmer, CESCO/AquaMiser, presented “Wet Abrasive Blast Cleaning Technical Committee Update” on Feb. 25, which covered types of wet abrasive blasting systems and considerations.

The March 18 webinar was presented by Xavier Contreras, Gardner Denver Water Jetting, and covered “Modifying Existing Waterjet Units for Maximum Performance”.

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Additional webinars are scheduled throughout the year. Participants can visit the WJTA website, wjta.org, for an up-to-date schedule and to register. Association members can also access webinar recordings on-demand through the website.

WJTA Conference & Expo

Preparations are under way for the WJTA Conference & Expo, Oct. 26-28 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was exciting to hear that the Conference & Expo venue, New Orleans’ Morial Convention Center, hosted a B2B trade event in early March 2021 – its first in over 300 days.

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Anticipating a successful event and desire for face-to-face connections, new and returning exhibitors have continued to sign up. Exhibitors represent suppliers of high-pressure waterjetting equipment, industrial vacuum equipment, hydro-demolition, automation tooling, tank cleaning, PPE and ancillaries, and other cleaning technologies as well as providers of industrial and environmental services.

Education is a key element of the WJTA Conference & Expo. The daylong Waterjet Technology Basics and Beyond Short Course will provide an applied introduction to the technology and practical applications of waterjets and related equipment. The course is intended for anyone with an interest in waterjet technology, ranging from first-time users and new employees to those seeking to increase their level of knowledge, including field techs, suppliers, support staff, engineers, marketing personnel, and potential new users.

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The boot camp sessions will focus on information to improve safety, productivity, and the bottom line. A dedicated track for asset owners will focus on topics of particular interest to plants and facilities. Leading engineers, researchers and business leaders will share new developments, applications, and theory during paper presentations. Participants will see cutting edge equipment in operation during innovative live demonstrations. A focused global exposition of new industrial waterjet/waterblast tools and equipment, trucks and service providers will be on display in the exhibit hall.

Networking events, including the Industry Appreciation Reception, will give participants opportunities to connect with industry leaders and make valuable new contacts. After a year or more of disruption and cancellations, excitement is high to reconnect in person in New Orleans.

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For the most up-to-date information, visit wjtaexpo.com.

In Memoriam – Gary W. Toothe

Gary Toothe Gary W. Toothe, 66, of Trenton, South Carolina, passed away on Jan. 30, 2021. Gary was a longtime member of the WaterJet Technology Association and served on the WJTA High Pressure Safety and Vacuum Safety Committees. Gary twice received the WJTA Safety Award, and he was a frequent WJTA speaker on the topic of waterjet safety. He developed numerous training programs and was a featured presenter at waterblast safety conferences worldwide.

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A retired training manager for Federal Signal, Gary worked in the industrial contracting field for over 35 years, and the last 20 years were dedicated to safety and training. Gary began his career as a rookie technician and worked his way up to foreman in the field before moving into management. In that capacity he developed innovative plans for shutdown management, planning and execution in industries that included nuclear, pulp and paper, plastics manufacturing, shipyard services, and many others.

Gary was an OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer in construction and general industry, an NCCER Master Trainer, and a board-certified environmental safety and health trainer through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. He held a Premier Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health from the Georgia Institute of Technology and was a member of the National Environmental, Safety & Health Training Association and served on that association’s board of directors.

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Gary is survived by his wife, Cheryl Dyke Toothe; two stepchildren, Stephanie (Jason) Gall, and Mason Davis; three grandchildren, Cameron, Christian, and Chance Gall; one sister, Donna Taylor; two brothers, Steven and David Toothe; and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at a

later date.

Outlook for 2021

Nominations for WJTA awards are being accepted through September 2021.

Members are invited to submit candidates for special awards presented by the WJTA, including the Distinguished Pioneer Award, the Service Award, the Technology Award and the Safety Award. Awards honor a company, organization, or individual who has made a significant contribution to the industry through accomplishments that directly enhance waterject technology and/or industrial vacuuming.

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Award recipients will be selected by the WJTA Board of Directors and honored at a presentation ceremony on Oct. 27 in conjunction with the 2021 WJA Conference & Expo. Nominations can be submitted through September via the WJTA website, wjta.org. A narrative and biographical sketch must be included to support each nomination submitted.

Elections will be held this year for WJTA’s Board of Directors with the new board taking office in October. Voting is open to all association members in good standing.

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Committee work will continue throughout the year to develop WJTA’s training and certification program, hydrodemolition and education initiatives. Work will continue in supporting the industry’s needs for safety, workforce development, technology, and communication.

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