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Chain industry association celebrates 80th anniversary

This year, the U.S.-based National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM) is celebrating its 80th anniversary. If chain seems a bit far afield from wire and cable, WAI historian Don Sayenga reports that it really isn't, and that NACM (www.nacm.info) should be seen as part of the wire fold.

Sayenga, who represents NACM, said that the wire "link" is spelled out in WAI's Ferrous Wire Handbook: "By 1920 several companies were established as designers and builders of automatic machinery, but it remained for firms in New England to lead in supplying wire forming equipment ... Special machines were also offered for a wide variety of purposes such as forming nails, chain of all types, paper clips, ... etc." He noted that the chain-making process begins with wire rod and proceeds continuously through sizing, straightening, and feeding into the forming slides without interruption. "It is easy to forget the chain actually is being made from wire," he said.

Like the WAI, NACM is one of the oldest industrial trade associations in the U.S., Sayenga said. NACM provides specifications to a wide array of other American industries. The NACM member firms are defined as companies that have been manufacturing chain in the United States for a period of at least two years. Most of the members have been in business a lot longer than eight decades; several have been making chains for more than a century. Its members include Columbus McKinnon Corporation; Campbell Chain/Apex Tool Group, LLC; Laclede Chain Mfg. Co.; LLC, Peerless Chain Company; Suncor Stainless, Inc.; and T&S Perfection Chain Products, Inc.

For more about NACM go to its website.

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