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June 3, 2021 – Subsea cable supplier SubCom will provide two next-gen subsea cables to support data capacity for Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio), a mobile digital service provider in India.

A press release said that the two systems, each of which will provide more than 200 Tbits of capacity, will require cable to span some 16,000 km. They will employ open system technology and the latest wavelength switched RoADM/branching units ensures rapid upgrade deployment and the ultimate flexibility to add/drop waves across multiple locations.

The first system, the India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) system, will connect Mumbai and Chennai in India eastbound to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The second system, the India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) system, will connect India westbound to Italy, landing in Savona, and additional landings in the Middle East and North Africa.

Both systems will be connected to the Reliance Jio Global Fiber Network beyond Asia-Pacific and Europe, connecting to both the east and west coast of the U.S. IAX is expected to be ready for service mid-2023, while IEX will be ready for service in early 2024.
“To meet the demands of streaming video, remote workforce, 5G, IoT, and beyond, Jio is taking a leadership role in the construction of the first of its kind, India-centric IAX and IEX subsea systems,” said Reliance Jio President Mathew Oommen.

June 3, 2021 – Alphagary announced that, pending certain customary closing conditions, it will acquire a majority share ownership in Shakun Polymers Private Limited, a privately held and family-owned market leader in the production of compounds for the wire and cable markets in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa.

A press release said that the transaction represents “an important strategic investment.” The investment will allow Alphagary to expand its product and regional footprints as Shakun continues to provide next-generation materials designed to meet the high safety and performance standards in Asia and Africa’s markets. Shakun has four manufacturing facilities in India that have a total installed annual capacity of more than 40,000 metric tons. Its compounds are used to make power cables, building wires, telecommunications and fiber optic cables, instrumentation cables and photovoltaic cables. Shakun’s product development focus is on halogen-free, flame-retardant compounds and PVC-based compounds for data and power cables, a mix that is a direct complement to Alphagary’s specialty product offerings that support a connected world. Shakun’s semi-conductive and cross-linkable compounds will also expand Alphagary’s portfolio, offering a growth platform and meeting customer requirements.

Key members of the Shakun management team will remain with the business, underlining the commitment of both organizations to create added value for customers and stakeholders. “We are very excited by Alphagary’s investment in Shakun and the opportunity it creates to deliver on our customers’ requirements,” said Shakun Joint Managing Director Rakesh Bansal. “I am delighted to be part of a team that will work together to offer a wider portfolio of materials and more efficient supply chains that help us focus on service.”

“While Alphagary has a broad reach from its facilities in the U.S., Europe and Mexico, the addition of Shakun’s market position in Asia and Africa coupled with the team’s entrepreneurial spirit will enable us to broaden our innovation horizons,” said Alphagary President Gautam Nivarthy.
Alphagary operates eight facilities in the U.S., U.K., Mexico and Colombia, and has a global sales and distribution network. It is a business of Orbia, which is active in 110 countries, with operations in more than 50. Orbia has five business groups, one of which is Polymer Solutions.

Orbia CEO Sameer Bharadwaj said in the release that while India faces difficulty with the current pandemic, he is confident in the resilience of the Asia-Pacific and African markets and long-term growth coming from these regions. “This investment provides us with a local presence, a wider scope for future-focused development and a strong customer base for our products and services that help to advance life around the world. We welcome Shakun to the Orbia family and look forward to their immediate contributions to our success together.”

June 3, 2021 – Nexans announced that it has won two contracts from Equinor, an international energy company present in more than 30 countries worldwide, for two offshore projects.

The first contract, a press release said, calls for Nexans to design, manufacture and supply 44 km of steel tube umbilicals and accessories for an offshore Brazilian project: the Bacalhau ultra-deep water, oil-field development project. It targets pre-salt reservoirs in the Santos Basin estimated to contain up to two billion barrels of oil equivalent (bboe) recoverable reserves.

The order extends Nexans’s long-standing relationship with the Subsea Integration Alliance (SIA) formed between Subsea 7 and OneSubsea. It is responsible for the SURF (subsea, umbilical, risers, and flowlines) front-end engineering and design (FEED) contracts for the Bacalhau project. Nexans’s Halden plant in Norway will provide the SIA with steel tube umbilicals to provide vital services for subsea equipment operating at water depths down to
2,100 m. This includes 2.5 km of gas-lift umbilical, 35 km of static umbilical, 6.9 km of dynamic umbilical and accessories. Nexans is scheduled to deliver the Bacalhau umbilicals in the last quarter of 2022.

The second order was for the fabrication of umbilicals for the Askeladd Vest project, which is in the southern Barents Sea. Nexans will provide static subsea umbilicals with a complex cross-section of power, fiber-optic communications and hydraulic elements for chemical injection, along with a range of connection and termination accessories.

The subsea template on Askeladd Vest will be tied back to the Askeladd field through a pipeline and an umbilical. The distance from the onshore production plant at Melkøya to the subsea field is 195 km, which is the longest distance ever for such a field development.
The main activity of assembling umbilicals and loading them onto installation vessels will be performed at Nexans’ plant in Halden. The control cables will be assembled at Nexans’ plant in Halden and unloaded on installation vessels. Fiber optic cables and power cables will be manufactured in Rognan. The contract value is estimated at nearly $12 million.

June 4, 2021 

The Wire Association International is pleased to announce that on May, 17, 2021, John Markowski officially became the manager for membership and social media.

It’s a familiar role for Markowski as he has been a member of the WAI staff since he joined as an intern in April 2018. He served in that function while attending Albertus Magnus College, where he earned a marketing degree.

“We knew instantly that John would be a great addition to the team, and we had hoped that he would stay with us upon his graduation,” said WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll. “His strong skills in social media have been on display for the past three years, and we recognize the critical importance of continuing to evolve and expand our voice. WAI’s already ‘well qualified’ yet lean staff just got stronger.”

In addition to his social media responsibilities, Markowski, an Eagle Scout, will manage the comprehensive membership activities as well as a range of support for the Association’s chapters. Over the past six months, he has been gradually performing more of the responsibilities of the position in anticipation of the planned appointment.

June 4, 2021 

Interwire returns in October as 1st-ever Industry 4.0 pavilion gathers momentum
The show goes on for the Interwire Trade Exposition—the longest running and largest wire and cable industry trade show in the Americas—October 26-27, 2021 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia. Following the event postponement from May to October, positive signs have emerged for the WAI’s biennial event.

The news is that the event, which will remain an in-person event, will showcase the potential of Industry 4.0. That theme will be supported by a full-fledged presentation of how this transformation in manufacturing has arrived and—more importantly—how it works. It will be represented by 12 companies, including four that have never exhibited at Interwire.

Industry 4.0 can be described as a collection of technologies and procedures that combine to support the smart factory concept. The inaugural Industry 4.0 Pavilion at Interwire—a collaboration between the WAI and Messe Düsseldorf North America—will feature displays and educational briefings from ADVARIS, Cimteq, Davis-Standard, 40Factory Srl, InnoVites, MFL Group, MindSphere World Italia, Oden Technologies, Parsable, Rockwell Automation, SIKORA and TROESTER. See following pages for company descriptions.
A key to assembling the exhibitors that will collectively present Industry 4.0 in a unique and comprehensive forum was Willem Sundblad, a WAI board member and the CEO of Oden Technologies.
Interwire will illustrate how machine learning, automation, artificial intelligence, big data, analytics, IoT, predictive maintenance, and other factory and machine enhancements can positively affect the way wire is made and how well manufacturers compete on the world stage.

“This year we are going to have an Industry 4.0 Pavilion and lots of technical presentations that will showcase the latest technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution at Interwire,” said WAI Board member Richard Baker, vice president of engineering, Prysmian Group North America. “Companies will demonstrate how Industry 4.0 technologies are applicable to wire and cable manufacturing and how the efficiency of equipment and processes can be significantly enhanced through their use.”
Used to best advantage, this innovative technology can transform data collected from machine sensors into information that can ultimately help improve processes and product quality; reduce scrap; increase productivity; and introduce more flexibility and profitability into the manufacturing plant.
In such an environment the combination of software platforms, time-tested wire making methods, and digital communication allows manufacturers to streamline processes and to conserve resources. Equipment is monitored; machine performance is tracked. The flow of material is followed. Causes of downtime are identified and examined. Changes are detected and adjustments made in real-time. As more data is collected and analyzed, machine learning can take place to improve production.

Below are descriptions from the pavilion participants.
ADVARIS. The company offers a comprehensive ERP and MES industry solution for the wire and cable industry. As a worldwide supplier, ADVARIS Cable takes the “all-in-one” approach instead of “best-of-breed.” Its comprehensive software platform ensures a complete, seamlessly integrated solution from a single source. The ERP system is designed to help in metal billing, shipping, rewinding and cutting orders, drum and tool management and cable design.

Cimteq. The company’s CableBuilder Enterprise and CableBuilder Go software solutions were designed to provide the flexibility needed to meet specific industry and company requirements. CableMES integrates seamlessly into CableBuilder Enterprise and a company’s ERP system, with real-time data transfers in both directions, keeping the business in sync with the shop floor at all times.
Davis-Standard. The company will show both a VR experience into a fiber optic cable factory, and a secondary coating extrusion line that will feature SMART BUFFERING—its AI augmented line control package—designed to find and predict process problems before they lead to out of specification production and present the operator with recommended course corrections.
40Factory Srl. The company specializes in the end-to-end development and delivery of Industrial AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) solutions that range from edge computing applications (data acquisition, pre-processing, on-the-edge storage and data visualization) to cloud web applications for machine efficiency analysis, production traceability, process telemetry, energy consumption and predictive analytics (maintenance and quality). 

InnoVites. The company’s display will feature CableERP, which is based on the innovative and cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 business software. CableERP has been created to solve the unique problems wire and cable manufacturers face, but which are not addressed by standard ERP packages. In addition to CableERP, InnoVites resells and implements CableBuilder Enterprise and CableMES across the wire and cable industry.
MFL Group. The company will demonstrate its proprietary, fully responsive MFL X Industrial IoT App running on MindSphere®, the cloud-based open IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) operating system from Siemens. Now available for steel drawing lines, copper and aluminum rod breakdown lines, multiwire drawing lines and extrusion lines, the MFL X AI Cable Analyzer captures cable images during production and analyzes cable surface roughness and color in real time. The data analyzed by its proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI) agent completely eliminate the subjective evaluation of the operator.

MindSphere World Italia. The company helps accelerate the adoption of Industrial IoT and drive digital transformation of manufacturing. Its mission is to create an environment in which thought leaders, developers, research institutes and manufacturers can network, develop standards and explore best practices.

Oden Technologies. The company helps manufacturers make different, better and faster decisions through Machine Learning and Applied Analytics. The company’s technology platform is pioneering the use of real-time predictive and prescriptive analytic tools that uncover untapped value to make more, waste less and innovate faster. The company is working to transform the manufacturing industry by digitizing, analyzing and perfecting peak factory performance through automated insights, interactive dashboards and real-time alerts.

Parsable. The company offers Connected Worker®, which consists of modern digital tools that empower frontline workers and improve productivity, safety, and quality. Manufacturers are digitizing SOPs, checklists, and workflows with its Connected Worker solution. The results include reduced unplanned stoppages, waste and paper; increased OEE, throughput and compliance with digital traceability; and faster operator onboarding and certification.
Rockwell Automation. The company offers The Connected Enterprise®, which makes it possible to converge plant-level and enterprise networks, and securely connect people, processes and technologies.

SIKORA. The company will show a laser gauge head which generates measured values of a cable and provides this data via an interface. The data processing will be visualized schematically as a number matrix. Additionally, the company will show an animated cable production line with its measuring technology and a control center where, besides general production data, the measured value of its LASER gauge is displayed.

TROESTER. The company will showcase its Industry 4.0 solutions with an emphasis on their proven Maintenance Advisor with Augmented Reality features. Attendees will see first-hand the value of the product relative to data acquisition and analysis as well as preventive maintenance and machine control. The main benefits are generated in reduced downtimes, production transparence, increased flexibility and quality control. TROESTER is well known for its cable production technology that includes CV-, silane-, jacketing- and insulation lines.

Details are available at www.interwire21.com.