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Wire Journal News

The Wire Association International will stage its first-ever standalone regional edition of its long-running and content-refined Fundamentals of Wire Manufacturing course on October 10, 2018, at the Sheraton McKinney Hotel in McKinney, Texas, USA.

This concentrated introductory workshop provides a solid grounding in the essentials of wire and cable manufacturing presented by experts in the field. It is WAI’s most successful training program and refresher course for new hires, sales teams and operations personnel. The curriculum includes: mechanics of wiredrawing, drawing dies, wiredrawing lubricants, wire breaks & surface damage, stranding cable, cleaning & coating of rod & wire, extrusion, basics of electrical testing, ferrous heat treatment, used machinery, manufacturing problem solving, testing & properties and ferrous metallurgy.

“The program has become so popular in recent years that we wanted to expand it by offering it regionally too, outside of the confines of WAI’s annual show and conference,” said WAI Director of Education Marc Murray. “We know there’s a strong demand for this type of instruction, not just for new employees but for veterans brushing up on their knowledge who want to learn something new. We want to make it as easy and convenient as possible for people to get this kind of education. Moving it physically closer to the audience is an effective way to do that.”

This one-day program provides extensive instruction by 10 industry professionals and networking opportunities pertinent to the ever-evolving wire industry.

The registration fee is $195 for WAI members and $295 for nonmembers. Registration includes classroom materials and lunch. On October 11, 2018, WAI offers participants a choice of one or both plant tours to Encore Wire and Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp. at $25 each.

Click here to see the program schedule and here to register. 


Sampsistemi, a business of Italy’s SAMP Group, announced that it plans to expand the operations of its China-based subsidiary Sampsistemi (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.

A press release said that as a result of the recent acquisition of Setic and Pourtier—two well-known French companies that were part of the Gauder Group—Sampsistemi has decided to expand and strengthen its existing Chinese footprint. The plan is to expand the Setic plant in Changzhou with a significant investment in infrastructure, and to enlarge the production area.

The Setic plant, located in the Xinbei District, covers an area of 6,400 sq m, and it is currently dedicated to manufacturing rotating machines and related equipment for the wire and cable industry, the release said. The expansion plan will increase the manufacturing area up to 10,000 sq m, plus 2.600 sq m dedicated to office space. The unit will be equipped with state of the art assembly lines for wire and cable machinery and an enhanced R&D center with a test lab. Each space will meet the highest safety and quality standards. “The consolidation of the production capacity into one location will allow us to fully synergize the combined know-how and technologies, while providing greater value to our customers.”

“With the acquisition of Setic and Pourtier, Sampsistemi has completed a three-year strategic initiative aimed at strengthening its leading position in the market and meeting the ongoing demand for a single source-provider, capable of supporting the clients with cutting edge solutions,” said SAMP CEO Lapo Vivarelli Colonna. “The new organization will enhance our capability to provide products and services in China, the largest wire & cable market in the world.”

Sampsistemi is a company of the Maccaferri Industrial Group, an international entity active in seven main sectors, with 58 production plants, 4,600 employees worldwide and annual revenues of 1.2 billion euros.

Nexans announced that it will provide 27 km of complex umbilicals with power, fiber-optic and hydraulic elements for the next development phase of the most prolific oil and gas field on the Norwegian continental shelf.

A press release said that Phase 3 of the Troll project covers the development of the Troll West structure, which lies in water depths of approximately 330 meters and is located 25 km north-west of the Troll A platform. The contract is from Equinor ASA, a multinational energy company based in Stavanger, Norway.

Nexans Norway will design, manufacture and supply static umbilicals that include high voltage power elements, high-pressure hydraulic lines, low-pressure hydraulic lines, a MEG (methanol and glycol) service line for chemical injection, a spare line and fiber-optic communications – all within a single cross-section. A 20-km umbilical will link the Troll A platform to Template W1, while a 7-km umbilical will then link Template W1 to Template W2. The contract also includes the supply of connections, terminations and other umbilical accessories.

Nexans offered Equinor a total “made in Norway” approach to the contract with the electrical and fiber optic elements manufactured at the Nexans Norway facility in Rognan, North Norway, while the complete umbilical system will be developed, manufactured and tested at Nexans Norway plant in Halden, Norway, the release said.

“Nexans has established an impressive track record in delivering umbilical projects for the Norwegian continental shelf and we look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with Equinor by delivering this key contract for Troll Phase 3,” said Vincent Dessale, Nexans Senior Executive Vice President Subsea and Land Systems Business Group.

Nexans is scheduled to deliver the Troll Phase 3 umbilicals in the first quarter of 2020. First gas is expected from the project in the second quarter of 2021.

NKT reports that it has won a turnkey order of two high-voltage cable systems that will provide power availability and transmission security in the regions of Hedmark and Oppland in Norway.

A press release said that the contract calls for NKT to provide turnkey delivery of two 145 kV AC (alternating current) extruded cable system sets for the Mjøsa Project in the regions Hedmark and Oppland located North of Oslo in Norway. The order, from power grid operator Eidsiva Nett AS, will upgrade the grid in the region around Lake Mjøsa. It includes a total cable length of 35 km.

“We have great experience from several projects in Norway and we are excited to play a part in the continuous development of the Norwegian power grid,” said nkt President & CEO Michael Hedegaard Lyng, who noted that it will also support the integration of renewable.

The cables are to be manufactured this year at NKT’s facility in Karlskrona, Sweden, with commissioning set for 2019, the release said. It noted that nkt has extensive experience from projects in Norway and is currently executing on orders for the cable systems bringing power from shore to the oil and gas platforms.

India’s Sterlite Tech announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Metallurgica Bresciana S.p.A (Metallurgica) for approximately 47 million euros.

Per multiple media reports, the deal, made via Italian subsidiary Sterlite Technologies SpA, was expected to close in July. Metallurgica designs and manufactures special precision optical fiber cables and specialized copper cables for various communication applications. The privately held company, which this marks its 50th anniversary, focused on specialized cabling solutions for various network applications across industry segments.

 “We are delighted to sign a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Metallurgica Bresciana, which will expand Sterlite Tech’s optical fiber cabling business by augmenting our access to key European markets and adding highly complementary specialty cables to our products portfolio,” said Dr. Anand Agarwal, CEO of Sterlite Tech. “This acquisition aligns with our global supply chain strategy of having cabling facilities in close proximity to our key customers to serve their needs for next-generation networks.”

Per the Metallurgical website, the company was founded in 1968 as a producer of copper multi-tubes for instrumentation in the oil and gas sector. It expanded in 1970s to special cable assemblies and in the 1980s, it began producing low-voltage cables. In the 1990s it invested in technology to produce fiber optic cables, including the first and only linear electron beam accelerator in Italy. This advance allowed it to expand its cable range with miniaturized high temperature resistant cables for railway and industrial applications. In 2011, it opened a new production site in Ma’anshan, China for the production of cables for the local market.

LS Cable & System reports that the South Korean company has received certification for its high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable

A press release said that LS Cable & System completed a long-term reliability test of its 500 kV DC cable, monitored by the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute for six months from last October. The institute ultimately recognized the quality of the HVDC cable technology, LS Cable & Systems can now export the product without any other tests, it said.

Including LS Cable & System, there are only five companies that have their own HVDC cable technology. The company began developing the technology in 2005 and won a contract for the country’s first project to construct an HVDC electric power transmission system overland between North Dangjin and Godeok.

Compared with the traditional alternating current (AC) system, HVDC is regarded as more economical in transmitting large amounts of power point-to-point over long distances. HVDC transmission also has lower overall investment costs and lower power losses than AC transmission.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the accumulative market size of the HVDC business will be 70 trillion won by 2020. The release said that with the technology and knowhow the company has accumulated, LS Cable & System witnessed its revenue climb 13% year-over-year to 3.5 trillion won ($3.25 billion) last year. The operating profit also jumped 33% to 111.3 billion won in the cited period.

LS Cable & System is expected to play a bigger role in the near future as the South Korean government recently began to pursue a new northern policy to build a new economic belt with North Korea, the release said. It noted that while South Korea and North Korea have different voltage and current frequency, the company said the HVDC technology can transmit and receive power between them.

The management of the Bekaert Group announced that it plans to close its steel cord plant in Figline e Incisa Valdarno, Italy, and to cease all activities there, while it also expands its joint venture in Brazil.

A press release said that Bekaert has contacted the works council of the Figline site, the unions and authorities about the decision that will result in the loss of 318 employees. The plant makes steel cord for tires, bead wire for tires, wire for high-pressure hoses and half-product wire for other steel cord plants. The release cited the significantly higher cost structure of the Italian plant, which it said “has not been able to generate a financially sustainable performance. ... The management regrets to implement this measure, but sees no other option to safeguard and strengthen its market share in the European rubber reinforcement markets.”

A separate press release said that the management of Belgo Mineira Bekaert Artefatos de Arame Ltda (BMB)—a 55.5/44.5% joint venture of ArcelorMittal and Bekaert that has three plants in Brazil—plans to invest US$33 million to expand their Itaúna plant in Minas Gerais, Brazil. “BMB will install half product capacity and become a fully integrated manufacturing entity,” it said. In addition, 35% tire cord production capacity will be added to enable BMB to grow their current market share in the region.

The expansion, to be spread out over three years, includes construction and infrastructure works and the installation of machines designed and assembled by Bekaert Engineering, the release said. The expansion, it noted, will add some 200 direct and indirect jobs in the area.

Two Italian wire-rod producers, Arlenico SpA and Feralpi Siderurgica SpA, have each ordered a four-stand MEERdrive®PLUS finishing block from the SMS Group.

A press release said that both wire-rod finishing blocks will be integrated in the companies’ existing plants. The technology, which includes a thermomechanical rolling process and a sophisticated water cooling line for the heavy-duty machine, will enable it to produce wire rod to "the tightest tolerances ever produced."

Arlenico, owned equally by Duferco Italia Holding and Feralpi Siderurgica SpA, a special quality wire rod producer located beside the Lecco Lake, chose the four-stand MEERdrive®PLUS block to be installed in the existing wire rod line at its Caleotto plant.

Feralpi, a producer of wire rod and rebar, will use the new four-stand block to increase production and rolling speeds as well as the range of product sizes it can offer and enable enhanced final mechanical properties.

Per SMS, MEERdrive®PLUS is a variant of the MEERdrive® technology that uses individual drives with small low-voltage motors for each stand. Since all finished sizes are rolled in the block, it is possible to realize "one-family rolling" in the rolling mill reducing the otherwise required mill downtimes for size and ring changing.

For the two announced contracts, the finishing blocks (oval-round-round-round) will be installed after an existing ten-passes block. They are designed to roll wire rod from 4.55 to 27 mm at speeds up to 120 mtps, at a temperature as low as 750 degrees centigrade. Excellent tolerances down to 0.05 millimeters and 50% ovality can be achieved.

"These two new finishing blocks to be supplied to Arlenico and Feralpi are references number eleven and twelve, documenting the long success story of the MEERdrive technology which started with block number one supplied to Sinobras in 2007," the release said.

LS Cable & System is advancing its presence in the Indonesian cable market by setting up a joint corporation with the AG Group, which has a wide multi-sector presence in the country.

A press release said that LS signed an agreement with AG Group to jointly invest $40 million in the construction of cable plants near Jakarta with the aim of completion by 2019. The plants are expected to produce overhead cables for infrastructure and low and medium voltage cables used for construction and plants, generating around $100 million by 2025, LS said.

LS Cable & System CEO Myung said the discussion with AG Group received “a boost” after President Moon Jae-in announced the New Southern Policy during a business forum with Indonesia last November.

The AG Group was described as one of Indonesia’s top 10 companies, active in banking, hotels, construction and resorts.

JDR Cable Systems reports that it has been awarded a contract by McDermott in the Persian Gulf for a project described as the world’s largest offshore oilfield.

A press release said that the contract for the project, owned and operated by Saudi Aramco, includes five thermoplastic umbilicals and hardware connecting new production platforms to the subsea valve skid (SSVS). The umbilicals, which range from 100 to 465 meters in length, will provide hydraulic and electric control to the SSVS.

The contract with McDermott is part of a larger program by Saudi Aramco to replace Safaniya’s aging facilities with electrified platforms to increase the efficiency and production of the field. The field is located 125 miles north of Dhahran in the Arabian Gulf and is estimated to contain 37 billion barrels of oil reserves.

“This is our fifth combined contract for the Safaniya field and truly demonstrates the quality and reliability of our products, said Chris Green, subsea production umbilicals sales manager at JDR, which was acquired last year by TFKable Group. He noted that speed of delivery was a key element of winning the order. The umbilicals will be manufactured at JDR’s plant in Littleport, U.K., with delivery scheduled for Q4 2018.

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