Wirenet Image Band
wirenet.org mobile image band

Wire Journal News

Corning Incorporated announced that the company has officially opened a new cable manufacturing facility in Newton, North Carolina, as part of the company’s expansion plans to meet growing worldwide demand for its optical fiber and cable.

A press release said that the facility, which will employ more than 200 people, is part of Corning’s previously announced plan to invest more than $250 million in its optical fiber, cable, and solutions manufacturing facilities. In North Carolina, Corning is expanding its fiber manufacturing facility near Concord and its cable facilities in Winston-Salem and Hickory, in addition to opening the Newton plant.

“Network operators around the world are challenged to meet exploding demand for high-speed connectivity and data storage,” said Clark S. Kinlin, executive vice president, Corning Optical Communications. “We are adding this cable capacity to help ensure reliable supply of the world’s highest performing optical cable in a growing market. This world-class facility was commissioned in record time, a feat that would not have been possible without our long-serving Catawba County employees, or the support of state and local leaders here in North Carolina.”

 Xtera®, a U.S. provider of subsea fiber optic solutions, reports that it has been selected as the supplier of the ARBR submarine fiber optic cable system being developed jointly by Seaborn Networks and the Werthein Group.

A press release said that the 2,700 km open system, 4-fiber pair, 48Tbps, direct PoP-to-PoP subsea cable will connect Argentina and Brazil. The ARBR subsea cable system will allow for direct onward connectivity to New York, via the Seabras-1 system, thereby providing a lower latency route between the commercial and financial centers of Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and New York.  The ARBR cable is fully funded. It said.

“This award further consolidates Xtera's position as a strong player in the regional submarine market segment and is a significant endorsement of Xtera's differentiated product offering," said Xtera Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer Stuart Barnes.  "Our four pillars of product and service offerings encompass subsea systems technologies, wet and dry upgrades, IP licensing, and OEM / specialist units to selected markets."

The company notes that it offers un-repeatered and repeatered subsea connectivity, using the highest bandwidth undersea amplifiers for up to 40 Terabits on a single fiber pair. 

The Prysmian Group announced that it has been awarded a contract by Cobra Wind International Ltd. to provide the cable system to connect the Kincardine Floating Offshore Wind Farm to mainland U.K.

A press release said that the order, Prysmian’s first cable project for a floating offshore wind farm, calls for the design and supply of two export cables as well as inter-array cables and associated accessories to connect the turbines. The Kincardine Wind Farm, is some 15 km southeast of Aberdeen, to the Scottish mainland power grid.

Each of the continuous export cables will serve the 17 km route, using a static cable design combined with a 0.5 km dynamic cable route section to complete the connection to the floating turbine tower. The 33 kV three-core submarine cable will use EPR insulation system, with the static section length finished with single wire armoring, while the dynamic section will employ a double-wire armored design. The submarine cables will be produced at the Group plants in Vilanova, Spain, and Drammen, Norway. Installation is planned during 2018 and 2019.

The Kincardine project is planned to be built in two stages. A single turbine 2 MW first phase is scheduled to be installed this year, followed by a six-turbine second phase with hardware of up to 8.4 MW each. The first phase will consist of a Vestas V80 2 MW machine with a 106-meter tip height and 80-meter rotor diameter.

Germany’s SIKORA AG has started construction of the company’s new production building in Bremen-Mahndorf, with its executive board laying the foundation stone on Dec. 12, 2017, at a ceremony attended by both staff and business partners.

A press release said that the new building includes 7,000 sq m of space for production and logistics, more than triple the capacity of the building it replaces. "The expansion at the production location Bremen is a strategic future investment," said company CEO Dr. Christian Frank, who explained that it will further SIKORA’s goals in further growth and global competitiveness.

The building, scheduled to be completed by November, is being erected on the site of the old production building, which had been demolished. Production had been moved to a building 400 m away in order to maintain short ways to the management, administration and development team. Once completed, the new site—which meshes with two existing buildings—will integrate lean production concepts for an efficient production and have a contemporary design concept, with areas for communication and creativity. The four floors offer more space for efficient production and logistics as well as perfect conditions for communication, creativity and innovation.

A key driver for the project has been the expansion of SIKORA’s scope in measuring and testing, sporting and inspection equipment for wire and cable, optical fiber, hose and tube and plastics, Frank said. As the product portfolios increased, "we reached the limits of our capacity with the existing building," he said, noting that the new building will offer 350% more space.

Equally important is that the building design will integrate modern lean production concepts. An intensive planning phase was implemented to optimize the different processes, from material flows to production to shipping. "The result is a more efficient and innovative production to ensure highest product quality as well as delivery reliability," Frank said. He added that SIKORA has been expanding its workforce, and the new site helps attract qualified employees.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs has signed a deal with the Vocus Group for the initial stages of a new undersea cable system between the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Australia, displacing Huawei, which had been originally chosen but resulted in concerns over security matters.

Per multiple media reports, a statement from the Vocus Group—which did not mention Huawei—said that the agreement is a $2.8 million deal for conducting a scoping study for the design, construction and procurement of the submarine cable system, the first step of the project. Vocus designed and developed the North-West Cable System and the Australia-Singapore Cable, the latter project was still under construction while the former project was up and running.

As previously reported in WJI, the Solomon Islands and China’s Huawei announced last year that they had signed a contract for the prosubsea ject. That news was not well received as Huawei had been banned from tendering for the National Broadband Network in 2012 because of security concerns. In Australia, nearly six years ago, Huawei was denied any role in supplying equipment to the country’s national broadband network project, following advice by ASIS, one of Australia’s spy agencies.