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11/2/21 – Sweden’s Sandvik has acquired Swiss-based company Accuratech Group, a manufacturer of niched medical wire forming and components.

Accuratech includes the operations of Polyfill, which per its website makes a wide range of specialty products. Those include wires used in nano- and micro-technologies as well as in applications in the medical field; round bare wires from 0.8 mm to 0.007 mm; flat wires and ribbons used for multiple applications; electroplated wire (gold, nickel, platinum, silver and zinc); and insulated wires, from simple copper wire to multi-coated biocompatible wire or special alloys. A second company, Galvarex, provides electroplating treatments for products, including wire, for demanding industries such as medical, automotive, micro tech and electronic.

A press release said that the acquired businesses will be reported in Kanthal, a division of Sandvik Materials Technology. “I am pleased that we are continuing to execute on our shift to growth strategy,” said Sandvik President and CEO Stefan Widing. “This acquisition is an important step for Sandvik Materials Technology in the preparations to become a separately listed company. With its increased focus on areas with high growth and strong earnings potential, Sandvik Materials Technology is strengthening their position for the future.”

Last modified on November 1, 2021

11/2/21 – Gulf Cable and Electrical Industries Company of Kuwait and the Riyadh Cables Group Company of Saudi Arabia have signed a partnership agreement to build a factory in Kuwait that will specialize in manufacturing high-voltage cables.

A press release said that the project is considered the first of its kind in Kuwait. “These types of transformative industries are important for infrastructure projects and future constructions, especially those related to the Ministry of Electricity and Water and Renewable Energy and the Housing Care Authority, as Kuwait is seeking to develop and build projects based on the partnership plan between the public and private sector as per Kuwait’s 2035 “New Kuwait” vision.

Gulf Cable and Electrical Industries Company notes that it has been a leading manufacturer of cables, power and telephone lines for more than 46 years.

With affiliates in 22 domestic/regional locations, Riyadh Cables manufactures and supplies all types of wire and cables at its state-of-art facilities.

Last modified on November 4, 2021

11/2/21 – Prysmian Group has been given an extension of its partnership with Openreach, the U.K.’s largest digital network business, with a new three-year contract.

A press release said that the Prysmian Group will provide innovation and expertise to support Openreach’s updated Full Fibre broadband build plan, which is vital to the U.K.’s government achieving its target of delivering “gigabit capable broadband” to 85% of the U.K. by 2025. “This is as Openreach follows an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group meaning that it’ll now build Full Fibre technology to a total of 25 million premises, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts.”

Marcello Del Brenna, CEO Prysmian Group UK, said that the company has been a partner with Openreach for more than a half century. The latest contract reflects the positive impact our working relationship has had on the U.K.’s digital networks infrastructure. The extension of our working relationship comes at a time when Prysmian is investing in telecommunications innovation to ensure our digital network partners have the cutting-edge solutions. We have also taken great steps forward with our sustainability effort, eliminating paper inclusions from our products and replacing them with digital solutions.”

Openreach Managing Director for Fibre and Network Delivery Matthew Hemmings said that building a new broadband network across the U.K. is a hugely complex, nationwide engineering project. “It will help level-up the U.K. because the impact of Full Fibre broadband stretches from increased economic prosperity and international competitiveness to higher employment and environmental benefits by enabling more home working and fewer commuting trips.”

In the framework of this renewed partnership, Openreach has recently undertaken a live trial using the double overblow installation method developed by Prysmian Group. This Karona installation technique enables the installation of high-density optical fiber cable into pre-existing sub-ducted routes, already containing legacy cable. The trial took place at Stonehaven in Scotland. The cable used for the trial was Sirocco HD 144f with 5.0 mm diameter, and the innovative installation method allowed to overblow 600 mts of cable in less than 4 hours, increasing the capacity of the route to 432f. This installation technique was repeated at Bury St Edmunds, where a route of 730 mts was successfully overblown in less than four hours.

Last modified on November 1, 2021

11/1/21 – Following a strategic plan to focus on its Wiring Systems Group, Leoni AG has sold the majority of its industrial business to strategic investor BizLink Holding Inc.

A press release said that the company has sold its Business Group Industrial Solutions, which belongs to the WCS division (Wire & Cable Solutions) and represents significant parts of its industrial business. The sale marks another important milestone on Leoni’s path towards the long-term stabilization of the company via its VALUE 21 performance and strategy program.

“With this step, we are once again proving that we are consistently continuing to implement our announced and already advanced focus on the Wiring System Division,” said Leoni AG CEO Aldo Kamper. The company has previously stated its plans to strategically focus on consolidating its leading position as a supplier of wiring systems for the automotive industry. Against this backdrop, Leoni has already sold two units of the WCS division (Leoni Schweiz AG and the data communication and compound divisions of Leoni Kerpen GmbH) in recent months.

BizLink is an international provider of high-quality solutions for cable connections and connectivity services. BizLink’s acquisition of Leoni’s Industrial Solutions will expand its market presence, especially in Europe, and there is a clear perspective for future development and growth. The sale includes around 20 international locations of the Leoni Industrial Solutions business in 10 countries with around 3,000 employees. The activities of these locations, among others, include the areas of healthcare, robotics and automation.

“The Industrial Solutions business today operates globally successfully in the market, and I am convinced that it continues to have a very promising future,” Kamper said. “For the WCS units put up for sale due to our strategic focus on the automotive industry, it has always been our goal to find investors who want to strategically develop the products and services. I am confident that we have succeeded in doing so with BizLink.”

BizLink Chairman Roger Liang said the acquisition is a very good fit. “(It) will boost our technical and service capabilities, solidify our global scale, bring us closer to customers, and gain access to new industrial customers. The acquisition brings forward our long-term diversification plans, and will provide BizLink with immediate gains within multiple secular growth industries.”

The sold activities generated sales of approximately €430 million in fiscal year 2020 and are valued with an enterprise value of around €450 million. Upon completion of the sale, a profit of around €200 million is expected to be accounted for in the Group’s reported EBIT.

Last modified on November 1, 2021

11/1/21 –NEC Corporation has been contracted by Facebook to build an ultra-high performance transatlantic subsea fiber-optic cable connecting the U.S. and Europe, a plan that calls for capacity of up to a petabit per second.

A press release said that, until recently, subsea cable was composed of 16 fiber pairs at most. Now, using NEC’s newly developed 24-fiber pair cable and repeaters, a system can deliver a maximum transmission capacity of a half petabit per second, the highest to date for a long-distance “repeatered” optical subsea cable system. That performance represents a 50% improvement in fiber count over the 16-fiber pair systems.

Per Teleography, Facebook has a stake in 13 cables. Google has an ownership stake in at least 16 current or planned undersea cables around the world. It noted that the internet giants are the ones leading undersea cable development, displacing traditional telecom giants.

Of note, OCC, an NEC subsidiary, previously reported in March that its 24 fiber pair cable can be manufactured using a wide range of existing optical fibers, according to the needs of each new cable system. International data usage across the Atlantic is expected to expand twenty-fold in the 15 years between 2021 and 2035. The region ranks among the highest growth geographies for data traffic demand, bringing ever-greater demands to reduce the cost per bit on subsea cable networks.

Last modified on November 1, 2021

10/19/21  Madison, Connecticut, USA – October 19, 2021 – The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. continues its educational mission and welcomes registrants for its Virtual Industry 4.0 Conference and 91st Annual Convention on October 26-27, 2021.

To date 32 speakers are set to share their expertise about how Industry 4.0 technologies enhance wire making. Featured speakers are from manufacturing companies currently using these methods in their plants, as well as representatives from a wide range of suppliers that offer solutions in this space.

Sessions run throughout each day in 25-minute segments with 15-minute briefings slated at midday. The full schedule*, beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET each day is available here: https://waiindustry40.heysummit.com/schedule/ *Schedule is subject to change.

Topics include: Big Data; Industry 4.0; IoT; Industrial IoT; Process Automation; Smart Factories; Smart Planning; Smart Integration; and Virtual Reality.

The virtual format gives registrants the opportunity to participate from any location; interact with speakers with questions; and also to replay sessions for a month after they first air.

Remarking on the new conference, WAI President Tom Heberling said, “Offering this conference virtually is valuable for everyone who wants to understand how Industry 4.0 technologies apply to wire making. We are thrilled that the speakers are cued up and ready to bring their expertise and energy to the program. We’ve adjusted our expectations upward since attendance is convenient for all.”

The WAI Annual Convention features the following keynote speakers on October 26 and 27, respectively.

Award-winning filmmaker Brett Culp presents “Superhero Leadership: How everyday people can have an extraordinary impact; and Kathleen Edge, EVP Operations, Southwire Company LLC presents: “Connected – flexible operating system.” Winners of WAI’s top awards will also be recognized.

The program is sponsored by: Cerro Wire LLC; Encore Wire Corp.; Gem Gravure Co. Inc.; James Monroe Wire and Cable Corp.; Lloyd & Bouvier Inc.; Prysmian Group; SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS; Sonoco Reels & Spools; Southwire Co. LLC; Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp.

Discounts are available for WAI members. Tickets are $90 USD for full access; and $110 for full access plus new WAI membership.
Visit: https://waiindustry40.heysummit.com/ for full details and to register.

The Wire Association International is a not-for-profit association with 1,800 individual members in 50 countries. The association serves the educational needs of the wire and cable manufacturing industry through a variety of products and services. WAI manages the Interwire Trade Exposition and the WAI Operations Summit & Wire Expo and publishes the Wire Journal International and the Wire Journal International Reference Guide.

Media Contacts: Janice E. Swindells, Director Marketing & Corporate Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel.: 001-203-453-2777
x. 117; Steven J. Fetteroll, Executive Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel.: 001-203-453-1777.

Last modified on October 19, 2021

10/1/21  The story of the New England Chapter’s golf tournament was about the event, but more importantly for the 130 players, it was the ability to once again share an experience with their peers.

Kudos go to the winning team of Craig Watterson, FENN; Ryan Cutter, FENN; Harry Lindroth, CT Spring & Stamping; and Kevin Campion, FENN. They shot a blazing 59, 13 under par, to claim bragging rights. The year before, the team had come in second. “We had the drive to win. With everyone’s determination and positive attitude, we were able to go out there, have a good time and ultimately come out on top,” said FENN President Ryan Cutter. “We love coming to support WAI. The excellent weather, course conditions and company made for a great day of golf!”

The event also had the full complement of challenges, from the longest drive and closest-to-the-pin to the putting contest and the elusive $10,000 hole that, sadly, went unclaimed. The reception dinner was not the traditional sit-down affair, but it didn’t matter. Golfers agreed that the ability to return to the Tumble Brook Country Club in Bloomfield, and enjoy the experience had made it a special day. Chapter President John Accorsi thanked the sponsors for their support, which also made it possible to add to the scholarship fund.

Tee-Off Breakfast: Chase Wire & Cable Materials, Insulated Wire, James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp, Lloyd & Bouvier; Snacks & Beverages: Carris Reels Inc, Electric Cable Compounds; Lunch: Gem Gravure Co, Inc, James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp, Teknikor; Beer Glasses: James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp; Thomas Hooker Brewery Draft Trailer: Rainbow Rubber and Plastics; 19th Hole Reception: Amacoil Inc, Amaral Automation, Carris Reels Inc, Elkem Inc, Fenn LLC, Insulated Wire, James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp, Mossberg Associates Inc, Zumbach Electronics Corp; Corporate Hole: Accel International, American-Kuhne/Graham Engineering Corp, AVIENT Corporation, Carris Reels Inc, DeWal Industries (x2), EIS Wire & Cable, Elkem Inc, Fenn LLC, Fenton Group, Fluoropolymer Resources Inc, Gem Gravure Co Inc, GEON Performance Solutions, James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp (x4), Joe Snee Associates Inc, Lloyd & Bouvier, M. Holland Company, Mantec, Quabbin Wire & Cable Co Inc, RichardsApex Inc, Specialty Cable Corp, Teknikor, United Wire Company, Wire & Cable Consulting LLC, Wire & Cable Manufacturers Alliance, Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp; Raffle Tickets: Lloyd & Bouvier; Golf Carts: James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp; Driving Range: Fluorogistx; $10,000 Hole-in-One: Commission Brokers Inc; Putting Contest: Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp; Chipping Contest: AGC Chemicals Americas Inc; Long Putt: Amaral Automation, Delta Tecnic; Scoreboard: RichardsApex Inc; Scorecard: DeWal Industries; Long Drive: Carris Reels Inc, Central Wire Industries, Sikora International Corp; Accurate Drive: Electronic Drives & Controls, Gem Gravure Co Inc; Closest to the Pin: Central Wire Industries, The MGS Group; M. Holland Company, W Gillies Technologies LLC.

The return to the golf course was wonderful
In the time we live in today, it was wonderful for the WAI to be able to put on such an awesome event. We all know today that we have to adapt to change very quickly. This was one of those events that had to adapt quickly to changes. It was wonderful how all the golfers that came to the event were so willing to adapt. This event is one of my favorite I go to, as the networking that goes on is outstanding. I am so much looking forward to the next one. I would say that next year we have to have the 27 holes, as I can see this event getting even bigger next year. Jim Evans, Web Industries.

Remember when “pre-Covid” golf outing comments were “It was a beautiful day for golfing, networking and socializing,” or “the course was in superb condition and the greens were fast and true” or “that grilled chicken at the oasis was perfectly cooked, tender and delicious”? Well ... it was a beautiful day, the course was in great shape and that chicken was damn good. The only Covid reminder was the lite fare dinner buffet stationed outside. There was a perfect atmosphere for continuing conversations from the cocktail hour through dinner and the awards ceremony. I am already looking forward to next year when we have more players, a full dinner buffet, and obviously that oasis chicken. Mark Mathiasen, Mathiasen Machinery. 

Last modified on October 1, 2021


Kimberly Korbel, the long-time executive director of the American Wire Producers Association (AWPA), has retired after 37 years of service to the rod, wire and wire products industries. She joined AWPA staff in 1984, and in 1991 was promoted to executive director. After years of working at other association management firms, in 1999 she opened Amber Association Partners, LLC, with AWPA as one of its inaugural clients. She was lauded by AWPA President Brian Burr for her steady demeanor, including during trying industry periods, and her understanding of the industry. She served on the board of directors of the Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA) of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). She spoke on behalf of the industry to the International Trade Commission, the Department of Commerce, the Office of the US Trade Representative, and other agencies, and led members on lobbying visits of Congress. She is succeeded by Emily Bardach, who worked at AWPA with Korbel as the director of membership and meetings from 1998 to 2011. She has 25 years of association management experience. She works for AMPED Association Management, where since 2000 she has been the executive director for Women in Government Relations (WGR). She is well known as a relationship builder in Washington, DC, and is a certified association executive through ASAE. She holds a degree in psychology from Wittenberg University. Continuing as director of meetings and membership is Heather Outhuse, who has been with the AWPA since 2007. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, AWPA members include North American wire producers, manufacturers and distributors of wire rod, and suppliers of machinery, dies and equipment to the wire industry.

Proton Products Inc. has named Iain Heddle as technical support manager, responsible for leading technical support initiatives for customers and employees in the U.S. A key role will be providing customers with the support they need to build out Industry 4.0 Solutions. The California office, which also takes on the role of the service center, has been kitted out to provide all repair and calibration services for our range of products. With offices in the U.K. and USA, Proton Products is a leading manufacturer of instrumentation and control equipment for use in industrial production.

Xia Chafel has joined American Wire Group as vice president of procurement, responsible for developing, overseeing, and implementing strategic sourcing strategy, managing material and services in the U.S. and internationally. She has a strong record of supply chain experience. Most recently, she was a supplier relationship manager in global procurement, where she developed two-way, mutually beneficial relationships between National Grid and its strategic supply partners to deliver greater levels of innovation that offer a competitive advantage. She previously worked for PerkinElmer, Rolls Royce and EMC. She holds a B.S. degree in economics from the Guangdong Foreign Trade Institute and an MBA from McCallum Graduate School of Business at Bentley University. Based in Aventura, Florida, American Wire Group specializes in wire and cable products for renewable energy and electrical utilities.

Service Wire Co. has promoted Trish Weisberg to strategic sales manager, a new position. A third-generation Service Wire employee, she started out as a management trainee in 2019, and since 2020 had served as a strategic account sales manager and a materials manager. She holds a B.B.A. degree in real estate finance from Southern Methodist University, and an MBA from Rice University. Andy Martin has joined the company as a regional sales manager in the Phoenix sales office. He will be serving commercial and industrial distributors, contractors and engineers while working with manufacturers’ representatives in eight states. Past employers include Rexel USA, Main Electrical Supply Co. and Crescent Electric Supply Company. Based in Culloden, West Virginia, Service Wire Co. is a family-owned wire and cable manufacturer with a nation-wide network of distributors.


Ali Shehab, the founder and president of U.K.-based Cimteq, died from cancer on Sept. 1, 2021, at the far-too early age of 51. 
In the 90s, Shehab worked for BIC Cables’ technology arm, where he developed the company’s manufacturing execution systems and production control systems. In 1998, he and his brother started Electronic Magic, which developed innovative products to aid consumers. He saw the need to help cable design engineers by removing tedious work, and from that he created CableBuilder, which was implemented in Draka Norsk Kabel in 2000. In 2005, the company name was changed to Cimteq, and the business continued to develop innovative solutions for the cable industry. In 2014, Cimteq released CableMES in cooperation with Wonderware, and in its first year the innovation won two awards from prestigious industrial bodies. In 2015, he was awarded Best Presentation of the 63rd IWCS International Cable & Connectivity Symposium.

Shehab’s passion for advanced cable manufacturing technology drove him to be a regular contributor to industry periodicals (including Wire Journal International) and blogs. He was also a frequent presenter at conferences, and had been a scheduled speaker for the Industry 4.0 program at Interwire 2021. He held a degree in electronics engineering from the University of Liverpool.

He is survived by his wife, Amanda, the company director, who herself is an industry veteran and former colleague, having worked as a manufacturing systems engineer for a decade for BIC Cables/Pirelli from 1991 to 2001, and is a past president of the International Wire Manufacturers Association.

Last modified on October 1, 2021

10/1/21 – Hitachi Cable has taken a step toward closing its plant in Pensacola, Florida, and moving those operations to Mexico.

Per a report in the Pensacola News Journal, Hitachi Cable has filed a notice with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to notify the state that it was closing its Pensacola manufacturing operations by the end of next March.

The company said in a statement that approximately 300 salaried and hourly workers will be affected by the plant’s closing. In the notice to the DEO, the company said 202 employees at the Pensacola plant would lose their jobs.

The plant on Ely Road was built in 1985 and was owned by Coupled Products Inc. until it was sold to Hitachi Cable America in 2008, according to county property records. The plant manufactures components and cables for anti-lock braking systems and hybrid vehicles.

Last modified on October 1, 2021

10/1/21 – Medicoil, a division of R&L Spring Company, announced that it has broken ground for a 40,000-sq-ft expansion to its facility in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

A press release said that the new manufacturing space is scheduled for completion in early 2022 and will support their continued growth in the medical device market. “For the fourth time since 1997 we are again proud to expand our manufacturing business,” said company owner and President Scott Forsythe.

Per its website, Medicoil was formed in 1992, a division of R&L Spring Company, which began in 1972. It supplies precision springs and wireforms to a wide range of OEMs in powersports, automotive, medical, and other general industries markets. The Medicoil brand was established in 2000 to focus on opportunities in the medical market. It has preferred-supplier status among some of the world’s leading medical device companies for its prevision coiled and formed wire products that are used in components and subassemblies that go into implantable devices. Medicoil’s modern facilities include an ISO 7 (Class 10,000) Clean Room.

R&L Spring Company notes that it is a preferred source of OEMs for precision springs, rings, wireforms and four-slide components, plus secondary and finishing processes.

Last modified on October 1, 2021