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May 12, 2021 – What do the Cleveland Browns football team, The Estée Lauder Companies, Goodyear and CM Furnaces all have in common? This year each celebrates its 75th anniversary. Below, Vice President Jim Neill outlines the start of CM Furnaces—which has kept all its design and manufacturing in the U.S.—its evolution, its market broadening and where it is now. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., www.cmfurnaces.com

CM Furnaces was started in January 1946 by Seth Combs and James Murphy. The primary business was making coils and filaments for the electronics industry and lighting. Coils were made out of molybdenum and tungsten wire.

Both Combs and Murphy came out of the refractory metal industry and were very knowledgeable on moly and tungsten. Coils needed to be hydrogen-fired to shape, set and clean them. CM started to build its own hydrogen furnaces to support the coil business. We had some very interesting designs that attracted the attention of the three major lighting companies, GE, Sylvania and Westinghouse. At that time, CM started to build furnaces for all of them.

Word soon spread to other industries. Furnaces became a larger portion of the business. Technology was changing and the need for electronic filaments decreased slowly over time, while the furnace business continued to grow and expand.

Because we were so used to working with refractory metal wire, early on we moved into the wire industry. At first, it was moly and tungsten, then copper, stainless steel, nickel-based alloys, and titanium. These furnaces led to other uses in tubing, rod and small width sheet.

Continuous wire annealing furnaces are a very important part of CM’s business. The furnace business has grown into laboratory furnaces for all types of high-temperature research applications in a variety of atmospheres.
After 75 years, we are now in 12 major industries building both standard and custom units for a huge variety of applications. This base is a perfect platform for our continued growth into the future.

The future looks bright. The design of the furnaces continues to improve. The days of building your own are behind us. Most companies do not have the manpower or knowledge to do this. They would also be building a brand-new, 30-year-old piece of equipment, whereas we are building furnaces every day. The more furnaces we build, the more that we learn. This constantly helps us improve the product. We are looking forward to our 100th anniversary.”

Last modified on May 12, 2021

May 12, 2021 – Alloy Wire International (AWI), a specialist producer of round and profile wire, straight bars and wire rope in ‘High Performance’ nickel alloys, has appointed Gürfil San.Ve Elek.Cih.Paz.A.S to help it grow its Turkish business by 20% over the next twelve months.

Angus Hogarth, Director of R&D at AWI, commented: “We are now supplying our wire into more than 60 countries worldwide and this is only possible thanks to the network of Sales Representatives we have developed around the globe.

“Orders to Turkey have enjoyed consistent growth over the last two years and we are now in a position to invest in a local agent that will give us an even stronger presence in the area. Yusuf Gunes’ knowledge and business experience will open up new contacts for us, as well as meeting the requirements of existing customers.”

He continued: “You can’t beat having that country specific knowledge for understanding how the market will react to changes, new trends that are developing and where opportunities may exist.”

Yusuf Gunes went on to add: “I’m looking forward to travelling in Turkey and meeting with AWI’s customers to find out how we may further help with their wire needs in ‘Exotic’ alloys such as Inconel, Nimonic, Hastelloy, Monel, MP35N, Phynox and Waspaloy.

“They are already used by manufacturers of springs, fasteners and mesh for example, with these materials often used because of their excellent performance in high temperature or very corrosive environments.

“AWI has a very good reputation in Turkey and customers are switching on to its ability to make small order quantities in short 3 week lead times and in such a wide size range, starting from 0.025mm to 21mm. Our technical expertise will also be crucial when discussing product application or a wire specification.”

Alloy Wire International currently supplies in excess of 5000 customers involved in automotive, aerospace, defence, medical, nuclear, oil and gas and renewables.

A 60-strong range of exotic alloys, including Phynox, Inconel and Hastelloy, is available from 0.025mm (.001”) to 21mm (.827”) in small batches or medium/large volume – all within a three-week timeframe.

Strong demand has come from the Far East, Eastern Europe and Australia, with new international sales agents also appointed in Russia and Singapore to explore new opportunities.

For further information, please visit www.alloywire.com or follow Alloy Wire International on LinkedIn. Yusuf can be reached on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last modified on May 12, 2021

May 12, 2021 – Prysmian Group strengthens its commitment to Diversity & Inclusion with the aim of further enhancing its human capital made up of around 28,000 employees worldwide. The increase in the percentage of women, both among white-collar workers and at the level of top managers, is among the sustainability parameters to which the payment of the company managers’ variable remuneration has been linked.

As evidence of the strategic importance of gender and cultural diversity, Prysmian has also set up a new global Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee, tasked with overseeing the achievement of the objectives that the Group has set itself. The Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee has the responsibility to define D&I objectives at each organisational level and support the definition of the actions to achieve and to promote a cultural change to facilitate Diversity & Inclusion within the work environment. The Committee is composed by Prysmian Turkey Human Resources Director Aysun Kalmik, acting as Leader, and Product Development Manager of the Lincoln (Rhode Island) plant Prasha Sarwate, as Deputy Leader.

In order to improve the gender balance in its workforce, the Group has committed to achieving the following Diversity & Inclusion objectives by 2022:

• Ensuring 40% of women hired (female white collars hired with a permanent contract) on total hirings (34% in 2020 compared to 30% in 2016);

• Increasing from 21.9% to 25% the percentage of women managers (from junior to top positions);

• Improving gender balance with regard to executive positions: from 6% in 2016 to 18% in 2022.

In addition, fundamental indicators (e.g., security) have been implemented in all the Groups’ 104 plants.

The D&I parameters are part of the sustainability objectives, to which the payment of the company managers’ variable remuneration has been linked.
In addition, the Group’s first Global eNclusion Week, a five-day digital event, will take place from 17 to 21 May, featuring a series of digital panels and workshops on the importance and advantages of building diverse and inclusive workspaces. The programme will focus on four main themes: Gender Diversity; Diversity & Inclusion in all its forms; Inclusive Culture in the workplace; and Generational D&I.

The Global eNclusion Week will be opened on 14 May by Fabrizio Rutschmann, Prysmian Group CHRO, followed by speeches by: Valerio Battista, Prysmian Group CEO; Mimi Kung, Prysmian Group Independent Board Member; Eric Rondolat, Signify CEO; Sabrina Ritossa Fernandez, Sycomore Asset Management; Maria Cristina Bifulco, Chief Sustainability Officer & IR Director Prysmian Group; and Massimo Battaini, Prysmian Group COO. For further details on all the events click here. The Global eNclusion Week will offer the opportunity to know more about how Countries, Companies and Associations are promoting Diversity & Inclusion around the world.

With the participation of an international and multicultural community, this initiative will feature one week of events open to everyone, where speakers from different industries and with different background will share their knowledge and best practices related to Diversity & Inclusion.
“We strongly believe that leveraging on gender, age and cultural diversity means creating more value and we are constantly building a work environment where all our employees can feel understood, respected and included, just as they are. This event is more than an aspiration: it is a necessity, or better, a business case for a Group that has to work with customers, suppliers and shareholders with different backgrounds and cultures. In order to improve this approach, it is necessary to raise awareness and build a positive dialogue, which can contribute to advancing the Group’s corporate culture”, commented Fabrizio Rutschmann, Chief HR Officer Prysmian Group.

Prysmian Group believes in the value of individuals, backgrounds, leadership styles and attitudes because each person has the potential to generate value to the Company. Its global footprint enables the Group to promote an inclusive environment, encouraging the development of corporate culture and identity. Side by Side is Prysmian Group’s project that promotes Diversity & Inclusion across the organisation.

The Prysmian Group
Prysmian Group is a world leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industry. With almost 140 years of experience, sales of €10 billion, about 28,000 employees in over 50 countries and 104 plants, the Group is strongly positioned in high-tech markets and offers the widest possible range of products, services, technologies and know-how.

Last modified on May 12, 2021

May 12, 2021 – Leoni AG continues positive trajectory in the first quarter of 2021, which saw the initial WCS carve-out achieved. 

“We continued our operational recovery of the preceding quarters in the first quarter of 2021,” stated Leoni AG CEO Also Kamper. “We reached initial milestones in the improvement of our portfolio with the sale of Leoni Schweiz AG as well as the agreement on the disposal of business units of Leoni Kerpen GmbH. Overall, our progress in operational and strategic terms gives us confidence that we have embarked on the right course to stabilise our business on a sustainable basis. Our focus continues to be on diligently implementing all measures needed to further improve LEONI’s performance and efficiency in the future.” He cited the following positive news.

• Consolidated sales well up on the previous year in the first quarter of 2021

• EBIT before exceptional items as well as before VALUE 21 costs was, with earnings of €39 million, up substantially from the level of same quarter of the previous year (a loss of € 7 million) thanks to a sales increase and operational improvements

• Resolute implementation of our VALUE 21 performance and strategy programme; about €600 million of the gross cost savings potential realised as of 31 March 2021

• As expected, negative free cash flow of € 100 million substantially below the previous year’s neutral figure, which benefited considerably at the time from sale-and-leaseback transactions; free cash flow in the first quarter of 2021 was weighed down by the trend in net working capital related to the operational recovery

• Progress made with respect to strengthening our portfolio by having closed the sale of the first WCS unit, namely LEONI Schweiz AG, at the end of March 2021

• Agreement signed with a consortium of buyers on sale of LEONI Kerpen GmbH’s low-margin business units based in Stolberg; more than 160 jobs could be saved by continuing to operate these units in the hands of new owners at the site

• Sales and earnings outlook for fiscal 2021 raised: despite the persisting Covid-19 pandemic and bottlenecks in our global supply chains, outlook for Group sales now lifted to a significant increase (previously only a low double-digit percentage range); EBIT before exceptional items as well as before VALUE 21 costs should also improve significantly and now reach at least the break-even point

Last modified on May 12, 2021

5/7/2021:  Kinderhook Industries, LLC (Kinderhook) announced that it has acquired Cameron Wire & Cable, Inc., a leading distributor of commercial and industrial wire, cable and related accessories.

A press release said that Robert Cameron, who founded the company and served as president, will continue his involvement and be on the board of directors. Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, Cameron Wire & Cable supplies Cameron-branded copper, aluminum and specialty wire and cable products that are sold to the renewable energy, building wire, industrial and utility end markets. It also provides value-added services that include paralleling, cutting, kitting, harness assembly and development of custom engineered products for unique applications. It serves its customers out of a strategic footprint of distribution centers spanning the continental U.S.

The release did not cite the sales price, but Kinderhook Managing Director Paul Cifelli said that Cameron is “retaining a significant minority stake.” Kinderhook will add two of its operating partners—Ed Flynn, former CEO of International Wire Group, and Craig York, CEO of Kinderhook portfolio company, Copperweld—to Cameron Wire & Cable’s management and board of directors. The two men, who have more than 40 years of collective experience in the wire and cable industry, will provide operational and strategic expertise in support of Kinderhook and management.

Partnering with Kinderhook will allow us to accelerate our growth plan in Cameron’s core and adjacent industry verticals, said Robert Cameron. “In particular, I’m very excited to pursue complementary add-on acquisitions that will help continue to grow our franchise and value-added capabilities.”

“Robert Cameron has successfully led the company to a position of industry leadership in just over a decade, and we look forward to working with him on expanding the Company’s products, services and end markets,” Cifelli said. “Cameron Wire & Cable is a valuable addition to Kinderhook’s rapidly growing wire and cable franchise, and we are excited to help facilitate the acceleration of the company’s already impressive growth.”

Founded in 2003, Kinderhook Industries, LLC, is a private investment firm that manages over $3.3 billion of committed capital. In 2019 it acquired the Copperweld Group, Inc., which last November acquired Copperhead Industries, a Minnesota-based provider of specialty tracer wire products and related equipment.

Last modified on May 7, 2021

5/7/2021:  NKT reports that it has been awarded a long-term frame agreement with French Transmission System Operator, Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) to supply it high-voltage power cables.

A press release said that the agreement builds upon a decade of successful collaboration between NKT and RTE. “This new frame contract is a testament to NKT’s presence in France and a confirmation of the mutually rewarding business relationship between NKT and RTE.”
NKT will supply 25 kV high-voltage AC XLPE underground power cable systems, and install accessories such as joints and terminations. The contract covers from 2021 through 2023, with an option for one additional year, as RTE furthers its goal to renew and modernize the transmission power grid in France to support energy transition.

“We are fully committed to accelerate the sustainability journey as we are the first major power cable manufacturer to commit to the Science Based Target initiative and to become a net-zero emissions company supporting RTE in their ambition of making ‘the Greener Choice,’” said NKT President and CEO Alexander Kara.

NKT is currently supporting RTE by executing a 225 kV high-voltage retrofitting power cable project in Marseille, where old cables installed in steel pipes are being replaced with new armored extruded XLPE type cables. The power cables for both the retrofitting project and the new frame agreement are to be made at NKT’s factory in Cologne, Germany, which runs on 100% green electricity.

Last modified on May 7, 2021

5/7/2021: Italy’s Elettrotek Kabel SpA (EK) announced that it has completed the acquisition of Associated Wire Products (AWP), a Canadian leader in automation cables.

Founded in 1987 with headquarters in Burlington, Ontario (Canada), AWP is specialized in providing special cables for the industries. Elettrotek Kabel Group thus continues its growth in strategic sectors such as the industrial automation. The acquisition of AWP allows the expansion of EK’s presence in these markets by providing customers with excellent technical and commercial support.

Announcing the acquisition, EK President and CEO Roberto Gallingani explained, “The addition of AWP to our group represents an excellent value-add for Elettrotek Kabel Group’s Cables Automation division in the Canadian markets. We believe this is a strategic acquisition that will also allow AWP to continue expanding its capabilities while benefiting from the technical expertise and global footprint of Elettrotek Kabel Group.”

“Elettrotek Kabel established another important milestone,” said Nicola Malaguti, president and CEO of Elettrotek Kabel North America Inc. “We are confident that with this acquisition our presence in North America will continue to grow. AWP perfectly fits with the group, embracing the same business model and goals. This investment is essential to support Canadian customers and it confirms that Elettrotek is a leader in the cable industry.”

Founded in 2001, Elettrotek Kabel is a leading company in the design, manufacture and supply of special electrical cables used in harsh environments with a high cost of failure. It is one of the first companies in the world to manufacture and distribute special cables for the industrial automation, steel, mining, port and crane, marine and oil industries. The rapid expansion of the group has been possible thanks to the competence of the management team and their constant attention to the exclusive use of the highest quality products.

Founded in 1987, AWP is a Canadian leader in automation cables, with the main objective of meeting the customer’s needs by offering technical solutions and excellent service. AWP has never stopped listening to the needs of the market for over 30 years, and today is recognized for the highest guarantee of quality and reliability.

 

Last modified on May 7, 2021

5/7/2021: OmniCable has agreed to buy Houston Wire & Cable Co. (HWCC) in a $91 million deal that would combine their complementary businesses, products and footprint to create a national leader in the redistribution field.

A press release said that the deal was approved by HWCC’s board of directors, and is expected to get approval at a May 25 meeting of HWCC shareholders. The publicly traded company would then become a private entity of Omni Cable.

The deal “will maximize OmniCable’s and HWCC’s highly complementary operations,” the release said. The combined company will also continue HWCC’s fastener redistribution business. Following the close of the transaction, each company will retain its own brands and its existing locations. “Our shared central focus on redistribution, logistical expertise, and unyielding pursuit of perfection for our business partners will drive both businesses to enhance the value that we bring to the marketplace,” said Jeff Siegfried, OmniCable founder and vice chairman.

HWCC, founded 45 years ago, is a large industrial distributor of wire and cable and fastener products in the U.S. market. Based in Houston, Texas, it has sales and distribution facilities strategically located throughout the U.S. OmniCable, a subsidiary of Dot Holdings Co., has 14 regional distribution centers to serve and support electrical distributors nationwide.

 

Last modified on May 7, 2021

4/6/2021: Rosendahl Nextrom reports that it has completed the extension at its site in Pischelsdorf, Austria, which has seen the addition of some 3,000 sq m over two levels.

A press release said that the newly created space was for the mechanical assembly, steel construction and warehouse departments. This warehouse was also partially built with a basement, resulting in a storage height of a good 16 m. The focus was on making work processes and daily work even more efficient. For example, automated parallel vertical storage systems were installed so orders could be processed even faster and more efficiently. Furthermore, the production processes have also been automated and thus improved.

“All in all, a very functional hall is now available,” the release said. The infrastructure design makes the hall future-proof and flexible. “Of course, good building physics is also important in order to be able to operate the hall economically in the future.

Last modified on April 7, 2021

4/6/2021: Germany’s Leoni Group announced that it has sold Leoni Studer AG, part of the company’s Wire & Cable Solutions (WCS) division, to a consortium of buyers led by former Board member Bruno Fankhauser and Helvetica Capital.

A press release said that the sale was an important step towards focusing the Group on wiring systems business. The deal saw the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board sell Leoni Schweiz AG, which is the holding company of Leoni Studer AG, a specialist in high-quality cables and wires for complex applications in the industrial and infrastructure sectors. Both sides signed a corresponding agreement after several months of negotiation. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2021.

Leoni announced that the company will sell the units of the Wire & Cable Solutions (WCS) division to focus on the wiring systems business. In the past financial year, Leoni laid the foundation for the reorganization of WCS into units to be sold. Leoni Schweiz AG is now the first unit being sold.

“The sale of Leoni Schweiz AG shows that besides the sequential improvement of our operating performance, we are also making progress in focusing on the wiring systems business,” said Leoni AG CEO Aldo Kamper. “The market environment for transactions appears to be steadily improving, and we received tangible indications of interest for further WCS units. We will sell further units if we achieve fair value and if buyers present a viable concept.”

The buyer consortium’s business concept for Leoni Schweiz AG envisions that the company will realize its full potential quickly and flexibly on an independent and stand-alone basis. The business will be further developed in the field of special and safety cables, halogen-free, flame-resistant plastics as well as irradiation cross-linking and sterilization.

As a long-standing member of the management of Studer AG and Leoni Schweiz AG, Bruno Fankhauser has been familiar with the business and the market for over 20 years and will contribute this expertise to the further development of the company as the future CEO of the independent Studer Cables. “We intend to further expand Leoni Studer’s leading position and its core technical competencies,” said Fankhauser. “With this step we are also providing stability and continuity for our employees and business partners.”

Last modified on April 7, 2021

4/6/2021: The Prysmian Group will supply 770 km of submarine telecom cables for the Norte Conectado project—awarded by RNP, Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa, a Brazilian Internet provider—that will connect the city of Macapá to Santarém and Alenquer, which are located in the north of the Amazon region.

A press release said that Prysmian will provide its widely used MINISUB of repeaterless, optic submarine cables. They have a high fiber count that will be deployed in four separated links, enabling a reliable flow of data traffic to 9.2 million households. The project will enable connectivity cross 59 municipalities in northern Brazil, and makes it possible to extend it to other Amazonian countries. The cables will be produced at Prysmian’s plant in Nordenham, Germany, and delivered in the second half of 2021.

“We are honored to contribute to this valuable project and support sustainable development by improving the data connectivity for the local communities and public institutions,” said Prysmian Group Submarine Telecom BU Director Ashutosh Bhargavas. “Prysmian has been operating in Brazil for more than 90 years and is in the unique position to serve its customers directly from there.”

Last modified on April 7, 2021

4/6/2021: The Metalworks business of HS Manufacturing, LLC (HS Metalworks), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company (HSM), has formed a strategic alliance with wire manufacturer OPEX Steel Processing LLC (OPEX) to manufacture induction-tempered spring wire for HS Metalworks at its Bedford Heights, Ohio, facility.

A press release said that along with expanding HS Metalworks’ capacity, the strategic alliance enables the company to better serve its spring-wire customers based in the Midwest. “This new strategic alliance provides us with additional capacity, as well as a major geographical advantage, that will support our customers’ growing demand for this product,” said HS Metalworks President Tim Becker. “It also cements our position as one of the largest producers of induction-tempered spring wire in North America, at a time when there is a real shortage in supply due to the recent spike in demand for home furnishings, products used for housing upgrades and automotive products as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Becker noted that the alliance gives HS Metalworks a “triangle” of manufacturing facilities for spring wire. HS Metalworks also manufactures this product at its facilities in Conover, North Carolina, and Phoenix, Arizona. Production and shipments from the Bedford Heights factory began in late February.

HS Metalworks will be OPEX’s sole and exclusive customer for induction-tempered spring wire, which is used to manufacture overhead springs for garage doors and has applications in the furniture, automotive, agricultural and construction industries in products which require springs that have a large load-bearing capacity.

OPEX is a business formed using some of the wire making assets formerly owned and operated by American Spring Wire Corp. “We are very excited to expand our production capabilities and further service our customers through this strategic alliance,” Becker said. “The OPEX team, from the executive level to the production floor, is one of the most highly respected wire manufacturers in the industry. Dedicated to manufacturing high-quality products with an emphasis on customer service, this collaboration aligns well with both of our companies’ core values and we look forward to continued growth together.”

“I am very pleased to have joined forces with HS Metalworks and to put our wire making assets, and our people, back to work.” said Tim Selhorst, CEO of OPEX. “Demand for induction-tempered spring wire has grown dramatically, and to be part of this alliance is a terrific opportunity for OPEX Steel Processing and, we believe, HS Metalworks.”

Last modified on April 7, 2021

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