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4/8/2021:  It may still be seven months away, but the staging of Interwire 2021 this October seems more officially real with the map on the next page, and a show floor pledge that the Atlanta show will offer something the wire and cable industry has never before seen: a full-fledged display of Industry 4.0.

As explained in WJI's March issue, attendees will be able to see first-hand how the essence of the technology works and interact with experts who will be at the Industry 4.0 Pavilion on the exhibit floor at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. There will be lots more information to come in future issues as this Interwire will offer a comprehensive program on Industry 4.0 that is unlike anything that the Wire Association International has done before.

Yet the logistics matter, and that means reserving a place to stay. WAI has secured special rates for Interwire, to be held Oct. 26-27. To get that rate, reservations must go through the official housing administrator. EventSphere, LLC.

To review the options, go to either https://book.passkey.com/go/Interwire2021 or access the site at www.interwire21.com. The reservation deadline is Oct. 4. EventSphere LLC can also be contacted at tel. 877-419-8753 or (international) 864-208-2945, interwire@eventspher


Last modified on April 8, 2021

4/8/2021: The ongoing seven-week virtual staging of the Fundamentals of Wire Manufacturing Course (Fundamentals) continues to reflect the demand that exists in the industry for basic information.

Of note, the program will be repeated in a hybrid form at Interwire 2021. The current program—seven consecutive sessions (two presentations each) started on consecutive Wednesdays that began March 17 and concludes April 28—presents a comprehensive education. Topics covered include: mechanics of wiredrawing/drawing dies and lubricants; wire breaks and surface damage; stranding cable; cleaning and coating of rod and wire; ferrous heat treatment and metallurgy; extrusion; testing; marking/printing; and manufacturing problem solving. Each course is presented by industry veterans, and provides 30 more minutes than the traditional in-person program.

Attendance during the Covid-19 period has been quite good. Registration for a three-part WAI webinar program by Dr. Horace Pops—also a Fundamentals presenter—closed out at 500 before the first one (annealing) was held on Jan. 27, followed by fines on Feb. 3 and wire breaks on Feb. 10.
In terms of the ongoing Fundamentals series, registration reflects a continuing trend of more companies signing up multiple staffers. Mexico’s Viakable had 31 participants: 11 from Colombia, four from Brazil, three from the U.S. and 13 from Mexico.

“I believe this is a great opportunity for expanding the benefit of this course to a much broader base considering the value proposition in terms of money and time invested for this high-quality content,” said Raúl Garcia, Viakable’s director of technology and development.

Last modified on April 8, 2021

4/7/2021: On May 5, attorney Katherine Witherspoon Fry will present a one-hour webinar to address ways to limit legal liability and provide advice for creating a business plan that minimizes your workplace’s exposure to Covid-19 while maintaining productivity.

Fry is an employment law partner at the Pennsylvania-based law firm of Offit Kurman. She has 26 years of experience in employment law as a litigator, advisor, and mediator. She advises clients and litigates cases nationwide, and has made two appearances before to the U.S. Supreme Court. She also teaches HR law as an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware and is a Delaware Supreme Court-appointed hearing officer and certified mediator. She is a graduate of Duke University and the New York University School of Law.

The webinar, which will start at 1:30 pm EDT, will include a 50-minute presentation followed by 10 minutes for questions. Fry plans to present the “latest & greatest” in terms of new developments for policies, standards and more. Participants who have a topic they would like Fry to address can send it to her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“We think that members will benefit from Katherine’s expertise,” said chapter President John Accorsi, senior account/product manager, M. Holland. “The presentation will be forward-looking in terms of employees returning to the workplace as business travelers, with the pandemic hopefully in our rear-view mirror.”

“This program is actually a real education event that the New England Chapter is pleased to be able to offer to everyone,” said Lori Parent, who co-chairs the chapter’s education committee with Jonathan Rufe, Rainbow Rubber and Plastics, Inc.

The webinar is free to all WAI members and to non-members who sign up for a one-year membership prior to the event at a special rate of $75, with chapter membership added for $15. For more details on the event, and to register, go to wirenet.org.

Last modified on April 7, 2021

For years, the WAI Immediate Past President would receive the WAI flag that was prominently displayed at the WAI offices during their year leading the organization. When the Association moved in 2015, the suggestion was made by past president Nick Nickoletopoulos to present the flag to the President at the start of his term and have him display it at his company.

To that end, the WAI flag was presented to 2021 WAI President Tom Heberling at the first Executive Committee Meeting of the year. No surprise to anyone, Zoom helped facilitate this tradition on February 9. Heberling, vice president of Southwire, has responsibility for five plants, and his plan is to rotate the flag to each plant over the course of the year. The first stop is the Villa Rica plant in Georgia.

The 2021 Executive Committee includes President Tom Heberling, Southwire; 1st VP Jim York, Insteel Wire Products; 2nd VP Daniel Blais, Prysmian; Members Kurt Breischaft, SDI LaFarga Copperworks; Eric Bieberich, Fort Wayne Wire Die, Immediate Past President Jan Sørige, Enkotek; and Secretary Steve Fetteroll, WAI.

Last modified on March 8, 2021

Dr. Horace Pops, the industry guru for fines and wire breaks, set an Association record with his recent three-part webinar series.

Registration for the webinars—held Jan. 27 (annealing), Feb. 3 (fines) and Feb. 10 (wire breaks)—was closed when all 500 per presentation slots were filled. The total attendance for the three presentations topped 700. The reviews were consistently very positive.

“We are fortunate that not only is Dr. Pops a genius in his field, but that he has been so willing over the years to share his knowledge with the industry,” said WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll. He noted that Pops, a fixture at the WAI’s Fundamentals of Wire Manufacturing course, will return in that role as one of the presenters in the course that will run on seven consecutive Wednesdays, beginning March 17. A prolific author of technical papers, Pops is the principal of Horace Pops Consulting, Inc.

Last modified on March 8, 2021

The WAI has extended the deadline for submitting technical papers for the Association’s technical program at Interwire 2021, which earlier this year due to Covid-19 was rescheduled from May 10-13 to Oct. 26-27.

The WAI is focusing on Industry 4.0 at Interwire, (more on that in future issues). Eligible topics that relate to wire and cable manufacturing include: Industry 4.0, new ways to use automation in factories, The Internet of Things (IoT), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Smart factories, dark factories (lights-out manufacturing) and changes in plant management. Other topics, however, are also welcome.

Abstracts should be sent to WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by March 31. Interwire will remain at its longtime location at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. More information will be presented about the event in future issues, including a “Prequel” of the Atlanta show in the August issue, then the full preview in the September issue.

Last modified on March 8, 2021

As most of the world continues to adjust to Covid-19, three WAI chapters fully intend to continue their scholarships programs, all of which largely depend on their annual golf tournaments for funding.

It was not easy in 2020: WAI’s New England Chapter was able to reschedule and stage its tourney at a later date, with a smaller field; the Midwest Chapter canceled its golf tourney; and the Southeast Chapter canceled its event. However, that did not stop the cause. The New England Chapter awarded five scholarships, the Midwest Chapter awarded three and the Southeast Chapter awarded four.

Looking forward in 2021, it is not a certainty that all of the three chapters will be able to hold their events. The New England Chapter and the Southeast Chapter have scheduled dates, but the Midwest Chapter has not made a final decision. Despite the challenges, the chapters want to continue their scholarships. The goal is far from abstract as the dozen of 2020 scholarship recipients can attest.

“We’re very proud of how the chapters have continued to support their scholarship programs,” said WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll. “That chapter members are so willing to support the programs says a lot about who they are.”

Last modified on March 8, 2021

2/10/21 -- Dr. Horace Pops, the industry guru for fines and wire breaks, destroyed the association record for webinar registration for the first of his three webinars: Annealing, Jan. 27, which had to close on Friday, Jan. 22 because all 500 available slots were filled. Of note, the days that followed brought additional requests.

The two other scheduled Pops’ webinars are Fines, held February 3, and Wire Breaks, to be held today, Feb. 10. The original registration was for all three sessions, so all three are closed.

“Dr. Pops has long been known in the industry for his ability to discuss potential wire problem areas in a way that makes sense, but even we were surprised that we had to shut registration six days before it was to be held,” WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll said. He observed that the three webinars will be available later online to WAI members.

A prolific author of technical papers, including multiple award winners, Pops has presented at numerous WAI events over the years. He is a mainstay at WAI’s Fundamentals of Wire & Cable Manufacturing course. A WAI Past President (1992-93), he is the principal of Horace Pops Consulting, Inc.

Last modified on February 16, 2021

2/10/21 -- The WAI is seeking technical papers for the Association’s technical program at Interwire 2021, which earlier this year due to Covid-19 was rescheduled from May 10-13 to Oct. 26-27.

The WAI is focusing on Industry 4.0 at Interwire, (more on that in future issues), and technical papers that focus on this are being sought. Abstracts should be sent by March 1 to WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Interwire will remain at its longtime location at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. More information will be presented about the event in future issues, including a “Prequel” of the Atlanta show in the August issue, then the full preview in the September issue.

Last modified on February 10, 2021

2/10/21 -- The WAI’s Southeast Chapter was unable to hold its annual golf tournament in 2020, but its board confirmed at a recent meeting that it will issue four scholarships this year, using saved funds.

“As we come out of an uncertain time in 2020, the Southeast Board of Directors is excited to announce that the scholarship program will continue in 2021,” said Chapter President Chris McGill, Southwire. “We know there are deserving students in our community that could use the stability of this program to help them advance to the next level in their educational goals.”

The golf event, a key contributor to the chapter’s college scholarship program, also reflects a team effort. The 2019 event, held at the Rock Barn Country Club in Conover, North Carolina, was declared one of the best ever. Board members served as emcees, placed 40 sponsorship signs, managed the putting contest, photographed the event and made sure that everyone was fed and happy.

Last modified on February 10, 2021

2/10/21 -- The board of the directors for the WAI’s New England Chapter met recently to discuss plans for 2021, which included the possibility of holding a technical program. Appropriately, it was a virtual meeting, as the discussion focused on how a program could best be done. The consensus was that, if it deemed possible to do this in spring, it should be similar to the Association’s Streamcast program in July 15, 2020, a WAI online first.

The Streamcast program featured 12 industry speakers. More than 400 people registered for the virtual event, which ran from 8:30 am to 2 pm on Wednesday, July 15. The final “attendee” numbers for individuals that took part was more than 250, which at the time set a record for any WAI online event.

More news will follow in a future issue as to whether there is traction for the chapter’s plans.

In other news, the chapter welcomed the addition of Jessica Foss, market development manager, Electric Cable Compounds, Inc., who will serve as its treasurer.

The chapter also named two new board members: Sean DeZalia, process engineer, EIS Wire & Cable, and Jason Ponce, product development engineer, Harbour Industries. Of note, more than half the board members are younger than 40, which those on the call agreed was a good sign.

Last modified on February 10, 2021

2/10/21 -- The WAI’s Poland Chapter has rescheduled its 9th International Drawing Conference from Oct. 22, 2021, to a date in April 2022, at a new location in Poland.

The announcement from Poland Chapter President Jan W. Pilarczyk said that the plan is to now hold the event at the Hotel GALAXY in Krakow. The event date was changed due to concerns about the pandemic.

The conference will focus on modern methods of metal forming and drawing processes, and production of wire rods and wires. It is designed to serve as a gathering site for producers of carbon steel wire rod with their customers and create future cooperation for partners.

Beyond the technical program during the event, the conference will honor WAI Past President Tom Moran, a steel industry veteran, who will receive the Schneider Memorial Award, the highest honor in the Polish steel wire industry. For further and future details, go to the event website: www.msc.wip.pcz.pl.

Last modified on February 10, 2021

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