LLFlex reports that it has acquired the wire and cable metal armoring tapes slitting division of Web Industries, an international materials converter and contract manufacturer.
A press release said that the deal includes the slitting and related assets for the production of coated and uncoated copper and aluminum cable wraps and armor tapes. The acquisition bolsters the capacity and capabilities of the state-of-the-art production cell at LLFlex’s new High Point, North Carolina manufacturing facility. That, it said, includes the industry’s largest diameter coils.
Incorporating Web Industries’ infrastructure furthers the new site’s position as a “Global Cable Wrap Center of Excellence,” the release said. “Combined with Foreign Trade Zone status and flexible shipping options, including plans to launch its own shipping truck fleet later this year, the move helps make LLFlex a turnkey, single-point provider for all cable wrap needs.”
“LLFlex can now provide the widest range of coated and bare steel, copper and aluminum cable wraps and armoring solutions in the marketplace,” said company CEO Victor Dixon. “These unique assets and capabilities make LLFlex even more versatile with the technical leadership, expanded product range and global supply chain network to develop, produce and deliver new, innovative products for evolving industry needs.”
The release said that the new plant includes several innovations. One of those is that LLFlex is initiating a groundbreaking touchless packaging process that eliminates edge damage due to manual handling, and pioneering a slitting technology that results in flat edges for improved processing and weldability on cable lines.
At press time, the new plant was scheduled to commence wide-scale production in a very short time. The release said that the North Carolina facility has seen a steady march of progress toward its official opening. That includes installation of temperature and humidity controls, site certification to operate as a Foreign Trade Zone, hiring of skilled staff and a production manager, docking and loading bay construction, wiring the facility for industrial-grade electricity bandwidth and testing the plant’s ERP system as being a GMP compliant, ISO 9001:2015 accredited plant.
Egyptian ICT infrastructure provider Benya Capital recently has signed a contract with the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation (AOI) to establish what was described as the largest fiber-optic cable factory in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).
A press release said that the plant, expected to cost over EGP 1 billion, will be built on a large site at the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone). A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the AOI, Benya Capital (formerly known as Fiber Misr) and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport (AASTMT).
The three entities will team up for Artificial Intelligence (AI) projects and training in installation, and operation and maintenance of fiber networks. AOI chairperson Abdel Moneim Al-Tarras said the factory will provide many job opportunities for young engineers and technicians, as well as training in the latest fiber-optic cable technologies. He said that the AOI aims to establish a national industry that meets local market needs in terms of communications infrastructure. It will also serve Egypt’s new development projects and smart cities, in addition to opening export markets in the MEA region.
To help U.S. exhibitors affected by COVID-19 related travel restrictions, the U.S. Commercial Service in Düsseldorf has launched a booth staffing program for upcoming trade fairs that includes wire Düsseldorf and Tube Düsseldorf.
A press release said that corporate travel policies, government restrictions and quarantine requirements have made participation at trade fairs increasingly complex. If U.S. exhibitors cannot staff their booth but want to keep their brand positioned internationally and not miss business opportunities, the U.S. Commercial Service will find, train and monitor professional representatives at trade fairs in Düsseldorf.
The office has a long history of hiring articulate, motivated professionals to assist companies, explain product details, and collect business contact information from current and future business partners at trade fairs. The U.S. Commercial Service staff will: find a qualified, professional representative (REP) to staff exhibit booths; meet individually (virtually or in-person) with the REP to ensure quality standards, train on proper business contact etiquette, discuss the exhibiting firm’s products and review trade fair schedule and administrative matters; visit the REP at least once during the trade fair; check-in with the REP at the beginning/end of each trade fair day; collect business cards from the REP on the last day of the show; and discuss any key interactions, flag contacts for follow-up, scan business cards and send to home office.
The cost for the service includes direct payment to the REP (approximately 200 euros per day + local transportation costs), and a commercial service fee (U.S. small company, $600; U.S. medium company: $1,400; and U.S. large company: $1,800). To determine company size, go to www.trade.gov/us-commercial-service-user-fees, and scroll to the bottom for an explanation. For more information on the program, go to https://tinyurl.com/y2htduxl.
The service is also being offered at the Messe Düsseldorf fairgrounds to Caravan Salon, MEDICA, COMPAMED and Valve World Expo.
Google has announced plans in a YouTube video that it plans to build a new submarine fiber optic cable connecting the
United States and Europe.
Per the report, the Grace Hopper Cable, named after a computer programming pioneer and Rear-Admiral in the United
States Navy, will be equipped with 16 fiber pairs that will incorporate advances in optical fiber switching. This will allow
for increased reliability in global communications by enabling Google to move traffic around if demand changes or if
there are connectivity issues. The company said that this is the first time this technology has been deployed and is part of
what makes Grace Hopper so unique, and noted that Google is continuously working to advance technologies like this to
improve subsea network resiliency.
The Grace Hopper Cable will run from the U.S. to the U.K. and Spain. Google customers will benefit from this cable by
better network resilience and reliability. It will join the other private cables that are part of Google’s network: Curie,
Dunant and Equiano. It will further connect Google Cloud regions and Google’s customers to one another.
When it is completed in 2022, the Grace Hopper cable will be one of only a handful of new cables to connect the U.S.
and the U.K. since 2003, when the transatlantic route was saturated by overbuilding during the cable boom around the
turn of the century. It will also mark the first investment by Google in a subsea cable network to Spain.
The Grace Hopper Cable will also be better able to connect America, the U.K. and the rest of Europe with the Equiano
cable, which is currently under construction between Portugal and the West Coast of Africa. It will increase capacity on
this busy transatlantic global crossroad and power Google services such as Meet, Gmail and Google Cloud. It will be
Google’s fourth wholly owned cable. In addition to these private cables, the company is also a member of a number of
consortiums that jointly operate cables around the world. In total, Google has now announced investments in 5 subsea
Nexans announced the sale of two companies that were planned prior to Covid-19, as well as steps that have been taken in response to the effects of the virus that has uprooted much of the world.
In its mid-year financial report, Nexans announced that it has agreed to sell Berk-Tek, a U.S.-based manufacturer of local area network cables, for $202 million, to Leviton Network Solutions. Berk-Tek is a leading manufacturer of local area network copper and fiber cables. Berk-Tek’s 350 employees, as well as its facilities located in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, are expected to move under Leviton ownership before the end of Q3-2020 subject to customary closing conditions.
“This transaction is a natural step in reinforcing the Berk-Tek and Leviton marketing alliance signed in 2013. The combination of both innovative, reliable and service-oriented brands will enable Leviton Network Solutions to offer fully integrated solutions,” the release said. The transaction has an enterprise value of US$202 million. Berk-Tek reported sales for US$163 million in 2019.
“Berk-Tek is a highly respected North American cabling company with exceptional manufacturing and product development capabilities,” said Leviton President Daryoush Larizadeh. “By adding Berk-Tek to the Leviton family, we will be able to provide truly end-to-end solutions to our customers.” “Our Berk-Tek colleagues will join a long-term partner with the best strategic fit to answer customers’ demand around connectivity,” said Nexans CEO Christopher Guérin.
The second sale was for Nexans Metallurgie Deutschland GmbH (NMD), which specializes in oxygen-free copper drawing, to Mutares SE & Co. KGaA. The plant has annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons. NMD has 250 employees at two German sites in Bramsche and Neunburg. It serves first and second tier customers for automotive, white goods and industrial applications.
Mutares acquires and develops medium-sized industrial companies and operations of large corporations.
U.K.-based JDR Cable Systems, Inc. (JDR) has begun construction on a new 65,000-sf-ft U.S. headquarters on a 10-acre site in Tomball, Texas, that will combine three sites that were leased.
Per an article in the Houston Business Chronical that had information provided by JDR, a business of Poland’s TFKable, the site will be used to design and manufacture products for the oil and gas industry. The project, scheduled for completion in the first half of 2021, will allow JDR to expand its intervention workover control systems (IWOCS) rental business to support current demand.
The three leased locations collectively accounted for about 30,000 sq ft of space in northwest Houston. The new facility will include 45,000 sq ft of assembly and testing space, including a 60-ton overhead crane, and 20,000 sq ft of two-story office space. The site will see engineering and management for global projects, assembly of various oil field equipment and support for JDR’s offshore service business. Once the facility is complete, JDR plans to hire additional engineers and service technicians to expand its local presence. It will move 45 existing employees into the new facility and then hire five to 10 employees per year over the next five years.
“Beginning construction of our new Houston headquarters marks a significant milestone for our U.S. business,” said JDR General Manager Brian Davis.