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Wire Journal News

July 2021

7/27/21  HVD Partners announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Italy’s Sampsistemi Srl and Sampsistemi Extrusion Srl through a process administered by the Court of Bologna. The deal includes Samp Sistemi and Samp Extrusion in Italy, Samp China, Samp USA and Samp Brasil including Cortinovis do Brazil). The deal includes 45% of Setic and Pourtier, the remainder of which is owned by the Gauder Group.

A press release said that “HVD will invest in the revitalization of the company’s international operations and brand in the U.S., China and Brazil from its headquarters in Bentivoglio, Italy. Commented HVD Partners Managing Partner Jouni Heinonen, “Sampsistemi is a globally recognized Italian champion. We look forward to working with the management to restore the company on a path of profitable growth, serving customers from existing locations in all major expansion markets.”

Sampsistemi provides a wide range of extrusion equipment that processes from rod to the finished cable. HVD Partners, which describes itself as “a specialized transformation service provider helping banks, private lenders, corporations and private equity funds to rapidly develop and divest non-core activities,” has been active in the cable field before.

In 2018, HVD led the carve-out of Solifos AG—a Swiss manufacturer of specialty fiber optic cables for distributed sensing and mission-critical defense applications—from Brugg Cables. Changes were rapidly implemented to transform the business from a legacy of steep losses (-15% EBITDA) to a profitable stand-alone business in six months. On Dec. 11, 2020, it agreed to sell Solifos AG to NBG GmbH.

Of note, Heinonen is the ex-CEO of Nextrom and Plumettaz, and was also the chairman of Solifos, the carve out from Brugg Kabel AG.

Published in Industry News

7/12/21  Nexans has won a contract from VINCI-Energies Traction to supply traction cable for the new metro line 15 South, which is part of a mammoth French infrastructure project known as the Grand Paris Express (GPE).

A press release said that, when complete, the project—one of the world’s largest infrastructure projects, valued at approximately €35.6 billion—will double the existing Paris Metro network by adding four new lines, 68 stations and 200 km of track. It consists of a ring route around Paris (line 15) and lines connecting developing neighborhoods (lines 16, 17 and 18).

Along its 33-km length, the metropolitan Line 15 South will run from Pont-de-Sèvres to Noisy-Champs, passing through 22 districts to serve more than one million people. Most of the traction cables for the Line 15 South will be manufactured by the Nexans plant in Mehun-sur-Yèvre, France. Cable installation is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2021, and Line 15 will open first, in 2025.

Nexans said that it is the first cable manufacturer to receive an order for this infrastructure project. The order, which will take place over more than three years, will see the traction cables installed along the rails in a long tunnel and in different technical rooms. The majority of the traction cables for metro Line 15 are from the K25 range developed by Nexans to comply with stringent fire performance railway standards. The contract will also include R2V cables. Option logistic services could be provided to ensure secured and on-time deliveries that would optimize cable installation for VINCI-Energies Traction.

The project is managed by The Société du Grand Paris. VINCI-Energies helps public authorities and business clients deploy energy, transport and communication infrastructure, industrial facilities and buildings. VINCI-Energies Traction is a consortium for the project.

Published in Industry News

7/12/21  The Prysmian Group has won a turn-key contract worth €900 million to supply some 700 miles of ±525 kV cross-linked polyethylene class HVDC cable that will connect two of the largest energy markets in the U.S.

A press release said that the order is from SOO Green HVDC Link, LLC (SOO Green), which named the Prysmian Group as its preferred supplier of high-voltage DC cable systems for a first-of-its-kind transmission project to be installed underground along existing railroad rights of way. The 2,100-MW interregional project, considered the first link in a national clean energy grid, will connect the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) that serves the central U.S. to the eastern PJM Interconnection, serving more than 1.2 million homes. For more information about the SOO Green HVDC Link, go to www.soogreenrr.com.

SOO Green, which is owned by investment funds managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Siemens Energy, and Jingoli Power, is being developed by Minneapolis-based Direct Connect Development Company, LLC. The award is subject to final contract approvals. The construction part of the project will be performed by Jingoli Power, and will be added to the overall contract value.

The cables will be installed underground, primarily along existing railroad rights-of-way. They will connect SOO Green’s converter station in northern Iowa to its Illinois converter station, just west of Chicago. Cable production for the project is expected to start in 2023.

The cables will be made at Prysmian’s facility in Abbeville, South Carolina, which is being upgraded to help achieve President Biden’s goal of a zero-carbon power grid by 2035. “After the award of flagship projects such as the Vineyard offshore wind farm and the project to upgrade the Washington, D.C. area’s power transmission system, (this opportunity) further solidifies Prysmian Group as the partner of choice for the US interconnector market,” said Prysmian Group CEO Valerio Battista.

Published in Industry News

7/12/21  Bekaert announced that it will expand the company’s plant in Lipetsk, Russia, investing approximately $24 million to add a new production line for bead wire and to increase its current tire cord manufacturing capacity.

A press release said that the Lipetsk plant produces steel cord for the tire industry and Dramix® fibers for construction markets. The bead wire line will allow the company to make a full range of products for the reinforcement of tires. The projects are expected to create 80 new jobs. The production start of the plant extension is planned for the first half of 2022.

The news was announced at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF ‘21). “This expansion will help the Bekaert Lipetsk team to continue to deliver superior value to their customers and to contribute to the customers’ growth ambitions in the region and the wider CIS, as well as to become an export platform to the European region,” the release said.

In January 2008, Bekaert first announced that it would strengthen its existing position in Russia by investing more than €97 million in a new steel cord production plant in the Lipetsk Special Economic Zone. At the time, Bekaert already had a portfolio of customers in Russia for steel cord products for tire reinforcement, steel fibers for concrete reinforcement and other specialized wire products, but they were being supplied by its plants in Central Europe. With the first phase, first production was scheduled to start in 2010, with other work phased in through 2013.

The Lipetsk plant, which serves customers in Russia and the wider CIS region, is about 400 km south of Moscow. Bekaert has also had a sales office in Moscow since 1998, that serves a portfolio of customers with a wide variety of advanced steel wire products.

Published in Industry News

7/8/21  Superior Essex has completed an agreement to become the eighth corporate partner of The Copper Mark, which it notes is the only comprehensive social and environmental assurance program for the copper industry.

A press release said that the partnership aligns with the corporate sustainability goals of Superior Essex, and its recently announced Vision 2030 for the Essex Furukawa Magnet Wire brand. The focus of the initiative is to responsibly source raw materials being used in its magnet wire products. Superior Essex Communications, a global producer of communication cabling, has been a leader in sustainability since 2011, working in collaboration with its copper suppliers.

The Copper Mark demonstrates the copper industry’s responsible production practices and industry contribution to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. It assesses criteria of 32 different environmental, social, and governance “issue areas” of sourcing of minerals and metals. It sets to establish sound management practices based on voluntary standards for supply chains.

Annie Bevan, the global head of sustainability for Superior Essex, told WJI that the formalization of the relationship helps the brand advance its efforts. “This commitment showcases the ways in which our sourcing and sustainability efforts can work hand in hand within the organization, as well as the upstream and downstream activities outside of the organization.”

“This partnership is a victory from all sides of our business operations,” said Scott Wilde, global vice president of strategic sourcing for Superior Essex. “As our CEO, Brian Kim, recently launched his Vision 2030 commitments, we took this as a challenge to be forward thinking with green production and improving our product from the source which is a major step in the right direction.”

Published in Press Releases

7/8/21  The Chicago Association of Spring Manufacturers, Inc. (CASMI) is re-scheduling SpringWorld 2022 so that it will not conflict with Yom Kippur.

A press release said that the event, which was scheduled to take place Oct. 5-7, 2022, will now take place Oct. 12-14, 2022, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. For more details about the event, go to www.casmi-springworld.org.  

Published in Press Releases

7/8/21 DtGV, the German Association for Consumer Studies, has named SIKORA as one of the winners of its SME Innovation Award 2021/2022.

A press release said that the award goes to small and medium-sized companies from Germany “that demonstrate particularly high innovation potential in their segment and/or state.” The award was based on the Corporate Patent Classification (CPC) system. The basic parameter patent number was rounded off by the qualitative moment of the citation frequency and condensed into a score value.

SIKORA, a supplier of measuring technology, was scored as being among the top 10% of all examined SMEs in the CPC main class for instruments.” In the parallel federal state ranking, it was listed as one of the top three companies from Bremen. “This award makes us very proud and confirms the corporate course we have been following since the foundation of the company,” said Sikora CEO Dr. Christian Frank. “Thanks to our inventive spirit and innovation potential, we are able to continuously offer our customers future-oriented technology solutions. Thus, we create the basis for highest customer satisfaction and long-term growth.” 

Published in Press Releases

7/7/21  By the time hurricanes strike, they have official names and landing date so people have a name to a tag all the damage, which will be well chronicled by video. Last year, however, there was a memorable natural disaster, only this one did not have a name, an official starting time or much of anything in the way of widespread media attention. Then again, this avalanche took place at depths as great as 2.8 miles, and the only sign that it had even happened was that two subsea cable systems were KOed.

Per a BBC report, the avalanche, officially called a turbidity current, was initially triggered by a large flood on the Congo River in December 2019. The fast-moving water shifted a vast amount of sand and mud to the Congo Submarine Canyon off the West African coast, but that alone did not cause the avalanche. Early spring tides in mid-January 2020, water pressure in the sediment and low tide triggered the turbidity current. The slide traveled for a full two days, starting out at 11.6 miles/hour then sped up to nearly 18 miles/hour, covering 683 miles across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, reaching depths there as much as 2.8 miles.

A U.K. team led by Professor Peter Talling discovered the event through sensors in the area that measure current and sediment velocities. The slide damaged two submarine telecommunications cables, the South Atlantic 3/West Africa (SAT-3/WASC) cable and the West Africa Cable System (WACS), knocking out Internet and other data traffic. A French cable-laying vessel, the Léon Thévenin, repaired the cable breaks within two weeks, but the movement of sediment caused more breaks in early 2021.

Talling and his colleagues later wrote a paper (Novel sensor array helps to understand submarine cable faults off West Africa) printed at eartharxiv.org. In it, the professor explained that not all turbidity currents work the same. Some deposit large amounts of sand and mud onto cables, while other slides burrow deep into the seafloor. The Talling team provided some of the first measurements made of cable-breaking sediment flows. He explained how such flows can affect multiple cables simultaneously over large areas, and how deep erosion can damage subsea cables.

Dr. Mike Clare, marine geoscientist at the U.K.’s National Oceanography Centre and advisor to the International Cable Protection Committee, said that the goal was to best understand how to position and reroute cable repair ships into areas where undersea cable is more vulnerable to damage.
More than 99% of all data traffic between continents goes through the global submarine cable network. Participating in the Congo Canyon research was IFREMER (Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la MER) in France and GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Germany. The project is co-led from Durham and Angola Cables.

Published in The Basics

7/7/21  Sad to report, but it was beavers – determined, hard-working creatures – that were the cause of a temporary Internet outage for 900 residents in Tumbler Ridge in northeastern British Columbia.

When a Telus repair crew traced the problem, they found red marking tape on top of a beaver’s den in a local creek. The beavers had dug down more than three feet to the cable, used the tape for their building material, and chewed through 4.5 in. of conduit and fiber cable in multiple locations. Crews had to bring in extra equipment to dig out and expose the rest of the cable to see how far the damage extended. The partially frozen ground hindered their 36-hour repair work. Observed a Telus spokeswoman, it was a “uniquely Canadian disruption!”

As WJI readers know, rats and mice can cause tremendous damage chewing through electrical wires that cause millions of dollars of structural damage, as well as electrical and power outages. According to Working RE Magazine, rats and mice cause 20% of undetermined fires in the United States each year. Rats and squirrels have been caught on video pulling out and chewing on electrical wires in attics. Rodents chew on wires to file down their teeth and to make nesting material. Because rats, mice, chipmunks and squirrels are the most likely suspects for chewing wires, please don’t blame bats, opossum, skunks and armadillos, as they do not engage in such activity. Then again, aside from the armadillos, they are not as lovable as beavers.

Published in The Basics

7/7/21  Anand Bhagwat was promoted to senior manager - quality and technology at Minova USA. In his new position, he will continue to support daily operations of quality functions, and manage the overall technology group in the Americas region. He will also support the global R&D team on product development. He joined the company in 2011 as manager of the Steel Technology Center. Prior to that, he worked at the Seneca Wire Group from 2000 to 2006 as vice president of quality and technology. Following a three-year stint as managing director of WAI Wire and Cable Services, Ltd., in India, the past WAI president (2005) returned to Seneca in 2011 as plant manager of FENIX, LLC. Based in Georgetown, Kentucky, Minova USA supplies ground support products for the mining, construction and energy industries.

Oman Cables Industry announced that Cinzia Farise is the company’s new CEO. She has been a sales and marketing director in the services and industrial products sector. She joined Italy’s Prysmian Group in 2005, holding a number of positions that included vice president and CEO of Prysmian India. She later served as CEO for Trenord, a large Italian rail company. In 2019, she returned to the Prysmian Group, and was named CEO of the group’s Turkish affiliate. She holds a degree in economics. She replaces Ali Said al Habaj, who left for personal reasons. Based in Rusayl, the Sultanate of Oman, Oman Cables Industry manufactures a wide range of electrical wires.

Victor Muñizn is the new regional manager for Latin America for Proton Products, tasked with leading and developing its sales and services business for measuring equipment in Latin America and the Caribbean. He previously worked for more than 20 years for Beta LaserMike, which is a brand of NDC Technologies, in Latin America as well as the U.S. His career began in 1999 as a senior laboratory engineer for Alcatel in the U.K. He holds a degree from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and an MBA from the University of Hull. Based in the U.K., Proton Products offers a wide range of measuring technology for wire and cable.

Remee Wire & Cable has named Marc Stringer as the company’s engineering product manager. He has more than three decades of industry experience in product management, marketing, engineering and related positions throughout his career. Some of his previous employers include General Cable, Belden, Southwire, Coleman, Champlain Cable and TE Wire & Cable. Based in Florida, New York, Remee Wire & Cable manufactures a range of fiber optic and copper cable.

Chroma Color Corporation announced three new employees. Wayne Comeau is the new market development manager. He most recently worked for eight years in the masterbatch industry as a key account manager, focused on custom color concentrates across various strategic markets. Prior to that he worked in numerous molding processes. Bob Mann is a regional account manager for Indiana, Michigan, and key accounts in the Midwestern region. He has 15 years of experience in colorants and additives, and a solid technical background that included roles with increasing responsibilities in color development labs. Tony Tanner is a regional account manager in the Mid-Atlantic region. He most recently was a senior technical account manager with a global pigment and dye manufacturer. He has wide experience in the field. Based in McHenry, Illinois, Chroma Color Corporation is a leading specialty color and additive concentrate supplier for markets that include wire and cable. 

Obituary notice
WJI is sad to report the passing of Ronald “Ron” W. Reed, a past WAI President (2008) who died from cancer on June 24 at age 65. A friend to many, he was a superb Association advocate and volunteer, for which he was named the 2012 winner of the Donnellan Memorial Award. The August issue will have a full obituary.

Published in People
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