Two leading international lubricant manufacturers, Metalube and H.L. Blachford Ltd., announced at Interwire 2019 that they have entered into a North American partnership.
The two companies, which exhibited together, will initially focus on selling Metalube’s high quality, nonferrous copper and aluminum wire drawing lubricants across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“This is a very exciting time for us,” said H.L. Blachford President Mike Cundari. “We have been working to develop our relationship with Metalube for some years now, and we are delighted with the exceptional quality of the nonferrous lubricants they produce. We look forward to a long and fruitful joint venture.”
H.L. Blachford is a privately owned company, founded in 1921, with production facilities in Canada, the U.S. and England. Its ferrous and nonferrous wire drawing products are sold under the trade name Chemdraw®.
“This partnership is also excellent news for Metalube,” said Metalube Commercial Director Douglas Hunt. “Blachford has a highly established presence in North America, and like us, is a privately owned family business with a similar ethos. They have superb relationships with all of the key nonferrous wire drawing producers in the region and we are highly confident that our products will be very well received here.”
Metalube is part of the Bishopdale Group, a private holding company for a group of industrial lubricants brands that include Metalube, Molyslip and UOP. It exports 95% of its production to over 90 countries worldwide and has offices in Manchester, Dubai, Mumbai, São Paulo and Shanghai. From its headquarters in Irlam, Manchester, the company has a fully integrated lubricant manufacturing facility, including new state-of-the-art laboratories.
Elkem, Inc., announced that it has entered into a partnership with Schlenk Metal Foils to provide RF shielding materials and conductors that are superior to traditionally used flat-rolled wire.
A press release said that there is increasing demand for shielding materials with higher flexibility, reduced thickness, greater width and extended lifetime in the high-frequency cable market, where traditionally rolled silvered copper has limitations. Partnering with Schlenk, an industry leader in rolled metal foils technology, Elkem, which provides specialized electroplating, is now able to offer advanced RF shielding based on silver-plated copper foil.
"The products created from our partnership will enable cable manufacturers to design thinner conductors with higher aspect ratios that are also more flexible and durable," said Schlenk Sales Manager Thorben Beckmann.
Elkem Inc. Vice President Jeff Lawrence said that the RF shielding materials and conductors are available now, both for R&D sample quantities and full-volume production orders. He noted that Elkem, which will exhibit at Interwire at Booth 254, is expanding its plating equipment to provide increased capacity to the market.
CTC Global and Pakistan Cables Limited announced that they have entered a partnership that allows Pakistan Cables Limited (PCL) to produce and sell CTC’s ACCC® electrical conductor in Pakistan.
A press release said that CTC Global will provide PCL with CTC Global’s patented carbon fiber ACCC composite core in a range of sizes. Pakistan Cables—described as “the country’s first and leading manufacturer of wires, cables, overhead conductors, copper rod, PVC compound and aluminum profiles in Pakistan”—will make and deliver ACCC conductors tailored to meet the needs of Pakistan’s electric transmission and distribution utilities.
“We are pleased to launch this revolutionary technology for the first time in Pakistan,” PCL Executive Director J.D. Sitton said. “Our country needs more electric power and needs to move it efficiently. ACCC conductor will help to accomplish this.”
A press release said that the sale of the plant is in line with ABB’s Next Level strategy to continuously optimize its business portfolio. The 240,000-sq-ft plant produces high-voltage and extra-high-voltage underground transmission cables, ranging from 230kV to 400kV. ABB noted that it will continue to produce high-voltage land and subsea cables from its manufacturing facility in Karlskrona, Sweden. ABB and Southwire will also pursue a business partnership to leverage the facility for the land cable portion of certain HVDC projects.
“We remain fully committed to the North American market and to the high-voltage cables business. The decision to divest this factory is in line with our Next Level strategy and focus on optimizing our operations, exploring new business models and building partnerships,” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Systems division. “We are pleased that the Huntersville facility will be in the hands of Southwire, a well-established, innovation-focused company and look forward to building on our new business relationship.”
Per a past ABB release, the company opened the $90 million plant, designed to have some 130 employees, in 2012. The high-voltage cable production was to target markets that include wind and solar installations. “The plant has a distinctive 131 meter extrusion tower, built to allow the insulation material to cool symmetrically around the metal cable conductor. It is ABB’s first high-voltage cable plant outside Europe, and will manufacture high-voltage transmission cables for both AC and DC applications.”
The acquisition, which is expected to close in the third quarter, results in Southwire adding extra high-voltage cable products to its portfolio and expands its capacity to produce high-voltage cable, a market in which the company notes it is already a leading manufacturer.“We are committed to growing in the global wire and cable market. Today, we take another step toward that goal as we further expand our manufacturing capacity and expand our lineup of products that are made in America for new and existing customers, both here and around the world,” Southwire President and CEO Stu Thorn said. “In addition, today’s agreement paves the way for us to develop a strategic relationship with a global company like ABB, a recognized leader in power and automation technologies.”
Located on a 20-acre site in Commerce Station Business Park, the Huntersville plant fits nicely with Southwire’s family of manufacturing facilities and customer service centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Honduras and China, the Southwire release said. “Southwire is a U.S.-based manufacturer expanding on U.S. soil,” Thorn said. “We are building a business that will be sustainable into future generations by continually evolving to meet the changing needs of our industry.”