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Southwire plans to close operations at its plant in Hayesville, North Carolina, effective March 31.

Per a report in the Clay County Progress, the plant, acquired by Southwire in 2014, employs some 45 employees. Production there will be moved to other Southwire plants. “This decision is not a reflection on the people, the quality or the performance of the facility, nor is it one we take lightly,” said Rich Stinson, Southwire’s president and CEO. “As we look at our long-term strategy, we must ensure we are properly aligned to make the best use of our facilities and best meet the needs of our customers.”

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), finding that imported aluminum wire and cable from China was sold below market rates and had been supported by illegal subsidies, has imposed substantial penalties.

A press release said the ruling supports the Oct. 22 findings of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DoC) that Chinese manufacturers had been selling these products into the U.S. market at less than fair market value and receiving illegal subsidies from the Chinese government. It issued two separate penalties that ITC has now approved.

DoC had set a dumping rate of 63.47% for mandatory respondents Shanghai Silin Special Equipment Co., Ltd. and Hebei Huatong Wires and Cables Group Co., Ltd.; a separate rate of 58.51% for certain other companies; and 63.47% for all other Chinese producers and exporters. The subsidy rate was 165.63% to mandatory respondents Shanghai Silin Special Equipment Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Yang Pu Qu Gong; 33.44% to mandatory respondent Changfeng Wire & Cable Co., Ltd.; and 33.44% for all other Chinese producers and exporters.

An official of Southwire Company, which along with Encore Wire Corporation had petitioned for the penalties, lauded the decision. “Southwire has long been a believer in the power of free trade, and the ITC’s finding, coupled with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s final determinations on dumping and illegal subsidization, will better al-
low us to compete with Chinese producers of wire and cable on a level playing field,” said Southwire Executive Vice President and CCO Norman Adkins.

With the ITC vote, Commerce was expected to issue AD/CVD orders by Dec. 9, 2019. Commerce will also instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting cash deposits on such imports at rates ranging from 81.27% to 218.42%. In 2018, imports of aluminum wire and cable from China were valued at an estimated $115 million.

Supporting the company’s growth strategy and strengthening its commitment to remain generationally sustainable, Southwire announced that it has acquired Garvin Industries, a 120-year-old man mufacturer of electrical, lighting and low voltage products based in Franklin Park, Illinois.

A press release said that Garvin Industries is widely recognized for designing innovative, labor-saving products that provide economical solutions to common installation problems. Its staff, which numbers about 30, can custom design and manufacture products to meet customer specifications.

“As a company, our goal is to grow 50% over the next five years,” said Rich Stinson, Southwire’s president and CEO. “To do so, we must be intentional about listening to our customers and creating solutions to meet their needs. The acquisition of Garvin helps us further expand our product offering and will give us a broader opportunity to provide custom solutions for our electrical customers.”

The acquisition includes the company’s manufacturing, distribution and corporate support functions and will add the Garvin employees to the Southwire family as a part of the company’s Tools and Assembled Products Business Unit.
“Garvin Industries, with its continued focus on customer service, value and innovation, is the perfect addition to our business, with products that are used every day with our core wire and cable products,” said Brandon Moss, Southwire’s president of Tools and Assembled Products Business Unit.

Ningbo Jintian Copper (Group) Co Ltd (NJC) has signed contracts with Southwire Company LLC for two identical Southwire Continuous Rod (SCR) 7000 copper rod mills to be supplied by Primetals Technologies in 2019.

A press release said that the order from NGC will enable the company to expand into new geographic markets. The first new mill will operate in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and the second mill will be installed in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. Start-up is expected in the summer of 2019 for the first mill and early 2020 for the second. The new orders bring the total number of copper rod mills supplied by Primetals Technologies to Southwire for Ningbo to four, increasing their total annual installed capacity to nearly 1 million metric tons.

Primetals Technologies, the release said, is responsible for the engineering, manufacturing and commissioning of the rolling mill and coiler equipment for the rolling mills to produce electrolytic tough pitch (ETP) copper for the building construction wire and cable market. The contract calls for a Morgan No-Twist mill with 13 independently driven roll stands that will produce two- to four-ton coils of 8 mm, 9.5 mm, 12.7 mm, 16 mm, 18 mm and 25 mm diameter rod from 8,200-sq-mm cast bar at a production rate of 48 metric tons per hour. Each mill will have an annual capacity of approximately 315,000 metric tons.

 The contract also includes for each mill a 24-inch entry shear and table, one 18-inch roughing mill stand, four 12-inch roughing mill stands, and eight 8-inch finishing mill stands, all with hydraulic roll mounting, a rod cooling and cleaning system including injectors and air wipes, rollerized turndown, two pinch rolls, coiler, designs for a conveyor with rotary turntable, and two lubrication oil systems. The arrangement will also include the latest inline recirculating coil handling system.

 Founded in 1986 as a copper bar manufacturer, NGC is one of the largest copper processing manufacturers in China and is an industrial conglomerate among the top 500 companies in China. Southwire has worked together with Primetals Technologies for more than 50 years. During that time, the company has built more than 110 nonferrous mills for Southwire customers, in addition to completing more than 40 upgrades.

Southwire announced that the company will reinvest approximately $9 million dollars back into the lives, and pockets, of its employees, joining a growing list of companies that have made similar moves as a result of recent tax reform.

A press release said that in addition to global, one-time employee bonuses, the company is expanding its parental leave policy and taking steps to strengthen its commitment to education, skilled trade development, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs and diversity in the workplace.

Full-time U.S. employees, with the exception of executives and upper management, will each receive a $1,000 bonus, while full-time employees outside the U.S. will get a bonus of $250 or the international equivalent. These investments will impact the majority of Southwire’s nearly 7,500 employees. 

“Building organizational capability is one of the key components of our company’s strategy, and it is vital that we make the right decisions as we continually enhance Southwire’s great culture,” said Southwire President and CEO Rich Stinson. “We’re off to a good start in 2018, and I am pleased to be able to share this benefit, both monetarily and through the extension of new and existing programs and partnerships, with the Southwire family.”

The release said that Southwire will also expand its parental leave policy to assist eligible parents. “At Southwire, our desire is for all employees to focus on ‘The Whole You,’ a concept which goes beyond standard benefits and provides access to resources that touch many aspects of an employee’s life,” said Kathleen Edge, EVP of Human Resources. “In doing so, we must offer programs and total rewards like these that reflect this commitment.”

Southwire will also offer a bridge scholarship program for eligible hourly employees seeking to further their education through a two-year degree, four-year degree or technical certification. There also are plans are in the works “to make strong investments into new and existing industry partnership” The purpose of these investments is to accelerate the attraction of diverse candidates into Southwire’s manufacturing and STEM careers. More information on these new programs will be available soon.

“As we continue to grow, we’re also looking at significant modernization and safety improvement efforts into our manufacturing and distribution facilities,” said Stinson. “Our goal is to be a generationally sustainable business for the next century and beyond, and to get there, we must make considerations and investments like these. It is an exciting time to be part of Southwire!”

Southwire has begun construction of a 400,000-sq-ft facility in Georgia, a $20 million project that will be in the Douglas County part of Villa Rica, in the same business park as Southwire’s current West Georgia and Retail East Customer Service Centers (CSC).

Southwire reported that the project, scheduled for completion by the end of 2018, will result in approximately 60 new jobs. Kurt Hennelly, Southwire’s executive vice president of sourcing, distribution and manufacturing strategy, said that the new property is adjacent to the CSC, essentially creating an expansion of the existing Southeast distribution complex. The addition will enable the company “to optimize inbound and outbound freight costs while continuing to improve upon the excellent service levels our customers have come to expect from Southwire,” Hennelly said. More details regarding the facility and the expansion will be released as the development progresses.

Ron Wilson, chairman of the Douglas County Economic Development Authority board of directors, said the agency is “delighted to have a company like Southwire expand their operations within our county.”

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