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Wire Journal News

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.”

Italy’s Mario Frigerio SpA announced that it has acquired the intellectual property rights (IP rights), as well as the inventory, of Germany’s ERNST KOCH GmbH & Co., KG, a storied equipment manufacturer.

A press release said that Mario Frigerio has established a new company—KOCH Machinery and Technology GmbH (KOCH)—in Germany. Lucia Frigerio, executive vice president of Mario Frigerio, will also serve as managing director, along with Jochen Koch. Lucia Frigerio said that the deal enables the resulting organization to offer “the world’s best European technology,” and that it will be able to quickly respond to service needs around the world, and will stock original spare parts.

“With this acquisition, the MFL GROUP will strengthen its worldwide presence, and complete its portfolio of products in the Wire and Rope Division with reinforcement steel wire lines as well as cold heading wire lines,” Frigerio said in the release. It noted that KOCH will also service the complete program of the former entity. That includes spare parts supply, maintenance programs, electrical revamping and mechanical retrofitting.

Founded in 1921, Ernst Koch GmbH supplied its first wire machine in the 1930s, built by master mechanic Ernst Koch. In the 1950s, his sons, Albert and Heinrich, began supplying wet drawing machines, take-up frames for galvanizing lines, and wire straightening and cutting machines. In 1969, it partnered with WAFIOS AG to provide specialized drawing machines and cold-rolling technology. The company expanded its product range over the years, to where it had some 130 employees, customers in more than 60 countries, with 80% of its products are now being exported.

U.S.-based Fisk Alloy, Inc., announced that it has agreed to be bought by Thermo Technologies, a French company that is active in five companies in three continents (Europe, North America and Asia), for an undisclosed sum.

A press release said that the deal represents “a strategic combination designed to create a global expert in high-performance copper alloy wires.” Fisk Alloy, founded in 1973, manufactures advanced copper alloy wire for sectors such as automotive, medical, electronic and aerospace. It has some 200 employees at its plant in Hawthorne, New Jersey.

Thermo Technologies produces electrolytic precious metal coatings, EDM wire, high-tech solid and stranded copper, copper alloy and aluminum wires, and more. It is controlled by Edify SA, a Swiss industrial holding company listed on the Euro-MTF market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.

Thermo Technologies CEO Gilles Mollard will oversee the combined operations. Eric Fisk, CEO and controlling owner of Fisk Alloy, “will step aside from day-to-day operations, become a significant investor in Thermo Technologies and join its Supervisory Board.” Current Fisk management will run the company’s U.S. operations, which will retain the Fisk name. The transaction is expected to close at the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH announced that it is postponing wire Dusseldorf and Tube Dusseldorf, as well as other scheduled trade fairs at the Fairgrounds that include ProWein, wire, Tube, Beauty, Top Hair and Energy Storage Europe. Below is its press release.

In close coordination with all partners involved, the company will promptly discuss alternative trade fair dates in order to guarantee planning can reliably proceed. In doing so, we are following the recommendation of the crisis management team of the German government to take into account the principles of the Robert Koch Institute when making a risk assessment of major events. On the basis of this recommendation and the recent significant increase in the number of infected persons, including in Europe, Messe Düsseldorf has reassessed the situation. Added to this is the uncertainty of numerous exhibitors and visitors at the events in March and the complicated travel situation, especially for international customers.

 Werner M. Dornscheidt, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH: "Our customers, partners and employees trust us. Not only when it comes to the professional and successful handling of major international events in Düsseldorf. They can also have this trust in us when we make decisions about critical situations in the interests of their safety".

 "This decision was not an easy one for all concerned," said Thomas Geisel, Lord Mayor of the city of Düsseldorf and chairman of the Supervisory Board of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. "But the postponements at the present time are necessary for Messe Düsseldorf and its customers in view of the increasingly dynamic developments.”

There are currently no intentions to postpone the major trade fairs interpack and drupa, which will be held in Düsseldorf in May and June. "Of course, we are taking our customers' inquiries regarding the Coronavirus very seriously here too," said Dornscheidt, "so we will re-evaluate the situation in good time in consultation with health authorities and partners in order to make the appropriate decisions.”

The week-long wire Dusseldorf and Tube Dusseldorf events were scheduled to be held March 30 to April 3. Asked by WJI when a new date might be known for the biennial events, a Messe spokesperson replied that it was too early to say, noting that there were many factors to consider.

U.K.-based Elmeridge Cables Limited (ECL) reports that it recently delivered two contracts for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

A press release said that the company was asked by BAS to supply two lengths of double-armored CTD (conductivity, temperature and depth) cable for two Royal Research Survey vessels. The separate contracts were for a single 8,000-meter length for the RRS James Clark Ross and a single 10,000-meter length for the RRS Sir David Attenborough. Both vessels work in very sensitive and often extreme weather environments, so production had to be perfect.

“BAS stipulated that to avoid slippage on the winch during deployment and recovery, no grease or oil could be applied on or to the armor wires of Galvanized Improved Plow Steel (GIPS), an assurance we were happy to give,” said Des Smith, owner/managing director at Elmeridge Cables Ltd. He added that BAS gave strict specifications for the diameter and width of the cable drums, even down to hole size for the spindle, to allow direct loading and unloading of the drums to and from the winches on board both vessels.

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