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MAC ITS LLC, founded in 1976 as Manufactured Assemblies Corporation (MAC), specializing in manufacturing cable assemblies and wire harnesses, plans to expand its headquarters location in Dayton, Ohio.

Per a report in the Dayton Business Journal, the company is proposing an expansion that would create 79 new jobs. The company, which now also makes kiosks for OEMs, was given a tax incentive for the plan worth about $200,000.

The proposed expansion involves consolidating out-of-state operations into Ohio, which is competing with Georgia and Indiana for the project. Officials says state support will help ensure the project moves forward in Vandalia. MAC also has a location in Buford, Georgia.

Manufactured Assemblies Corp. has grown its presence in the Dayton region. In 2014, the company announced a $1 million project to expand its Vandalia headquarters and add 35 new jobs. The company had 90 employees at the time.

The business has also evolved from its original core products. "In addition to making custom cable assemblies and wire harnesses, MAC has expanded its abilities into a wide range of products including but not limited to kiosks, box builds, panel boards, digital signs and other custom assemblies. MAC has established a reputation as an industry leader in contract manufacturing. We continue to expand and adapt with current technologies, providing outsourced solutions to large and small OEMs, as well as superior service and products with forward-thinking solutions to support every customer need."

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.

Following failed attempts to get a £30 million government loan, British Steel was placed into “compulsory liquidation” on May 22, putting some 4,200 jobs there and 20,000 related positions at risk. Despite the official designation, the company notes at its website that it “continues to trade as normal.”

Per multiple news reports, British Steel had sought further loans from the British government to remain afloat, but did not get it. Instead, the business—which was bought in 2016 for one pound by investment firm Greybull Capital—was placed in liquidation. A government statement said there was no other option, as it “would be unlawful to provide a guarantee or loan to British Steel on the terms of any proposals that the company or any other party has made,” said Business Secretary Greg Clark.

At its website, British Steel, which has a product range that includes wire rod, notes that work continues under the oversight of  the Official Receiver “whilst a sales process is undertaken to find a new owner for our business.” Further, the company’s subsidiaries including British Steel France Rail SAS, FN Steel BV, Redcar Bulk Terminal, The Steel Company of Ireland Limited, TSP Projects Limited and TSP Engineering Limited “are not in insolvency and are continuing to trade as normal.”

Reports said that making steel profitably is particularly difficult in Britain, where steelmakers pay some of the highest green taxes and energy costs in the world and are saddled with high labor costs and business rates. However, a dominant matter remains the continuing uncertainty surrounding Britain’s planned departure from the EU. “The  whole manufacturing sector is crying out for certainty over Brexit, unable to plan the trading relationship it will have with its biggest market. We can only state again the need to avoid a no-deal scenario at all costs,” said a statement from UK Steel.

Jonathan Owens, supply chain and logistics expert at the University of Salford Business School, said that British Steel had been struggling in a very competitive market and that a new government loan may only have delayed the inevitable failure of the company.

In December 2018, the European Commission  suspended the access of British Steel to an EU program for carbon offset credits (ETS) that allowed U.K. exporters to get offset credits, citing the failure of Brexit. The U.K. government provided a large bridge loan to keep British Steel solvent, but uncertainty has hurt orders from outside the U.K. as overseas customers do not know what tariffs will apply. British Steel needs the additional funds to enable it to continue until a Brexit deal passes that can provide customers confidence as to what will happen.

Per a report in The Guardian, in 1971 the British steel industry employed 323,000 people, and that same number is now estimated at 31,900. At press time, dozens of potential buyers for British Steel have been identified.

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) has imposed new duties of up to 63% on some Chinese aluminum wire and cable imports because of what was described as “price-dumping.”

Per a cited DoC statement, “(DoC) announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the antidumping duty (AD) investigation of imports of aluminum wire and cable from China, finding that exporters from China have dumped aluminum wire and cable in the United States at a margin of 58.51 to 63.47 percent."

Encore Wire Chairman, President and CEO Daniel Jones welcomed the decision, noting that, "These illegal trade practices have undermined our investments in aluminum wire production, which is an important complement to our market-leading copper wire business." 

A fact sheet accompanying the notice reported that U.S. imports of aluminum wire and cable from China were valued at more than $157 million in 2017. U.S. customs and border agents will begin collecting cash deposits from importers of these products at the same rates to offset unfair Chinese subsidies, the Commerce Department said.

The Trump administration, reports said, has initiated 168 investigations of unfair trade practices since taking office, more than double the number during a comparable period of the previous administration, according to the release.

LS Cable & System President & CEO Myung Roe-Hyun announced that the company has opened a new cable plant in Poland, its first production base in Europe.

A press release said that the plant is the first such one for a South Korean company in Europe, “the home of cable.” The plant produces parts for electric vehicle batteries and optical cables for communication. More than 100 people, including Cha-Yup Koo, chairman of LS Cable & System; Roe-Hyun; Lee Dong-Wook, CEO of LS C & S Poland; Dariusz Kucharski, mayor of Dzierzoniow; and Mira Sun, Korean ambassador to Poland, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“LS C & S is pushing ahead with its localization and regional base strategy,” Roe-Hyun said. “The Polish plant will serve as the key base for advancing into Europe, and transform the company into a total cable company by adding the power cable business.”
The release said that Poland has very roads and power grids, and the Polish government is known to fully support investment of foreign capital with various tax incentives. Also, the company said that the nation’s geographic location is favorable to export to other European countries and its excellent workforce availability are important reasons for selecting Poland.

LS C & S established a subsidiary that produces parts for electric vehicle batteries (LSEVP) in Poland in November 2017. LSEVP can produce parts for 300,000 electric vehicles annually, and is planning to increase supplies to European automakers starting with LG Chem in nearby Wroclaw at the end of this year.

LS C & S established its optical cable production subsidiary (LSCP) next to its LSEVP plant in February 2018 as the European optical cable market has grown rapidly. It is the third optical cable plant of LS C & S, following the plants it built in Gumi, Korea and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

LSCP began production last April and has proven that it can produce three million fiber km a year—about 7% of the European market—and has since been supplying its products to key European carriers in Italy, France, etc. With the completion of the Polish plant, LS C & S now has a total of 19 business sites at home and abroad, including nine overseas in Vietnam, China and the U.S.

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