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11/3/21 – Leoni AG has officially opened its fourth automotive wiring plant in Serbia, where the German company is the largest private industrial employer.

A press release said that opening of the plant in Kraljevo, further bolsters Leoni’s position as a high-performance supplier to the international automotive industry. The company to date has invested more than 50 million euros in the plant. The site is not only the biggest Leoni plant in Serbia, it also employs the largest number of people at full capacity (up to 5,000 by the end of 2023). The building covers more than 60,000 sqm, of which 45,000 sqm is the production area, which is now completed. The site is the first new plant built in almost 30 years in the region of Kraljevo and is expected to significantly contribute to the decrease of the unemployment rate, raise the living standard in the area, and accelerate its development pace.

Among those at the official opening were Aleksandar Vučić, the president of the Republic of Serbia, and Predrag Terzić, the mayor of the city of Kraljevo.
During the proceedings, Leoni CEO Aldo Kamoer declared the initiative a success and praised Serbian leaders for making the process a smooth one. “We are grateful for the unbureaucratic and very professional support of the authorities over all these years. We are happy to be able to tap into a large pool of dedicated and motivated employees here. And we are glad that we are contributing to raising the general standard of living in the region with our commitment in recent years. I think that’s what you call a win-win situation.”

Pierluigi Ghione, managing director of Leoni Wiring Systems Southeast d.o.o., said that the investment reflects the company’s commitment to Serbia. “Leoni is clearly focused on growth in this region – offering more job opportunities, expanding its business, becoming the biggest industrial employer in Serbia. What is more important than being the biggest employer is being the best employer. This is not an easy task, but we as one Leoni Serbia Team, together with central and local authorities, are working very hard to achieve this goal.”

Last modified on November 1, 2021

11/3/21 – The Marine division of Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) announced that it recently acquired two vessels—the Ile de Molène and the Ile d’Yeu—as part of its strategy to modernize and expand installation capacities for the growing submarine telecommunications market.

A press release said that the two vessels joined the ASN fleet respectively on May 7, 2021, for the Ile de Molène and on June 17, 2021, for the Ile d’Yeu. Both vessels will now go through a heavy engineering and upgrade program. The Ile de Molène will be assigned to the maintenance of customer telecommunications cables in the Atlantic and North Sea. The vessel is expected to start operating in the first half of 2022. Ile d’Yeu will join the installation fleet at the end of 2022, and be installed with transoceanic telecom systems. The vessels specifications are as follows: the Ile d’Yeu is 147 m long, and has 4,375 net tonnage and 13,520 gross tonnage. The Ile de Molène is 98 m long, and has 2,080 net tonnage and 5,729 gross tonnage.

Last modified on November 1, 2021

11/2/21 – Sweden’s Sandvik has acquired Swiss-based company Accuratech Group, a manufacturer of niched medical wire forming and components.

Accuratech includes the operations of Polyfill, which per its website makes a wide range of specialty products. Those include wires used in nano- and micro-technologies as well as in applications in the medical field; round bare wires from 0.8 mm to 0.007 mm; flat wires and ribbons used for multiple applications; electroplated wire (gold, nickel, platinum, silver and zinc); and insulated wires, from simple copper wire to multi-coated biocompatible wire or special alloys. A second company, Galvarex, provides electroplating treatments for products, including wire, for demanding industries such as medical, automotive, micro tech and electronic.

A press release said that the acquired businesses will be reported in Kanthal, a division of Sandvik Materials Technology. “I am pleased that we are continuing to execute on our shift to growth strategy,” said Sandvik President and CEO Stefan Widing. “This acquisition is an important step for Sandvik Materials Technology in the preparations to become a separately listed company. With its increased focus on areas with high growth and strong earnings potential, Sandvik Materials Technology is strengthening their position for the future.”

Last modified on November 1, 2021

11/2/21 – Gulf Cable and Electrical Industries Company of Kuwait and the Riyadh Cables Group Company of Saudi Arabia have signed a partnership agreement to build a factory in Kuwait that will specialize in manufacturing high-voltage cables.

A press release said that the project is considered the first of its kind in Kuwait. “These types of transformative industries are important for infrastructure projects and future constructions, especially those related to the Ministry of Electricity and Water and Renewable Energy and the Housing Care Authority, as Kuwait is seeking to develop and build projects based on the partnership plan between the public and private sector as per Kuwait’s 2035 “New Kuwait” vision.

Gulf Cable and Electrical Industries Company notes that it has been a leading manufacturer of cables, power and telephone lines for more than 46 years.

With affiliates in 22 domestic/regional locations, Riyadh Cables manufactures and supplies all types of wire and cables at its state-of-art facilities.

Last modified on November 4, 2021

11/2/21 – Prysmian Group has been given an extension of its partnership with Openreach, the U.K.’s largest digital network business, with a new three-year contract.

A press release said that the Prysmian Group will provide innovation and expertise to support Openreach’s updated Full Fibre broadband build plan, which is vital to the U.K.’s government achieving its target of delivering “gigabit capable broadband” to 85% of the U.K. by 2025. “This is as Openreach follows an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group meaning that it’ll now build Full Fibre technology to a total of 25 million premises, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts.”

Marcello Del Brenna, CEO Prysmian Group UK, said that the company has been a partner with Openreach for more than a half century. The latest contract reflects the positive impact our working relationship has had on the U.K.’s digital networks infrastructure. The extension of our working relationship comes at a time when Prysmian is investing in telecommunications innovation to ensure our digital network partners have the cutting-edge solutions. We have also taken great steps forward with our sustainability effort, eliminating paper inclusions from our products and replacing them with digital solutions.”

Openreach Managing Director for Fibre and Network Delivery Matthew Hemmings said that building a new broadband network across the U.K. is a hugely complex, nationwide engineering project. “It will help level-up the U.K. because the impact of Full Fibre broadband stretches from increased economic prosperity and international competitiveness to higher employment and environmental benefits by enabling more home working and fewer commuting trips.”

In the framework of this renewed partnership, Openreach has recently undertaken a live trial using the double overblow installation method developed by Prysmian Group. This Karona installation technique enables the installation of high-density optical fiber cable into pre-existing sub-ducted routes, already containing legacy cable. The trial took place at Stonehaven in Scotland. The cable used for the trial was Sirocco HD 144f with 5.0 mm diameter, and the innovative installation method allowed to overblow 600 mts of cable in less than 4 hours, increasing the capacity of the route to 432f. This installation technique was repeated at Bury St Edmunds, where a route of 730 mts was successfully overblown in less than four hours.

Last modified on November 1, 2021

11/1/21 – Following a strategic plan to focus on its Wiring Systems Group, Leoni AG has sold the majority of its industrial business to strategic investor BizLink Holding Inc.

A press release said that the company has sold its Business Group Industrial Solutions, which belongs to the WCS division (Wire & Cable Solutions) and represents significant parts of its industrial business. The sale marks another important milestone on Leoni’s path towards the long-term stabilization of the company via its VALUE 21 performance and strategy program.

“With this step, we are once again proving that we are consistently continuing to implement our announced and already advanced focus on the Wiring System Division,” said Leoni AG CEO Aldo Kamper. The company has previously stated its plans to strategically focus on consolidating its leading position as a supplier of wiring systems for the automotive industry. Against this backdrop, Leoni has already sold two units of the WCS division (Leoni Schweiz AG and the data communication and compound divisions of Leoni Kerpen GmbH) in recent months.

BizLink is an international provider of high-quality solutions for cable connections and connectivity services. BizLink’s acquisition of Leoni’s Industrial Solutions will expand its market presence, especially in Europe, and there is a clear perspective for future development and growth. The sale includes around 20 international locations of the Leoni Industrial Solutions business in 10 countries with around 3,000 employees. The activities of these locations, among others, include the areas of healthcare, robotics and automation.

“The Industrial Solutions business today operates globally successfully in the market, and I am convinced that it continues to have a very promising future,” Kamper said. “For the WCS units put up for sale due to our strategic focus on the automotive industry, it has always been our goal to find investors who want to strategically develop the products and services. I am confident that we have succeeded in doing so with BizLink.”

BizLink Chairman Roger Liang said the acquisition is a very good fit. “(It) will boost our technical and service capabilities, solidify our global scale, bring us closer to customers, and gain access to new industrial customers. The acquisition brings forward our long-term diversification plans, and will provide BizLink with immediate gains within multiple secular growth industries.”

The sold activities generated sales of approximately €430 million in fiscal year 2020 and are valued with an enterprise value of around €450 million. Upon completion of the sale, a profit of around €200 million is expected to be accounted for in the Group’s reported EBIT.

Last modified on November 1, 2021

11/1/21 –NEC Corporation has been contracted by Facebook to build an ultra-high performance transatlantic subsea fiber-optic cable connecting the U.S. and Europe, a plan that calls for capacity of up to a petabit per second.

A press release said that, until recently, subsea cable was composed of 16 fiber pairs at most. Now, using NEC’s newly developed 24-fiber pair cable and repeaters, a system can deliver a maximum transmission capacity of a half petabit per second, the highest to date for a long-distance “repeatered” optical subsea cable system. That performance represents a 50% improvement in fiber count over the 16-fiber pair systems.

Per Teleography, Facebook has a stake in 13 cables. Google has an ownership stake in at least 16 current or planned undersea cables around the world. It noted that the internet giants are the ones leading undersea cable development, displacing traditional telecom giants.

Of note, OCC, an NEC subsidiary, previously reported in March that its 24 fiber pair cable can be manufactured using a wide range of existing optical fibers, according to the needs of each new cable system. International data usage across the Atlantic is expected to expand twenty-fold in the 15 years between 2021 and 2035. The region ranks among the highest growth geographies for data traffic demand, bringing ever-greater demands to reduce the cost per bit on subsea cable networks.

Last modified on November 1, 2021

10/19/21  Madison, Connecticut, USA – October 19, 2021 – The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. continues its educational mission and welcomes registrants for its Virtual Industry 4.0 Conference and 91st Annual Convention on October 26-27, 2021.

To date 32 speakers are set to share their expertise about how Industry 4.0 technologies enhance wire making. Featured speakers are from manufacturing companies currently using these methods in their plants, as well as representatives from a wide range of suppliers that offer solutions in this space.

Sessions run throughout each day in 25-minute segments with 15-minute briefings slated at midday. The full schedule*, beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET each day is available here: https://waiindustry40.heysummit.com/schedule/ *Schedule is subject to change.

Topics include: Big Data; Industry 4.0; IoT; Industrial IoT; Process Automation; Smart Factories; Smart Planning; Smart Integration; and Virtual Reality.

The virtual format gives registrants the opportunity to participate from any location; interact with speakers with questions; and also to replay sessions for a month after they first air.

Remarking on the new conference, WAI President Tom Heberling said, “Offering this conference virtually is valuable for everyone who wants to understand how Industry 4.0 technologies apply to wire making. We are thrilled that the speakers are cued up and ready to bring their expertise and energy to the program. We’ve adjusted our expectations upward since attendance is convenient for all.”

The WAI Annual Convention features the following keynote speakers on October 26 and 27, respectively.

Award-winning filmmaker Brett Culp presents “Superhero Leadership: How everyday people can have an extraordinary impact; and Kathleen Edge, EVP Operations, Southwire Company LLC presents: “Connected – flexible operating system.” Winners of WAI’s top awards will also be recognized.

The program is sponsored by: Cerro Wire LLC; Encore Wire Corp.; Gem Gravure Co. Inc.; James Monroe Wire and Cable Corp.; Lloyd & Bouvier Inc.; Prysmian Group; SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS; Sonoco Reels & Spools; Southwire Co. LLC; Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp.

Discounts are available for WAI members. Tickets are $90 USD for full access; and $110 for full access plus new WAI membership.
Visit: https://waiindustry40.heysummit.com/ for full details and to register.

The Wire Association International is a not-for-profit association with 1,800 individual members in 50 countries. The association serves the educational needs of the wire and cable manufacturing industry through a variety of products and services. WAI manages the Interwire Trade Exposition and the WAI Operations Summit & Wire Expo and publishes the Wire Journal International and the Wire Journal International Reference Guide.

Media Contacts: Janice E. Swindells, Director Marketing & Corporate Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel.: 001-203-453-2777
x. 117; Steven J. Fetteroll, Executive Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel.: 001-203-453-1777.

Last modified on October 19, 2021

10/1/21 – Hitachi Cable has taken a step toward closing its plant in Pensacola, Florida, and moving those operations to Mexico.

Per a report in the Pensacola News Journal, Hitachi Cable has filed a notice with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to notify the state that it was closing its Pensacola manufacturing operations by the end of next March.

The company said in a statement that approximately 300 salaried and hourly workers will be affected by the plant’s closing. In the notice to the DEO, the company said 202 employees at the Pensacola plant would lose their jobs.

The plant on Ely Road was built in 1985 and was owned by Coupled Products Inc. until it was sold to Hitachi Cable America in 2008, according to county property records. The plant manufactures components and cables for anti-lock braking systems and hybrid vehicles.

Last modified on October 1, 2021

10/1/21 – Medicoil, a division of R&L Spring Company, announced that it has broken ground for a 40,000-sq-ft expansion to its facility in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

A press release said that the new manufacturing space is scheduled for completion in early 2022 and will support their continued growth in the medical device market. “For the fourth time since 1997 we are again proud to expand our manufacturing business,” said company owner and President Scott Forsythe.

Per its website, Medicoil was formed in 1992, a division of R&L Spring Company, which began in 1972. It supplies precision springs and wireforms to a wide range of OEMs in powersports, automotive, medical, and other general industries markets. The Medicoil brand was established in 2000 to focus on opportunities in the medical market. It has preferred-supplier status among some of the world’s leading medical device companies for its prevision coiled and formed wire products that are used in components and subassemblies that go into implantable devices. Medicoil’s modern facilities include an ISO 7 (Class 10,000) Clean Room.

R&L Spring Company notes that it is a preferred source of OEMs for precision springs, rings, wireforms and four-slide components, plus secondary and finishing processes.

Last modified on October 1, 2021

10/1/21 – Nexans announced that it has entered into a share purchase agreement with Xignux SA of Mexico to acquire Centelsa, a premium cable maker in Latin America, for an undisclosed price.

A press release said that Centelsa, based in Colombia, produces cable for building and utilities applications. It was described as an “iconic world class cable maker,” with annual revenues of more than US$250 million and an enterprise value of US$225 million. The closing, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to take place in the first half of 2022.

The Centelsa acquisition “is fully aligned with (our) strategic ambition to become a pure electrification player,” said Nexans CEO Christopher Guérin. The addition will further contribute to Nexans’s ability to serve renewable projects in the Andean Region and enhance its capacity in building and energy distribution.

“This combination will be the stepstone to grow our best-in-class solutions and unique premium brand,” said Viakable-Centelsa CEO Sergio Valdes. “The Centelsa team has demonstrated, for more than six decades, professionalism in delivering high value to our customers. As a global player in energy transmission, Nexans is a great fit to lead the next phase of growth for Centelsa´s customers and employees. Jointly, there is a promising future ahead.”

Centelsa was cited as being the first cable manufacturer in Colombia. Per Centelsa’s website, the company’s origin traces back to 1955, when INCE Ltda (Industria Nacional de Conductores Eléctricos) started its operation in the city of Cali, manufacturing low-voltage cables as magnet wire for applications in motor winding. In 1961, Ceat General of Colombia S.A. was established through the merger with U.S.-based General Cable Corporation and Italy’s Ceat International. It expanded in 1980 with a second plant, then a third in 1993. In 1994, CENTELSA (Cables De Energia Y Telecomunicaciones S.A.) was formed by the merger of Ceat General De Colombia S.A., Facomec and Fadaltec S.A. In 2012, it became part of the Viakable, the cables division of Xignux, a Mexican industrial group.

Over the years, Centelsa won numerous awards and certifications. Today, it has a network of strategically located offices to cover the national and international market, thus offering an opportune service.

Last modified on October 1, 2021

9/8/21 -- Following a recent order for a new wire rod outlet, Primetals Technologies has been contracted by Kaptan Demir Çelik (Kaptan Iron & Steel) to supply the upstream mill for the Marmara Ereğlisi, Turkey production site.

A press release said that the mill will prepare the round feedstocks (intermediate sizes) to be further rolled and finished in the wire rod outlet. It will have a yearly capacity of 650,000 metric tons. High-value products will be processed such as carbon, SBQ and austenitic stainless-steel grades, catering to the engineering and automotive industries in both domestic and export markets. The hot commissioning of the complete installation is expected in mid-2022.

The upstream mill will have a maximum rolling rate of 130 tons per hour, and will process billets with square dimensions of 130, 160 and 200 mm and length of 12 meters. The diameters of the prepared feedstocks will range from 17 mm to 33 mm, as required by the roll pass design of the wire rod outlet. The layout, equipment and process of the new upstream mill will be optimized and compatible with an additional bar outlet to be added later, which will make the installation a modern combined mill of quality and austenitic stainless steel.

In other news, Bosnian steel producer ArcelorMittal Zenica d.o.o. placed an order with Primetals Technologies to replace the vessel of BOF converter #2 and supply associated equipment. An optimized design will increase the vessel volume and make production easier. ArcelorMittal Zenica is the largest producer of long steel products in the Balkans with annual production capacity of nearly one million tons per year. The company’s base product range includes rebar (in bars and coils), wire rod, mesh and lattice girders.

Last modified on September 8, 2021