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Wire Journal News

At this sad and historic time our thoughts are with the people of the U.K. as the world mourns the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Each year we remember our friends in the U.K. at an annual clock winding ceremony at which a representative from Great Britain makes the trip to the U.S. to commemorate the friendship and communication between the two nations. The tradition began in 1948 when John Rigby and Sons, Ltd. of Manchester, England, presented the Wire Association with a 400-day grandfather clock at its Annual Convention. The gesture, which represented a group of 32 companies from the U.K., was made in appreciation of the support given by the U.S. wire industry to Great Britain during World War II.

While saddened we are reminded of our strong and lasting connection to our friends in the U.K. and, in doing so, we acknowledge the inevitability of the passage of time.

This occasional section has shared information from very smart people on cutting-edge technology, only a changing industry has different needs. And one is that more people come to a company knowing next to nothing about a given field. That’s why the best help one can provide them is not articles about advanced techniques but basic—really basic— information.

And that is what ‘Got Grooves?’ by industry veteran Eugene Klein Sr., president of Parkway-Kew, does for the realm of capstans and drawing blocks. It will not turn new employees into industry gurus, but it will make them feel more comfortable when there is a discussion. In surprisingly few pages, he answers a range of potential steel process woe questions.

• What are grooves and how are they formed?
• How do grooves cause process problems?
• Why are grooves worse for high-carbon steel?
• If slip causes grooves, why is some needed?
• Can grooves be avoided?
• What are cold starts, short holing and block swapping?

Klein, who has previously written columns for WJI, also discusses treatment of blocks, the value of having spare blocks and resurfacing blocks. He also shares his thoughts, among others, about goodwill inside a plant, matching equipment to a product line and why a bottom-line focus can be short-sighted.

More importantly, this publication, which is small in terms of page numbers, will be appreciated by a new employee as it is the easiest of reads. In less than 20 minutes, the reader will have some basic knowledge, which is a good starting point. Further such publications are planned.

To obtain a copy, contact Michael J. Hoffarth, vice president of business development, Parkway Kew, tel. 701-306-5160, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For technical questions, readers can contact Eugene Klein Sr., at tel. 743-398-2100, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


3 bonus tips from past columns by Eugene Klein Sr. for WJI 

1. On a continuous machine, if the wiredrawing blocks are not filled with wire wraps for 66% to 75% of the face of the block, you are creating excessive slip and experiencing inferior line speeds. You may hear excuses that you have to do it that way, but the reality is the taper can be adjusted to eliminate this problem and to maximize production and minimize wear.

2. Water cooling is increasingly important as the carbon level of the wire is increased. Extraordinary production increases can be realized with higher carbon wires by making sure the interior water cooling is working properly. The use of an inexpensive infrared heat gun is invaluable in spotting problems.

3. Larger bundles can be realized on bull blocks by adding a step to the contour. If a step is already present, it can be enlarged. Grind the step angle on a 15-degree ramp so the wires do not overlap. Also, if necessary, increase the taper slightly after the step.

Editor’s Note:
This occasional section is meant to be a place where a company can discuss its technology in more detail than possible in the Products section yet not be a technical paper that has to go through the presentation process. Submissions can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

XLCC, a new entrant to the power cable market, has been given planning approval to build the first HVDC subsea cable factory in the U.K.

A press release said that XLCC got the June 29 okay from the North Ayrshire Council Planning Committee for its plans to construct the factory in Hunterston, Scotland. Construction was expected to start soon at the Brownfield site, where XLCC will manufacture XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) coated HVDC subsea cable for use in interconnector projects and export cables to bring power back to the shore from offshore wind farms.

“We look forward to delivering a factory of great local and international importance for HVDC subsea cable,” said XLCC Project Director Alan Mathers. “The U.K. will be positioned as a world leader in the green economy, with the site at Hunterston playing a key role in connecting cheap, green energy from renewables projects around the world.”

XLCC has appointed HIGHVOLT as the primary provider of test systems for the pre-qualification, type and routine testing of subsea cables. Cable testing and certification will take place in 2023 and 2024, with the first cable lengths being produced in 2025 for deployment to client projects. The company has also ordered a new cable-laying vessel to be delivered in the first half of 2025.

Once fully operational, the facility “will support 900 jobs in the area, with thousands more in the wider supply chain.” XLCC notes that it will need 60 HVDC jointers for the facility, and it is working in partnership with Ayrshire College to increase the number of PEO (Performing Engineering Operations) courses available to prospective students across Ayr, Kilmarnock and Kilwinning campuses.

XLCC has already reported its first order: four 3,800 km long cables to connect solar and wind renewable power generation in the Sahara to the U.K. for the Xlinks Morocco-U.K. power project.

The CEO of XLCC is Simon Morrish, the founder and CEO of Ground Control and Levitate Capital. He was described as an experienced investor in businesses and projects related to the electrification of energy and transport, who previously worked for McKinsey & Co., and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

The organizers of wire China 2022 report that the event, scheduled for Sept. 26-29 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center, has been postponed due to Covid-related concerns.

 A press release said that online activities, such as matchmaking and webinars, will be continued. “We are actively coordinating and communicating with the relevant parties and will announce (further plans once) confirmed.” For updates, go to the event website: www.wirechina.net/en.

 

NEC Corporation has been selected to build a recently announced trans-Pacific subsea cable, JUNO, that will connect California in the U.S. with two sites in Japan.

A press release said that the system—approximately 10,000 km long—will be built by Seren Juno Network Co. (Seren), a company established by NTT Ltd. Japan Corporation; Mitsui & Co., Ltd.; PC Landing Corp.; and JA Mitsui Leasing, Ltd. It will land in Japan in the Chiba Prefecture, located on Japan’s eastern Pacific coast to the east of Tokyo, part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the Mie Prefecture, within the Kansai region on Japan’s main island of Honshu.

Subsea cable has typically deployed a maximum of 16 fiber pairs, but using NEC’s newly developed energy efficient repeaters and its SDM (Space Division Multiplexing) technology, the system will be able to adapt as many as 20 fiber pairs for the first time in a trans-Pacific subsea fiber-optic cable. The cable is expected to provide a maximum capacity of 350 Tbps, the largest among any existing cable system between the U.S. and Japan.

“With the rapid growth of the global digital economy and an increasing demand for cloud solutions and lower latency, the undersea internet cable sector is quickly becoming more critical to global internet infrastructure,” said Takanobu Maeda, president and CEO of NTT Ltd. Japan Corporation. “This new subsea cable is the latest joint effort NTT has led in a long and proud history of providing reliable global internet infrastructure.”

The JUNO cable will support the strong demand for communications, including the spread of 5G across Asia and North America. By providing communication routes from two separate Japanese locations to the U.S., the system will be highly resilient to natural disasters in the coastal areas of Japan. The system is also designed to remotely alter the bandwidth of each route, enabling it to respond flexibly to customer business needs and changes.

NEC, a supplier of submarine cable systems for more than 50 years, notes that it has built more than 300,000 km of cable. It also makes and installs repeaters, does surveys and route designs, training and delivery testing. Its OCC Corporation subsidiary manufactures subsea optical cables able to be used at ocean depths beyond 8,000 meters.

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