2/9/21 -- Ed Fenton, executive director of the Wire & Cable Manufacturers Alliance (WCMA) since 2005, has been named director, business development – cable OEMs for Ripley Tools, LLC. He will lead new business development and account management among metallic and fiber cable manufacturers. He has some 30 years of experience in electrical, electronic and fiber optic cable manufacturing. He was a co-founder and co-owner of the Wire & Cable Focus Conference and Exposition, which was sold in 1999 to IWCS. In 2005, he started the Fenton Group, consulting with specialty cable manufacturers, high temperature materials suppliers and component manufacturers. He was North American Business Manager for Wire & Cable publications by CRU International. He also was the owner of the Wire & Cable Clubs of America, which was the predecessor to WCMA. He also served for one year as vice president sales/marketing for Fluoropolymer Resources, Inc. He will continue in his leadership role at WCMA. He holds a degree in English from the University of Vermont. Based in Cromwell, Connecticut, Ripley Tools, LLC, is a manufacturer and global supplier of tools and test equipment for cable preparation and installation.
2/9/21 -- Windak has named Dieter Gerger as sales manager for EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), based at Windak’s newly formed sales and service center. He will support customers and expand the company’s presence in the market. His previous employers include Rosendahl Nextrom in Austria, where he served as international sales manager for nine years. Based in Sweden, the Windak Group is a leading global manufacturer of cable packaging systems for the cable industry.
2/8/21 -- Arthur C. Nixon, CEO of Insulated Wire, Inc., died unexpectedly at home at age 69 on Dec. 23, 2020 in Sayville, New York.
In 1975, Nixon started working for his father. Charles Nixon, at his newly started company, Insulated Wire Inc. He soon focused on sales and was very adept at marketing opportunities. He introduced his father’s invention of Teflon tape-wrapped insulated wire that was far superior to anything on the market, and later realized the process could also make a superior core for microwave cable. In 1988 he was instrumental in forming the Microwave Products Division in Connecticut, where the cable was marketed and manufactured to customer specifications for cable assemblies. He traveled extensively, introducing IW’s products through trade shows and vising prospective customers around the world.
Nixon was described by company President and CEO Michael Sarni as “a fun, kind charismatic guy, always had great stories to tell. We expected him to be around for years.”
2/8/21 -- Agnes “Perkie” Rita Rubadue, of Greeley, Colorado, who with her husband, Edwin Rubadue, founded Rubadue Wire in California in 1976, died Dec. 14, 2020, at age 93.
Rubadue Wire, originally located in California, was later moved to Colorado. The company is now part of the Wire Experts Group along with Pelican Wire. Family members involved with the company over the years include Susan Welsh, retired CEO; Dan Rubadue, retired COO; and Michael and Jim Rubadue, both also long-time employees. Edwin, Susan and Dan, all received the WCMA Distinguished Career Award.
Rubadue was preceded in death by Edwin in 2009. They had 10 children, 38 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
2/8/2021 -- Germany’s EJP Maschinen GmbH announced that it has purchased a “significant portion” of Italmec, a manufacturer of wire drawing machines and peripheral equipment located in Poland that last year had joined it as a strategic partner.
A press release said that, with the drawing lines from Italmec and the cleaning systems from EJP (previously known as EJP WITEC GmbH), EJP’s structure now allows it to offer complete production lines for the entire process chain, from wire rod to finished coil. Founded in 2006, Italmec Sp. z o.o. has extensive industry knowledge and experience. In November 2018, Italmec acquired the WWM (Welding Wire Machinery) brand, which included the know-how of its employees as well as all projects and patents. At EJP’s website, it notes that it also offers combined drawing machines, drawbenches, peeling machines and straightening machines
Last September, EJP and Lothar Köppen co-founded EJP WIRE Technology, which supplies machines and related process technology for pretreatment of wire. “There were many changes in the international market in 2020,” said EJP Managing Director Jacques Paraskevas. “Through the participation in Italmec and WWM, we are filling a gap that was created last year.” He observed that the involvement in the two companies was another logical step towards complete solutions for the wire industry: EJP is now one of the few suppliers that produce complete plants for the entire “wire” process chain and at the same time have a global sales and service network. There are also synergies to other long products, such as “rods, tubes and profiles.”
The two other EJP companies include EJP-TOSCA, which supplies shot blasting equipment; and EJP Italia, which provides butt welding equipment for wire.
2/8/2021 -- The Ames Copper Group (ACG)—a joint venture between U.S.-based Prime Materials Recovery, Inc. (PMR), and Spain’s CuNext Group—to build a secondary copper smelter in North Carolina, USA.
Per the PMR website and reports in recyclingtoday.com and areadevelopment.com, the SMS Group will supply the smelter. It will have the capacity to annually process up to 50,000 tons of copper anodes. The plant, scheduled for startup this year, will be the first secondary copper recycling facility in the U.S. to produce copper anodes from copper scrap and copper fines.
“The manufacturing industry is critical to our success as a nation, and this will be the only smelter in the U.S. manufacturing custom copper anodes,” said PMR CEO Bernard Schilberg. He said that China’s restrictions on copper scrap imports and the oversupply they have created in the U.S. market prompted the venture, as did the demand for copper anodes in North America. “We will be able to compete globally with the new efficient technology we are implementing.”
Based in East Hartford, Connecticut, PMR operates processing facilities in Canastota, New York; Willimantic, Connecticut; Orangeburg, South Carolina; and Hickory, North Carolina. PMR processes and brokers in excess of 35 million pounds of nonferrous metals a month. Its affiliate, IMC Metals America in Shelby, North Carolina, manufactures copper for wiring and lightning rods, as well as applications in the defense industry.
Schilberg said that CuNext has experience in copper mining and refining while PMR has experience in direct melting of copper scrap. ACG will purchase birch/cliff, No. 2 copper chops with a minimum of 90 percent copper content and copper-bearing scrap, and copper alloys with a minimum of 85% copper content. The smelter will consume 54,000 tons of scrap annually to produce 50,000 tons of 99.7% copper custom anodes. U.S. wire and cable manufacturers are key customers.
SMS will supply a tilting refining furnace, anode casting wheel, gas cleaning system, and electric and automation systems. The plant will be prepared for a future upgrade with additional digitalization features.
2/8/2021 -- The CEO of National Cable Factory, which was established in Oman in 2013 and began production in 2018, is exploring sales to foreign markets.
A press release from the company said that its factory in Raysut Industrial City in Oman has continued to sustain production to help provide electrical and flexible cables for the domestic market, despite the challenges by Covid-19. Now, the company is looking to do more.
“With high efficiency and excellent quality of products, the factory plans to explore foreign markets in the near future to promote these products overseas,” said National Cable Factory CEO Nayef bin Hamid Fadel. He noted that the company is positioned to do this. “The company’s annual production volume has amounted to 10,000 tonnes of all types of electrical cables. Besides, the company has introduced new production lines in correspondence to the requirements of a fast-moving market.”" He emphasized that the company pays great attention to providing job and training opportunities for the national cadres. “The National Cable Factory, in cooperation with the Technical and Administrative Training Institute, will train a number of diploma holders as part of training for employment.”
Per the company’s website, the company produces a range of building wire, power cable and flexible cable at its 40,000-sq-m plant. The company has quality certifications from BASEK, BRE, BSI, DGMS, TAG and VDE. It was established by “Omani Investor Group and Turkish cable industry know-how.”
2/8/21 -- Maillefer announced that it plans to strengthen its support and presence in India by introducing local manufacturing and supply of brand name technology for low-voltage wire and cable manufacturers within the region.
A press release said that the Indian subcontinent is seen as one of the fastest-growing wire and cable markets in the world. Maillefer has long had a presence there, supporting the growth of this market through its office and team in Mumbai. It now will be able to provide local equipment as well as testing capability and service/support. “We are happy and enthusiastic to announce our latest investment, strengthening this support and presence.”
Japan’s Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI) has been awarded a contract for the Stikine Crossing Submarine Cable Replacement Project from Southeast Alaska Power Agency (SEAPA) through its subsidiary, Sumitomo Electric USA.
A press release said that the project calls for removing and discarding the existing 138 kV OF (oil filled) submarine power cable. It will be replaced by an environmentally friendly 69 kV XLPE (Cross-linked polyethylene) submarine cable, with ancillary equipment, for a fully functional system located in the Stikine crossing (approximately 16,700 ft high) between Vank and Woronkofski Islands, near Wrangell, Alaska, USA. In 2018, SEI completed a similar project in relatively close waters for Orcas Power & Light Cooperative, Washington, USA.
“The Sumitomo Electric Group will carry out this project soundly with the highest priority on quality and safety, and through constant optimization in project execution gain further experience to capture demand for power grid renewal projects in the U.S. market, which is expected to rise in coming years.”
In other news, SEI has passed the approval test for its 525 kV DC cable system with a DC gas-insulated switchgear (DC GIS) interface in accordance with CIGRE TB496 by a collaboration with Siemens Energy and German cable supplier Südkabel. DC GIS provides a compact solution for connecting HVDC cable lines to offshore converter platforms and onshore transition stations. Südkabel supplied its DC XLPE cable using Sumitomo Electric’s DC XLPE compound materials and connected it to Sumitomo Electric’s XLPE cable and joints.
MWS, which notes at its website that it offers the world’s largest selection of magnet wire, has completed construction of its new 30,000-sq-ft site in Oxnard, California, which it described as “an agile production facility for drawing, shaping, serving, twisting and insulating of wire for high-technology users worldwide.”
A letter from MWS President Benjamin Konrad said that the company has “invested significantly into a building that mirrors the ambition and commitment that MWS has towards its employees and customers.” The new building houses the latest equipment for fine wire production, and there are plans to expand the building by another 50,000 sq ft. The site has a 40,000-sq-ft warehouse that more than doubles the space available in its former facility in Westlake Village, California. Over the next year, MWS will add significant manufacturing capacity with new machines that will create new wire manufacturing capabilities and value-added services.
“Our goal is to build upon the formula of the last 50 years: customer service, quality, lead times and broad availability of precision fine wire, and meet the evolving and increasing demands of the next 50 years,” Konrad wrote. He noted that MWS Medical Wire has added five new sales organizations serving three continents, achieved certification to ISO 13485:2016 and purchased strategic equipment for precious metal drawing and laser ablation. MWS, which has a new medical website, “has also entered an exciting marketplace targeting early-stage development of medical devices.” It notes that it is also the first wire company to feature products on www.chamfr.com.
“We are excited for the future and look forward to getting down to the wire on new and existing projects,” Konrad wrote.
In 2014, MWS became a part of The Elektrisola Group, an international producer of fine and ultra-fine magnet wire that has eight manufacturing plants in Europe (Germany, two in Italy, Switzerland), North America (U.S. and Mexico) and Asia (Malaysia and China).