4/6/2021: Rosendahl Nextrom reports that it has completed the extension at its site in Pischelsdorf, Austria, which has seen the addition of some 3,000 sq m over two levels.
A press release said that the newly created space was for the mechanical assembly, steel construction and warehouse departments. This warehouse was also partially built with a basement, resulting in a storage height of a good 16 m. The focus was on making work processes and daily work even more efficient. For example, automated parallel vertical storage systems were installed so orders could be processed even faster and more efficiently. Furthermore, the production processes have also been automated and thus improved.
“All in all, a very functional hall is now available,” the release said. The infrastructure design makes the hall future-proof and flexible. “Of course, good building physics is also important in order to be able to operate the hall economically in the future.
4/6/2021: Rosendahl Nextrom reports that it has completed the extension at its site in Pischelsdorf, Austria, which has seen the addition of some 3,000 sq m over two levels.
4/6/2021: Germany’s Leoni Group announced that it has sold Leoni Studer AG, part of the company’s Wire & Cable Solutions (WCS) division, to a consortium of buyers led by former Board member Bruno Fankhauser and Helvetica Capital.
A press release said that the sale was an important step towards focusing the Group on wiring systems business. The deal saw the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board sell Leoni Schweiz AG, which is the holding company of Leoni Studer AG, a specialist in high-quality cables and wires for complex applications in the industrial and infrastructure sectors. Both sides signed a corresponding agreement after several months of negotiation. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2021.
Leoni announced that the company will sell the units of the Wire & Cable Solutions (WCS) division to focus on the wiring systems business. In the past financial year, Leoni laid the foundation for the reorganization of WCS into units to be sold. Leoni Schweiz AG is now the first unit being sold.
“The sale of Leoni Schweiz AG shows that besides the sequential improvement of our operating performance, we are also making progress in focusing on the wiring systems business,” said Leoni AG CEO Aldo Kamper. “The market environment for transactions appears to be steadily improving, and we received tangible indications of interest for further WCS units. We will sell further units if we achieve fair value and if buyers present a viable concept.”
The buyer consortium’s business concept for Leoni Schweiz AG envisions that the company will realize its full potential quickly and flexibly on an independent and stand-alone basis. The business will be further developed in the field of special and safety cables, halogen-free, flame-resistant plastics as well as irradiation cross-linking and sterilization.
As a long-standing member of the management of Studer AG and Leoni Schweiz AG, Bruno Fankhauser has been familiar with the business and the market for over 20 years and will contribute this expertise to the further development of the company as the future CEO of the independent Studer Cables. “We intend to further expand Leoni Studer’s leading position and its core technical competencies,” said Fankhauser. “With this step we are also providing stability and continuity for our employees and business partners.”
4/6/2021: The Prysmian Group will supply 770 km of submarine telecom cables for the Norte Conectado project—awarded by RNP, Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa, a Brazilian Internet provider—that will connect the city of Macapá to Santarém and Alenquer, which are located in the north of the Amazon region.
A press release said that Prysmian will provide its widely used MINISUB of repeaterless, optic submarine cables. They have a high fiber count that will be deployed in four separated links, enabling a reliable flow of data traffic to 9.2 million households. The project will enable connectivity cross 59 municipalities in northern Brazil, and makes it possible to extend it to other Amazonian countries. The cables will be produced at Prysmian’s plant in Nordenham, Germany, and delivered in the second half of 2021.
“We are honored to contribute to this valuable project and support sustainable development by improving the data connectivity for the local communities and public institutions,” said Prysmian Group Submarine Telecom BU Director Ashutosh Bhargavas. “Prysmian has been operating in Brazil for more than 90 years and is in the unique position to serve its customers directly from there.”
4/6/2021: The Metalworks business of HS Manufacturing, LLC (HS Metalworks), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company (HSM), has formed a strategic alliance with wire manufacturer OPEX Steel Processing LLC (OPEX) to manufacture induction-tempered spring wire for HS Metalworks at its Bedford Heights, Ohio, facility.
A press release said that along with expanding HS Metalworks’ capacity, the strategic alliance enables the company to better serve its spring-wire customers based in the Midwest. “This new strategic alliance provides us with additional capacity, as well as a major geographical advantage, that will support our customers’ growing demand for this product,” said HS Metalworks President Tim Becker. “It also cements our position as one of the largest producers of induction-tempered spring wire in North America, at a time when there is a real shortage in supply due to the recent spike in demand for home furnishings, products used for housing upgrades and automotive products as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Becker noted that the alliance gives HS Metalworks a “triangle” of manufacturing facilities for spring wire. HS Metalworks also manufactures this product at its facilities in Conover, North Carolina, and Phoenix, Arizona. Production and shipments from the Bedford Heights factory began in late February.
HS Metalworks will be OPEX’s sole and exclusive customer for induction-tempered spring wire, which is used to manufacture overhead springs for garage doors and has applications in the furniture, automotive, agricultural and construction industries in products which require springs that have a large load-bearing capacity.
OPEX is a business formed using some of the wire making assets formerly owned and operated by American Spring Wire Corp. “We are very excited to expand our production capabilities and further service our customers through this strategic alliance,” Becker said. “The OPEX team, from the executive level to the production floor, is one of the most highly respected wire manufacturers in the industry. Dedicated to manufacturing high-quality products with an emphasis on customer service, this collaboration aligns well with both of our companies’ core values and we look forward to continued growth together.”
“I am very pleased to have joined forces with HS Metalworks and to put our wire making assets, and our people, back to work.” said Tim Selhorst, CEO of OPEX. “Demand for induction-tempered spring wire has grown dramatically, and to be part of this alliance is a terrific opportunity for OPEX Steel Processing and, we believe, HS Metalworks.”
4/6/2021: Southwire Canada is proud to announce that it recently became a Great Place to Work® (GPTW) Certified™ organization, showcasing the company’s commitment to its employees, communities and other stakeholders.
“This certification is a great recognition of our employees and our culture,” said Tim King, Southwire’s president in Canada. “It reflects our core beliefs of Southwire’s founder, Roy Richards Sr., who regarded Southwire’s people as our most important and influential asset and, after more than seventy years of successful business, this still remains true.”
GPTW is the world’s leading research and consulting firm dedicated to helping organizations assess and develop their workplaces, cultures and employee engagement. According to GPTW, trust is the main ingredient in building a great place to work for all. Establishing a foundation of trust in the workplace culture is the smartest investment one can make for their organization. The Great Place to Work® Trust Model©, which was a key factor in achieving this certification, outlines the definition of a great workplace, and trust in leadership is at the core.
The Trust Index©, based on the Great Place to Work® Trust Model©, measures the levels of trust in the workplace by focusing on five key dimensions: Credibility, Respect, Fairness, Pride and Camaraderie. GPTW uses this to define a great workplace as one where employees trust the people they work for, have pride in the work they do and enjoy the people with whom they work.
The survey used by this index is the most widely used survey of its kind in the world and is used annually by more than 8,000 organizations employing approximately 12 million employees worldwide. It is a cornerstone of the world’s most respected ongoing study of workplace excellence, leadership and the role of trust and employee relationships in creating great workplaces, cultures and engagement. Great Place to Work® recognizes leading workplaces in 55 countries on six continents through its Best Workplaces lists, which are published annually in prestigious national media outlets, such as the Globe & Mail, FORTUNE Magazine and more. 84% of Southwire employees in Canada participated in this survey, which was open for two weeks, and the organization surpassed the certification threshold by 8%.
“Southwire is an equal opportunity employer, who really cares and invests in its people,” said Maria Sial, Southwire Canada’s manager of communications & digital strategy. “Our company truly understands that people in an organization are important, and fosters a culture where people can learn, grow and develop further. Receiving this certification sets Southwire apart and allows us to benchmark ourselves against the Best Workplaces in the world.”
Southwire has always believed that its employees are The People Behind the Power™. Achieving the Great Place to Work® certification reaffirms this belief, as Southwire achieved this certification based on its employees’ feedback and survey responses. This is a direct reflection of Southwire’s core tenets of Growing Green, Living Well, Giving Back, Doing Right and Building Worth.
To learn more about Southwire’s commitment to sustainability, visit www.southwire.com/sustainability.
4/6/2021: The International Wire and Machinery Association (IWMA), citing its mission to “Connect Expertise Globally,” will hold its first-ever virtual, one day-event from 10 am to 4 pm (BST) on Thursday, April 22.
IWMA reported that it has been working in recent months “with a tried and trusted virtual event platform to bring our members together.” The event, free to IWMA members/£25 per person nonmembers, will provide “real opportunity for networking, building connections, industry insight and more.”
The event will include guest speakers from the CRU Group, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH and Ducab. The Sponsored Speaker Sessions will allow a company to pre-record its own talk or presentation to feature on the virtual event platform for £400. The forum will allow participants “to present their latest company news, products or technology right in front of (attendees) whilst also providing them with the opportunity to network and gain industry insight from our guest speakers.”
4/5/2021: South Korea’s LS Cable & System (LC&S) announced that it will be the sole supplier of magnet wire for the drive motors (enamel wire) of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 electric vehicles.
A press release said that LC&S is the first South Korean company to mass-produce magnet wires that can be used at 800 V. Sales are estimated to reach more than KRW200 billion within 6 years. It noted that the company succeeded in using a high-performance insulation material to develop a high-voltage magnet wire with improved efficiency.
As the charging speed competition is intensifying in the electric vehicle industry, development of high-voltage parts supporting this is becoming more important. “We expect that this supply will provide us with an opportunity to preempt the high-voltage electric vehicle wire market, which is still in its early stage,” the release said.
LC&S projects that global demand for environmentally friendly automotive magnet wire market will grow more than six-fold by 2025. It is responding by reinforcing its marketing efforts and increasing investments with regard to global automakers. “The drive motor and the battery are important enough to be called the two hearts of an electric vehicle,” said LC&S President & CEO Myung Roe-Hyun. “We are certain that the wires and parts business, which serves as the blood vessels of the heart, will also grow rapidly, so we are fostering them as new growth engines.”
Since 2016, LC&S has been supplying GM with the magnet wire (400V) for the drive motors of the Chevrolet Bolt EV. It is also discussing development of HV magnet wires that will be used by all EVs produced by GM.
4/5/2021: Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), a global designer and manufacturer of wireless and broadcast infrastructure, announced that it has made “a seven-figure investment” at its manufacturing facility in Meriden, Connecticut.
A press release said that the investment was made to support growing demand for its HYBRIFLEX riser and jumper cables for 4G, 5G products, and beyond. RFS invested in the latest state-of-the-art cable manufacturing equipment that will enable the company “to significantly increase production capability, flexibility, and capacity to meet customer demand.” A company spokesperson said that the new equipment is not replacing existing production.
The investment will help RFS react even more swiftly to requests for new designs and prototypes. “This has reduced new product development lead time by an average of 25%, while doubling production capacity for bulk cables.”
“The recent pandemic has emphasized just how reliant the U.S., and the rest of the world is on telecommunication,” said Matt Gauvin, global product line manager optical fiber and power solutions for RFS. “As a result of this realization, combined with the development of next generation mobile services, we anticipate a huge surge in demand.”
4/5/2021: Champlain Cable announces that it has acquired Umbilicals International (UI), which designs and manufactures complex cable and umbilical products for dynamic and harsh environments at its two U.S. plants in Texas.
A press release said that UI, a business of Scotland’s Seanamic Group, will continue to operate out of their facilities in Stafford, its headquarters, and Channelview, Texas. UI will continue with its present name, managed as a standalone business under General Manager Colin Zak.
The deal expands the scope of Champlain Cable, which is based in Vermont, with operations in El Paso, Texas, and Benton Harbor, Michigan. “The addition of Umbilicals International to the Champlain Cable Group will strengthen our commitment to custom designed cables for harsh and demanding environments,” Champlain Cable President Bill Reichert said. “The entire Champlain Cable Group will now have extensive cable design and manufacturing capability for a broad coverage of markets and applications.”
Reichert commented that all the proper and necessary due diligence was conducted, even though, given the challenging times, it was done under very different circumstances. “We did visit UI’s two plants (Stafford and Channelview) in Texas. We had our El Paso Operations manager handle that part of the process.”
Reichert cited Marty Kenner, Commission Brokers, for alerting him to this opportunity. “Marty knew we were looking for certain acquisitions, and he and I talked about UI.” That led to good discussions with The Seanamic Group, and the process was largely seamless and expedited, he said. “It worked out quite well due to a great team approach.”
Prysmian Group, announced plans to expand its U.S. manufacturing facility in Pettis County, Missouri, which has seen substantial capital investment.
A press release said that the Prysmian Group plans a two-phase expansion of the facility, which manufactures aluminum building wire products for the commercial and institutional construction markets. Phase one, which was just completed, was a $3.5 million investment for new equipment purchases, existing building renovations and additional jobs. That includes a new machine that increases the plant’s capacity for producing aluminum building wire, which is in high demand. The addition includes an expansion of distribution operations in Sedalia and the addition of more jobs to fully exploit this exciting business opportunity.
“The Sedalia plant is an important area of our business serving a growing market,” said Prysmian Group North America COO Giacomo Sofia. “The investment in the expansion is an important step in continuing to support our customers. Phase one will not only increase opportunities in Sedalia, but it also reduces our operating costs and allows us to be more efficient and cost competitive. The plant has a deep history in the area, and we are thrilled that we continue to grow our footprint.”
LS Cable & System (LSC&S) announced that the company has completed building its first plant in Africa, located in an industrial city in Egypt.
A press release said that LSC&S established a joint venture with a local cable installation company, MAN, Tenth of Ramadan City, near Cairo, in January 2020. The company wants to expand its market presence to East African and Middle Eastern countries, which have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Egypt.
“Export barriers are rising due to the forming of regional economic blocks around the world,” said Myung Roe-Hyun, President & CEO of LS Cable & System. “We will reinforce our competitiveness by directly investing in key hub countries.” With the Egyptian subsidiary, LSC&S now has 11 overseas production subsidiaries, including those in the U.S., China, Vietnam and Poland.
The release noted that the Egyptian cable market is annually growing by more than 5% due to facts such as population growth and the need to replace and upgrade old power grids. “There is a high demand for power cables in Africa, including Egypt, but export barriers are high due to the high tariffs (about 20%) and logistics costs,” said a LSC&S official. “We are planning to secure price competitiveness through local production and use the customer networks of our partners to get the business on the right track as soon as possible.”
Southwire announced that it would soon begin construction of a 100,000-sq-ft copper-rod manufacturing plant in Carrollton, Georgia, an initiative that supports its long-term modernization strategy and building on its goal to remain generationally sustainable for the next 100 years and beyond.
A press release said that construction of the new plant is expected to begin in the first quarter, and that production should begin in the new facility by the end of 2022. When the construction project is completed, the current system will be decommissioned. Of note, the new plant will feature an SCR-9000S Copper Rod System that will have the capability to produce more copper rod (60 mt/hr) than any other SCR system in the world.
“Southwire is investing in a multimillion-dollar modernization initiative that will allow us to best serve our customers, increase our efficiency and introduce newer and better equipment, systems and technology,” said Southwire’s President and CEO Rich Stinson. “In doing so, we’re reaffirming our commitment to providing a work environment that supports the well-being of our employees, our communities and the environment – for today and for the future. Installing a new SCR system is an important part of this effort, as copper rod is the start of the manufacturing process for many of the products that make Southwire an industry leader.”
Southwire started operation of its current copper rod system in Carrollton in 1980, and four decades later, copper continues to be the primary source of metal for the company’s wire and cable operations. The new facility will be located on the same property as the existing manufacturing plant and will utilize the company’s patented Southwire Continuous Rod (SCR®) technology, which transformed the wire and cable industry in the early 1960s and is still the preferred system around the world.
“To put the technology itself into perspective, fifty percent of all copper rod made in the world passes through one of our SCR systems at some point in its lifetime. That’s significant,” said Charlie Murrah, executive vice president of metals. “Our copper rod manufacturing plant in Carrollton is more than 40 years old, and it is the right time to upgrade to a new, state-of-the-art SCR system for continuity and efficiency of our processes. Having a new SCR system in place for Southwire’s copper rod production will help keep us strong and sustainable for decades to come.”
The company also plans to continue pursuing its commitment to Growing Green as it plans for the replacement system. In support of Southwire’s Carbon Zero initiative to achieve 100% carbon free energy for its operations by 2025, Southwire is partnering with Carroll EMC to use all renewable electricity for the facility.
“We’re excited about the future of our Carrollton copper rod manufacturing facility, and we are proud to partner with Carroll EMC as we pursue our Carbon Zero initiative,” said Stinson. “Through this effort, we are not only supporting our modernization strategy and strategic efforts, but also strengthening our commitment toward remaining generationally sustainable.”