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Oden Technologies and Rockwell Automation announced that they have entered a partnership that will benefit both companies.

“This relationship will empower manufacturers to make real-time, data-driven decisions like never before, and truly thrive in an ever-evolving market scenario,” a press release said. “By combining Rockwell’s comprehensive suite of industrial automation services and Oden’s turnkey, AI-powered technology, we’re excited to offer end-to-end solutions to help clients continuously stay agile, boost profits, cut costs and reduce scrap. Oden has found common ground in both Rockwell’s incredible domain expertise and in our values, work ethic, and joint vision of an agile and future-ready manufacturing industry.”

The news follows another partnership deal entered into by Oden Technologies last September with Litmus, “the Intelligent Edge Computing company.” A press release said that together, the two companies “offer a turnkey solution for Smart Manufacturing including out-of-the-box data acquisition from any machine, advanced analytics and machine learning to drive greater production efficiency.”

Litmus Edge provides the data intelligence platform to quickly collect, normalize and analyze high volumes of live data from industrial assets and make them available to OT and IT systems via edge-to-enterprise integration. Oden provides big data compute engine and machine learning, real-time and predictive process metrics.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) announced that it has made an affirmative preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of standard steel welded wire mesh from Mexico.

A press release said that exporters/producers from Mexico will receive countervailable subsidies at rates ranging from 1.02 to 102.09%. DoC will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of standard steel welded wire mesh from Mexico based on the preliminary rates noted above. In 2019, imports of standard steel welded wire mesh from Mexico were valued at approximately $46.7 million.

The petitioners were Insteel Industries Inc., Mid-South Wire Company, National Wire LLC, Oklahoma Steel & Wire Co. and Wire Mesh Corp.

DoC is scheduled to announce its final determination in this case on or about Feb. 11, 2021. If it makes an affirmative final determination, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will make its final injury determination on or about March 29, 2021.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

Italy’s Danieli announced winning two orders for wire rod mills from two separate companies in Turkey.

A press release said that one of the orders is from İÇDAŞ ÇELİK Enerji Tersane ve Ulaşım Sana (İÇDAŞ) for its plant in Biga, Turkey. İÇDAŞ has two other Danieli wire rod lines at the site that have been in operation since 2005. The manufacturer is investing to increase its market share of wire rod coils, and to add more advanced steel grades to its product portfolio. It is designed to produce a wide range of steel grades, inclusive of welding wire, high carbon, cold heading, bearing steel, spring steel, free cutting and alloyed steels, at rolling speeds up to 110 m/sec. Line startup is scheduled for the second quarter of 2021.

The new line includes a ten-pass fast finishing block with the latest technology Multidrives (M2®) configuration; Danieli Structure Control (DSC®) water cooling line; and four-pass reducing and sizing Twin Module Block (TMB®) equipped with an individual drive control system. The vertical coil-compactor will be supplied by specialist Swedish Sund-Birsta, part of Danieli Group.

The second order is from Habaş Sınai ve Tibbi Gazlar İstihsal Endüstrisi, which ordered a new Danieli wire rod line, slab caster electrical and automation system, along with technological packages to be installed in the company’s Aliaga steelmaking plant. The wire rod line will produce a wide range of steel grades/products—and medium-carbon steel, welding wire, high-carbon and PC wire and reinforcement steel—at a maximum rolling speed of 110 m/sec. Startup is scheduled for the third quarter of 2021.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

NKT reports that it has become the first major power cable manufacturer to join an initiative to become a net-zero emissions company.

A press release said that NKT has already committed to annually reducing its own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 5%, in line with the Paris climate agreement to keep global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. “Now, the company commits to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) with the aim to set its net-zero deadline as soon as possible, with 2050 as the ultimate close.” To that end, the company commits to reduce its CO2 emissions by 5% on average annually.

“I am proud that we are the first major power cable manufacturer to commit to this verified and approved method for responsible climate actions, and it is a strong signal to our stakeholders that we are fully committed to accelerate the sustainability journey,” said NKT President & CEO Alexander Kara. He noted that last year, the company announced that all its power cable plants will run on electricity from renewable energy sources, reducing CO2 emissions from its annual energy consumption by 66%, or over 48,000 tons compared to 2019.

Separately, NKT runs several decarbonization initiatives, including reduction of fuel consumption and dedicated projects to increase the energy efficiency of the cable manufacturing industry. It also recycles materials such as XLPE and metals from the production of power cables, which helps reduce emissions from traditional waste management.

The SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature. Over 1,000 companies have committed to set science-based emissions reduction targets.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) announced that it has made affirmative final determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of prestressed concrete steel wire strand (PC strand) from Argentina, Colombia, Egypt, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, as well as a countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of PC strand from Turkey.

A press release said that the exporters from the countries listed below have dumped PC strand in the United States at the following rates: Argentina, 60.40%; Colombia, 86.09%; Egypt, 29.72%; the Netherlands, 30.86%; Saudi Arabia, 194.40%; Taiwan, 23.89%; Turkey, 53.65%; and UAE, 170.65%. DoC also determined that exporters from Turkey received countervailable subsidies at rates ranging from 30.78% to 158.44%.

The petitioners were Insteel Wire Products Company, Sumiden Wire Products Corporation and Wire Mesh Corporation.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) was scheduled to make its final injury determinations on or about Jan. 21, 2021. If it upholds the findings, DoC will issue AD and CVD orders. DoC is also conducting concurrent AD investigations of PC strand from Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, and Ukraine. Final determinations are set for April 6.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

Sweden’s Hexatronic Group AB reports that it has won orders for submarine cable with a total value of approximately $8 million.

A press release said that Hexatronic Cables & Interconnect Systems AB, a subsidiary of Hexatronic Group AB, concluded several agreements for fiber optic submarine cable from unnamed new customers in Europe. Deliveries are planned to be completed in 2021. “We are very happy with the agreements, which (are) proof of the market’s confidence in our broad offering in submarine cable,” said Hexatronic Group AB CEO Henrik Larsson Lyon.

The company also recently reported the completion of a majority acquisition of Qubix SpA, an Italian supplier of structured cabling for telecommunication infrastructure in buildings and on campuses. Its products include optical cables for high fire risk environments. It offers structured copper cabling solutions under the CCS® brand.

A press release said that Euromicron Holding GmbH sold the 90% it owns of Qubix for approximately €14.4 million. Qubix was established in 2001 as a spin-off of a cable manufacturer. Its founder and general manager, Filippo Gnocco, will continue in his current position and remain a minority shareholder with 10% of the shares. Most of Qubix’s sales are in the Italian market, and it generated an EBITDA of €3.8 million in the last 12 months.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

Brazil’s Gerdau SA announced through a subsidiary, Gerdau Aços Longos, that it has completed the acquisition of long steel producer Siderúrgica Latino Americana (Silat) from the Spanish group Hierros Añón, securing final approval from Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defence (Cade). The purchase of 96.35% of Silat carried a value of approximately $111 million.

A press release said that the Silat acquisition is part of a long-term effort to define the organization’s strategy in the years ahead, reinforcing its position in the steel value chain through investments and acquisitions. The deal is also a strategic expansion opportunity in the Northeast, since the company already has an industrial unit in Ceará, in the city of Maracanaú.

Silat has 233 employees (its own and third parties), and has an annual installed rolling capacity of 600 thousand tons and an expanded plant capable of producing 100 thousand tons each year. Focused on the civil construction sector, the company has since 2012 been in Ceará, where it produces rebar, welded mesh, steel mesh and trusses.

“This acquisition is a project with good potential for Gerdau, which should contribute to the development of a culture of innovation in the company,” said Marcos Faraco, vice president of Gerdau Aços Brasil, Argentina and Uruguay.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

Prysmian SpA and one of its subsidiaries have commenced proceedings for patent infringement in the U.K. High Court against Emtelle UK Limited (Emtelle), claiming it has infringed two of its patents. The action follows prior legal actions.

A press release said that Prysmian, and its U.K. subsidiary, believe that Emtelle’s FibreFlow products infringe the U.K. designations of Prysmian’s European Patents EP (UK) 1,420,279 B1 and EP (UK) 1,668,392B1 patents for fiber optic cables. Emtelle has not issued a response to the claims.

“The Group has undertaken intense R&D activities and major investments over the years, and our telecom cables can now boast the industry record for fibre count and density, with many innovative patents filed in the field of optical cables and related technologies,” said Philippe Vanhille, EVP of Telecom Business at Prysmian Group. “For this reason, we are more and more attentive to protecting our technology and investment against any unauthorized use of our patents.”

Prysmian previously filed a similar action in Germany last July against a competitor company related to the unauthorized use of its European Patents EP1668392 B1 (EP ‘392) and EP 2390700 B1 (EP ‘700).

The EP ‘392 patent relates to telecommunication optical cables, and in particular to a telecommunication optical cable with a highly reduced diameter. The patent relates its 288-fiber ezMICRODUCT cable, which uses a 200-micron fiber, which enables the cable to have an outer diameter of only 8 mm. The cable’s design includes 24 fibers per tube, making the fibers easier to identify and fit into standard splicing trays, according to the company. The fiber cable will operate in the -40°F to 158°F temperature range. A company announcement noted that the technology allowed just 24 fibers to be needed per tube. The second patent, EP ‘700, relates to optical fiber telecommunications cables, particularly an optimized stranded optical cable design using bundled cable units.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

NAI, a designer and manufacturer of custom interconnect solutions, announces the opening of a manufacturing plant in Mexico that will produce interconnect devices, including cable assemblies, harnesses, and box builds.

A press release said that the primary purpose of the 38,000-sq-ft plant in Saltillo, Coahuila, is to provide local support to NAI’s existing and new customers in the nearby region, as well as to improve logistics with closer proximity. The investment will also create manufacturing flexibility in Mexico, including the ability to create dual capacity in multiple plant locations. This new-dual sourcing capability offers customers an alternative to maintain continuity of supply during challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic. The site can also be expanded.

The products to be made serve core markets of industrial, medical and telecom providers. Cable assemblies typically include fiber optic and/or copper cables (and may also include power cables), with connectors attached at one or both ends. They are used to interconnect different types of equipment and instruments. Several hundred SKUs will be initially transferred to this Saltillo plant and set up for immediate production. Operations are scheduled to begin in February 2021.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

Bekaert announced that it is taking a number of structural changes in response to the impact that Covid-19 has had on economies and demand patterns.

A press release said that the Belgium-based company will reorganize its global engineering activities, several functional department areas serving the Group’s global or local business needs, and a number of support and technical roles in the production plants in Zwevegem. “The Group will develop stronger knowledge centers and invest further in shared services to consolidate expertise and activities in business areas that serve the global footprint. This may include decisions to relocate or outsource such activities. Bekaert also continually evaluates the set-up and usage of its footprint to drive value creation.”

The restructuring plan would affect 160 jobs in Belgium, and the intended implementation is scheduled as of 2021 onwards. For Bekaert Engineering (Ingelmunster), the goal is for it to become a global knowledge center for the development of innovative equipment solutions. The design, service and project management teams will focus on the implementation of new and digital technologies and Equipment Lifecycle Management (ELM). The plan includes the discontinuation of the workshop activities in Belgium and the move of the expertise activities with a prototype lab from Ingelmunster to Deerlijk. These changes would affect 95 jobs (63 operators and 32 white collars and managers).

For functional areas (Zwevegem), Bekaert is developing stronger centers of excellence across Group Services,

accelerating the adoption of digital capabilities in the areas of operational, commercial and administrative process excellence to create new value for the business and the customers. This would lead to a reduction of 46 white collars and managers in Belgium. For production plants (Zwevegem), the goal is to realign and regroup support and technical functions. The new set-up would affect 19 white collars and managers in the respective plants.

The company noted that its Belgian engineering organization and production sites have 50 vacancies, and that applications from employees in the above-mentioned, affected roles would be considered.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

Nexans has won a contract worth approximately €20 million to supply specialized nuclear cables for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the U.K.

A press release said that over a six-year contract, Nexans will design and manufacture a total of 3,000 km of cable for Hinkley Point C, which will be the first nuclear power plant to be constructed in the U.K. in a quarter century. Nexans will supply a variety of custom-designed, nuclear-rated cables, including medium voltage (MV) and low voltage (LV) power, control and instrumentation cables for pumps, valves, safety systems, power supplies and control room monitoring. They will be installed inside and outside of the nuclear containment area. The company’s ENERGEN NUC halogen-free cables comply with the Euroclass requirements for reaction to fire. They will be manufactured at the company’s factory in Mehun-sur-Yèvre, France.

Hinkley Point C, under construction in the county of Somerset, marks a significant milestone in the revitalization of the U.K.’s nuclear power sector. With two EPR reactors producing 3,200 megawatts of power for the national grid, the plant will be capable of supplying some six million homes with low-carbon electricity. This will make a major contribution to the U.K.’s move to net zero and will offset 9 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year over the plant’s 60-year lifespan.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

LS Cable & System has inked a five-year contract with Danish energy firm Orsted to supply high-voltage export cables for offshore wind farms.

A press release said that the exact size of the deal is unknown, but media reports estimated that it could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. LS Cable & System has participated in multiple offshore wind projects with Orsted. It previously supplied cables to the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea One and Two, in England, and it will supply subsea cables for the Greater Changhua 1 & 2a offshore wind farms in Taiwan.

Orsted is set to build a 1.6-GW offshore wind farm project in the waters off Incheon, South Korea, which Orsted Asia-Pacific President Matthias Bausenwein said would offer massive opportunities for local suppliers. The offshore wind farm will be installed with 100-140 wind turbines and be able to generate electricity for 1.3 million households annually. The project supports Korea’s Green New Deal initiative, which aims to put up 12 GW of offshore wind power capacity by 2030.

“The trend of investing in renewable energy will continue, even during the current Covid-19 situation,” said Myung Roe-hyun, president and CEO of LS Cable & System. “We are delighted to continue this cooperation with the leading company in offshore wind energy.”

Last modified on January 4, 2021