Wirenet Image Band
wirenet.org mobile image band

Wire Journal News

1/7/2022 – Below are the individuals who will lead the Wire Association in 2022, and details about them.

James R. York will serve as the Association’s president in 2022, succeeding Thomas Heberling, Southwire Co. The other officers are 1st Vice President Daniel Blais, Prysmian; 2nd Vice President Kurt Breischaft, SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS; WAI Executive Director/Secretary Steve Fetteroll; and WAI Treasurer Sheila Kuever. The WAI officers are key to the direction and planning for events, products and services to serve the WAI’s 2,000 members.


President: James R. York
James R. York is senior vice president of Insteel Industries Inc., where his focus is sourcing, logistics and business development. He joined the company in 2018, and prior to that had worked for Leggett & Platt for 15 years in key management positions, the last one being vice president, president rod & wire products. Prior to that, he had worked for Bekaert for nearly 20 years. He joined the Board of Directors in 2017 and the Executive Committee in 2018. He is the co-chair of the 2022 Conference Programming Committee, and he previously was a member of the Interwire Industry 4.0 Task Force and the Finance Committee. He has been a WAI member since 2012. He is active in the American Wire Producers Association. He holds a B.S. degree in marketing from the University of Missouri-Columbia’s College of Business.

1st Vice President: Daniel Blais
Daniel Blais is the North American manufacturing area utilities vice president for Prysmian, where he has worked since 1987. He is based at the company’s in Highland Heights, Kentucky. A WAI member since 2011, he is responsible for nine manufacturing facilities serving the utility and rod and strip customer base. He has held several operational leadership positions of growing responsibilities across the Prysmian North American footprint. He joined the Board of Directors in 2018 and the Executive Committee in 2019. He is the co-chair of the 2022 Conference Programming Committee, and he previously was a member of the Interwire Industry 4.0 Task Force and the Finance Committee. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Sherbrooke University.

2nd Vice President: Kurt Breischaft
Kurt Breischaft is the president of SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS, a position he has held since 2013. He has held progressively responsible positions within the industry during his 30-year career, working for companies that include Cerrowire, Belden and Superior Essex. He serves on the WAI Board of Directors and is a member of the Executive Committee. He was the chairman of the Membership Committee from 2018 to 2021. He holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an MBA from Indiana Western University. Of note, he also was the recipient of the 2006 Wire Link Traveling Scholarship Award.

1/7/2022 – ArcelorMittal Global R&D was tasked with exploring and identifying alternative ways to capture dust emissions that resulted from the transport of sinter and other materials within blast furnace operations. This was an extremely complex issue as conventional aspiration and filtration units were not available nor applicable due to the configuration of the operations and equipment.

ArcelorMittal’s research center in Asturias, Spain took the lead in testing alternative technologies capable of reducing secondary sinter dust. The objective was three-fold: improve working conditions for fine particulate matter, decrease dust emissions that release through openings of buildings and appropriately manage humidity levels in order to protect the sinter and its performance in the blast furnace.

The initial dust suppressant alternatives were based on water injection. The use of water was poor for humidity levels and was rejected by the blast furnace as a potential solution. ArcelorMittal Global R&D proposed and optimized the application of a potato-based, biodegradable dust suppressant applied as foam to minimize the water impact.

Last year trials were developed and implemented at ArcelorMittal Gijon, where the foam was applied over conveyor belts to cover the raw materials and prevent the dust emissions that occurred during the transport and transfer of material to the bunkers. Adjustments were made to the quantity of the foam as well as the water needed to create the foam. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis was used to assess the impact of the dust suppressant.

Dust emissions were dramatically reduced after the foam application with no significant impact in the humidity of the sinter to the blast furnace. The results of the R&D trials showed a more than 80 percent reduction of inhalable particulate matter (PM10) and a reduction of more than 85 percent for fine inhalable particulate matter (PM2.5).

"The use of a biodegradable product allowed us to suppress the diffuse dust emissions without any negative impact on the process or the product. Additionally, the solution avoided costly investments that had no guarantee of success. And, perhaps most importantly, the solution has had a significant impact on the environment, eliminating emissions from ventilation openings of the tower and improving the ambient air quality and visibility of the area, thereby offering better working conditions,” said Beatriz Gonzalez Fernandez, R&D engineer, ArcelorMittal Global R&D.

As a result, ArcelorMittal Global R&D Asturias, where the trials were developed, industrialized the solution for all the belts in the tower of the blast furnace hoppers in Gijon. The diffuse dust emission problem at Gijon has been resolved with no impact on the blast furnace due to humidity. This new formulation is now available to other operations with similar conditions and constraints.

1/4/2022 – Prysmian Group has been awarded a framework contract worth around €1.71 billion by Terna Rete Italia SpA (Terna), for the Tyrrhenian Link project, which includes the design, supply, submarine and land installation, and commissioning of a total of over 1,500 km of submarine cables to support the power exchange among Sardinia, Sicily and Campania, thus reinforcing the Mediterranean energy hub.

A press release said that the order from Terna, a unit of an Italian electricity grid operator (TSO), calls for the turn-key installation of one to three 500 kV HVDC links. Each 500-km link will use single-core cables with mass impregnated insulation. They will also have double wire armoring, an innovation recently developed by Prysmian Group.

Delivery and commissioning are expected in 2025-2028. Installation will be done by Prysmian’s new vessel, the Leonardo da Vinci, which will deploy the cable to a water depth of 2,000 meters, the deepest ever reached for a power cable. The ship, described as the world’s largest cable-laying vessel, entered into operations in August 2021.

The contract also includes an electrode system and an optical fiber cable for system monitoring, as well as land civil works and land-fall HDD (Horizontal Directional Drilling). The submarine and land cables will be manufactured at Prysmian’s plant in Arco Felice (Naples).

“We are proud to have once again been chosen by Terna as a partner for this milestone infrastructure project, aimed at providing a more robust and sustainable national power grid,” stated Valerio Battista, Prysmian Group CEO. “We have proven to be able to offer the widest industry expertise, as well as technology and assets, to execute such an extensive and challenging project.”

The new 1,000 MW submarine link will help Italy reach its energy transition goals, enabling three regions to increase their solar and wind power exchange capacity generated locally. This will therefore support the development of renewable energy through better use of energy flows and a more efficient market.

“This contract adds to the other €2.3 billion projects already secured by Prysmian in 2021, thus further strengthening the Group’s ambition to become the strategic partner for developing power grids in support of the energy transition,” said Hakan Ozmen, EVP project business, Prysmian Group.

1/4/2022 – Egypt’s Elsewedy Electric recently held an inauguration ceremony in Tanzania for an industrial complex and electric cable factory that was attended by senior government officials from both Egypt and Tanzania.

Per multiple media reports, Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan laid the foundation stone for what will be a factory that spans more than 120,000 sq m. The factory will employ 500 people to produce 15,000 metric tons of power cables, 1,500 transformers and 100,000 electricity meters per year. When completed, the factory will be the first such site in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Elsewedy plant is part of a 2.2-million-sq-m industrial park that the company is developing to accommodate labor-intensive industries. Elsewedy unveiled plans to invest $200 million in the first phase of its expansion plans in the country, leading to the construction of 100 manufacturing industries in the Kigamboni industrial space. The goal for the park—developed by Elsewedy Electric’s subsidiary, Elsewedy Industrial Development—is to support Tanzania’s industrialization strategy 2025.

Elsewedy Electric President and CEO Ahmed Elsewedy said at the ceremony that his company embarked on a mission to expand in Africa 20 years ago, and that Tanzania is a priority due to its favorable investment climate and the government’s support. The company plans to use the new complex as a manufacturing and export hub at the heart of east and south Africa due to Tanzania’s strategic location/borders with eight countries, six of which are land-locked.

1/4/2022 – Austria’s Montana Aerospace AG has acquired Brazil’s Comercio Ltda. (São Marco), a manufacturer of magnet wire and copper rod as well as electro-insulating varnishes, resins and lubricants.

A press release said that adding the capacities of São Marco will bolster Montana Aerospace’s product offerings for round wires and conductors. Over the last decade, Montana Aerospace, which has 28 operations in four continents, has developed from a raw material extrusion supplier to a highly vertically integrated player.

“The combined experience, as well as their commitment and knowledge, will strengthen our position as a partner in quality and development, at the service of the energy market, and will strengthen our presence in the electric vehicle market,” said Heinz Riedler, CEO of Montana Aerospace’s Energy Division.

Commented Viakable CEO Sergio Valdés, “After 23 years of joint success, they will now experience a new stage with Montana Aerospace. I am convinced that they will continue to provide high value to their clients in the future and that they will position themselves as a benchmark in the evolution of the Brazilian market.”

Page 1 of 63