WAI joins world in mourning the passing of Queen Elizabeth
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.
Product Focus: A novice’s guide to capstans and blocks
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.
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.
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.
wire China 2022 postponed
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 to build trans-Pacific subsea cable
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.
Hellenic Cables turns to Alcoa Corporation to reduce its production carbon footprint
Alcoa Corporation announced that it is supplying low-carbon EcoLum™ aluminum to Hellenic Cables S.A., one of the largest cable producers in Europe with key markets in renewable energy transmission and distribution.
A press release said that Hellenic Cables, the cables segment of Cenergy Holdings, operates five manufacturing plants across three countries and manufactures power, telecommunication, and submarine cables, and compounds. The EcoLum brand is part of Alcoa’s Sustana™ family of low-carbon products, the most comprehensive in the aluminum industry, and has a carbon footprint that is approximately 3.5 times better than the industry average.
“We are very proud to partner with Hellenic Cables and assist them in their stated mission to develop a sustainable energy future,” said Alcoa EVP and CCO Kelly Thomas. “We know that aluminum is a key material for a more sustainable future, and we are the company to deliver with responsible production from mine to metal, all backed by excellent quality and strong customer service.”
Produced at hydroelectric-powered aluminum smelters, EcoLum aluminum has no more than 4.0 metric tons of carbon emissions for every ton of metal produced, including both direct and indirect emissions (scope 1 and scope 2) across the entire production chain, including bauxite mining and alumina refining. Alexis Alexiou, CEO of Cenergy Holdings and Hellenic Cables, said that Hellenic Cables finds strong alignment with Alcoa’s strategic priority to advance sustainably. “We prioritize the urgency of deep and immediate mitigation actions, hence EcoLum minimizes our environmental impacts and enhances the value of our products.”
H.L. Blachford Ltd. announced that it has entered into a partnership agreement with Bellini Tecnologia Della Lubrificazione SpA, a lubricants and metal working fluids manufacturer based in Bergamo, Italy, to distribute their products in Canada and the USA.
A press release said that H.L. Blachford will now be able to offer their customers a wide variety of new products ranging from water-miscible coolants, neat cutting oils, forming and drawing lubricants to industrial lubricants, and more. “We are excited about this strategic alliance with Bellini,” said H.L. Blachford President Michael Cundari. “It expands our product offering, allows us to re-enter key metalworking markets, and brings a strong value proposition to our future customers.”
Cundari’s counterpart said that he has high hopes for the deal. “We enter this partnership with high expectations as Blachford is a technology based chemical manufacturer with whom we share a similar history and values such as reliability and dedication to technical customer satisfaction,” said Bellini SpA President Marco Bellini.
President Biden makes a visit to Prysmian’s new cable plant
The Prysmian Group welcomed U.S. President Joe Biden on his July 21 visit to see the company’s new submarine power cables plant in Brayton Point, Massachusetts.
A press release said that the visit reflects Prysmian Group’s strategic vision and commitment to the sustainable energy transition. “We are very proud of welcoming President Biden; this visit highlights our role in supporting the energy transition in the U.S. market,” said Hakan Ozmen, EVP Projects Business Prysmian Group, who along with Andrea Pirondini, CEO Prysmian Group North America, welcomed President Biden.
The Brayton Point factory will manufacture innovative submarine inter-array and export cables up to 275 kV AC or 525 kV DC, that are needed to connect offshore wind farms to mainland power grids.
The official opening of the first fiber optic cable plant in Nigeria in Ogun State by Coleman Technical Industries Limited (CTIL) was heralded as a major step forward as the country seeks to provide such technology internally.
Per an article in nigeriannewsdirect.com, the opening of the Coleman Wire and Cable fiber optic company, located on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, was deemed by CTIL Managing Director and CEO George Onafowokan as an important achievement. In his remarks, he said that he has a firm belief in local content, and that it was important for Nigeria to grow local capacity. The goal is to build capacity for the country, West Africa, Central Africa and about 50% of the continent, making the operation the biggest fiber optic cable factory in the continent by September 2023.
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, who also spoke at the inauguration of the Coleman Wire and Cable fiber optic company, said that the new cable capacity is much welcome. The state plans to lay 5,000 km of fiber optic cables across its region, the state would receive the needed boost with the commissioning of the first fiber optic cable factory in West Africa.
The new plant was described as the first one in the West Africa sub-region and the fifth in the African continent.
Cerrowire® has named Randy Clos as vice president of finance. He has led financial teams for more than two decades, primarily in the wire and cable industry, including 10 years within the Marmon Electrical Group, part of Marmon Holdings, a Berkshire Hathaway company. In his most recent position as vice president of finance at Marmon Utility, Clos led teams for brands such as Hendrix and Kerite. He previously worked with Wayne Water Systems, a sister Berkshire Hathaway company. He holds a B.S. degree in accounting from Southern New Hampshire University. A member of the Marmon Electrical Group, Cerrowire manufactures electrical wire at plants in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana and Utah.
Rich Buchicchio has been named business development manager, mil-aero, for Times Microwave Systems. He previously was a regional sales manager for Cicoil Corporation, where he worked for 13 years, and prior to that was a regional sales manager, Northeastern USA, for Leoni. He holds a B.S. degree in marketing from Rutgers University. A subsidiary of Amphenol Corporation, Times Microwave Systems manufactures coaxial cables, connectors and cable assemblies for military, aerospace, telecom, industrial RF and microwave applications.
Ton Koenders has joined M. Holland Company as its inaugural director of sales for Europe to support international growth and address customer needs. Based in the Netherlands, his focus will include advising customers on improving recyclability efforts and using more sustainable materials. He has an extensive background in plastics, having worked for 34 years at SABIC, where he most recently led the company’s American sales organization for polymers. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Technical College Heerlen and business administration from the University of Maastricht. Based in Northbrook, Illinois, M. Holland Company is a leading international distributor of thermoplastic resins.
Ed Fenton has been named a senior key account manager for Daikin America, Inc. He has held unique positions in the industry, having been the co-founder and co-owner of the Wire & Cable Focus Conference and Exposition, which was sold in 1999 to the International Wire & Cable Symposium, Inc. He most recently was director of North American sales for Ripley Tools LLC. He was the owner of the Wire & Cable Clubs of America, an industrial membership organization for manufacturers of cables, wire and suppliers to these industries—the predecessor to the Wire & Cable Manufacturers Alliance (WCMA)—which he has been executive director since 2004. He will continue to serve in that role. He was the North American business manager for wire and cable publications by CRU International, London, England, and was vice president sales/marketing in 2004, for Fluoropolymer Resources. He holds a degree in English from the University of Vermont. Based in Orangeburg, New York, Daikin America manufactures fluorochemical products for sectors that include wire and cable.
Joe Neely has joined the sales team of Chroma Color, responsible for account sales in the Midwest. An experienced account manager, he has worked in the food/beverage and packaging industries. Previously, he sold color and additives to a wide variety of plastics converters. Before getting involved in color and packaging, He was in IT and wireless communications, working in various roles from inside sales to virtualization sales. He holds a degree in marketing from Southern Illinois University. Based in Lambertville, New Jersey, Chroma Color Corporation supplies specialty color and additive concentrate to markets that include wire and cable