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Wire Journal News

November 2023

Madison, Connecticut, USA – November 16, 2023 – The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. reports it completed another popular educational program and Suppliers Market in Monterrey, Mexico, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, November 13-15, 2023, which marks the fourth staging of the event in Monterrey.

Commenting on the occasion, 2009 WAI Past President Antonio Ayala said “The conference had first-class presentations that were informative for all personnel levels. The table top exhibits in the Suppliers Market were of high quality and staffed with technical people. All enjoyed the meal and music at the welcome dinner. And the visit to the Viakable plant was both well planned and well received. Overall the conference was a success.”

NOVEMBER 13 and 14

Seven presentations were held throughout the day Monday beginning with a panel discussion among wire and cable executives about the challenges and opportunities that will define the industry over the coming years. Panelists included Felipe Martinez, CEO, Kobrex, S.A. de C.V.; Andres Guerra Siller, Commercial director of mesh and wire, DeAcero S.A.P.I. de C.V.; and Wesley Rios, Commercial director of Viakon México, Viakable. The session was moderated by 2023 WAI President, and President of SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS, Kurt Breischaft.

Nine presentations were given Tuesday. Both days featured activity in the adjacent Suppliers Market, where representatives from 34 exhibiting companies met with attendees.

Visitors toured both the Viakable plant to see the company’s continuous casting operations and its Technical Center.

SPONSORS: Calmec, Cemanco, Fort Wayne Wire Die, FRIGECO USA, SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS, Setic/ Pourtier, Thermoplastics Engineering Corp., Troester GmbH & Co. KG, and Viakon/Viakable

2009 WAI Past President Antonio Ayala of AA Enterprise; Raύl Garcia director of technology and engineering, Viakable; and Eugenio Urbina, director business development, Troester.

WAI, founded in 1930, is a not-for-profit association with more than 2,200 individual members in 50 countries. The association serves the educational needs of the wire and cable manufacturing industry through a variety of products and services. WAI manages the Interwire Trade Exhibition and Wire Expo and publishes the Wire Journal International and the Wire Journal International Reference Guide.

Media Contacts: Janice E. Swindells, Director Marketing & Corporate Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel.: 001-203-453-2777, x. 117; Steven J. Fetteroll, Executive Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel.: 001-203-453-1777.

Published in WAI News

Radix Wire & Cable has named John Roggenburk as its new vice president of sales and marketing for the company’s High Temperature Business Unit. He has 30 years of diverse commercial experience serving global aerospace, automotive and industrial markets. He most recently was vice president of global marketing for Howmet Aerospace, where he led the marketing and inside sales organization. He was cited for both his ability to lead sales as well as develop new business and recognize market trends. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Dayton and an MBA from DePaul University. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Radix is a leading manufacturer of high-performance electrical and communications wire and cable for extreme temperature, fire resistance and other harsh environment applications.

FENN has named Hunter Lang as technical sales manager for Southern USA. He worked for about three years for Atlas Copco, where he gained experience working in capital equipment sales. He had started out as an intern and was most recently industrial air sales manager. He holds a B.S. degree in industrial distribution from Texas A&A University. Based in East Berlin, Connecticut, FENN is a global supplier of forming machinery for the wire and cable industry.
Ryan Cei was named general manager/vice president of Radcliffe Wire. He previously worked for more than a decade for Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc., most recently as general manager of the company’s Shaped Wire division. He holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and finance from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in metallurgical engineering from Clemson University. His service as general manager will officially begin when Gary Majchrzak retires from that position in early 2024. Based in Bristol, Connecticut, Radcliff Wire, Inc., produces flat, square, and special shaped wire in over 60 different metals and alloys.

Holger Lieder, who joined Sikora AG as sales director in 2004, has joined the company’s Supervisory Board, and now is responsible for all areas of sales, marketing and service. As of last September, he had provisionally taken over the management of the marketing and service departments in addition to his position as sales director. He was cited for his objective and level-headed manner. He has more than 30 years of experience in sales and a comprehensive technical understanding of Sikora technologies and market requirements. Based in Bremen, Germany, Sikora AG is a global supplier of measuring equipment for the wire and cable industry.

Joseph (Joe) Elzie Gibson, who worked in the wire and cable industry for 65 years—and was featured in a WJI January 2022 spread on his career with Encore Wire—died Sept. 27, 2023, at age 86. The WAI Life Member began his career with Texas Wire & Cable, where he met and married the love of his life, Imogene Vest Gibson. He retired from Encore Wire in June 2021 as assistant vice president, operations, leaving behind a legacy as a hard worker who never shirked responsibility, but also a dedicated family man. He is survived by his wife, Imogene, two daughters, Lisa and Sarah, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Published in People

The WAI reports that 102 floor spaces (units), representing more than 60% of the available booth space, was sold at the Points Meeting for Wire Expo 2024, which will be held at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
A total of 91 companies took part in the Points Meeting, held Oct. 11 at WAI’s headquarters. By comparison, a total of 78 companies took part in the Points Meeting for Wire Expo 2022, held in Dallas.
“We celebrate this achievement considering the challenges the industry still faces post pandemic,” said WAI Sales Director Shannon Timme. “The resilience and growth of our industry is remarkable, and we would like to thank our loyal partners for their trust and support.”
Timme said that following the Points Meeting, there has been considerable interest by other potential exhibitors for Wire Expo. “We are confident that the remaining 40% of space will be sold out soon as we continue to receive many inquiries and expressions of interest from potential customers, many who are new to exhibiting. We encourage exhibitors to book their space soon.”

Published in WAI News

Elizabeth Bonfield proved to be a most competent and congenial representative from the U.K. as she continued the Clockwinding Ceremony that was first held on Oct. 20, 1948. At that time, British representatives of their country’s wire industry—headed by John Rigby—presented the grandfather’s clock in thanks for support during World War II. Ever since, it has been a cherished piece of history kept at WAI’s headquarters.
WAI President Kurt Breischaft welcomed Elizabeth Bonfield, who was accompanied by her husband Steven, to the Association’s offices in Madison, Connecticut. “As an industry we appreciate the relationship between the U.S. and U.K., and this symbolic act for that, so thank you for coming.” The audience also included WAI BoD members Rebecca Cranford, David Fischer and Chris Tucker; WAI Past President Jim York; and Association staff, including WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll.
“It’s an absolute pleasure to be here,” Bonfield said. She has worked at the director level in the engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors for the past 20 years, most recently for Skills 4 UK, a Leeds-based consultancy firm. She observed that “we should pay our respects to John Rigby, and the forefathers who brought this clock here.”
Bonfield said she was familiar with many of the people in photos of past clockwinders on the wall in the lobby area. She pointed out John Rigby, and his son, Peter, who twice (1979 and 1998) served; Darrell Fox (1992), whose business is not far from where she lives; Peter Siddal, who came in 1999, “a wireman through and through,” who returned in 2010 with his wife, Kate, who worked in the industry and served as the Clockwinder; Steve Rutherford (2003) from Briden Wire, now retired; Lindsay Millington (2019), the Under Warden of The Worshipful Company of Tinplate Workers alias Wire Workers; followed by Martin Thacker, who served twice (2020-21) via zoom before doing it live in 2022. The tradition has continued over time, yet it too is part of the life cycle. “Sadly, we lost two clockwinders, Peter Rigby and Peter Siddal, since the last time the clock was wound,” Bonfield said.
The Clockwinding ceremony ties together many aspects of the industry. Bonfield said that the meaning is still felt in the U.K., and that it was an honor for her and Steven to be there. “Your friendship, commitment to continued collaboration is just a delight, so I feel very privileged to wind the clock.” She proceeded to do just that, checking several times to verify she was not over-tightening it. Assured that the Clock indeed was ready for the next year, she turned over the key, with a smile that reflected a look of relief that all had gone well.
While Bonfield talked a lot about the people who have been part of the Clockwinding ceremony, she also shared a historical tidbit about one practitioner in the U.S. wire industry. Paul Revere, who in addition to being a patriot that went on a well-known midnight ride, was for a period, during “lean times,” also a dentist. He would wire in false teeth made from walrus ivory or animal teeth, and became the first person to practice forensic dentistry in the U.S. “How brilliant the use of wire can be,” Bonfield said, adding that it makes one wonder “what will be going on 250 years from now.”
It was fitting that there was a twist to the tradition of giving the U.K. representative a Clockwinder tie. This year, the memento was a stylish scarf designed by WAI Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications Janice Swindells.
After the ceremony, the participants met for dinner at the Madison Beach Hotel, where there was further talk of tradition and cooperation. There was also a free flow of conversation that went into many directions, capturing the bond of those who are part of the field, and genuinely enjoy the company of their peers. It is that spirit that hopefully will enable the Clockwinding ceremony to continue for future generations as they face new challenges.

Published in WAI News

The WAI is seeking applicants for the 2024 Wire Link Traveling Scholarship, a program that sends a wire professional to Europe where he or she can see how different companies operate as well as to attend the wire Düsseldorf show in Germany in April 15-19, 2024.

The Association is looking for ambitious wire professionals who have been employed for at least two years in the wire and cable (or related) industries, including manufacturers and suppliers. The program alternates between a U.S. representative going to Europe, and a U.K. representative going to the U.S. through the program’s co-sponsor, the Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers of England.

The scholarship will be awarded to the candidate who best demonstrates to the judges how the award will help him or her grow professionally, gain a broadened knowledge of the industry and share those benefits with his or her company. All expenses will be met by the sponsors during the trip to the U.K. and Germany. The only employer cost is the employee’s time, and travel to and from the departure airport.

The most recent WAI Wire Link Traveling Scholar, in 2022, was Erika Akins, who at the time was an applications engineer for Southwire Company. She was promoted to applications engineering manager in April.
Some past WireLink Scholars have fared quite well in the industry, such as Kurt Breischaft, the 2006 winner, who at the time worked for Belden CDT. He is now president of SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS, and is serving as the 2023 president of the WAI.

Official rules, regulations & entry requirements
Candidates must:

• Be employed full-time in the wire and cable industry
for at least two years at the time of travel.
• Be a Wire Association International member in good
standing at the time of application and travel.
• Be available for an interview.
• Be able to attend the Award Presentation at the WAI annual meeting in the following spring.
• Be able to travel to England and Wire Düsseldorf for two weeks that same spring.
• Be employed by his/her nominating company at the time of travel.
• Have a signed letter of recommendation from an
appropriate company official.
• Be able to present a full report of his/her visit to the director of the company that recommended him/her and to the WAI for potential publication in the WJI.
• Submit an essay submission explaining how the applicant can meet the objective of the scholarship, and how the experience would broaden his/her knowledge of wire and the wire industry for his/her benefit and the benefit of his/her company.

Submissions/questions can be sent to the WAI’s Wire Foundation via wirenet.org. Questions can also be sent by applicants and employers to WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in WAI News

The return to Mohegan Sun Casino for the WAI should be a good one. A total of 102 floor spaces (units)— representing more than 60% of the available booth space—was sold at the Points Meeting for Wire Expo 2024, to be held June 10-12 at the Mohegan Sun Casino Resort. A total of 91 companies took part in the Points Meeting, held Oct. 11 at WAI’s headquarters.

The fees for registration are presented below, with the schedule shown on the next page. A key date is May 31, as that is when advance rate discounts expire, making now a very good time to act. The cost for an all-access registration is $720, and $620 for WAI members. A non-member who signs up for $720 gets a one-year membership. After May 31, the cost increases to $695 for non-members and $595 for members.

Registration for the Fundamentals of Wire Manufacturing Course on Monday, June 10, costs $495, and $395 for WAI members. A non-member who signs up for $495 gets a one-year membership.

Other event options include access to exhibits and Product Solutions demonstrations. That cost is $125, increasing to $140 after May 31. A ticket for the Welcome Reception, always the best way to meet up with the industry, is $140.

The schedule, presented at www.wireexpo24.com, provides an overview of what attendees can expect. The March issue will include a “prequel” of the event that provides a close look at what will be offered, but a few notables will be the awarding of WAI’s 2024 Champions Award to Keynote Speaker H. Woltz, president/CEO of Insteel Industries; the Mordica Lecture by W.T. Bigbee, vice president operations of Encore Wire; and Keynote Speaker Paul Furtado, COO, Prysmian.

WAI previously staged Wire Expo in 2016 at the same site, where some 240 companies were represented on the show floor.

Published in WAI News

TELE-FONIKA Kable (TFK) and JDR Cable Systems (JDR) have been awarded a contract from the ORLEN Group and Northland Power for a Baltic Power wind farm in Poland.

A press release said the TFK and JDR—along with partners NKT and DEME Offshore—will design, manufacture, and install 340 km of land and subsea cables for the project. Located 23 km to the north of the Polish coastline at the area Choczewo and Łeba, the Baltic Power wind farm area of some 130 sq km will host 76 wind turbines, each with a generating capacity of 15 MW. The project, scheduled to be fully operational by 2026, is designed to generate 1.2 GW of energy to Poland.

TFK will manufacture and install 230 kV land power cables and cores for inter-array cables at its manufacturing facility in Bydgoszcz. As a consortium partner, NKT will develop the offshore export cables for the project, delivering power from the offshore substations to the shore. TFK will manage the transportation and installation of the onshore cable section within the Baltic wind farm.

JDR, a business of TFK, will design and manufacture 66 kV inter-array cables at its U.K. plant in Hartlepool. Those cables will connect the 76 offshore turbines to the offshore substation. DEME Offshore will be responsible for transporting and installing all subsea cables. The manufacture and delivery of all cables will be completed by the end of 2025.

The contract comes as part of Poland’s energy transition ambitions as it aims to develop offshore wind energy in the Polish Exclusive Economic Zone of the Baltic Sea, with a capacity of approx. 5.9 GW in 2030 and up to 11 GW in 2040.
Since 2007, JDR and TF Kable have supplied 33 kV inter-array cables to U.K. projects such as the Greater Gabbard and London Array. In 15 years, they’ve delivered over 4,000 km of subsea cables, enabling the transmission of 22 GW of offshore wind power, representing ca. 36% of the total capacity of nearly 60 GW. They celebrated their 50th offshore wind farm cable contract in 2022, contributing to global wind farms in the US, Taiwan, and the U.K. / Europe.

Published in Industry News

A press release said that the project is a turnkey project that includes cable delivery, construction, and installation. The cables will be supplied by LS Cable & System for 230 kV and above, and by LS Cable & System Asia for 66 kV and below.

LS Cable & System has been actively targeting the Singapore market since 2010 and has established itself as a key supplier with the No. 1 market share. LS Cable & System has won contracts in Singapore worth about $260 million, “making it the No. 1 player in Asia’s largest high-voltage market.” Singapore’s electricity grid is composed of underground cables that pass under the ground without building transmission towers. Competition is fierce among global cable companies from Europe and elsewhere for high-value-added underground cable business.

Published in Industry News

Prysmian wins contracts for 50Hertz project
Prysmian PowerLink Srl, part of the Prysmian Group, has been awarded new HVDC cable contracts worth some €1.1 billion by 50Hertz, a transmission grid operator in Germany.
A press release said that order is part of 50Hertz’s long-term EPCI (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation) contracts for German projects. This one is for Lot2, which includes EPCI contracts for the NOR-11-1 submarine and DC31 land projects, along with Lot7. The projects are part of Germany’s overall goal to reach a cumulative installed capacity of 70 GW by 2045 for offshore wind and to transfer the energy generated in the North Sea to consumers in the eastern and southern regions of Germany.
Under Lot2, Prysmian will be responsible for the EPCI elements as well as testing and commissioning the two turnkey projects—NOR-11-1 and DC31—that will have an overall cable length of around 1,000 km. With a power transmission capacity of 2 GW, NOR-11-1 is a 525 kV HVDC submarine project utilizing submarine cable plus underground cable along the route that is planned to connect the offshore windfarm area N-11-1 to the German grid in the Heide/West area. The second project of Lot2, the DC31 is a 525 kV HVDC underground cable project and is planned to transmit power from the Heide/West area to Klein Rogahn.
Both the submarine and land HVDC cable systems will consist of two single-core copper cables with XLPE insulation plus a dedicated XLPE metallic return (DMR) cable and a fiber optic cable. The submarine power cables will be produced at Prysmian’s plants in Pikkala, Finland, and Arco Felice, Italy, and the submarine fiber cables will be manufactured in Nordenham, Germany. The underground power cables to be used will cover both the DC31 and the underground part of the NOR-11-1 project will be produced in France.
Prysmian was also deemed a primary supplier for Lot7, which consists of a framework provision allowing 50Hertz to contract future 525 kV offshore and/or onshore projects with a cable core length volume of up to 2,700 km within an agreed period, and burial of offshore cables.
“We are happy to collaborate and strengthen our partnership with 50Hertz on these important projects and contribute to the German ‘Energiewende’ with our solutions and experience, supporting the growth of green energy use in Germany and around the world,” said Hakan Ozmen, EVP Projects BU, Prysmian Group.

Published in Industry News

Hellenic Cables has won the contract to design, manufacture, transport, and install a package of four 220 kV HVAC export cables to connect the Baltyk II and Baltyk III wind farms in the Polish Baltic Sea to shore.

A press release said that the project—developed by the joint venture of Equinor and Polenergia, Baltyk II and Baltyk III—will each have a capacity of 720 MW and connect to the onshore grid via a total of four HVAC submarine cables with a combined length of 256 km.

Baltyk II and Baltyk III will be two of the first operational offshore wind farms in Poland, supporting the country in its transition to renewable energy. Hellenic Cables is part of a consortium that includes the De Nul Group, which will install them.

“We are proud that Equinor and Polenergia have awarded us to install the export cables for these 2 important Polish projects and their recognition of the combined capabilities of Jan De Nul and Hellenic Cables,” said Wouter Vermeersch, Manager Offshore Cables at Jan De Nul Group.

The companies will execute the connection of the two Baltyk wind farms to shore in 2026. The design and manufacture of the HVAC cables will be performed at Hellenic Cables’ plant in Corinth, Greece.

Published in Industry News
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