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Wire Journal News

April 2024

Elite Harness plans to refurbish an existing facility in Wellington, Kansas, to produce wiring harnesses and custom cables for various sectors, including automotive, industrial, agricultural, aerospace, and other industries requiring electric connections.

A press release said that the company plans to invest $14 million in the initiative, which is expected to create 110 jobs. It plans to convert an existing plant into a 50,000-sq-ft manufacturing plant. Elite Harness will produce wiring harnesses and custom cables for various sectors, including automotive, industrial, agricultural, aerospace, and other industries requiring electric connections.

“We have a sister company (in) Tulsa, so we considered building there, but the State of Kansas and Sumner County really stepped up to the plate and made Wellington a wise choice for us,” Elite Harness President Nathan Smith said in a news release. It notes that the wiring harness and custom cable market is a $90 billion industry poised for significant growth over the next 10 years.

Published in Industry News

Last October, the Prysmian Group presented the launch of the Group’s new business strategy, Connect to Lead. Now, the world’s largest cable business is furthering that mission with a rebranding—a manifesto—that reflects its vision and goals for the next five years.

A press release said that the initiative “aims at capitalizing on the company’s market position to seize the opportunities offered by the new market trends that are currently shaping the cable industry.” It will allow Prysmian “to transform the Group from a cable player into a cabling solution provider and to lead the energy transition and the digital transformation.”

Per the company, its new brand “represents the energy and technology that moves us towards a more sustainable way of living, in every corner of the planet.” Prysmian’s strong new logo captures the name, mission and legacy of the company, ensuring its recognition and amplifying its distinctive identity. The new logo, in fact, represents all the essential aspects and elements of Prysmian’s identity: the pathways, the shift, the gradient and the circularity.

The logo, primarily developed digitally, reflects the brand’s determination to embrace new strategies and a new corporate purpose. The symbol shape reveals a hidden ‘p,’ in addition to recalling the circular economy concept, while the blue-to-green gradient color reflects the Group’s commitment to the development of renewable energy. The iconic logo, interpreted with a contemporary and dynamic design, connects the concepts of tradition and evolution. The entire visual system and the new payoff “The Planet’s Pathways” embody the role that Prysmian aims to play in shaping a better future and in paving paths for an increasingly sustainable and digital future for our planet.

“Through this rebranding, we are aligning Prysmian’s image to the changes the Group is undergoing and to the rapid evolution of our industrial sector, an evolution we intend to lead,” said Maria Cristina Bifulco, chief investor relations, sustainability and communication officer, Prysmian. “The global challenges and opportunities we are facing require us to put our organization’s strength and expertise at the service of our customers, partners and all our stakeholders to drive new forms of energy and information to every corner of the Earth.

“Together, we can navigate the way forward. And that’s exactly what Prysmian wants to convey with its new payoff, The Planet’s Pathways. This is what inspires our future moves and what guides us in reaching our purpose.”

Published in Press Releases

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced that it is launching an investigation to determine whether certain wire rod from China, Egypt, and Vietnam are being sold at unfair prices in Canada.

A press release said that the investigation stems from a complaint filed with the CBSA by Ivaco Rolling Mills 2004 LP (Ivaco). It alleges that it has suffered from an increased volume of dumped imports from China, Egypt and Vietnam that has resulted in lost market share, lost sales, price undercutting, price depression, price suppression and a negative impact on employment, capacity utilization and financial performance.

The CBSA and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) both play a role in the investigation. The CITT will begin a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the imports are harming Canadian producers and will issue a decision by May 7, 2024. The CBSA will also investigate whether the imports are being sold in Canada at unfair prices and will make a preliminary decision by June 6, 2024. The Canadian market for wire rod has been estimated to be approximately $194 million annually.

Published in Industry News

Tri Star Metals announced that it has completed the acquisition of Centric Alloys Corp. (Centric), a specialty metals bar and wire company.

A press release said that Centric is a North American distributor and mill sourcing partner for nickel-based alloys, nickel bearing alloys, cobalt alloys and specialty stainless steels (remelted grades) in drawn wire, wire rod, and bar product forms. At its website, Centric notes that it is the largest U.S. stocking distributor and supplier of wire basket spools in North America.

“The addition of these industry experts greatly improves our ability to understand the unique demands of the defense sector and we are thrilled to welcome Centric’s current account base to the Tri Star family,” said Jim Roach, executive vice president of Tri Star Metals.

Tri Star, which is a member of the Hagener Feinstahl group of companies, has a 350,000-sq-ft manufacturing and distribution campus in Freeport, Illinois, and a West Coast Distribution facility in Phoenix, Arizona. Since 2010, it has invested more than $40 million in its mill/distribution facilities.

After nearly 20 years of growth at Centric, I am pleased to become part of the Tri Star team,” said Centric Alloys founder and President Mike Walsh.

Published in Industry News

Aztech Lubricants, founded in 2005 by Jonathan Anderson and Michael Colvin, has been acquired by Kodiak, a global chemical company.

A press release said that Anderson and Michael Colvin will continue with the new owners as director of technology and as director of business development, respectively. Based in Wayne, Oklahoma, Aztech Lubricants has a 40,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility that includes an in-house laboratory for QC and R&D. Its products are used by the wire industry for drawing, galvanizing and forming for markets such as agricultural, tires, automotive, construction, etc.

Kodiak has manufacturing/distribution capabilities on six continents, with more than 80 chemists and 17 laboratories The new owner sees growth ahead for Aztech. “We will be expanding the manufacturing capabilities of the (Aztech) plant in Oklahoma to include more oil- and water-based technologies to better support our valued customers,” said Kodiak President Laura Dickey. “Part of our strategy for the future is also to offer a broad portfolio of products including corrosion inhibitors, cleaners, resins, fire resistant hydraulic fluids, industrial lubricants, and powdered chemicals.”

“This is a very exciting time for us,” said Anderson. He noted that Aztech Lubricants started out in 2005 with just him and Mike. “We would get an order, then go back to the plant and make it. It took a great effort to build Aztech from scratch. Now, the company will be able to achieve even greater results. Mike has an eye out for retirement in the years to come, and I may work less at some point but I plan to be around for a long time. My customers have become my good friends.”

Published in Industry News

Accent Wire Tie recently acquired Coastal Wire Company, a U.S. company founded in 1978 that specializes in fully annealed baling wire at its plant in Georgetown, South Carolina.

A press release said that Coastal Wire is the only U.S. entity that currently manufactures all baling wire products, including black-annealed coil wire, black-annealed box wire, high-tensile galvanized wire, galvanized bale tie wire, black-annealed bale ties, galvanized bale ties and the company’s proprietary product KleenGreen bale ties. The acquisition took place last December.

Based in Tomball, Texas, Accent Wire Tie notes at its website that it has the largest U.S. baling wire manufacturing and distribution network in the industry. The company has seven mills, and 21 distribution centers. Through its Wire-Tie division, Accent’s core offerings include baling wire distribution, bale tie manufacturing, wire-tier equipment manufacturing, and wire-tier parts and repair services to waste management providers, material recovery facilities, packaging companies and commercial customers throughout the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

Of note, Accent Wire Tire—along with two sister companies, itself was acquired last August by funds managed by Apollo, a deal that had been predicted by Joanna Reiss, partner and co-head of impact at Apollo. “We believe Accent is a critical supplier to the recycling industry poised for continued growth and impact, and we see several opportunities to help grow and develop the company.”

Published in Industry News

Minnesota Wire (MN Wire) announced that it is teaming up with Chamfr, which specializes in medical device components.

A press release said MN Wire, whose product lines include medical wire, is partnering with Chamfr “to revolutionize the medical device landscape by offering state-of-the-art solutions to meet the industry’s growing demands.” MN Wire noted that it has more than a half century of medical experience. “When it comes to sub-markets like defibrillation, patient monitoring, imaging, and wearable electronics among others, Minnesota Wire goes through extensive testing and prototyping on a variety of processes, including extrusion, molding, terminating, shielding, and many others.

Chamfr provides medical products for R&D projects. From nitinol parts to tubing, Chamfr gives engineers quick access to thousands of medical parts, equipment, and tools from 50+ suppliers for their medical device design and development projects. “This collaboration aims to enhance and streamline the development of medicine systems including carbon fiber, high-performance alloy conductors, and textiles, among others, giving a fresh perspective to engineers and developers in the healthcare sector.”

Published in Industry News

Prysmian has been selected to receive $4.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for a project that will see the company develop specialized equipment.

A press release said that the funding is part of the Grid Overhaul with Proactive, High-speed Undergrounding for Reliability, Resilience, and Security (GOPHURRS) program, which aims to strengthen and modernize America’s aging power grid through the development of cost-effective, high-speed, and safe undergrounding technologies. “We know that by undergrounding our grid, we can create a more resilient and reliable U.S. power grid,” said Dr. Evelyn N. Wang, ARPA-E director.

Prysmian intends to develop a hands-free power cable splicing machine operating in underground vaults. The goal is to reduce the share of splicing-caused medium-voltage network failures from 60-80% to less than 5% and dramatically improve workforce safety by reducing the time the underground cable splicing crews spend in such vaults.

“This machine is envisioned to splice cable automatically using advanced technologies, which help humans to operate the machine remotely from a safer environment,” the release said. “If successful, performing cable splicing using this machine will increase the reliability of the network and reduce energy losses due to splice failures.”

“Our ground-breaking splicing machine represents a major step ahead in the cable undergrounding process, reinforcing our unwavering commitment to grid hardening, modernization, safety and reliability,” said Andrea Pirondini, CEO of Prysmian North America. “In addressing the aging U.S. power grid, Prysmian is prepared to offer solutions that propel us into the 21st century and beyond.”

Prysmian will collaborate with Con Edison and Exelon, two of the largest U.S. investor-owned utilities. “Prysmian remains steadfast in our commitment to investing in innovations that advance our industry. Equally, we value collaborative partnerships that contribute to building a resilient, sustainable grid ready to tackle tomorrow’s challenges,” said Srinivas Siripurapu, Ph.D., chief innovation officer for Prysmian and principal investigator for the project.

Published in Industry News

Southwire reports that the company has made an investment in HData, a software company that automates regulatory data analysis.

A press release said that HData, based in Birmingham, Alabama, digitizes regulated energy industry data by automating access to critical analytics for electric, oil and gas companies and their regulators. “Our investment in HData gives us a valuable partnership in the rapidly developing world of AI for business intelligence,” said Charles Hume, managing director of Southwire Technology Ventures. “As a leading supplier to the utility industry, we are excited about the insights that our partnership with HData will provide into the industry.”

As a part of this investment, Southwire will join HData’s Advisory Board, represented by Donna Ward, gaining further insights into the utility industry. HData’s proprietary software can scan and extract insights from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reports, turning multi-thousand-page PDFs into actionable charts, comparisons and insights.

HData joins a portfolio of investments managed by the Southwire Technology Ventures team. This team collaborates with pioneering startups to build the future of smart power within the realms of smart buildings, electric mobility and the grid of the future.

Published in Industry News

Denmark’s NKT has been chosen to be the cable supplier for Sweden’s SR Energy, which is building a 15-turbine wind farm.

A press release said that Kanonaden Entreprenad, the project developer, will use NKT’s AXAL-TT PRO 3.0 and AXALJ-TT EQV 36 kV cables to connect the turbines to the grid. The wind farm will be built at a hilly location that is currently used for commercial forestry. The farm will consist of 15 wind turbines, each more than 200 meters tall.

NKT will deliver 40 kms of cable from its factory in Falun. The AXAL-TT PRO 3.0 cable connects each turbine to the cable station, while the AXALJ-TT EQV cable will connect the substation to the grid network.

The wind turbines themselves will be delivered in May 2024 and then installation will begin, to be completed in the fall of that year. Due to the height of the turbines, the weather will determine when the project can be fully completed.

NKT Key Account Manager Mikael Åkerlund said that AXAL-TT PRO 3.0 has a jacket that is up to four times stronger than usual for this type of cable. The jacket has deformation zones which neutralize the force of penetrating rocks and allows it to be laid and plowed in existing material, which is important in this setting in this part of Sweden.

Published in Industry News
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