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Wire Journal News

May 2024

Ray Bibisi, COO of RF Industries (RFI), has been given the additional title of company president. He will lead RFI’s sales, product management, and engineering teams across all business units. The strategic move was made to further integrate those functions to creating a more cohesive and efficient organizational structure to pursue significant market opportunities. Prior to joining RF Industries, he served for more than 30 years at Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), holding concurrent roles of vice president of sales and general manager of North America. He was also a member of the Global Governing Executive Committee. Based in San Diego, California, RF Industries, Ltd., is a national manufacturer and marketer of interconnect products and systems, with additional operations in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

 OmniCable recently reported multiple personnel changes. Christopher Breslin will become CEO of Omni Cable LLC, effective May 13, 2024, succeeding interim CEO Jeff Siegfried, the company’s co-founder, who will remain as vice chairman. He has more than 28 years of global distribution experience in both the electronics and electrical industries. Most recently, he was president of Farnell Electronics, and prior to that he spent five years as COO of Crescent Electric Supply Company. Georgia Sipsis has been promoted from territory sales manager to national sales manager. She joined the company in 2022 and has over 20 years of experience in the Canadian electrical industry, including more than 16 years at Prysmian. Jim Walsh has been promoted from Toronto account manager to Toronto sales manager. He has more than 40 years of experience in the electrical industry. Named senior director of strategic accounts – broadband were Ray Hunt, who has more than 23 years of experience, and Kimberly Cruz who has more than 27 years of experience. Named outside sales managers were Josh East, who has nearly 10 years of experience, and Ed Chavez, who has more than 26 years of experience. Part of Dot Family Holdings (DFH), which acquired the business in 2019, OmniCable is a redistributor that sells wire, cable, fiber and other communications and electrical products exclusively to distributors.

 Daniel Fletcher has joined Winchester Interconnect as CEO. He has more than 20 years of executive experience developing, growing and manufacturing products for the automotive, industrial and commercial transportation, and aerospace and defense markets. He most recently served for more than two years as president - specialty materials, for Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, and prior to that worked for more than 17 years for TE Connectivity, where he held a range of manager/director positions. The last two were vice president & general manager aerospace & defense business unit-interconnective and senior director & general manager aerospace & defense business unit - integrated systems. Based in Norwalk, Connecticut, Winchester Interconnect is a U.S.-based manufacturer of high-precision connectors, cable assemblies and cable.

 Fluoropolymer Resources LLC has named Josh Rosenboom as the company’s new sales manager in the Americas. He joins the fluoropolymer industry after spending the past five years as an area sales manager at Avient Corporation, a multinational plastics compounder. Prior to his role at Avient, he held a variety of sales and leadership positions within the plastics industry, and his focus will include promoting solutions for a circular economy. A division of Prime Materials Recovery, Inc., that is based in North Windham, Connecticut, Fluoropolymer Resources supplies fluoropolymers for applications that include wire and cable.

Southwire has promoted Winn Wise to executive vice president and chief commercial officer, tasked with leading commercial activities for the company and driving continuous improvement of customer experience. Upon graduating from Auburn University in 1986, he joined Southwire as an industrial engineer in the company’s utility products plant and later moved into account management, where he gained experience within sales and marketing. Since that time, he has served in leadership roles within Southwire’s OEM, industrial, commercial and residential businesses. He most recently served as senior vice president of Southwire’s infrastructure business. Southwire’s Electrical Distribution, National Accounts and Strategic Channels, Specialty Distribution, Retail and Canadian teams will continue to report to Wise. As part of the transition, Aaron Asher will assume the title of senior vice president, customer experience, and will report to Wise. Asher joined Southwire in 2006 as a distribution center manager and held a series of positions that most recently included senior vice president, distribution, transportation & manufacturing. Also, Juan Hernandez has been named senior vice president of infrastructure. In this role, he will focus on the residential and commercial solutions sold through electrical distribution, retail and specialty channels throughout North America. He joined the company in 2000 as a plant manager in Mexico and held a series of positions with the company prior to this latest assignment. Based in Carrollton, Georgia, Southwire Company is one of the world’s largest wire and cable manufacturers. 

Published in People

The Ohio Valley Chapter (OVC) will hold its annual golf outing on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2024, at Kensington Golf Club in Canfield, Ohio.

The OVC will once again couple the golf outing with an educational seminar, where guest speakers speak on current topics and trends in the manufacturing industry. The combination has proved to be quite popular, as golfers have their day, but the educational program offers another dimension.

The scheduled speakers are Dave Brambert of Fifth Wire Manufacturing, and Tim Moury and Marco Degasperi of Vericheck.

Dave Brambert has B2B communications experience dating back to the early 1980s, with deep roots in technology in the markets of networking, web infrastructure, software, machine vision, and machine tools. His experience in the machine tool market dates to 2003. For five years he owned and operated the technology integration company Gilbert Information Systems, doing network integration, web development and hosting, and network equipment testing. During his three-decade B2B media career, he launched and acquired brands and repositioned titles to better fit their home markets. With Fifth Wave Manufacturing, he brings to bear all of his technology and manufacturing background, combined with B2B product development and management.

Verichek Technical Services, Inc., is dedicated to serving the analytical needs of the metals industry by supplying metal analyzing spectrometers and servicing the equipment throughout the United States and Canada.

Be on the lookout for more information soon, for what is sure to be an equally fun and educational day for the Ohio Valley Chapter.

3 other chapter golf tourneys will soon follow, so plan accordingly

The New England Chapter has a firm date for its annual golf tournament (Sept. 9), but you can expect to see other dates posted soon for the Midwest and Southeast chapters.

The collective chapter golf tournaments bring together professionals from the wire and cable industry for a day of camaraderie and sportsmanship. Beyond the obvious attraction of golfing, the events serve as an excellent platform to build new connections, exchange knowledge, and strengthen existing relationships within the industry. Register online for tournament, sponsorship, and dinner-only participation: wai.configio.com.

In related chapter news, the New England Chapter has a firm date for its annual golf tournament (Sept. 9), but you can expect to see other dates posted soon for the Midwest and Southeast chapters.

The collective chapter golf tournaments bring together professionals from the wire and cable industry for a day of camaraderie and sportsmanship. Beyond the obvious attraction of golfing, the events serve as an excellent platform to build new connections, exchange knowledge, and strengthen existing relationships within the industry. Register online for tournament, sponsorship, and dinner-only participation: wai.configio.com.

For more details, contact WAI Member Services Manager Corey Flynn at tel. 203-453-2777, ext. 128, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in WAI News

The WAI planning committee for the Association’s Global Continuous Casting Forum—last held in 2019, met April 6 to discuss details for the event that will be held in conjunction with Interwire 2025 on May 12-15, 2015.

Taking part in the Committee, chaired by Chris Tucker of Encore Wire, were Richard Baker, Cableforce Consulting; Kurt Breischaft, SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS; John Hugens, Hugens Metallurgy & Combustion; Martin Lecours, Rio Tinto; Giuseppe Marcantoni, Properzi International; Juan Sanchez, Freeport McMoran; and Janusz Sekunda, Prysmian. Also part of the committee but not able to participate in the meeting were Patrick Slaughter, Southwire, and Florin Teglas, Nexans.

The committee discussed ways to improve the event, including educational content, networking or in the execution stage. It will continue to review the possibility of expanding the content and the number of total days. The consensus was that offering both an aluminum and a copper focus was appropriate, and that adding a plant tour would be a plus.

The committee discussed the need to solicit papers via a “call-for-papers” and by recruiting. The timeline for submission of abstracts is Oct. 3, with notifications by Nov. 7 and papers submitted by a deadline of Feb. 13, 2025. A call for papers was distributed at the wire 2024 show in Düsseldorf and will be shared at the Wire Expo event in June as well as in the WJI.


Published in WAI News

On April 4, WAI volunteers and staff joined forces at the Points Meeting for the initial allocation of exhibitor booth space for the 2025 Interwire Trade Exposition, which will be held on May 13-15, 2025, in Atlanta.

The Points Meeting is important because it is used to decide where booths will be placed based on a formula that uses the number of years of participation and the size of booth. A total of 118 companies took part in the Points Meeting that was held online at the WAI’s office in Madison, Connecticut. By the end of the day, 64,000 sq ft of exhibit space was reserved.

The team that managed the process included volunteers Erik Macs of Wire & Plastic Machinery; Harish Panchal, consultant; Joe Snee of Joe Snee Associates; and John Zachow of Davis-Standard. WAI staff representative included the sales team of Anna Bzowski and Shannon Timme; Corey Flynn, manager of member services; Chuck Szymaszek, director of technology; and Sheila Kuever, controller.

Also there was WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll, who said that the smoothly run kick-off bodes well for Interwire, which requires extensive planning in many stages. “I am grateful to the entire team for their efforts. The process works well, and during it a lot of elements have to be addressed so that when attendees walk the show floor next year, all is right.”

Fetteroll, who served as an observer during the day-long meeting, said that the results for the kick-off were inspiring. “It’s hard to appreciate just how widespread and committed the industry support is for Interwire. Of the 118 exhibitors that reserved floor space, 110 had participated in previous shows, with many having done so since the event was launched in 1981.

Published in WAI News

In a launch that may be as innovative for the WAI’s technical mission as the introduction of multi-wire drawing systems, the Wire Association International will debut its new online training and professional development program at the WAI Resource Center during the upcoming Wire Expo.

WAI will premiere its first video, “Introduction to Ferrous Metallurgy,” from the initial module titled “Fundamentals of Ferrous Metallurgy.” The videos are currently undergoing production, promising a captivating learning experience unmatched in the industry. What makes them innovative is that the online training incorporates animation with actual shop floor footage and includes interactive knowledge checks throughout.

The videos are being produced through a WAI partnership with a motion designer company and will be thoroughly vetted by industry veterans. Plans call for multiple modules to be produced each year. The first one, to be shown at Wire Expo, is a snippet, but it will be substantial enough for viewers to sense its potential, a taste of what is to come.

“WAI is poised to revolutionize professional development in our industry,” said WAI President Daniel Blais of Prysmian. “We anticipate the modules will serve as an unparalleled educational resource, empowering employees with the knowledge and skills essential for success.”

The full module, slated for release later this year, will also mark the launch of WAI’s new learning management system. This state-of-the-art platform is designed to provide comprehensive educational content and interactive features, catering to the diverse needs of professionals.

“Our commitment to excellence shines through in this initiative, reinforcing WAI’s mission to foster knowledge, collaboration, and growth within the Association’s global network,” said WAI’s Executive Director Steve Fetteroll.

Wire Expo attendees are encouraged to stop by the WAI Resource Center to learn more about the program, see the preview of the first video and share their thoughts.

Published in WAI News

On Saturday, March 23rd, 2024, Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc., celebrated the company’s centennial anniversary with a grand gala at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, Connecticut. The event marked 100 years of the Ulbrich family legacy and was attended by over 600 employees, retirees and notable government officials.

Per the company report, the gala kicked off with an executive and family photoshoot before employees and their guests poured into the Aqua Turf’s Kay’s Pier banquet hall for cocktail hour. Upon seating at their tables, captivated attendees watched with reverence as the Governor’s Foot Guard presented the colors. Chris Ulbrich, company chairman and CEO, had the honor of introducing the Foot Guard, explaining that the historic military regiment had been active since the earliest days of the American Revolution. As the ceremonies came to a close, Chris Ulbrich gave a heartfelt speech, thanking all the Ulbrich team members, both past and present, for their contributions to the company. He also expressed gratitude to the entire Ulbrich community, from vendors to suppliers and organizations that serve the community.

The event was graced by the presence of Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Connecticut Chief Manufacturing Officer Paul Lavoie, State Representative Dave Yaccarino, former Wallingford Mayor William Dickenson. In addition to Mayor Scarpati of Meriden, Mayor Vincent Cervoni of Wallingford and First Selectman Micheal J. Freda of North Haven also attended the event.

Bysiewicz, Lavoie and the mayors each spoke to Ulbrich’s longevity and the importance of manufacturing jobs to the state’s economic prosperity. Mayor Scarpati and Mayor Cervoni proclaimed that March 23rd is now officially dedicated to celebrating Ulbrich’s contributions to our communities. The governor’s office presented a 100th birthday card to the Ulbrich family.

The gala celebrated Ulbrich’s journey since 1924, acknowledging the countless hardworking men and women who have been the driving force behind the company’s achievements. Chris Ulbrich highlighted the company’s adaptability, from making mess kits during World War II to contributing to lunar landings, Mars missions, and life-saving medical devices.

An announcement said that a special gift, a book titled “More than Metal,” chronicling the company’s history, would be mailed to the homes of all attendees. The book was originally written by longtime company Chairman and CEO Fred Ulbrich, Jr., and finished as part of the company’s centennial celebration.

Published in Press Releases

Superior Essex, a global leader in the magnet wire and communication cables industry and a majority owner of the Essex Furukawa Magnet Wire joint venture with Furukawa Electric, announced that it has agreed to take over the remaining minority interest held by Furukawa Electric in Essex Furukawa.

A press release said that when the transaction is completed, Superior Essex will become the sole owner of the brand, assets and operations currently conducted by the global Essex Furukawa joint venture. Superior Essex plans to relaunch its magnet wire business under a new company name this year. This entity will continue to operate all current facilities of the Essex Furukawa joint venture around the world, which includes the Japanese and Malaysian (Kuala Lumpur) magnet wire facilities contributed by Furukawa Electric in October 2020.

“I want to thank the entire Furukawa Electric team,” Superior Essex CEO Daniel Choi said. “Over the last several years—operating together as Essex Furukawa—we have been able to create many successes.”

The collaboration between Superior Essex and Furukawa Electric in Essex Furukawa began in October 2020, with the aim of leveraging their combined experience and knowledge to drive innovation and deliver manufacturing excellence, technological advancement, and outstanding customer service.

The acquisition of Furukawa Electric’s minority interest in Essex Furukawa marks an important milestone for Superior Essex as it takes full control of its global operations and strengthens its commitment to delivering exceptional products and services to its customers worldwide.

Superior Essex is the parent brand of Essex Furukawa Magnet Wire, Superior Essex Communications, Essex Energy Italy, IVA, Lacroix + Kress, Hi-Wire, and Essex Brownell. It has over 3,000 employees in 11 countries, on three continents. Furukawa Electric Group has 127 group companies including Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd., and approximately 50,000 employees around the world.

Published in Industry News

Arcole, a French private equity fund, has made a majority investment in Setic in partnership with longstanding shareholder and CEO Thierry Collard, who will continue in his current role.

A press release said that the investment will present a new phase of growth for Setic, a global leader in designing and manufacturing machinery for the wire and cable industry that is based in France in Roanne and Paris. The strategic investment aims at accelerating Setic’s development and enables a drastic deleveraging. “The company is thus in a very good position to capitalize on the favorable market trends anticipated in the coming years.”

Setic will fully embrace its role as a French industrial leader at the service of energy transition. The first steps on this path include enhancing the sales structure of the U.S. subsidiary, upgrading facilities in Roanne with new R&D capabilities, and rebranding the group as “Setic Pourtier” on the occasion of its 75th anniversary, combining the legacy of both historical brands. The presence of Arcole will not have an impact on customers.

Collard said that he was pleased with the deal. “I am delighted to have secured the redeployment of Setic Pourtier, keeping ownership in French hands and ensuring a promising future for our team while consolidating our growth trajectory that has taken us from a period of crisis to outstanding financial performance in just two years,” he said.

“We are thrilled about this investment, that gives Arcole the opportunity to support an industrial company with a French footprint and a global reach, based on a century-long legacy of technical excellence and innovation,” said Arcole Managing Partner Renaud Sueur. “I am very happy to partner with Thierry Collard, the CEO of Setic Pourtier, whose experience and knowledge of the market have been decisive in our will to invest in the Group.”

Published in Industry News

Bekaert and Edison Next have signed a 12-year on-site solar power purchase agreement (PPA) at the Bekaert plant in Sardinia, Italy.

A press release said that the 6.1 MW solar installation marks another major milestone in Bekaert’s sustainability strategy, Creating a Better Tomorrow. The PPA will see the installation of a photovoltaic system at the Bekaert plant in the province of Cagliari, Sardinia. The solar installation is capable of meeting more than 20% of the plant’s current energy requirements.

The photovoltaic system at the Sardinia plant will be completed and operative in 2025. Edison Next will finance, develop and manage the installation. Covering an area of about 23,000 sq m, the system is designed to produce more than 11.2 GWh a year and reduce annual emissions of about 3,000 metric tons of CO₂. Bekaert Sardinia expects to self-consume 93% of the renewable electricity generated.

“This state-of-the-art solar project at Bekaert’s Sardinia plant incorporates trackers that follow the path of the sun to optimize renewable energy production,” said Michael Hamilton, VP Procurement Commodities Category at Bekaert. “It will accelerate our sustainability ambitions as well as make us less dependent on energy price inflation. Since opening the solar plant in Burgos, Spain, last year this marks a next milestone to achieve the goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 46.2% by 2030.”

“We are proud to be able to contribute to the sustainability goals of Bekaert, one of the Italian, European and global leaders in the steel sector,” said Marco Steardo, Industry Director of Edison Next. “The development of this large photovoltaic system in fact marks an important step in the decarbonization path of Bekaert Sardinia and the Bekaert Group in general towards their ambition of net zero by 2050.”

Published in Industry News

South Korea’s Taihan Cable & Solution announced that it plans to set up a specialized test facility for HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) cable at one of its main production sites in Dangjin.

A press release said that the dedicated test facility will be built on approximately 7,000 sq m of unused land at the Dangjin plant, which is one of Taihan’s main production sites. The construction aims to be completed within the first quarter of next year. Taihan plans to equip the facility to be able to simultaneously test two lines of HVDC cables, including both land and submarine cables. Specifically, the facility will be capable of conducting long-term reliability tests (PQ Test), which can take more than a year, and Temporary Over Voltage (TOV) tests, recently adopted as a mandatory test item for international HVDC cables. This will complete the infrastructure needed to perform internationally recognized certifications.

In other news, Taihan Cable & Solution reported on Feb. 22 that it had won a project for a 500 kV EHV power project from the Electric Power Systems Engineering Company, a joint venture of the Egyptian government. The project involves linking an existing substation and a new HVDC converter station in the Badr region, located in the northeast of Egypt, with underground power cables. Taihan will supply 500 kV HVAC cables and oversee the project management.

“With this order, Taihan has made its first entry into the Egyptian EHV market,” the release said. It noted that 500kV is the highest voltage used in Egypt. “Taihan succeeded in pioneering the market, breaking through the competition not only with local companies but also with leading global companies.”

Published in Industry News
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