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Times Microwave Systems (TMS) has completed a major expansion of its operations in Mesa, Arizona, moving from a smaller plant to a new one that has 62,000 sq ft of space.

A press release said that investing in the larger facility was part of the company’s plan to support growth initiatives and more closely service key customers in the western U.S. Production is up and running, with a current staff of 65, and plans to hire an additional 95 employees over the next few years. TMS, a business of Amphenol, is in the same industrial park as other Amphenol companies. The inauguration was celebrated at a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by city, state and company leaders.

TMS General Manager Bill Callahan said that the new operation was a step forward for the company. “It creates a manufacturing center of excellence in the Western U.S. that complements our Connecticut and Florida facilities, allowing us to more effectively service our customers coast to coast. This investment delivers increased capacity, additional capabilities and provides a risk mitigation measure to ensure uninterrupted manufacturing of our products.”

Liberty Steel, part of the global GFG Alliance, further expanded its footprint in the U.S. steel downstream products market with the acquisition of Johnstown Wire Technologies (JWT) in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

A press release notes that JWT is the largest producer of value-added carbon and alloy wire in North America, and that the deal “gives Liberty valuable capacity to manufacture a range of high-value carbon and alloy wire products for multiple end markets including the infrastructure, automotive, utility and consumer sectors.”

The Johnstown plant, described as an advanced manufacturing facility, has some 250 employees, the release said. They will complement Liberty’s melting and rolling operations at Georgetown, South Carolina, and Peoria, Illinois. Combined with its scrap processing plant in Tampa, Florida, the acquisition “will firmly embed the business along the full value chain in the U.S. steel market.”

Liberty Steel entered the U.S. market in 2017 by acquiring ArcelorMittal’s Georgetown Steel mill and followed up with the purchase of Keystone Consolidated Industries, including its flagship Peoria mill, in 2018.

“Today’s announcement marks another major step by Liberty towards its target of quickly becoming a market leader in the American wire rod sector,” the release said. It noted that the 638,000-sq-foot Johnstown site has been a high-profile steel manufacturing facility for more than a century, and that it is a top-three U.S. producer of the types of steel that will be needed to modernize America’s aging infrastructure: CHQ, electro-galvanized, aluminized and spring wire.

JWT currently holds the number one market position in the electro-galvanized and aluminized sectors, the release said. “Liberty Steel intends to drive growth at JWT as the U.S. updates its infrastructure and electricity networks, thereby increasing demand for steel products such as support cables and guard rails for bridges and for electrical power lines.”

With more than half of JWT’s output sold into the transportation market, Liberty is also aiming to capitalize on continued growth in U.S. vehicle production, the release said. It is the third largest producer in the U.S. of CHQ wire, which is used in automotive products such as engine block bolts and brake pad rivets. The acquisition will also add substantially to Liberty’s capability to meet the “Made in America” specifications required for public infrastructure and utility contracts.

“This is another very significant step towards our ambitious U.S. goals,” said GFC Chief Investment Officer Grant Quasha. “JWT is a profitable business with a skilled workforce and tremendous pedigree in the industry, so we look forward to welcoming it into the GFG USA family and helping it build an even stronger future.”

GFG Group Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said that he was thrilled with the deal. “The addition of high-quality specialized facilities at Johnstown further strengthens our existing facilities at Georgetown and Peoria.”

“We are excited to be joining the GFG family of global businesses and see this as a tremendous opportunity to further our position as a leading manufacturer of steel wire in North America,” said Johnstown Wire Technologies President and CEO Jack Miller.

MAC ITS LLC, founded in 1976 as Manufactured Assemblies Corporation (MAC), specializing in manufacturing cable assemblies and wire harnesses, plans to expand its headquarters location in Dayton, Ohio.

Per a report in the Dayton Business Journal, the company is proposing an expansion that would create 79 new jobs. The company, which now also makes kiosks for OEMs, was given a tax incentive for the plan worth about $200,000.

The proposed expansion involves consolidating out-of-state operations into Ohio, which is competing with Georgia and Indiana for the project. Officials says state support will help ensure the project moves forward in Vandalia. MAC also has a location in Buford, Georgia.

Manufactured Assemblies Corp. has grown its presence in the Dayton region. In 2014, the company announced a $1 million project to expand its Vandalia headquarters and add 35 new jobs. The company had 90 employees at the time.

The business has also evolved from its original core products. "In addition to making custom cable assemblies and wire harnesses, MAC has expanded its abilities into a wide range of products including but not limited to kiosks, box builds, panel boards, digital signs and other custom assemblies. MAC has established a reputation as an industry leader in contract manufacturing. We continue to expand and adapt with current technologies, providing outsourced solutions to large and small OEMs, as well as superior service and products with forward-thinking solutions to support every customer need."

Wire and cable manufacturer Lake Cable plans to invest $7 million to expand its Valparaiso plant.

Per a report in the Times of Northwest Indiana, Lake Cable, a privately held wire and cable manufacturing that employs 450 workers at five plants, including three in Indiana, plans to add 82,000 sq ft to its 126,000-sq-ft plant in Valparaiso. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

"Fourteen years after expanding into Valparaiso, we are excited and optimistic about the way our business is growing and developing," Lake Cable President Emile Tohme said in the report. The business was founded by Bill Runzel IV in the 1990s on the west side of Chicago with just three wire-making machines and a total of four people.

Today, Lake Cable manufactures a variety of cables for the utility, renewable energy, commercial construction, petrochemical, transit, HVAC, fire alarm, building management system, steel, and industrial sectors. Once the expansion is done, plans call for up to 54 new workers to be hired.

Taiwan-based Admiral Cable announced plans to extend its manufacturing operations to New Mexico, where it will investing $50 million to build a 65,000-sq-ft facility in Santa Teresa as the first phase of expansion.

Per multiple published reports citing the office of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the project will not be completed until early 2020, at which time the facility will be 175,000 sq ft. The company, which makes assembled electrical cords and power supplies and other industrial cables and wires, expects to hire 342 employees.

The governor said in the statement that she was able to connect with Admiral Cable last summer on a trip to Taiwan and the relationship developed from there. The state will provide up to $3.92 million in Local Economic Development Act funding for the expansion.

“Admiral Cable is excited to on-shore domestic manufacturing capacity in New Mexico,” T. C. Huang, chairman and CEO of I-sheng Electric Wire & Cable, a majority shareholder of Admiral Cable, said in a statement. “Santa Teresa affords us greater proximity to our customers with efficient market access, supply chain efficiencies and high-quality labor.”

Huang said that the state was an attractive place for the expansion. New Mexico’s strong business climate for manufacturers makes for a very compelling value proposition. “With a competitive total cost of operations, we can compete with foreign-made product right here from Santa Teresa. We thank Governor Martinez and her entire team for their professionalism and support through our site selection process.”

India’s Sterlite Tech announced that it plans to add 15 million km to its optical-fiber cabling capacity, raising its total potential production to 33 million fiber km.

A press release said that the expansion for the integrated optical fiber and cable manufacturer will cost about $44 million). The project, to be completed in stages, is expected to come on-line by June 2020. It said that drivers for the initiative include strong market demand for "deep fiberization" for 5G, FTTx and data center connectivity.

"Given exponential data growth, telcos, internet companies and governments around the globe are looking for innovative network solutions for hyper-scale connectivity," said CEO Dr. Anand Agarwal. "Our customers see us as unique design-build-manage partners who are forward integrated from fiber and cable to network design and software solutions. This capacity investment will further deepen our customer engagement as we partner with them for network buildouts."

The company is expanding its solutions portfolio very rapidly. Recently, it announced a 100% acquisition of Metallurgica Bresciana in Italy for cable expansion, while earlier it had announced an expansion of its optical fiber capacity via a Greenfield investment. Sterlite Tech is also actively working on software-defined networks in virtualized environments.

Sampsistemi, a business of Italy’s SAMP Group, announced that it plans to expand the operations of its China-based subsidiary Sampsistemi (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.

A press release said that as a result of the recent acquisition of Setic and Pourtier—two well-known French companies that were part of the Gauder Group—Sampsistemi has decided to expand and strengthen its existing Chinese footprint. The plan is to expand the Setic plant in Changzhou with a significant investment in infrastructure, and to enlarge the production area.

The Setic plant, located in the Xinbei District, covers an area of 6,400 sq m, and it is currently dedicated to manufacturing rotating machines and related equipment for the wire and cable industry, the release said. The expansion plan will increase the manufacturing area up to 10,000 sq m, plus 2.600 sq m dedicated to office space. The unit will be equipped with state of the art assembly lines for wire and cable machinery and an enhanced R&D center with a test lab. Each space will meet the highest safety and quality standards. “The consolidation of the production capacity into one location will allow us to fully synergize the combined know-how and technologies, while providing greater value to our customers.”

“With the acquisition of Setic and Pourtier, Sampsistemi has completed a three-year strategic initiative aimed at strengthening its leading position in the market and meeting the ongoing demand for a single source-provider, capable of supporting the clients with cutting edge solutions,” said SAMP CEO Lapo Vivarelli Colonna. “The new organization will enhance our capability to provide products and services in China, the largest wire & cable market in the world.”

Sampsistemi is a company of the Maccaferri Industrial Group, an international entity active in seven main sectors, with 58 production plants, 4,600 employees worldwide and annual revenues of 1.2 billion euros.

South Korea’s LS Group held a groundbreaking ceremony on March 15 in Serbia, where it is investing $23 milllion to to build the plant, which it said is designed to produce 12,000 metric tons of magnet wire a year.

Per a report in The Korea Herald, LS Group Chairman Christopher Koo spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony of the magnet wire plant, which is located in Zrenjanin, some 90 km south of the Serbian capital in Serbia. The plant was described as the latest investment by the LS Group, which launched an electric car parts plant in Poland and a solar power plant in Japan.

LS Group Chairman Christopher Koo said the conglomerate’s Serbian investment is a part of growth strategy, and is expecting the Serbian plant to become the production center for its east European operation. It is scheduled to start commercial production in 2019. 

The LS Group notes that its U.S. affiliate, Superior Essex, one of the world's largest wire and cable manufacturers, generated $2 billion in sales last year. It is the sole magnet wire supplier to U.S. electric vehicle producer Tesla.


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