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WAI has made significant headway with its innovative training and development initiative that is designed to enhance industry knowledge and skills through a structured and comprehensive approach.

Industry experts and staff have completed most of the first of five training modules. Each one consists of short videos, none lasting more than five minutes. Each module includes knowledge checks throughout the videos. Upon completing a module, learners receive a certificate of completion.

WAI is collaborating with a motion designer who specializes in manufacturing “explainer” videos. Each one will feature a blend of shop floor footage and animated segments that clarify complex concepts. Narration is done by a professional voiceover artist to ensure that the material is engaging and easy to follow. Each module is developed under the guidance of primary and secondary subject matter experts to ensure
the content is both accurate and relevant. The first four videos of the inaugural module, Ferrous Metallurgy, were showcased last month at Wire Expo 2024.

In parallel with content creation, WAI staff evaluated various learning management systems (LMS) to host the online training. WAI’s Education Committee has provided their input, and now it is advancing to the Executive Committee. The aim is to finalize the LMS selection by the end of July 2024. Key features being considered for the LMS include group enrollment and progress tracking, white-label access for large companies, the ability to host custom content, a user-friendly interface with Single Sign-On (SSO), and scalability to support future growth.

The Ferrous Metallurgy module is slated for completion by late summer/early fall 2024, along with the soft launch of the LMS. The second module, Single Layer Extrusion Overview, is expected to be ready by the end of 2024. n

The Wire Association International is seeking presentations for its return to the Georgia World Congress Center in 2025 for both Interwire as well as what will be the fourth staging of the Global Continuous Casting Forum (GCCF) to be held May 12-15, 2025.

Interwire is held every other year whereas the GCCF was on a four-year schedule (2011, 2015 and 2019) prior to Covid. Presenters are needed for both events.

Chris Tucker, Encore Wire, will head the GCCF organizing committee. He will be joined by 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; Janusz Sekunda, Prysmian; Patrick Slaughter, Southwire; Robert White, Hazelett; and Florin Teglas, Nexans.

Suggested topics for the 2025 event include: casting technologies, electrical energy, global copper and aluminum markets, cost-saving opportunities, filtration concepts, molten metal, combustion systems, furnaces, degassing, metal flow, refractories, aluminum and copper alloys and sustainability. The submission date is Oct. 2, and questions can be sent to WAI’s John Markowski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Presentations for Interwire are also being sought. The organizing team is being led by Conference Co-Chairmen WAI President Daniel Blais and Eric Biebrerich. Preferred topics for Interwire will include topics that address key industry needs. Future articles will address the specific topics. At this point, companies are welcome to suggest presentations for the committee to consider. Those also can be sent to WAI’s John Markowski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

The Wire Association International will once again partner with two other industry associations—IWMA and ACIMAF—to hold Wire & Cable Krakow. The one day event will be held on Oct. 14, 2025, at the Holiday Inn Krakow City Centre.

In addition to the three industry associations, Wire & Cable Krakow has the support of the University of Science and Technology (AGH) and Czestochowa Technical University (CTU).

The Conference Committee includes Don Neville, RichardsApex Europe, Ltd., IWMA; Ferrucio Bellina, TKT Group, ACIMAF; Eric Bieberich, Fort Wayne Wire Die; Jessica Bennett, IWMA; Dr. Beata Smyrak, Prof. Tadeusz Knych; both of AGH University, Poland Chapter; and Steve Fetteroll, WAI.

While planning for the event continues, the format will be similar to that for Wire & Cable Milan in 2023, which got very good reviews. Wire & Cable Krakow will have an electrical and a nonferrous track, each with up to 12 slots that will last 20 minutes. Look for more information to follow in future issues.

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.

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.

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.”

HIGHLIGHTS
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.

NOVEMBER 15
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

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
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.

Madison, Connecticut, USA. The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. announces the appointment of Kurt F. Breischaft as the 70th president of the association for a one-year term that commences on Jan. 1, 2023. Breischaft will chair the Board of Directors of the 93-year-old association, which is headquartered in Madison, Connecticut, USA.
Breischaft has more than 30 years’ experience in the copper industry. He is president of SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS, a copper rod and wire mill in New Haven, Indiana, a post he has held since November 2013. Prior to that Breischaft held roles of increasing importance including vice president and general manager of Cerro Plumbing, a Marmon Group/Berkshire Hathaway Company; plant manager for Belden Americas - Nogales, Mexico and Belden/Thermax; and positions as process engineer, engineering manager, plant manager, and manufacturing manager at the Essex Group, Inc./Superior Essex.

An active WAI member since 2000, Breischaft received its 2006 Wire Link Scholarship. His valuable contributions through volunteer leadership within the association include serving two terms on WAI’s Board of Directors; participation on WAI’s Executive and Oversight Committees; chair of its Member Relations Committee; and Executive Committee Liaisonship to its Finance, Memorial Awards, and Education Committees. In addition to his role as 2023 WAI president, Breischaft will serve as Co-Chair of its Conference Programming Committee, Chair of its Oversight Committee, and Executive Committee Liaison to its Education Committee.

Commenting on this new appointment, Breischaft said, “I look forward to advancing the latest WAI education initiative, developing multimedia training modules, and building on WAI’s legacy products such as handbooks. This will be a crucial step for the next generation of industry engineers and operators.”

Breischaft holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Indiana, USA, and an M.B.A. degree from Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Indiana, USA.

The Wire Association International, Inc. is governed by a network of volunteers from around the globe. Joining Breischaft for the 2023 term are members of the association’s 2023 Executive Committee: First Vice President Daniel Blais, Prysmian Group; Second Vice President Eric Bieberich, Fort Wayne Wire Die; David Fisher,
James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp.; and Immediate Past President James R. York, Insteel Industries, Inc.

SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS is a joint venture between Steel Dynamics, Inc. and the La Farga Group. The company is driven by a team of just over 120 employees and utilizes a patented advanced refining process that melts environmentally friendly material as well as established shaft furnace technology. Both processes yield a high purity cast and rolled 8 mm copper rod product. Steel Dynamics Inc., headquartered in Fort Wayne, IN, is a member of the S&P 500 and is one of the largest metals recyclers and metals producers in North America. La Farga Group, headquartered in Barcelona, Spain., has been has providing copper recycling solutions since 1808.

WAI, founded in 1930, is a not-for-profit association with more than 2000 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 the WAI Operations Summit & 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.

1/31/2022 – SAMP USA reported two key positions. Sandy Scroggs, who has been with the company for more than 30 years, has been promoted to general manager. He will keep his current position as service manager. He started with SAMP in 1988 as a service technician, and was named service manager in 2000. Brett Hamner has been named senior sales manager. He started his career in 1982 with Belden, working in different engineering roles, before transitioning in 1988 to Harbour Industries, where he was an R&D engineer. He joined General Cable in 1989, working in engineering, then moved into a corporate engineering role at their headquarters in Kentucky. In 1995, he became a project manager for Nokia Maillefer in Norcross, Georgia, and soon after added sales responsibilities. In 1997, he moved to Ontario, Canada, working with Ceeco during a period that saw the creation of Nextrom, before starting his own company—Cable and Tubing Solutions—in 2003. Based in Williamsport, Maryland, SAMP USA is part of Italy’s SAMP Srl, a global supplier of wire and cable drawing, extruding and bunching technology.

Ricardo (Rico) Dostal has joined Proton Products as a U.S. regional manager, based in Texas. A U.S. Navy veteran, he cultivated an interest in industrial technology while serving as an avionics electronic technician on board the USS Kitty Hawk. He then moved to Japan and served as an instructor and development team leader for three years, before working for Verizon Wireless for eight years, then five years for Rotalec USA, a distributor of industrial automation products. He started as a technician and was later promoted to application specialist for exclusive, non-contact sensor lines for the U.S. His primary focus was custom measurement and control projects, some of which featured Proton Products technology. Based in the U.K., Proton Products supplies instrumentation and control equipment for wire and cable production.

Cable Consultants Corporation has named Mason McClaugherty as vice president of sales and technical services. He has experience from three prior engineering positions with Cleveland-Cliffs, AK Steel Corporation and Service Wire Company. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering for Marshall University. He replaces Fred Hardy, an industry veteran who in 1993 was offered the position of director of technical services by company founder and owner Dr. Dimitri Stein. Based in Larchmont, New York, Cable Consultants Corporation supplies North American manufacturers with access to technology from European companies

Greg Gitto has been promoted from market development manager-PVC to director of sales & marketing-PVC for Chroma Color Corporation (CCC). He joined CCC last June though its acquisition of Color Resource, where he had worked as executive vice president since 2009. He has 20 years of extensive experience in PVC compounding and developing new PVC and olefinic products during a period that saw the inception of low-smoke PVC into plenum cable compounds. At Color Resource, he helped develop hybrid constructions with FEP, and Color Resource’s Quasar technology, now branded as ChromaQuasar, to serve the emerging XLPE wire and cable market. He holds a degree in economics from Clark University. Based in Delaware, Ohio, Chroma Color Corporation is a leading supplier of specialty color and additive concentrates for markets that include wire and cable.

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