wiredInUSA June 2020

Americaˊs online magazine for wire and cable

Issue No. 108 - June 2020


America’s online magazine for wire and cable

wiredIn USA

Wisconsin facility gets the go-ahead Page 9

Machinery takeover. Page 11

Cable barge. Page 29

Chinese mill production increase. Page 35

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Madison Gas and Electric is building a 31,000-panel solar farm near Wisconsin’s Dane County regional airport, which will be commissioned by the end of this year. The biggest solar farm for a single customer in the state, the facility will provide around 40 percent of energy demand of all county-owned facilities. Turn to page 9 for the full details. MFL Group, through its company Koch Machinery and Technology GmbH, has acquired a controlling 51 per- cent stake in Morgan-Koch Corporation in Worcester, Massachusetts. Morgan-Koch supplies services, upgrades and spare parts for Koch, Morgan and Vaughn lines in North America. See page 11. Allied Wire and Cable has set up a GoFundMe site for donations for medical staff and first responders fighting the coronavirus - and ownership is matching the donations. With the funds raised, local healthcare organizations have benefitted by providing food, supplies and other necessities during the pandemic. More details on page 18.

David Bell Editor


wiredInUSA - June 2020

June 2020 Issue No.108 CONTENTS


Show Diary 2020


Making the News Industry news from the USA


Europe news The latest news from Europe


Asia & Africa News The latest news from Asia & Africa


Products, Machines & Technology The latest news from machine industries

wiredInUSA - June 2020


wiredIn USA

© 2020 Intras Limited UK ISSN 2046 - 9497 Publishers of EuroWire and Wire & Cable ASIA magazines

INTRAS OFFICES Europe: 46 Holly Walk, Leamington Spa Warwickshire CV32 4HY, UK

Tel: +44 1926 334137 Fax: +44 1926 314755

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News Editor David Bell david@wiredinusa.com

Features Editor (USA and Europe) Gill Watson Publisher Caroline Sullens

Sales & Marketing (International) Sales Director Jason Smith jason@wiredinusa.com +44 1926 834 684 Accounts Manager Karen Low karen@intras.co.uk


wiredInUSA - June 2020

Diary Shows & Events 2020

June 17-20 June 2020 Korea Metal Week 2020 Seoul, South Korea www.korea-metal.com

September 22-24 September 2020

The 21 st China International Spring Industry Exhibition Guangzhou, China www.springexpo.com.cn

September 23-26 September 2020 wire China Shanghai, China www.wirechina.net

October 11-14 October 2020 IWCS 2020 Cable &

Connectivity Symposium A virtual symposium & exhibition www.iwcs.org

October 26-28 October 2020

October 27-30 October 2020 Euro Blech Hanover, Germany www.euroblech.com

CRU World Optical Fiber & Cable Conference 2020 Milan, Italy www.worldopticalfiberconference.com

For more info visit: www.wiredinusa.com/showinfo.php

wiredInUSA - June 2020


Wisconsin facility gets the go-ahead M A K I N G T H E NEWS

Madison Gas and Electric Co (MGE) has received the necessary permissions to build a 9MW solar farm near Wisconsin’s Dane County regional airport.

The electricity produced by the facility, which is scheduled for commissioning by the end of 2020, will meet about 40 percent of the energy demand of all county-owned facilities. The project was agreed under MGE’s Renewable Energy Rider program, as part of which the company tailors renewable energy solutions for major energy users to cover their energy needs.

The land is owned by Dane County and will be leased to MGE.

The solar facility will use around 31,000 solar panels, and will be the biggest solar project constructed in the state for a single customer.


wiredInUSA - June 2020

Machinery takeover

With the acquisition, Mario Frigerio SpA and Koch Machinery and Technology GmbH will strengthen their presence and service in North America.

MFL Group, through its company Koch Machinery and Technology GmbH, has acquired a controlling 51percent stake in Morgan-Koch Corporation of Worcester, Massachusetts. supplies services, upgrades and spare parts for Koch, Morgan and Vaughn lines in North America. The company will continue to represent FIB and Krollman, and will closely cooperate with MFL USA Service Corporation. Morgan-Koch Corporation

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Cooperative compounding

Germanmaterials manufacturer Covestro is to work in cooperation with Teknor Apex on compounding thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Covestro has produced TPU in pure form for many years, for use in various industry sectors,butcompoundingcanconsiderably increase its range of properties. “The combination of Covestro’s expertise in TPU resin, with Teknor Apex’s custom formulation and compounding capabilities,

The Beta LaserMike brand has been faithfully serving the wire and cable industry for over 50 years and we have thousands of satisfied customers that rely on our measurement systems every day to improve quality, increase productivity and deliver manufacturing savings. We are committed to your success. Precision Measurement & Control Solutions provides a compelling value driver for our combined customers worldwide,” said Sachin Sakhalkar, vicepresident, TPE division at Teknor Apex. “This new cooperation strengthens our promise to our customers and partners who depend on us to bring tailored solutions for their application needs.” Covestro will support the marketing of the jointly developed products with its Desmoflex ® brand.

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Making Light Work


Renewables see further growth in the US

Wood Americas, part of the global engineering and consulting company Wood plc, has secured a number of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) onshore wind contracts in the United States. The largest of the contracts, in total worth an estimated $100 million, is the next phase in American Electric Power (AEP) Renewables’ wind farm development in south-central Kansas. The Flat Ridge 3 wind farm is an extension to Flat Ridge 1

and 2, among the largest wind farms in the US.

Other contracts include Black Hills Energy’s utility-scale Corriedale Wind Energy project in Cheyenne, Wyoming — Wood’s first renewables project in the mountain states — and four new wind farms in Morrow and Umatilla Counties in Oregon for Orchard Windfarms.

wiredInUSA - June 2020


Distribution partnership

The Edge Group, a distributor-owned buying group based in Texas, has added West Penn Wire to its network of manufacturers. Andy Oswald, West Penn Wire’s VP of sales, said: “West Penn Wire is excited to be the newest Edge preferred supplier. We joined the team because we were interested in growing our existing distributor business, as well as building new distributor relationships. We are looking forward to driving the West Penn

brand and inventory position with The Edge Group and all of the partners.”

West Penn Wire designs and manufactures wires, cables, harnesses and related products. With Edge members located across the US, West Penn will have access to a strong distribution channel complete with local stock, extensive marketing to end users, and sales expertise.

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wiredInUSA - June 2020

Energy storing

The US-based geothermal company Ormat Technologies Inc has put its Rabbit Hill Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) facility into operation.

(ERCOT). It was designed and constructed by Ormat’s subsidiary Viridity Energy Solutions, which will own and operate the system. The energy storage project, which uses lithium-ion batteries, is Ormat’s first in Texas, and the fifth for its energy storage and management services unit.

The facility, with a capacity of around 10MW, is located in Georgetown, Texas.

BESS will provide ancillary services and energy optimization to the wholesale markets managed by the grid operator, Electric Reliability Council of Texas


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Power Cables are best made on TROESTER Lines

With the expansion of electricity networks, people all over the world use electricity to bring more light into their lives as well as increased joy, comfort and security.

Power cables that have been produced, using TROESTER systems, for high-quality, medium-voltage (MV), high- voltage (HV) and extremely-high-voltage (EHV) cables offer cable manufacturers significant cost benefits in production as well as TROESTER’s outstanding level of quality. This ensures that energy consumers around the world can enjoy the highest level of supply security. www.troester.de

CCV Line from TROESTER for the cost-effective production of MV, HV and EHV cables with perfect concentricity and roundness and long production lengths.

Some of the Allied team show their gratitude

Allied in a good cause

As a family business, Allied Wire & Cable believes that family is the greatest gift of all. Every day, medical staff and first responders are putting their lives at risk to save and protect everyone around them, some working 20-hour shifts, during the coronavirus pandemic. It was not possible to give them masks or protective gear at this time, but the Allied family wanted to bring smiles and show their immense gratitude in any way possible. That is why the company started a GoFundMe campaign in which all of their employees joined with loyal customers and friends to show gratitude and support. To be able to have a greater impact on those most affected by the outbreak, ownership agreed to match all donations made. With the funds raised, local healthcare organizations have benefitted by providing food, support items and other necessities needed throughout these trying times.

They partnered with Collegeville Italian Bakery, another local small business, to provide hoagies to the healthcare workers at many facilities close to their community. Through Operation Gratitude, they have donated over 1,000 hoagies, which when stacked end to end would be taller than the Eiffel Tower. Donations have been made to hospitals and nursing homes in the region including Pottstown Hospital, Einstein Hospital, Paoli Hospital, Suburban Hospital, Phoenixville Hospital, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia - King of Prussia, Wayne Nursing Home, and Manor Care - King of Prussia. “That is what Operation Gratitude is all about; showing our local health care workers how much we appreciate them and the daily sacrifices they make for our health and safety” said a spokesperson.

wiredInUSA - June 2020


ERP project

Direct Wire & Cable, of Denver, Pennsylvania, and Advaris USA have begun a project to implement the Advaris enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in Direct Wire’s corporate offices and manufacturing facility. David Witwer, chief executive officer of Direct Wire & Cable, says the company is implementing the Advaris system to “enable even more advanced technology, precise manufacturing

processes, and high service fulfillment levels for our customers.” The companies expect the project to be completed within a year. Advaris is a global provider of industry- specific enterprise software, tailored to producers of wire, cable, rope, steel cord and other length-based manufacturers.



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Pittsburgh-based US Steel Corporation expects to lay off around 2,700 employees as a result of idling most of its blast furnaces which, even before coronavirus hit the economy, were already witnessing slowing demand. The figure represents around 10 percent of the payroll. “It’s all about minimizing or preserving cash in a difficult environment,” said Phil Gibbs, an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets. “They’re a heavy fixed-cost business, and volume right now is reasonably limited and they have to take actions.” By early May, US Steel had idled seven of its ten blast furnaces in the US — three at the Gary Works site in Indiana, one at Granite City in Illinois, two at Great Lakes in Michigan and another at Mon Valley Works in Pennsylvania — and was indefinitely idling Lone Star Tubular Operations and the Hughes Springs coupling production facility in Texas. In January, the steelmaker had said it anticipated “the first quarter of 2020 to be the trough for the year, due to the normal seasonality of our mining operations and lower first quarter shipments in flat-rolled [products].” That was before the pandemic disrupted the economy. Dan DeMare, a regional sales manager for Heidtman Steel, a service center customer of US Steel, commented that the capacity shutdown signals that the company is “willing to give up market share to preserve their business.”

Furnaces close in wake of manufacturing contraction


wiredInUSA - June 2020

Secure supply for southern states

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has contracted 212MW of solar projects, in Tennessee and Mississippi, to supply electricity to the Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB). The two contracts are a 20-year power purchase agreement with First Solar for its 177MWRidgely Energy Farm in Tennessee’s Lake County, with the remaining 35MW to come from a deal with Origis Energy for its 200MW solar project in Mississippi’s Lowndes County. Through the TVA Green Invest scheme, KUB has secured enough carbon-free electricity to meet 8 percent of its annual electric load. Long term off-take deals

under the program, which are available to local power companies, businesses and industrial customers, are awarded through competitive bidding. “We launched Green Invest to help local power companies and businesses meet their sustainability goals by building new large-scale solar facilities across our region,” said Doug Perry, vice president of commercial energy solutions. TVA serves parts of Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, East, Middle and West Tennessee and Virginia. Currently, almost 60 percent of its energy supply is carbon-free.

wiredInUSA - June 2020


Image courtesy of Fisher River Cree Nation

Power and pride

A new utility-scale solar farm, fully owned and operated by the Fisher River Cree Nation in Canada, has gone into operation. The facility is the largest of its kind in the province of Manitoba, and is the first utility-scale solar farm owned by indigenous people in the country. The Fisher River Cree Nation’s chief, David Crate, said that the project’s development is another step to producing revenue for the community, and that it goes “beyond generating money and electricity”, having brought a sense of pride and empowerment to his community.

The seven-acre PV facility will generate and sell power to Manitoba Hydro, the local electric company, for the next thirty years. Mr Crate believes there is vast potential for the development of additional green energy projects, providing revenue and employment to the 2,000 community members. The Fisher River solar farm was developed with the assistance of W Dusk Energy Group, an indigenous-owned firm that partnered with the community.

wiredInUSA - June 2020



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Temporary shutdown for wire mill

Liberty Steel has shut down its Georgetown, South Carolina, wire rod mill for three months, due to declines in demand during the pandemic. The mill’s rolling operations have stopped and will be kept in “care and maintenance” so they can be reopened quickly when the market improves.

producing at a slower rate with plans to increase to 441,000 short tons per year. This is the latest setback for a mill that UK- based Liberty hoped to upgrade in order to boost production in Georgetown as part of its expansion in the US. The Georgetown mill was supplied with semi-finished steel billets from Liberty’s steel mill in Peoria, Illinois, which will now fulfill all customer orders for wire rod.

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wiredInUSA - June 2020


Cable split offers greater diversity

Google is said to be planning a new $400 million subsea cable system to connect Italy to India. Called Blue-Raman, it will be built in two halves: the first half, referred to as Blue, will stretch from Mumbai, India, across the Indian Ocean and then overland to arrive in Aqaba, Jordan. The second half, referred to as Raman, will start in Genoa, Italy, and cross the Mediterranean and Israel before landing in Aqaba to connect with the Blue section. official announcement, but Blue-Raman is expected to reach Israel by 2022 and, according to reports, TIM’s Sparkle is partnering on the Blue section, while Omantel will collaborate with Google on the Raman half. Google has made no

The cable split is for geopolitical reasons, ensuring that the Israeli section does not cross Saudi Arabia. Also, by avoiding Egypt, the system bypasses the shallowness of the Suez Canal that risks causing damage to the cable. Sunil Tagare, of the Open Cables blog, wrote: “Google’s planning of the Blue- Raman cable is the biggest news in the submarine cable industry since the start of the industry three decades ago. Not only will this cable provide the ultimate route diversity by going through Israel, it will also decrease the cost of Asia to Europe traffic by at least 50 percent.”


wiredInUSA - June 2020


wiredInUSA - June 2020


The new transport barge. Photograph courtesy of Swan Hunter

Cable barge

UK and Netherlands-based Swan Hunter has provided project management, design engineering and mobilization support for its client Oceanteam Solutions, to deliver a versatile cable storage and transport barge. Swan Hunter’s in-house engineering team designed a fully flexible deck layout that allows project cables to be loaded/off- loaded using four different cable highway routes; this allows transpooling from/

to onshore facilities or cable installation vessels.

The barge is self-sufficient, with tensioners, trackways and over-boarding chutes all repositioned using a standard telehandler. “This design offers an extremely flexible and low-cost solution to cable handling and transportation,” said Swan Hunter director Gerard Kroese.


wiredInUSA - June 2020

Connection consortium

Scotland wind development

The cable-laying vessel Isaac Newton

TenneT has awarded contracts to a consortium of Jan De Nul Group and LS Cable & System to supply and install high voltage cables for the grid connection of the Hollandse Kust Noord and West Alpha offshore wind farms. The Hollandse Kust Noord and Hollandse Kust West Alpha export cable systems will consist of two220kVACcable systems each. The four cables will cover a total length of 210km, connecting the wind farms to the onshore Dutch power grid near Beverwijk, just north of the port of IJmuiden. Once operational, the wind farms will generate up to 1.4GW. TenneT Offshore project director Dick Lagerweij said: “In Q3 2018 TenneT prepared the project documents for offshore cable installation. Five bidders were qualified to submit their proposals and in early 2020 we concluded that the consortium was best placed to be awarded the contract. We are aiming to complete the project as a whole by 2023.” Jan De Nul Group will be responsible for transportation, laying and protection of the cables, while LS Cable & System will be responsible for thedesignandmanufacture. Jan De Nul will use its cable-laying vessel, Isaac Newton , to collect the cables from South Korea and transport them to the Netherlands for installation.

Image courtesy of Vattenfall

Vattenfall has reached a deal to build its largest UK wind farm in South Kyle, Scotland. As part of an agreement withGreencoat UK Wind, the 240MW wind project is expected to power approximately 170,000 UK homes, saving close to 300,000 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions every year. The South Kyle project is planned to become operational in the first quarter of 2023. Vattenfall will manage the facility on behalf of Greencoat for at least ten years, and will purchase the power for 15 years.

wiredInUSA - June 2020


Demand for umbilicals set to fall

Third order for rod mill

Image courtesy of Danieli

Vietnam’s largest steel producer, Hoa Phat, has ordered a one million tonne per year wire rod rolling mill from Danieli. The mill is Hoa Phat’s third to have been ordered from Danieli, and will be installed at Hoa Phat’s Dung Quat facility. Fed by 12m-long, 150mm square billets produced by the upstream Danieli continuous casting machines, the new mill will produce 5.5mm to 25mm diameter wire rod coils, in low-, medium- and high-carbon grades. The rolling line comprises a high speed free-rougher followed by an intermediate mill rolling on two strands. Bars continue on two independent rolling lines made of pre-finishing cantilever stands, followed by ten-pass wire rod blocks using semi- multidrive technology for improved rolling ring management. Product quality is monitored in real time by Hi-Profile measuring devices, while water cooling lines installed before and after the fast finishing blocks, together with the 95m-long cooling conveyors, provide the final mechanical characteristics according to the differing sizes and steel grades.

Photo by Luiza Braun on Unsplash A report from Rystad Energy, an independent energy research and business intelligence company, has said: “The COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effect on global energy investments is set to damage subsea purchases, with demand for umbilical lines expected to fall by 32 percent to just 713km of lines in 2020, down from 1,041km last year. “Umbilical demand will not match or exceed 2019 levels until after 2023, our forecasts show, despite definite cost savings in materials. …Before the pandemic, demand for umbilicals was due to slightly decrease this year compared to 2019, but to rebound and exceed last year’s levels from 2021 onwards. “Without accounting for the negative impact of a global economic downturn, we see a cost reduction of approximately 5 percent taking place from 2020 to 2022 within the umbilicals segment. If, on the other hand, both the global recession and oil and gas industry downturn take place simultaneously, our outlook will change drastically. We then estimate a cost reduction of almost 14 percent over the same time frame.”


wiredInUSA - June 2020

International cable team

Plans for business to spring back

Image courtesy of TenneT

TenneT has contracted an international group of cable suppliers to develop a new 2GW 525kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) extruded submarine cable connection to serve offshore wind projects off the Dutch and German coasts. The participating suppliers are Hellenic Cables, based in Greece; LS Cable & System, in South Korea; Nexans, in Norway; Sweden-based NKT HV Cables; Prysmian, in Italy; Japan-based Sumitomo Electric Industries; and the Chinese suppliers Ningbo Orient Wires & Cables and Zhongtian Technology Submarine Cable (ZTT). TenneT believes that using 525kV HVDC technology will reduce the costs and minimize spatial impact of the cable system, which will be deployed in early 2022.

Image courtesy of thyssenkrupp

thyssenkrupp has approved an extensive restructuring plan for its springs and stabilizers division. Under the plan, production of stabilizers at the Olpe, Germany site will end by late 2021. The company’s Hagen site will be realigned and converted into a center of excellence for the development and manufacture of springs and stabilizers. The springs and stabilizers business currently operates nine production sites in Germany, Hungary, Brazil, Mexico and China, and employs around 3,400 people worldwide. The business unit has suffered fromdeclining prices for springs and stabilizers and global over-capacities in the sector. The restructuring of the German sites is seen as an important step to restoring the division’s competitiveness.

wiredInUSA - June 2020


Changes on board

DC cable contract

Image courtesy of NKT

Interim CEO Oswald Schmid Bekaert, a producer of steel wire products, has announced changes to its board of directors. Matthew Taylor has retired from his position as CEO and director of Bekaert, as of 12 th May 2020. Mr Taylor joined Bekaert in September 2013 as a member of the Bekaert Group executive, and became CEO in May 2014. Chairman of the board Jürgen Tinggren thanked Mr Taylor for his leadership of Bekaert “during a challenging period, and [for] his efforts to position Bekaert on the path to renewed success.” Oswald Schmid, chief operations officer of Bekaert, will act as interim CEO. Mr Tinggren commented: “The board of directors is convinced that Oswald is highly qualified to assume the role of interim CEO. He will work closely with the Bekaert leadership team to realise Bekaert’s ambitious goals.” The board of directors also announced the proposed appointments of Henrietta Fenger Ellekrog and Eriikka Söderström as independent members of the board, for a one-year term, subject to a routine meeting of shareholders.

Following the award of a contract from transmission system operator 50Hertz, NKT will be a part of the German SuedOstLink transmission line. NKT will supply and install 525kV XLPE high voltage DC onshore cable for a significant portion of the route, in three lengths of approximately 275km each. NKT expects to start production of the power cables and accessories towards the end of 2021, with installation in mid-2022 and final completion in 2025. SuedOstLink is the first of three long-distance power transmission lines in Germany to transport renewable energy from the northern parts of the country to the south. The lines often referred to as the HVDC corridor projects, cover a large proportion of the country; they are key to establishing the “Energiewende”, Germany’s long term strategy to switch to renewable energies by 2050.


wiredInUSA - June 2020

Annual capacity of 400,000 tons at the new plant

Chinese mill production increase

To comply with environmental regulations and to improve its production, HBIS Shijiazhuang Iron and Steel Co has signed a contract with Primetals Technologies for a new steel rod mill in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, China. The plant, which will be relocated from within Shijiazhuang City limits because of environmental protection rules, will feature a high-capacity Morgan reducing sizing mill (RSM) for the thermo-mechanical rolling of large-diameter products. Start- up is expected in late 2020. The mill will include a high speed rod outlet with 250 “V” pre-finishing mill, 680 shear, eight-stand 250/230 Morgan Vee No-Twist mill, 250/150 RSM, pinch roll/

laying head, an 11-zone Morgan Stelmor conveyor and a stepless reform station.

The plant will have an annual capacity of 400,000 tons and is designed for output speeds of 115m per second. Rods ranging from 5mm to 25mm, in various steel grades including alloyed, bearing, spring, free cutting, tire cord, cold heading quality (CHQ) and tool steel, will be manufactured from 200mm 2 and 150mm 2 billets. The company has also purchased a bar mill from Primetals Technologies; the mill is in operation and is not part of the relocation. HBIS Group has several rod mills from Primetals Technologies in Handan and Xuan Hua.


wiredInUSA - June 2020

Trading partnership

HVDC first for Abu Dhabi

Image courtesy of Cimteq

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Abu Dhabi Power Corporation (ADPower) have issued a joint tender to develop and operate the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s first HVDC subsea transmission system. The system would connect ADNOC’s offshore production facilities to ADPower’s onshore electricity grid, and reduce the carbon footprint of ADNOC’s offshore facilities by up to 30%. The transmission system will comprise two independent subsea HVDC links and converter stations, operated by ADPower’s Transco unit, to provide a total installed capacity of 3,200MW. The project offers the potential for ADNOC to utilize its rich gas, currently used to power the offshore facilities, and the partners are seeking international companies with experience in similar infrastructure projects. The project funding will go through a special purpose vehicle, jointly owned by ADNOC (30%), ADPower (30%) and selected developers and investors (40%). The successful bidders, alongside ADNOC and ADPower, will develop and operate the transmission system. Commercial operation is scheduled to begin in 2025.

Software developer Cimteq and Toho International Inc have entered into a strategic partnership to launch Cimteq’s CableBuilder into the Japanese market. Toho International is a trading company that specializes in importing advanced technologies from global suppliers to Japanese wire and cable manufacturers. Koji Yamashita, deputy division director at Toho International, commented: “We [soon] recognized the value that CableBuilder provides. Through its accurate design and costing, integration with ERP, quick quotations, automated datasheets, and 2D and 3D drawings, it can have a massive impact on businesses in Japan. We are delighted to add this technology to our portfolio.” Mike Braddock, CEO at Cimteq, added: “We identified Toho International as a complementary partner for us, which would enable us to deliver substantial benefits to customers in Japan. We are utilizing Toho’s strengths and close links in the market, combined with our software expertise.”

wiredInUSA - June 2020


PNG Internet platform

Solar park presses on to the next stage

PNG Dataco has landed the Kumul Submarine Cable Network (KSCN) in Kavieng, New Ireland Province, in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The KSCN is a 5,457km domestic Internet platform to link fourteen provinces and two national data centers in Port Moresby and Madang, PNG. The KSCN also connects to Jakarta, through Indonesia’s national backbone submarine cable network, and to Asia. The latest landing will connect Kavieng and the New Ireland Province to the rest of the world. PNG Dataco’s general manager of engineering services, Tony Morisause, said: “Once we land the cable in Kavieng, then the distribution through the retail service providers will go out to all the small islands and along the Buluminski Highway to Namatanai.” He added that PNG Dataco’s team will work with the New Ireland provincial government to ensure that the province gains full advantage of the infrastructure.

Photograph courtesy of Gulf News Following its October 2019 call for bids, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has awarded the 900MW photovoltaic fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to a consortium led by ACWA Power with a tariff of $1.6953 cents/ kWh. The fifth phase, at a cost of $570 million, will bring the production capacity of the solar park to 2,863MW. The fifth phase alone is expected to power 270,000 Dubai homes and offset carbon emissions amounting to 1.18 million tons per year. The project will use the latest bifacial photovoltaic solar panels, which capture sunlight on both sides of the panel and use an advanced solar tracking system to increase generation efficiency. Once complete, the Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park is expected to be the largest single-site solar park in the world, with a planned production capacity of 5,000MW. Phases one to three are in operation, and the 950MW phase four is under construction.


wiredInUSA - June 2020

Long distance certification

Plan to secure domestic cable supply

Thunderbolt 3 AOC

The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) has announced that Egypt will be the location of the largest optic fiber cable plant in the Middle East and North Africa. At a cost of $63.2 million, the 50,000m 2 plant in Al-Ain Sokhna is expected to begin operations within the third quarter of 2021. The project is part of an initial agreement signed between the government-owned Arab Organization for Industrialisation (AOI) and IT service provider Benya Capital. The deal is part of the government’s efforts to boost the industrial sector, promote local technology and reduce imports, explained AOI chairman Abdel-Moneim Al-Tarras. SCZone chairman Yehia Zaki anticipates: “The annual production capacity of the project [will be] four million kilometers of cables,” to meet the needs of telecom, power, gas and oil firms, as well as the new cities being built in Egypt. Benya Capital has chosen Corning Inc as a strategic supplier for the plant.

Sumitomo Electric Industries has been given Thunderbolt 3 certification from Intel Corporation, the company that established the Thunderbolt 3 standard, for its new active optical cables (AOCs). Sumitomo Electric has developed 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 AOCs for high speed transmission over long distances. Thunderbolt is a general purpose fast data transmission standard for data communication between a personal computer and peripheral devices. Sumitomo Electric undertook the development of Thunderbolt cables, based on technical specifications disclosed by Intel, and in 2010 acquired the world’s first Thunderbolt certification. In November 2015, the company obtained a further certification for Thunderbolt 3 cables that enable 40Gbps transmission. The Thunderbolt 3 cables currently available have a maximum transmission speed of 40Gbps and a maximum length of 2m. Sumitomo Electric has developed the new Thunderbolt 3 AOC by combining its optical fiber cable technology with its optical module technology to enable transmission up to 50m, while maintaining a transmission speed of 40Gbps.

wiredInUSA - June 2020


Considering the renewables future

Fiber optic hook-up

Image courtesy of 2Africa Kenya and Tanzania are among 16 African countries set to benefit from 2Africa, a subsea 4G and 5G Internet project to link them with Europe and the Middle East. The 37,000km project will involve various telecommunications companies, including China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange, stc, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone and WIOCC. The cable, one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects, will be built by Alcatel Submarine Networks. African countries involved in the project are Madagascar, Mozambique, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Egypt, Djibouti, Sudan and Somalia. In Europe, the cable will link the UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal and France, while the Middle East will be served through Oman and Saudi Arabia. The 2Africa cable will implement a new technology, SDM1 from ASN, allowing deployment of up to 16 fiber-pairs instead of the eight fiber-pairs supported by older technologies, bringing much greater and more cost-effective capacity. The system is expected to go live in 2023 with a design capacity of up to 180Tb per second on key parts of the system; this is more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables currently serving Africa.

Research from the consultancy group Wood Mackenzie suggests that up to 150GWof wind and solar projects across the Asia Pacific could be delayed or canceled over the next five years if the coronavirus- led recession extends beyond 2020. This will be equivalent to pushing back the Asia Pacific renewables construction pipeline by nearly two years. Wood Mackenzie research director Alex Whitworth said: “The extent of the coronavirus impact on Asia Pacific markets is key to the future growth of the renewables sector. Over the last five years the Asia Pacific region accounted for over three- quarters of global power demand growth, while leading the world in wind and solar capacity installations. “The coming months will be crucial to determine if the region is moving towards a rapid recovery or extended recession. Key indicators to monitor include power demand growth, … cost competition between renewables and fossil fuels, and government support including stimulus for renewables markets.”


wiredInUSA - June 2020

Termination range Mill-Max Manufacturing of Oyster Bay, New York, has added crimppins and receptacles to its range of wire termination products. and receptacles are gold plated, for high conductivity anddurability. The receptacles are fitted with high reliability Mill-Max spring finger contacts. The precision-machined pins

they can be insert-molded or potted around.

Learning in lockdown AFL’s training division, Light Brigade, has developed a range of remote classroom sessions to deliver personalized training in a live, online learning format. The remote sessions focus on fiber optic technology topics for students at all levels, from beginner to advanced. Students can target their learning on the basics with the “Fiber Optics 1-2-3” sessions, participate in refresher learning, or move onto advanced topics such as Emergency Restoration, FTTx networks or fiber characterization. Sessions are taught by the same instructors who lead Light Brigade’s classroom training. Students can interact, and questions are answered in r eal-time by a fiber technologist. “With the current COVID-19 situation forcing many to work from home and unable to attend in-person classes, our customers wanted other options to continue training their staff,” explained Lee Kellett, general manager of Light Brigade. “We [updated] our remote class offerings to include more topics delivered in shorter sessions, and provide additional start time options.”

S S Mill-Max Manufacturing has added crimp pins and receptacles to its range of wire termination products

There are two new pins (accommodating wire sizes 16 to20AWG) and five receptacles (for wire sizes 18 to 24AWG) with 10µin gold plating on the shell and 30µin gold plating on the internal contacts. Thicker gold plating options are available, and all plating options have a nickel under- plate. The new pins and receptacles can be used to terminate discretewires, such as in board- to-board or intra-board connections, or used in cable assembly connectors where

Students and employers have the choice of picking a few courses or complete session


wiredInUSA - June 2020

bundles, and can use the earned credits for future ETA ® certification and BICSI ® credits.

for new build-outs, retrofits, and cable repair applications that require high quality, high performance fiber solutions,” said Paul Hospodar, L-com product line manager. Fiber upgrade for loose tube cables Draka is now specifying B2ca compliant cables of up to 432 fibers as part of its warranted Draka Universal Cabling (UC) system. The new N-series design is believed to be the first gel-filled non-metallic fiber cable suitable for internal and external applications. Gel filling is a recognized method of water blocking, and the gel combined with fire- resistant LSHF-FR sheathing allows these cables to be run straight into a building without the need to re-terminate. DrakaUCfiber ca bles, including theN-series, use Prysmian’s BendBright-XS optical cores. This bend-insensitive fiber provides improved performance in macro-bending over a typical standard optical core. Gerard Pera, global fiber product ma nager, explained: “The latest EN60794-1 specification requires that internal/external cables must be water blocked. The Draka N-series is the only cable that combines this requirement with verified B2ca C PR compliance, and should be the automatic choice for the end user.”

Broader range of bulk fiber cable L-com, a manufacturer of wired and wireless connectivity products, has expanded its range of bulk fiber cable and fiber connectors to serve high speed voice, video and data networking applications. The new cable line consists of single-mode and multimode (OM1, OM2 and OM3) fiber cable, sold with OFNR, OFNP and LSZH cable jacket options and in simplex, duplex and breakout cable styles as well as tactical military-style cables. The new cables are available in 1.6mm, 2mm, 2.5mm and 3mm diameters. Bend-insensitive bulk fiber for tighter bend radius installations is now available in 2.5mm and 3mm diameters, and L-com has also added a range of 900um, 1.6mm, 2mm, 2.5mm and 3mm multimode and single- mode fiber connectors for new cable builds and repairs. Fiber connector types include FC connectors, SC connectors, and LC connectors as well as multimode and single-mode ST connectors. Also included are versatile link plastic optical fiber H FBR connectors.

“Our new line of bulk fiber cable and associated connectors provides [solutions]

wiredInUSA - June 2020


The Draka N-series range includes internal and external non-metallic gel-filled stranded loose tube cables in units of 6, 8, 12 or 18 with each unit containing 12 or 24 fibers. Al l cables meet the requirements of ISO 11801-1, EN 50173-1, IEC 60794-1, TIA GR20, ICEA 640 and ICEA 696. Versatile reel design GMP’s SW-single wall reel is available in two constructions, to suit either process or shipment applications. The process model, usually used for steel wire drawing or for copper and aluminum wire bunching, is produced with wall thicknesses of 5mm to 8mm.

4mm, for lighter weight. The reel is intended for use to ship wire from the plant to the end user of the wire, and for single use. SW-single wall is available in a range of sizes, as per DIN standard or customized individual dimensions, and can be epoxy or powder painted as required. Combining for a smaller cable Prysmian Group has launched what is believed to be the world’s first commercially available 180µm fiber cable, combining its BendBrightXS 180µm fiber and Sirocco HD technologies. The Sirocco Extreme microduct cable has 288 fibers in a diameter of 6.5mm, said to represent a world record in diameter and fiber density for a blown microduct cable. With a fiber density of 8.7 fibers per 1mm 2 it is possible to install the cable into an 8mm ID duct where previously only 192 fibers could be accommodated. Using Prysmian’s PicoTube technology makes the cables up to 40 percent smaller than Sirocco microduct cables. “Prysmian’s BendBrightXS fibers are capable of providing the necessary standardof cabledensity, andof supporting the necessary fiber spectrumdemanded by new PON technologies,” said Ian Griffiths,

S S GMP’s SW-single wall reel

It canbe suppliedwithbarrel reinforcements to increase the resistance of the reel during processing, and can be dynamically balanced if required. The transport (one- way) version has wall thicknesses of 2mm to


wiredInUSA - June 2020

director of research and development for telecom business at Prysmian.

the cable halogen-free and suitable for occupied areas.

The material is also UV and weather resistant, water resistant and flexible at low temperatures. Lapp’s initial research into DC cables, in cooperation with TU Illmenau, has shown that certain insulation materials are less suitable for permanent DC applications. Based on these findings, Lapp has developed its first DC portfolio, of which the DC Robot 900 cable is a part. Others in the range include Ölflex DC 100 with PVC insulation, suitable for fixed installation without mechanical stress; Ölflex DC Servo 700, intended for fixed installation and occasional flexible use; and Ölflex DC Chain 800 with TPE insulation, suitable for continuous movement in cable chains and linear moving machine parts. New model pays off Maillefer has unveiled a new compact fiber optic pay-off with a reduced machine footprint but designed for standard 50km reels. The new PM 265 pay-off is equipped with the same features to be found on Maillefer’s PM 305 model, offering up to 70 percent shorter set-up times.

“Bend-insensitive fiber’s resilience gives manufacturers the ability to design cabling solutions which were previously impossible to create, but are now demanded by today’s rapidly changing environments. “With their extreme fiber count and reduced diameter, Sirocco Extreme microduct cables make installation faster, more cost effective and environment-friendly. “Designed for installation into microducts, they are perfectly fit for blowing in high density access, FTTx and 5G networks and offer a scalable solution.” DC range Lapp has developed its first robot cable, specifically designed for use with direct current (DC). The key features of the Ölflex DC Robot 900 connecting cable are its torsional and bending strength, and a core color coding that conforms to DIN EN 60445 (VDE 0197):2018-02 standard for DC cables. Fiber counts over 288 will bemade available later in the year.

Insulation of the cores is made of TPE, with the sheath made from PUR, making

This high speed motor driven fiber pay-off has beendeveloped for use inawidevariety

wiredInUSA - June 2020




33 36 36 37 20 41 18 14 33 14 36 13 31 20 42 37 15 43 27 35 32 31 38 30 22 11 37 44


42 26

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company Abu Dhabi Power Corporation

Liberty Steel

LS Cable & System

30, 32

ACWA Power Advaris USA

Madison Gas and Electric Co



44 11 41 11 32 32


MFL Group

Allied Wire & Cable

Mill-Max Manufacturing Morgan-Koch Corporation

American Electric Power



Black Hills Energy

Ningbo Orient Wires & Cables


NKT HV Cables

32, 33


Ormat Technologies Inc

16 37


PNG Dataco

Direct Wire & Cable

Prysmian Group

32, 43



45 31 38

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

Rystad Energy

The Edge Group

Suez Canal Economic Zone Sumitomo Electric Industries


32, 38


Swan Hunter

29 22

HBIS Shijiazhuang Iron and Steel Co

Tennessee Valley Authority

Hellenic Cables


30, 32

Hoa Phat


32 36 21 30 15 14 32

Intel Corporation Jan De Nul Group

Toho International Inc US Steel Corporation

Knoxville Utilities Board


Koch Machinery and Technology GmbH

West Penn Wire Wood Americas

Kumul Submarine Cable Network


Zhongtian Technology Submarine Cable

wiredInUSA - June 2020


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