The Prysmian Group announced that it is working with Dutch operator KPN in a pilot project involving a fiber optic network that will use 90% recycled plastic.
A press release said that KPN will be the first telecommunications firm in Europe to use the new Prysmian cable concept to install connections for its customers. The sustainable solution uses Prysmian’s Sirocco HD 96f cable, launched earlier this year, and thinner Easenet tubes. The 4.5-mm diameter cable in a 10-mm sleeve can replace the use of a conventional 6-mm cable in a 14-mm sleeve. That advance alone guarantees an approximately 50% reduction in the volume of plastic used. Also, the smaller diameters allow a greater length of cable to be supplied on a single reel, significantly reducing costs in terms of transport, storage and packaging.
The pilot projects will be developed in the Netherlands, in Buitenpost (Friesland) and Nijmegen. Further advantages are expected to emerge during the installation, such as less excavation works required at the network concentration points, leading to less soil to be removed and processed.
“This project is yet another demonstration of Prysmian’s commitment to developing innovative and sustainable quality broadband networks,” said Prysmian Group Vice President Toni Bosch. “With the world’s ever-increasing demand for information, this innovative solution enables the use of smaller trenches for new installations, resulting in lower installation costs and the use of less raw materials. This provides benefits in terms of both the total cost of network deployment and the environmental footprint.”
The new cables and tubes require about half the usual raw materials (plastic or PE) of conventional cabling. Beside these direct savings, the new concept offers an indirect environmental advantage since over 90% of the tubes are manufactured using high-quality recycled PE. This immediately translates into a reduction of the carbon emissions and ultimately of end-of-life waste. In addition, Prysmian expects to achieve a further reduction of carbon emissions through savings on logistics, storage, and packaging materials, which will be evaluated in a real-life test for KPN.
Industry News (253)
The Prysmian Group announced that it is working with Dutch operator KPN in a pilot project involving a fiber optic network that will use 90% recycled plastic.
Germany’s NKT announced that, due to growing demand for power cables in the offshore industry, the company is increasing its capacity to transport and store offshore power cables from its factory in Cologne.
A press release said that due to the positive market outlook and a strong order backlog, NKT is investing in a new specially designed barge for use on the river Rhine to increase cable transportation capacity and enhance the security of delivery from its manufacturing site in Cologne. NKT will also increases capacity at its logistical center in Rotterdam, from where the offshore cables manufactured in Cologne are loaded to cable-laying vessels.
“The investment will strengthen our position as a leading provider of offshore power cables,” said Executive Vice President Mika Makela, who is heading the manufacturing site in Cologne. The barge is designed and being built by Neptune Marine for the changing conditions of the Rhine, including its ability to operate in shallow water levels. To minimize the environmental impact, the barge is powered by green electricity during cable loading at the harbor in Cologne where the factory is also powered by electricity generated from renewable energy.
NKT is strategically well-positioned to deliver power cables for the growing offshore wind sector in the North and the Baltic Sea as well as the interconnector market driven by the transition to renewable energy across Europe. The barge is expected to be fully operational by year’s end.
LS Cable & System (LS C&S) reports that it has started mass-producing aluminum wires for electric vehicles.
Per a report in The Korea Herald, LS C&S expanded its investment in aluminum wires as it believes that aluminum will become a key material for vehicles amid growing competition in EV industries. Aluminum conductor wires are 40% lighter than conventional copper wires and can reduce the weight of wires from 25 kg per vehicle to about 15 kg, it noted.
LS C&S said it has built a factory exclusively for aluminum wire production in South Korea. The report said that it did so because if production facilities for copper and aluminum wire are combined, copper particles can corrode aluminum. Many companies in Japan are also building aluminum-only facilities.
The company said the proportion of aluminum wires in the domestic wire market will be more than 30% by 2025, up from about 5%. The firm’s aluminum wires are currently supplied to the nation’s largest automakers, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.
“Through LS Alsco, a subsidiary that specializes in the aluminum business, we can supply high-strength aluminum and produce them in batches from materials to finished wire products,” said LS Cable & System. “We are also considering additional investments as we are about to sign a supply contract with a global wiring harness company.”
U.K.-based Diploma PLC announced that it has agreed to acquire Windy City Wire (WCW), a U.S.-based manufacturer and distributor of low voltage wire and cable, for approximately $465 million.
Per a report by Reuters, the deal calls for an initial payment of about $450 million, and a later payment of $15 million if conditions are met. Based in Bolingbrook, Illinois, WCW has an additional 18 locations nationwide.
Per a report in proactiveinvestors.co.uk, “WCW, whose management team will stay with the business, enhances Diploma’s existing position in the controls market, ‘with a core product we understand,’ and offers ‘exciting organic growth potential taking market share in structurally attractive end segments.’”
Graycliff Partners LP announced that it has completed its acquisition of Gerard Daniel Worldwide, a leading manufacturer and distributor of wire mesh and other wire products.
A press release said that Gerard Daniel, founded in 1952, has grown from a domestic reseller of wire mesh into a full-service manufacturer and distributor of more than 5,000 wire mesh and related products to over 3,000 customers worldwide. The company’s products are used for filtration, sound suppression, heat dispersion and electro-chemical applications, and sold into end markets such as automotive, aerospace, energy, pharmaceutical, electronics, food and general manufacturing. Based in Hanover, Pennsylvania, the company serves its global customer base from 11 manufacturing and distribution facilities in the U.S., Canada and Ireland.
“Gerard Daniel has evolved into an impressive global competitor in wire mesh applications over its history,” said Graycliff Partners Managing Director Andrew Trigg. He observed that being part of Graycliff Partners will enable Gerard Daniels to deepen its “operational efficiencies through data and digital investments, expansion into new technologies like synthetic materials and applications, and effectuate and integrate strategic acquisitions.”
“We realized ... it was the right time to capitalize on the market potential by bringing on a financial partner,” said Gary Shultis, shareholder and Gerard Daniel’s former CEO of 35 years. Gerard Daniel is the initial investment in Graycliff’s fourth private equity fund.
LLFlex reports that it has acquired the wire and cable metal armoring tapes slitting division of Web Industries, an international materials converter and contract manufacturer.
A press release said that the deal includes the slitting and related assets for the production of coated and uncoated copper and aluminum cable wraps and armor tapes. The acquisition bolsters the capacity and capabilities of the state-of-the-art production cell at LLFlex’s new High Point, North Carolina manufacturing facility. That, it said, includes the industry’s largest diameter coils.
Incorporating Web Industries’ infrastructure furthers the new site’s position as a “Global Cable Wrap Center of Excellence,” the release said. “Combined with Foreign Trade Zone status and flexible shipping options, including plans to launch its own shipping truck fleet later this year, the move helps make LLFlex a turnkey, single-point provider for all cable wrap needs.”
“LLFlex can now provide the widest range of coated and bare steel, copper and aluminum cable wraps and armoring solutions in the marketplace,” said company CEO Victor Dixon. “These unique assets and capabilities make LLFlex even more versatile with the technical leadership, expanded product range and global supply chain network to develop, produce and deliver new, innovative products for evolving industry needs.”
The release said that the new plant includes several innovations. One of those is that LLFlex is initiating a groundbreaking touchless packaging process that eliminates edge damage due to manual handling, and pioneering a slitting technology that results in flat edges for improved processing and weldability on cable lines.
At press time, the new plant was scheduled to commence wide-scale production in a very short time. The release said that the North Carolina facility has seen a steady march of progress toward its official opening. That includes installation of temperature and humidity controls, site certification to operate as a Foreign Trade Zone, hiring of skilled staff and a production manager, docking and loading bay construction, wiring the facility for industrial-grade electricity bandwidth and testing the plant’s ERP system as being a GMP compliant, ISO 9001:2015 accredited plant.
Egyptian ICT infrastructure provider Benya Capital recently has signed a contract with the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation (AOI) to establish what was described as the largest fiber-optic cable factory in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).
A press release said that the plant, expected to cost over EGP 1 billion, will be built on a large site at the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone). A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the AOI, Benya Capital (formerly known as Fiber Misr) and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport (AASTMT).
The three entities will team up for Artificial Intelligence (AI) projects and training in installation, and operation and maintenance of fiber networks. AOI chairperson Abdel Moneim Al-Tarras said the factory will provide many job opportunities for young engineers and technicians, as well as training in the latest fiber-optic cable technologies. He said that the AOI aims to establish a national industry that meets local market needs in terms of communications infrastructure. It will also serve Egypt’s new development projects and smart cities, in addition to opening export markets in the MEA region.
To help U.S. exhibitors affected by COVID-19 related travel restrictions, the U.S. Commercial Service in Düsseldorf has launched a booth staffing program for upcoming trade fairs that includes wire Düsseldorf and Tube Düsseldorf.
A press release said that corporate travel policies, government restrictions and quarantine requirements have made participation at trade fairs increasingly complex. If U.S. exhibitors cannot staff their booth but want to keep their brand positioned internationally and not miss business opportunities, the U.S. Commercial Service will find, train and monitor professional representatives at trade fairs in Düsseldorf.
The office has a long history of hiring articulate, motivated professionals to assist companies, explain product details, and collect business contact information from current and future business partners at trade fairs. The U.S. Commercial Service staff will: find a qualified, professional representative (REP) to staff exhibit booths; meet individually (virtually or in-person) with the REP to ensure quality standards, train on proper business contact etiquette, discuss the exhibiting firm’s products and review trade fair schedule and administrative matters; visit the REP at least once during the trade fair; check-in with the REP at the beginning/end of each trade fair day; collect business cards from the REP on the last day of the show; and discuss any key interactions, flag contacts for follow-up, scan business cards and send to home office.
The cost for the service includes direct payment to the REP (approximately 200 euros per day + local transportation costs), and a commercial service fee (U.S. small company, $600; U.S. medium company: $1,400; and U.S. large company: $1,800). To determine company size, go to www.trade.gov/us-commercial-service-user-fees, and scroll to the bottom for an explanation. For more information on the program, go to https://tinyurl.com/y2htduxl.
The service is also being offered at the Messe Düsseldorf fairgrounds to Caravan Salon, MEDICA, COMPAMED and Valve World Expo.
Google has announced plans in a YouTube video that it plans to build a new submarine fiber optic cable connecting the
United States and Europe.
Per the report, the Grace Hopper Cable, named after a computer programming pioneer and Rear-Admiral in the United
States Navy, will be equipped with 16 fiber pairs that will incorporate advances in optical fiber switching. This will allow
for increased reliability in global communications by enabling Google to move traffic around if demand changes or if
there are connectivity issues. The company said that this is the first time this technology has been deployed and is part of
what makes Grace Hopper so unique, and noted that Google is continuously working to advance technologies like this to
improve subsea network resiliency.
The Grace Hopper Cable will run from the U.S. to the U.K. and Spain. Google customers will benefit from this cable by
better network resilience and reliability. It will join the other private cables that are part of Google’s network: Curie,
Dunant and Equiano. It will further connect Google Cloud regions and Google’s customers to one another.
When it is completed in 2022, the Grace Hopper cable will be one of only a handful of new cables to connect the U.S.
and the U.K. since 2003, when the transatlantic route was saturated by overbuilding during the cable boom around the
turn of the century. It will also mark the first investment by Google in a subsea cable network to Spain.
The Grace Hopper Cable will also be better able to connect America, the U.K. and the rest of Europe with the Equiano
cable, which is currently under construction between Portugal and the West Coast of Africa. It will increase capacity on
this busy transatlantic global crossroad and power Google services such as Meet, Gmail and Google Cloud. It will be
Google’s fourth wholly owned cable. In addition to these private cables, the company is also a member of a number of
consortiums that jointly operate cables around the world. In total, Google has now announced investments in 5 subsea
Nexans announced the sale of two companies that were planned prior to Covid-19, as well as steps that have been taken in response to the effects of the virus that has uprooted much of the world.
In its mid-year financial report, Nexans announced that it has agreed to sell Berk-Tek, a U.S.-based manufacturer of local area network cables, for $202 million, to Leviton Network Solutions. Berk-Tek is a leading manufacturer of local area network copper and fiber cables. Berk-Tek’s 350 employees, as well as its facilities located in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, are expected to move under Leviton ownership before the end of Q3-2020 subject to customary closing conditions.
“This transaction is a natural step in reinforcing the Berk-Tek and Leviton marketing alliance signed in 2013. The combination of both innovative, reliable and service-oriented brands will enable Leviton Network Solutions to offer fully integrated solutions,” the release said. The transaction has an enterprise value of US$202 million. Berk-Tek reported sales for US$163 million in 2019.
“Berk-Tek is a highly respected North American cabling company with exceptional manufacturing and product development capabilities,” said Leviton President Daryoush Larizadeh. “By adding Berk-Tek to the Leviton family, we will be able to provide truly end-to-end solutions to our customers.” “Our Berk-Tek colleagues will join a long-term partner with the best strategic fit to answer customers’ demand around connectivity,” said Nexans CEO Christopher Guérin.
The second sale was for Nexans Metallurgie Deutschland GmbH (NMD), which specializes in oxygen-free copper drawing, to Mutares SE & Co. KGaA. The plant has annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons. NMD has 250 employees at two German sites in Bramsche and Neunburg. It serves first and second tier customers for automotive, white goods and industrial applications.
Mutares acquires and develops medium-sized industrial companies and operations of large corporations.
U.K.-based JDR Cable Systems, Inc. (JDR) has begun construction on a new 65,000-sf-ft U.S. headquarters on a 10-acre site in Tomball, Texas, that will combine three sites that were leased.
Per an article in the Houston Business Chronical that had information provided by JDR, a business of Poland’s TFKable, the site will be used to design and manufacture products for the oil and gas industry. The project, scheduled for completion in the first half of 2021, will allow JDR to expand its intervention workover control systems (IWOCS) rental business to support current demand.
The three leased locations collectively accounted for about 30,000 sq ft of space in northwest Houston. The new facility will include 45,000 sq ft of assembly and testing space, including a 60-ton overhead crane, and 20,000 sq ft of two-story office space. The site will see engineering and management for global projects, assembly of various oil field equipment and support for JDR’s offshore service business. Once the facility is complete, JDR plans to hire additional engineers and service technicians to expand its local presence. It will move 45 existing employees into the new facility and then hire five to 10 employees per year over the next five years.
“Beginning construction of our new Houston headquarters marks a significant milestone for our U.S. business,” said JDR General Manager Brian Davis.
The PolyOne Corporation, a leading global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and sustainable solutions, has completed its purchase of the color masterbatch businesses of Clariant and Clariant Chemicals India Ltd. PolyOne also announced that it has changed its name and will now be called Avient.
“We proudly welcome our newest associates and valued customers from Clariant Masterbatch,” said Avient President and CEO Robert M. Patterson. “They are joining us on Day 1 of this new era for our company, which as of today will be named Avient. Under this new brand, we bring two global leaders together to create a specialty company focused on sustainable solutions for our customers, being a great place to work for our associates, and creating value for all stakeholders.”
The Clariant Masterbatch business includes 46 manufacturing operations and technology centers in 29 countries and approximately 3,500 employees, who will join Avient’s Color, Additives and Inks segment.
“With this acquisition, Avient now expects over 85% of adjusted EBITDA to be generated from specialty applications,” said Patterson. “This is up from less than 10% when our specialty journey began over a decade ago. While we honor the legacies of our past organizations, under our new name Avient, we come together and look to the future as a world-class sustainable organization.”