Free* R&D funding: are you missing out?

Page 1






R&D FUNDING Are you missing out?


Quality Compounding for the Wire & Cable Industry

ECC offers a broad portfolio of customized elastomeric or polyolefin based compounds utilized for medium/high voltage as well as certain low voltage flame retardant applications including: • EPR and Polyolefin Compounds • Elastomeric, Crosslinkable, and Thermoplastic Compounds • Flame Retardant and Halogen Free Compounds • Moisture Crosslinkabe Compounds • Specialty/Custom/FR Masterbatches • Insulation, Jacketing, and Bedding Compounds 108 Rado Drive, Naugatuck, CT 06770 USA Tel: +1 203-723-2590

• ISO 9001 certified manufacturing process ensures quality, efficiency and ultimately customer satisfaction. • Non-carbon black product lines produce super-clean, elastomeric high voltage cable compounds. • Personalized customer service and support to customers worldwide.






R&D FUNDING Are you missing out?



GW Series

Thermoplastic Elastomer Compounds

Specialty Flame Retardant PVC Compounds



Low Smoke Halogen Free Compounds

Low Smoke Plenum Compounds


United States


+44 (0) 01664 882462

+1 888 540 9074

+91 75067 19580

Look out, world.




Tangle-free, twist-free and rotation-free payout is now available for more products than ever before.

New G2 Traverse Technology makes REELEX tangle and twist-free payout a reality for building wires, MTW, hookup wires, industrial control cables, bare wires and much more.

Learn more at:




I N C.

QUALITY AND RELIABILITY In our 50 years in business, Rainbow has developed a proven track record of quality and reliability in our industry.

113 Dries Road • Reading, PA 19605 888-438-2446 •

2018 marks our 50th anniversary, and we invite you to celebrate this occasion with us and explore ways Rainbow can assist you and your business as we move into our next 50 years. Rainbow Rubber & Plastics is the leading supplier of caterpuller and capstan belts for both original equipment manufacturers and wire and cable producers in North & South America. Our technical staff is available for in-plant visits to help assess and eliminate belt related issues. Contact us today to set up an assessment.


Volume 51 | No. 12 | December 2018

IN EVERY ISSUE Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Industry News . . . . . . . . . . . 1 0


Patent Report . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 0


Asian Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 4 People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 6


Fiber Watch . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1

Free* R&D funding: are you missing out?. . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Fastener Update . . . . . . . . . . 3 2 WAI News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 4 Chapter Corner. . . . . . . . . . . 3 8 Technical Papers . . . . . . 5 6 - 6 9

In any field, the concept of introducing cutting-edge innovation may be utterly desirable, but it can also be daunting. Evolving an idea into reality takes some serious R&D, and few small companies are anxious to go that direction, especially as the brightest of ideas can also be the riskiest. This feature looks at the possibilities of an outside partner, one you might not have considered.

Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 0 Classified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 9 Career Opportunities . . . . . . 7 9 Advertisers’ Index . . . . . . . . . 8 0


January 2019 • Manufacturing Focus • Report to Members

TECHNICAL PAPERS Moving toward visible difference and beyond: imaging-based surface quality control for rod and wire Tzyy-Shuh Chang, Howard Huang and Jianjun Shi. . . . 56 Capital projects and continuous improvement at Sterling Steel Company Nichole Garza and Andrew Bettin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


COVER * The asterisk on the cover should not be a surprise to anyone who has ever had to deal with a comprehensive application process. In this case, considerable internal resources are required, but if a concept is truly innovative, the effort may worthwhile. DECEMBER 2018 | 3



38 Poland Chapter continues tech focus The Poland Chapter of WAI may be the smallest active unit, but it has proved over the years to be a leader in terms of staging technical events. Its latest seminar, its 10th, was recently held at the Hotel Ostaniec in Podlesice, Poland. Above, Chapter President Jan Pilarczyk— a past Mordica Memorial Award winner—welcomes the more than 90 participants who hailed from some 40 companies and universities.


39 WAI’s New England Chapter will be celebrating its founding 25 years ago How quickly time passes by. Chartered in 1994, WAI’s New England Chapter, the Association’s first and largest, will celebrate its 25-year milestone when it returns to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, to hold its annual meeting on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Chapter officials expect the event to be very well attended.




Looking for help in all the right places A few years ago, when my son started college to pursue an engineering degree, I gave him a bracelet with a medallion that had two engraved words: “What if.” I’m sure he would have preferred a new car, but the idea, I said, was that whatever direction he would someday take, he should look beyond just what is done and expected, and consider what could be. That mindset ties into the feature in this issue, as it, too, looks at what else may be possible. Lots of ideas can arise for wire and cable manufacturers, but R&D is a risky path as the outcome is unknown. Yet, if a company has a concept—one that is truly innovative, not just incremental—free R&D funding may be feasible. The feature that begins on p. 40 looks at those possibilities. R&D awards may seem implausible for many companies, but it has been done, as seen in some of the funded industry projects that are presented. Even if a company lacks the technical resources, it may be possible to partner. Taking a “what if” approach to at least explore future possibilities and directions would seem to be time well spent.

Kudos to 2 WAI chapters Stories on pp. 38-39 are worth a read as the stories reaffirm the value of WAI’s chapters. One is about the Poland Chapter, which is small in number (less than 10) but big in terms of activity. Led by President Jan Pilarczyk, a past winner of WAI’s Mordica Memorial Award, the chapter organized its 10th seminar on Oct. 11-12 at the Hotel Ostaniec in Podlesice, Poland, where it was attended by more than 90 participants from 40 companies and institutions. The chapter also helps organize a larger event, and its 8th Conference on Drawing is scheduled for Nov. 7-9, 2019. The other is the New England Chapter, the Association’s largest and oldest such body, which at its annual meeting—set for Thursday, Jan. 24—will celebrate the creation of the chapter 25 years ago. The chapter has had a legacy of activity. Its annual golf tournament has been an ongoing success, one that helps fund a very solid scholarship program that has grown considerably over the years, both in the number and amounts of awards. The chapter has held regional education events and tours, and beyond that, many individual members have been active as contributors and presenters at Association events.

Mark Marselli Editor-in-chief


With highspeed to the highest quality With passion, we develop future-oriented measuring and control devices for quality assurance of cables, such as the X-RAY 8000 ADVANCED. An X-ray measuring system for medium, high, and extra-high voltage cables in CCV, VCV, and MDCV lines. - State-of-the-art High Speed Technology (HST) with 10 times faster recording of measuring data for centering without delay - Fast control, optimized start-up process - XLL (eXtra Long Life) X-ray tubes for highest reliability and long life - Ceramic windows for a safe long-term operation without cleaning, combined with NTX windows (NonToxic X-ray, non Beryllium) - Ensurance of the highest cable quality at maximum material and cost savings Visit us at Advanced Cable North America March 18-20, 2019 Charlotte, NC, USA


CALENDAR MAY 13-16, 2019: Interwire 2019 & WAI’s 89th Annual Convention Atlanta, Georgia, USA. This WAI event, to be held at the Georgia World Congress Center, includes its trade show, technical programs and 89th Annual Convention. Also, WAI’s 3rd Global Continuous Casting Forum. Co-located with IFMSA. JUNE 18-20, 2019: wire Russia 2019 Moscow, Russia. This event will be held at the EXPOCENTRE in Krasnaya Presnya. Contact: Messe Düsseldorf North America, tel. 312-781-5180,, JUNE 2019: Wire & Cable Guangzhou 2019 Guangzhou, China, This event will be held at the China Import and Export Fair Complex. Contact Guangzhou Guangya Messe Frankfurt Co. Ltd., tel. 86-20-3825 1558, SEPT. 17-19, 2019: wire Southeast Asia Bangkok, Thailand. This event will be held at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC), it is organized by Messe Düsseldorf. Contact: Messe Düsseldorf North America, tel. 312-781-5180,, SEPT. 29-OCT. 2, 2019: 68th IWCS International Cable & Connectivity Symposium Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. Contact: Michelle Melsop, IWCS,, OCT. 1-3, 2019: wire South America São Paulo, Brazil. This event will be held at the São Paulo Expo Exhibition & Convention Center. Contact: Messe Düsseldorf North America, tel. 312-781-5180,,

OCT. 1-3, 2019: SMI Metal Engineering eXpo 2019 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. To be held at The David L. Lawrence Convention Center, this event is organized by The Spring Manufacturers Institute (SMI). Contact: OCT. 21-22, 2019: Wire & Cable Verona 2019 Verona, Italy. To be held at the Palazzo Della Gran Guardia, this event is organized by ACIMAF and WAI with support from IWMA. Contact: Marc Murray, NOV. 6-8, 2019: Cable & Wire Fair New Delhi, India. This event will be held at the Pragati Maidan. Contact: Tulip 3P Media Pvt. Ltd., tel. 91-99999-35011/22/44, MARCH 30-APRIL 3, 2020: wire Düsseldorf 2020 Düsseldorf, Germany. This biennial event will be held at the Messe fairgrounds. Contact: Messe Düsseldorf North America, tel. 312-781-5180,, JUNE 2-4, 2020: WAI Operations Summit & Wire Expo Uncasville, Connecticut, USA. This WAI event, to be held at the Mohegan Sun, will include its trade show, operational programs and WAI’s 90th Annual Convention. The conference is June 2-4, and the trade show is June 3-4. OCT. 11-OCT. 14, 2020: 69th IWCS International Cable & Connectivity Symposium Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Contact: Michelle Melsop, IWCS,,

WIRE ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL EVENTS JAN. 24, 2019: New England Chapter Annual Meeting Uncasville, Connecticut, USA. Contact: Shannon Timme, tel. 203-453-2777, ext. 126, See p. 39.

event, to be held at the Georgia World Congress Center, includes its trade show, technical programs and 89th Annual Convention. Also, WAI’s 3rd Global Continuous Casting Forum. Co-located with IFMSA.

MAY 13-16, 2019: Interwire 2019 & WAI’s 89th Annual Convention Atlanta, Georgia, USA. This WAI

OCT. 21-22, 2019: Wire & Cable Verona 2019 Verona, Italy. To be held at the Palazzo Della Gran Guardia, this


event is organized by ACIMAF and WAI with support from IWMA. Contact: Marc Murray, JUNE 2-4, 2020: WAI Operations Summit & Wire Expo Uncasville, Connecticut, USA. See above.


INDUSTRY NEWS Radix Wire acquired by equity fund Radix Wire has been acquired by High Road Capital, a U.S. private equity fund that has completed 44 such investments in companies based in the U.S. and Canada. A press release said that the company, which manufactures high-temperature and fire-resistant wire and cable, will now be called Radix Wire & Cable (RWC). Founded in 1944, the company’s brands include Sil-A-Blend®, DuraBlend®, DuraFlex® and the first 550°C UL-listed wire.

Radix Wire & Cable is now part of High Road Capital. Per the RWC website, it uses cell manufacturing to focus complete production responsibility with specific production teams. Its wire and cable products are used for OEM, maintenance, repair and operations, and fire protection applications, with products proven to perform in temperatures ranging from 150°C to 1000°C. The release did not cite the selling price, but notes that High Road Capital typically backs companies with revenues of $10 million to 100 million. “Radix is well positioned for continued growth, and we look forward to supporting the company’s strong management team to execute on those growth strategies,” said Ben Schnakenberg, a partner with High Road Capital. Radix President Steve Demko, who along with other members of the management team invested in the transaction, will continue to lead the company. It added that High Road’s investment will allow Radix to expand its product offering and add manufacturing capacity.

LS Cable selected for project in Oman South Korea’s LS Cable & System (LSCS) reports that it will join a project in Oman being financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). A press release said that the project, to build a broadband communications network in Oman, is led by its government and state-run mobile operator Oman BroadBand. This marks the first time that the broadband project is being carried out at a national level.

The release said that by 2021, the first stage of the project, worth approximately $178 million, will be completed in key cities, including Muscat, the capital and largest city of Oman. By 2030, the network will be expanded to other cities in the second stage of the project. Per an AIIB report, the project will roll out a fiber optic network to more than 400,000 homes/premises by the end of 2021. The first phase calls for some 4,100 km of fiber optic cables and some 9,500 km of drop cables. When completed, 80% of Muscat will be fiber-ready for connection with the gigabit-capable optical networks. “The project will improve Oman’s infrastructure in the information and communication technology sector, thereby increasing the attractiveness of Oman as a destination for manufacturing business and strategic logistics services,” it said. LSCS will lead the design of the communications network, the engineering and supplying fiber optic cables, the release said. It noted that LSCS has carried out large projects near Qatar in the Middle East, with support from related organizations, including bodies such as KOTRA, a South Korean trade organization, and the Korea Information & Communication Contractors Association.

Earlier this year, LSCS reported that it won its largest ever power cable contract in Australia, via a deal with Western Power of Australia. “It is a significant achievement for LS Cable & System to be listed as a preferred supplier within only two years of establishing a subsidiary in the country.” “Our strategy of strengthening the competitiveness of each overseas base through swift response to changes in the global market environment is producing results,” said LSCS CEO Roe-hyun Myung. He added, “We expect to expand our presence in the Australia market.” The release said that LSCS has accelerated its overseas presence by establishing production bases for power cables, optical cables and electric vehicle parts in the U.S., Myanmar, France and Poland.

Got news? E-mail it to the WJI at 10 | WIRE JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL

ArcelorMittal announced that it has completed its acquisition of troubled Italian steel giant Ilva SpA, which it will now operate as AM Investco Italy Srl. A press release said that ArcelorMittal is the principal partner in AM Investco with a 94.4% equity stake in the consortium, the rest held by Banca Intesa Sanpaolo. Ilva will form a new business cluster within ArcelorMittal Europe - Flat Products, and be known as ArcelorMittal Italia. Those operations include production of wire rod. “Closing the acquisition of Ilva is an important strategic step for ArcelorMittal,” said company Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal. “ Ilva is a quality asset that provides a unique opportunity to expand and strengthen our European presence by acquiring Europe’s single-largest steelmaking site. ... “We have a strong history of rehabilitating under-performing assets. I am confident that we will prove successful in restoring Ilva’s operational, financial and environmental performance and ... create value for our company, Ilva’s stakeholders and the Italian economy.”

SMS to upgrade POSCO wire rod mill South Korea’s SMS Group has won a contract from Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO)—the fifth largest steel producer in the world and the largest in South Korea—to modernize its existing wire rod mill at its Pohang works.


ArcelorMittal completes Ilva acquisition

From l-r, Nam Kyu Go, EPI Procurement Section, POSCO; David Maurizio, area manager, sales, SMS; Hee-Jea Lee, plant, equipment & materials procurement office, POSCO; and Pierluigi Fenati, legal & compliance, SMS. A press release said that the project calls for the replacement of some equipment along the mill (an existing descaler and an additional one on the rolling mill), a new cropping shear, a shiftable water cooling line, pouring reel machines with walking beam conveyor, cooling fans and hoods assuring in-line treatment of coils. The plant now produces 540,000 tons per year of wire rod and bar-in-coils for automotive applications from 14 up to 42 mm, with coils up to two tons.

Wire & cable in the news Small island has had big power woes; need exists for a second cable supply Power is both a necessity and a challenge for Guernsey, an island of a little more than 30 sq miles that is located in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. For a tiny territory, it has had more than its fair share of power woes. A power cable jointly owned asset by Jersey Electricity and Guernsey Electricity failed on Oct. 1, and at press time the “why” was still under Guernsey Electricity CEO Alan Bates. investigaPhoto by Peter Frankland. tion, as was who would be responsible for funding the repair under the Channel Island electricity grid. The fault was at Greve de Lecq in Jersey, a small bay between the parishes of St. Mary and St. Ouen. It was hoped the power would be back on by or before early December.

For now, an on-island generator is the sole producer of the island’s electricity. As of the latest report, some 6,000 metric tons of oil had been consumed, making it a “significantly” more expensive short-term solution. The power cable experience continues to be a case of good news, bad news. The bad news was that in 2012, the same cable failed in the water at a depth of 60 meters, and it took around six months and £8 million to repair it. The good news was that the earlier outage was covered by insurance because the outage was caused by a third party. The good news about the latest outage is that the outage is not in the water, and may only cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to repair. The bad news is that some 300 tons of sand had to be excavcated and stored to allow repairs to be made. Worse, this time, there is no “third party,” and thus no insurance coverage, and the residents may be stuck with paying at least a portion of the costs. Guernsey, which has a population of about 65,000, is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, and is not part of the U.K. Guernsey Electricity has apologized for the disruption but says that the system failure “reinforces the need for Guernsey to have a second subsea electricity cable connection.”

DECEMBER 2018 | 11


“This latest modernization project further underlines SMS group’s upgrade expertise and its position as a leading supplier of rolling mills for quality steels in all size ranges,” the release said. The SMS Group, a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry, has some 14,000 employees. The sole owner of the holding company SMS GmbH is the Familie Weiss Foundation.

JDR to supply 100 km of cables for world’s largest offshore wind farm U.K.-based JDR Cable Systems (JDR) reports that it has won a multi-million pound contract to supply inter-array cables and termination work for Ørsted’s record-breaking, 1.4 GW offshore wind farm, Hornsea Project Two. A press release said that, when operational in 2022, the wind farm will supply electricity to over 1.3 million homes, and surpass its sister project, Hornsea One, as the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The contract calls for JDR, part of Poland’s TFKable Group, to supply 100 km of inter-array cables that will be assembled in JDR’s Hartlepool facility. The inter-array cables link the wind farm turbines together, and carry the power to an offshore substation, which converts it to a higher voltage for transmission to shore. The project, the release said, is Ørsted’s first in the U.K. to use 66 kV for its array cables, having used 33kV for previous projects. Using cables with a higher voltage helps to reduce electrical losses during transmission. “This contract builds on experience from previous projects including Race Bank offshore wind farm, which we opened earlier this year, and Hornsea Project One, currently in construction,” said Patrick Harnett, the procurement and construction director for the project. “As our wind farm projects have grown in size, and distance from shore, so too have the contracts we place within the supply chain. The technology we use is also changing as we innovate to build these projects at massively lower cost of electricity into the U.K.’s grid.” JDR CEO Richard Turner said that, “Hornsea Project Two ... will be built at the lowest ever price seen in the U.K.”

Prysmian wins cable contract from utility company for Singapore project The Prysmian Group has won a contract from utility SP Power Assets Limited, worth an estimated €33 million, for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of two high-voltage power cable systems to connect the Rangoon and Paya Lebar substations in Singapore. A press release said that the power transmission system will require 44 km of HVAC (High Voltage Alternating Current) underground 2000-sq-mm 230 kV cables with a seamless corrugated aluminum sheath and related high-voltage accessories. Cable and accessories will be supplied by the Chinese subsidiary through its recently opened state-of-the-art factory which offers the APAC utilities market a wide range of high- and extra-high voltage cable technologies, as well as medium-voltage solutions and fire-protection cables.

Prysmian will supply 44 km of high-voltage cable to connect two substations in Singapore. The EPCI type contract will highlight the Groups’ ability to provide a comprehensive package of services and to deliver a complete cable system solution. That includes installation in a 50-m deep tunnel in water-cooled troughs and supply of auxiliary cables (telephone and LV cables), fiber optic cable and DTS (Distributed Temperature Sensor) for distributed temperature sensing of power cables. Delivery and commissioning of this project is scheduled for 2020. “This is a strategic project for Prysmian, marking the Group’s involvement for the first time in many years in a project of this size in the APAC region, which also involves the supply of locally manufactured products and solutions. We have secured this EHV project in Singapore thanks to our extensive knowledge, our high-performance cable solutions and our new cable factory in China, reflecting SP Power Assets Limited’s confidence in Prysmian capabilities in the ASEAN region,” said Hakan Ozmen, EVP Projects, Prysmian Group.

NKT reports contract for 36 km of HV cable for Demark-Sweden link

JDR Cable will provide the inter-array cables for Hornsea Project 2. 12 | WIRE JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL

NKT announced that it has won a turn-key order for 36 km of power cable, worth approximately 22 million euros, to replace the existing 400 kV high-voltage AC interconnector system between Denmark and Sweden. A press release said that the order, won in a consortium with VBMS B.V., consists of design, production and

NKT will make 36 km of high-voltage AC cable at its plant for a Swedish national grid operator. installation of four 400 kV high-voltage power cables as well as removal of the old system. The interconnector system across the sea of Öresund ensuring efficient power transmission between Denmark and Sweden needs to be replaced as the original cables were installed in 1973. The power link, owned by the Swedish national grid operator Svenska kraftnät, plays an important role in maintaining the high transmission security of the two countries, the release said. “We are looking forward to continuing the close relationship with Svenska kraftnät and Energinet.

AMSC to supply its superconductor technology for electric grid in Chicago U.S.-based AMSC reports that it has entered into an agreement with ComEd, which delivers electricity to more than four million customers in northern Illinois, to deploy its high-temperature superconductor technology for use in an upgrade to its electric grid in Chicago. A press release said that the project is funded, in part, by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and


EJR Dual (3) and Triple (1) Head Taping Lines TPR383, TPR385, TPR387, TPR388

Rosendahl 45mm/30mm/18mm Foam Extrusion Line EXPL437

Dynamex 30” (4) and 36” (1) Single Twist Cablers CBR1316, CBR1319, CBR1327

Davis Standard 4½” Extrusion Line EXPL438

37W (1+6+12+18) 16” Planetary Cabling Line


Nanyang 16 and 24 Carrier Spirka Style Braiders BRD500 (16), BRD501 (30)


Visit to view our complete inventory or contact us at TEL: +1.860.583.4646

DECEMBER 2018 | 13


With this order we continue to maintain market traction and underlining our strong position in the high-voltage market,” said NKT Executive Vice President Andreas Berthou, who heads high-voltage solutions. The power cables are to be manufactured next year at the NKT factory in Karlskrona, Sweden, with the project scheduled for completion in 2020. NKT will handle the cable design, manufacturing and the onshore installation, while Boskalis will retrieve and recycle the old oil-filled cables and do the offshore part of the cable installation. The announcement of the award of the Öresund connection is the latest from NKT, which recently also announced high-voltage cable orders for the U.K. offshore wind farms Hornsea 2 and Triton Knoll as well as for the oil platform Johan Sverdrup 2 in Norway.


Technology Directorate initiative to secure the nation’s electric grid against extreme weather or other catastrophic events. It is structured as a cost-sharing arrangement among AMSC, ComEd and DHS. The agreement, which includes commercial terms and is subject to DHS approval, will mark the first installation of AMSC’s Resilient Electric Grid (REG) system in Chicago, and it is expected to become a permanent part of Chicago’s power grid. The REG system uses AMSC’s high temperature superconductor technology and, under the terms of the agreement between AMSC and ComEd, will link existing electric power infrastructure within the city, the release said. The key component is AMSC’s Amperium® wire, which it noted combines with other sub-system design elements to increase the reliability, redundancy, and resiliency of urban power grids, greatly reducing the impact of equipment failure due to aging, cyber threats, physical disasters, or weather-related events.

Pioneer Holding reported to be seeking to buy the rest of Electro Cable Egypt Egypt’s Pioneers Holding said on Sunday it has made an offer to acquire all of Electro Cable Egypt through one of its subsidiaries. There are several media reports that Pioneers Holding, which owns 48.5% of Electro Cable Egypt, which was described as one of the oldest cable companies in the Middle East, has made a bid to buy the rest of the company. At its website, Electro Cable Egypt notes that it is the largest diversified cable company in Egypt. The company, founded in 1954, produces both power cables and telecommunication cables for local markets and for export as well. Approximately two thirds of revenues are derived from power cables sales to the electricity sector. The company exports to overseas markets in Africa, Europe and Arab countries.


CommScope reports a $7.4 billion deal, its largest-ever acquisition CommScope announced plans to acquire ARRIS International, a global entertainment and communications solutions provider, for $7.4 billion in what would be its largest-ever acquisition. A press release said that once the deal is completed, “the newly combined company is expected to generate profitable growth in new markets and lead the way in wired and wireless communications.” As well as position the company to benefit from industry trends like network convergence, fibre, mobility, 5G, internet of things and the ever changing network and technology architectures. “After a comprehensive evaluation of our business and the evolving industry we operate in, we are confident that combining with ARRIS is the best path forward for CommScope to grow and provide the greatest returns for shareholders,” said CommScope President and CEO Eddie Edwards. “CommScope and ARRIS will bring together a unique set of complementary assets and capabilities that enable end-to-end wired and wireless communications infrastructure solutions that neither company could otherwise achieve on its own. With ARRIS, we will access new and growing markets, and have greater technology, solutions and employee talent that will provide additional value and benefit to our customers and partners.”


The release said that the deal will enable the combined companies to be well positioned to capitalize on industry trends, unlock high-growth segments and increase their product-addressable market, increase product offerings and R&D capabilities, and strengthen their financial profile. “CommScope is an ideal partner for ARRIS,” said ARRIS CEO Bruce McClelland. “With CommScope, we expect to further advance ARRIS’ strategy to drive innovation across our iconic brands and pioneer the standards and pathways for tomorrow’s personalized, connected always-on consumer experience.” In addition to the ARRIS acquisition, the Carlyle Group, a global asset manager, has re-established its ownership position in CommScope through a $1 billion minority equity investment as part of CommScope’s financing of the ARRIS deal. Of note, CommScope was spun off from General Instrument in 1997, the company to which Arris can trace back the heritage of the set-top box side of the business.

Integer Research is acquired by Argus U.K.-based Integer Research (Integer), which supplies subscription-based reports and consultancy and puts on industry events, has been acquired by Argus Media, a commodity price reporting agency. A press release said that Integer, which was founded in 2003 by Philip Radbourne, Oliver Hatfield and Tim Cheyne, will expand the range and depth of services that U.K.based Argus Media offers. Integer covers Integer Research principal Philip Radbourne speaking at Interwire 2015. the wire and cable industry as well as industrial chemicals and fertilizers. While based in the U.K., it has offices in Asia and Latin America. Radbourne, and other representatives from his company, frequently speak at industry events, including Interwire. He has also been part of numerous stories in WJI over the years, including a special joint report with WJI staff that ran in the January 2007 issue on the world’s top 50 cable companies that ran 29 editorial pages, by far the largest-ever feature.

DECEMBER 2018 | 15


Observed Argus Media Chairman and Chief Executive Adrian Binks, “Integer has a unique product offering and this, combined with Argus’ global reach and scale, will offer users powerful market intelligence and insight.” “This is a natural cultural and strategic fit for Integer and we are excited to build on Argus’ existing global expertise in commodity markets and leverage its technology and platform strengths to the benefit of our customers,” said Integer Managing Director Tim Cheyne. Argus is an independent media organization with almost 950 staff. It is headquartered in London and has 21 offices in the world’s principal commodity trading and production centers. Argus produces price assessments and analysis of international energy and other commodity markets, and offers bespoke consulting services and industry-leading conferences.

Chinese company orders innovative bloom caster from Italy’s Danieli China’s Maanshan has ordered a new bloom caster from Danieli that was described as being one of the most innovative such systems in China and the world. A press release said that the caster, with five strands and a 14-m nominal radius, will cast three section sizes ranging from 250 x 250 mm up to 380 x 450 mm. The product mix will include a large proportion of high-carbon grades like bearing and spring steels, which will be rolled into small bars and high-speed wire rod.

years ago and casting some of China’s best quality round blooms. Both casters will operate stirring technology which ensures the best quality for all sections and grades.

AWPA attorney updates steel wire rod tariffs, South Korea and U.K. excluded A preliminary decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) will exclude grade 1078 and higher tire cord quality wire rod from the antidumping (AD) orders on carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod from Korea and the U.K. In a press release from the American Wire Producers Association (AWPA), the Association’s legal counsel, Fred Waite, updated the status of ongoing tariffs. He said that, based on requests from substantially all domestic rod producers, Commerce has preliminarily determined to exclude grade 1078 and higher tire cord quality wire rod to be used in the production of tire cord wire from the scope of the AD orders on wire rod from Korea and the U.K. The text notes that the decision refers to wire rod with not less than 0.78% of carbon and includes but is not limited to other high carbon grades of wire rod such as Grades 1078, 1080, 1085, 1086, 1090, and 1092 that are not more than 6.0 mm that are capable of being drawn to a diameter of 0.405 mm or less. It includes a lengthy description and notes that importers of such excluded wire rod will need a certification of end use that qualifies it.

Cimteq receives investment that will bolster the company’s future growth

Maanshan and Danieli staff applaud the signing of the deal for a new bloom caster. A tundish induction heating system will control tundish steel temperatures, reducing the number of impurities in the mould, the release said. Other features include soft/ hard reduction modules capable of reaching high-reduction ratios and superior control of central porosity and segregation. The installation of twin modules, the first of its kind in China, will make it possible to limit the space between reduction rolls, increasing the number of passes and consequently achieving a greater overall reduction. The overall control of soft/hard reduction will be managed by Danieli Automation’s “Liquid Pool Control Model,” paired with L1 and L2 systems. The new caster will be installed next to another Danieli five-strand machine for round blooms, supplied seven 16 | WIRE JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL

The Foresight Group LLP (Foresight) has invested £2.5 million into Cimteq Limited (Cimteq), an infusion that “will enable the software/process control consultancy company to take the next step in its development and expansion over the next few years.” “This is an incredibly exciting time,” said Cimteq CEO Ali Shehab, who founded the company in 1998. “We are thrilled that this investment enables us to take the company into the next phase of development, with huge growth expected in the next few years.” Added company Director Amanda Shehab, “This recent development will enable us to build on the high levels of customer service we already provide and enhance our expertise in this sector.” A press release described Foresight as a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been investing in technology companies for over 30 years. It noted that Cimteq provides business software implementation and process control consultancy to the cable manufacturing industry, which it offers through its development of CableBuilder and CableMES. The company, based in Wrexham, has a global reach, delivering software solutions for the cable manufacturing industry to companies worldwide including Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Rosendahl Nextrom has acquired Weber & Scher sheathing technology

Cimteq reports that a recent investment will enable the company to expand its development and capabilities. Ali Shehab and Amanda Shehab will continue to manage the company with additional senior resources, including a highly experienced incoming non-executive chairman, Bryan Taylor, and a new Finance Director. Matthew Pomroy, Investment Manager, says “With Foresight’s support and the unique market leading software offering, coupled with the team’s exceptional expertise in the sector, we believe there is significant opportunity to grow Cimteq rapidly over the next three to five years. We

Rosendahl Nextrom announced that the company has purchased the technology for seam welded smooth and corrugated metal tape sheathing systems from Weber & Scher Mfg. Co., Inc. by means of an intellectual property agreement. A press release said that the combination of Rosendahl Nextrom’s 60-year and Weber & Scher’s more than 100-year history provides the greatest depth of knowledge and expertise to customers in the cable market. Based on the experience gained from the prestigious collective customer base of 80 completed metal tape sheathing systems worldwide, the next generation of technology is becoming available to the industry. “This transaction strengthens the company´s position as a complete turnkey system supplier,” said Rosendahl Nextrom CEOs Siegfried Altmann and Gerhard Jakopic.

Not All Cable Jacket Strippers Are Created Equal! There’s the Huestis Industrial Cable Jacket Stripper, and then you have all the rest... We have more satisfied customers than anyone else because ours works the best! Safe and quick — it protects the valuable core from damage, never allowing it to touch the blade, shielded by our patented process. Huestis Industrial machines — our performance is legendary!

Model CJS 1000

Model BJS 1000* Strippers can be customized to meet your specific requirements.

For more details or to place an order, call us at 800-972-9222, or email us at

* Model BJS 1000 is bench mounted. All other models are free standing.

ISO9001 REGISTERED Air Wipes, Pay-offs, Take-ups, Buncher Pay-offs, Cold Pressure Welders, Accumulators, Spoolers, Cable Jacket Strippers, Custom Machinery BW_2C_HUESTIS_CJS_NotAllEqual_WJI_halfHoriz_Combos_v12_03122018_press.indd 1

11/9/18 11:58:39 AM

DECEMBER 2018 | 17


are hugely excited to be part of Cimteq’s journey moving forwards.” CableMES enables manufacturers to more effectively plan, manage and control every aspect of the manufacturing process. CableBuilder simplifies the complex management of cable-design data from the initial design concept all the way through to delivering the full bill-of-materials directly to the ERP system.


“This is in line with our strong commitment to the global market segment for submarine, EHV and HV and MV cables.” “We are very pleased with and excited about this transaction,” said Greg and Doug Scher. “Within the framework of this agreement, Weber & Scher will continue to service, support and supply parts/tooling to our existing customer base with welded metal tape sheathing systems.” They noted that Weber & Scher will continue with its core business for the worldwide supply of smooth and corrugated overlapped tape sheathing systems as well as ancillary equipment, such as cable payoffs, take-ups, capstans, accumulators, taping heads, etc.

A map of the DARE 1 cable system, which was approved in 2016 and is now in a supply stage. diversified Points of Presence (PoP) with options for future connectivity via SubCom’s optical reconfigurable add/drop multiplexing (ROADM) product line. The cable will also connect to the global network via multiple cable systems in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Aluminum Association leader testifies on industry need for quota-free tariffs Representatives from Rosendahl Nextrom and Weber & Scher at the signing ceremony. Greg Sher explained that for existing customers currently in place or projects in process just prior to the signing of the purchase agreement, Weber & Scher will still support these customers with service, parts, and tooling. However, any new metal tape seam welding and corrugating equipment requests will be handled by Rosendahl along with any parts/tooling requests from new customers.”

TE SubCom reports that supply stage has started for the DARE 1 cable system TE SubCom reports that the Djibouti Africa Regional Express 1 (DARE1) submarine cable system, announced in 2016, has now entered the supply stage. A press release said that the 5,400-km route—the first step in a planned expansion into eastern Africa, which connects Djibouti (Djibouti), Mogadishu (Somalia) and Mombasa (Kenya)—will deliver up to 30 Tbps of capacity. Future options for expansion of the cable include major coastal cities in the Somali territories and other countries in East Africa and the Horn of Africa, which will provide an alternative high-capacity and low-latency route. “SubCom is pleased to be working with our DARE1 partners on this exciting project to bring significant bandwidth to the region,” said Michael Rieger, vice president, global sales, SubCom. “We continue to support our clients as they expand DARE1’s scope to realize its full service potential.” The DARE1 consortium includes Djibouti Telecom and Somtel. The DARE1 cable is configured as a three fiber pair trunk, with each fiber pair delivering a cross-sectional capacity of 150 channels at 100 Gbps. DARE1 will include 18 | WIRE JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL

During opening remarks at a Nov. 27 Capitol Hill briefing on Section 232 tariffs on aluminum and steel, Aluminum Association President & CEO Heidi Brock said that some seven months since they were imposed, the results have not been good. Below are edited excerpts. “As a result of the Section 232 tariffs, American exports and imports worth over $13 billion have been hit by tariffs just within North America. And that number rises by $500 million later this week. That’s why we believe it is vital to American workers and companies that the U.S. provide quota-free tariff exemptions to Canada and Mexico as part of the USMCA. The USMCA cannot work as intended while 232 tariffs are in place. “Our industry needs a steady source of primary aluminum from trading partners who play by the rules. The aluminum industry in the U.S. simply does not make nearly enough primary metal domestically to support the record demand for aluminum we enjoy today. Even at full capacity, the U.S. could produce less than half of all the primary aluminum we need. “The focus needs to be on China, not Canada. Acrossthe-board tariffs are not addressing the problem of China’s illegally subsidized aluminum overcapacity. We have seen very little evidence that the Section 232 tariffs are impacting behavior in China, which continues to illegally subsidize its aluminum industry. “China’s aluminum capacity has grown by 73 percent over the past five years, and an additional eight percent just this year, despite the Trump administration’s tariff regime. In fact, there is some evidence that the tariffs may actually be helping Chinese aluminum producers to enter new markets by increasing China’s price advantage over aluminum produced in North America.”





21-22 October 2019 Wire & Cable Verona 2019 unites industry experts to identify and define the most critical, global issues in wire and cable manufacture. You are invited to share your views with delegates. Submit an abstract of your proposed topic here: Event details coming soon at: WWW.WIRECABLE19.COM

Verona Arena












CET . ..



Comité Européen de la Tréfilerie




Patent REPORT Technical advances are a necessity for any industry, and to that end, companies invest considerable resources in R&D. This monthly section will list the abstracts of recently approved U.S. patents. Most are direct to wire and cable while a few may be more indirect/downstream. Hybrid cable, method for its manufacture and use of such a hybrid cable U.S. Patent No.: 10,115,498 Patent date: Oct. 30, 2018 July 26, 2017 Assignee: Leoni GmbH, Germany Inventors: Markus Heipel, Lazhar Kahouli, Hideki Sakai, Akihiro Koedao An electric lead contains at least three conductors. Each of conductors has a line which is surrounded by a conductor sheath. Two of the conductors are embodied as signal conductors, and form, with a common partial lead sheath surrounding them, a first partial lead, in particular a signal lead. Another of the conductors is embodied as a power conductor and forms a second partial lead, in particular a power lead. The conductors are surrounded by a separating sleeve, which is in turn surrounded by a common sheath of the electric lead. The lead is characterized in that the partial lead sheath has an inner sheath section and an outer sheath section, and the outer sheath section is harder than the inner sheath section.

Optical fiber cable, and method and apparatus for manufacturing optical fiber cable U.S. Patent No.: 10,114186 Patent date: Oct. 30, 2018 Aug. 12, 2016 Assignee: Fujikura Ltd., Japan Inventors: Naoto Ito, Ken Osato, Masayoshi Yamanaka; Naoki Sakura An optical fiber cable includes a core including a plurality of units which are assembled and each of which comprises a plurality of optical fibers which are assembled, a

pair of tension members disposed so as to face each other with the core interposed therebetween, and a sheath covering the core and the pair of tension members collectively. The units are twisted so as to form a plurality of layers. The plurality of layers includes a first layer having first-layer units formed in an SZ-twisted shape and a second layer having second-layer units formed in an SZ-twisted shape. A twisting direction of the first-layer units is opposite to a twisting direction of the second-layer units in at least a portion in a cable length direction.

Drawing and straightening apparatus for metal wire, and corresponding drawing and straightening method U.S. Patent No.: 10,112,226 Patent date: Oct. 30, 2018 Feb. 26, 2014 Assignee: MEP Macchine Elettroniche Piegatrici SpA, Italy Inventor: Giorgio Del Fabro Apparatus for drawing and straightening at least a metal wire, comprising a drawing unit of the metal wire along a direction of advance which comprises a first motorized main roll, on part of the periphery of which first idle contrast rolls are disposed, with a smaller diameter than the first main roll. The apparatus also comprises a straightening only unit of the metal wire, independent from the drawing unit, disposed along the direction of advance and upstream of the drawing unit, the straightening only unit comprising a second idle main roll, on part of the periphery of which second idle contrast rolls are disposed, with a diameter smaller than the second main roll.

Halogen-free flame retardant TPU composition for wire and cable U.S. Patent No.: 10,109,393 Patent date: Oct. 23, 2018 Aug. 31, 2011 Assignee: Dow Global Technologies LLC, USA Inventors: Journey Zhu, David Guo, Lei Ying, Bin Li, Yongyong Yang The present disclosure provides a wire or cable comprising a flame retardant-free thermoplastic inner sheath and an outer sheath composition comprising, based on the


The high cost of ignoring your Intellectual Property Intellectual property (IP) has never been more important. Its value has never been greater and the consequences of infringing another’s intellectual property more dire. And yet, most businesses treat IP as an afterthought, only thinking about it when there is an immediate problem. Someone invents a new product, trademark or logo, and the focus on those vital tasks, whereas patenting those resources often comes late in the process, and may well be rushed or not as well thought out as it should. Worse, you could launch a new product or service and find that your company is being sued because no one thought to check the IP of others. Below are a few real-world examples. You are “invited” to an IP lawsuit. Litigation is expensive, distracting and miserable. The average patent suit costs about $3 million, and while that’s a staggering sum, there is also a hefty indirect cost one pays in terms of being distracting. An IP check is money well spent. One client made roll-up rubber doors. If impacted, the doors pop out of the tracks without being damaged, and can be easily popped back. A competitor had a patent with a different style track. The client thought that the patent protected an extruded aluminum rail. The client decided that if they used plastic inserts on their standard steel rail, they would not infringe the patent. They launched their product and were sued for infringement. The patent actually covered the profile of the fingers closing the opening, not the aluminum. We advised them to use a square insert instead. It worked just as well and was a fairly simple design around. Once the insert was changed, the case was settled. If an investigation had been done before launch, the lawsuit would have been avoided. You realize your trademarks are not yours. Your trademarks can be the most valuable asset in your business. They identify your business. They symbolize your success, what customers love and your reputation. Without them, you are unknown, basically starting over. What would you pay to protect such an asset? It could be less than a few thousand dollars if you do what should be done in

the beginning. Pick a strong mark, search to make sure it is available and get it registered. I recently worked with the owner of a manufacturing business who encountered this problem. To protect the innocent, we’ll call the company “Magnus.” It had used the trademark “Magnus” for more than seven years, until one day the CEO received notice of a lawsuit. An international company in the same fields was named “Magnum Inc.” It had been using the name longer and had protected it with a Federal registration. The CEO adamantly protested her innocence and assured me she had registered her business name with the state. Unfortunately, that was not the answer. She was faced with the difficult and expensive choice of fighting the lawsuit or changing her business name: both were costly, undesirable choices, but she had no choice but to go with a new name and reestablish her identity. A clearance search for the company names, which would have led to a different name and made this a non-issue. Buyers or investors are not interested in your business. Buyers and investors want to know that your intellectual property is properly protected. It may be worth one third or more of the total value of your business. I recently reviewed a company’s intellectual property portfolio for an investor wanting to invest $5 million. The portfolio was a mess. Trademarks and copyrights were not registered, and patents were owned by different entities. The investor walked away. By merely managing the portfolio, the business would have had a 5$ million investment. Above are just a few examples of why you have to pay attention to your intellectual property. Like anything else of value to your business, you need a system to protect this asset. One that is automatic, fast and ensures that your intellectual property is protected. The best system is ReCiPe. Recognize, Collect and Protect. If interested in learning more, give me a call. Bill Honaker

Bill Honaker has been an intellectual property attorney for more than 30 years, helping businesses—from Fortune 100 firms to individual entrepreneurs—protect their patents, trademarks and copyrights. A former Patent Office Examiner, he is a partner with Dickinson Wright, PLLC. He notes that he is especially good at keeping clients out of court. He can be contacted at, tel. 248-433-7381.

DECEMBER 2018 | 21


The IP Patent Primer:


weight of the composition, (a) 10 wt % to 90 wt % of a TPU based resin, (b) 5 wt % to 90 wt % of a metal hydrate, (c) 2 wt % to 50 wt % of a nitrogen-based phosphorus flame retardant, and (d) 2 wt % to 50 wt % liquid phosphate modifier, wherein the outer sheath is in contact with the insulation covering, and wherein the outer sheath has a thickness from greater than zero to 0.8 mm.

Metallic/carbon nanotube composite wire U.S. Patent No.: 10,109,391 Patent date: Oct. 23, 2018 Sept. 28, 2017 Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc., USA Inventors: Zachary Richmnd, Evangelia Rubino A multi-strand composite electrical conductor assembly includes a strand formed of carbon nanotubes and an elongated metallic strand having substantially the same length as the carbon nanotube strand. The assembly may further include a plurality of metallic strands that have substantially the same length as the carbon nanotube strand. The carbon nanotube strand may be located as a central strand and the plurality of metallic strands surround the carbon nanotube strand. The metallic strand may be formed of a material such as copper, silver, gold, or aluminum and may be plated with a material such as nickel, tin, copper, silver, and/or gold. Alternatively or additionally, the metallic strand may be clad with a material such as nickel, tin, copper, silver, and/or gold.

Optical fiber cable with rollable ribbons contained in a central tube without intended stranding U.S. Patent No.: 10,107,980 Patent date: Oct. 23, 2018 Dec. 8, 2017 Assignee: OFS Fitel, LLC, USA Inventors: Harold Debban, Peter Weimann A optical fiber cable includes two or more non-twisted, rollable optical fiber ribbons within a central tube. The non-twisted, rollable optical fiber ribbons define a fiber packing density within the central tube of between 6.5 and 8.5 fibers per square millimeter.


Optical cable and manufacturing method U.S. Patent No.: 10,107,79 Patent date: Oct. 23, 2018 Aug. 12, 2014 Assignee: Prysmian SpA, Italy Inventors: Lluis-Ramon Sales Casals, Jean-Pierre Bonicel An optical cable including a load bearing core includes a longitudinally and radially extending slot housing at least one optical fiber, wherein the slot has a width providing a low clearance for the optical fiber(s) housed therein and preventing two optical fibers being stuck to one another; and the slot has a depth equal to or lower than a radius of the core.

Flame retardant resin composition and cable using the same U.S. Patent No.: 10,106,743 Patent date: Oct. 23, 2018 April 22, 2015 Assignee: Fujikura Ltd., Japan Inventors: Masayuki Iwata, Tomohisa Watanabe Disclosed is a flame retardant resin composition in which relative to 100 parts by mass of the base resin, a silicone based compound is blended at a ratio of 0.1 to 10 parts by mass a fatty acid metal salt is blended at a ratio of 0.1 to 20 parts by mass, a flame retardant agent is blended at a ratio of 5 to 200 parts by mass, a hindered phenol based compound is blended at a ratio of 0.05 to 10 parts by mass, and a hindered amine based compound is blended at a ratio of 0.05 to 10 parts by mass. The hindered amine based compound has a group represented by the following formula (1). ##STR00001## (R.sup.1 represents an alkyl or alkoxy group having 1 to 30 carbon atoms, and R.sup.2 to R.sup.5 each independently represent an alkyl group having 1 to 6 carbon atoms).

Reinforced cable spool U.S. Patent No.: 10,106,367 Patent date: Oct. 23, 2018 July 19, 2016 Assignee: Axjo Plastic AB, Sweden Inventor: Jacob Nilsson A cable spool for use in automated cable winding applications, said cable spool comprising a barrel having an outside diameter and a length, and two annular flanges located at opposite ends of said barrel, wherein each one of said flanges has an inward facing side directed towards said other flange and an outward facing side, each one of said flanges includes at least one through-hole extending between said inward facing side and said outward facing side, wherein each one of said through-holes forms a start hole, and each one of said flanges includes at least one reinforcement portion positioned between said barrel and said through-holes, wherein said at least one reinforcement

portion has a height measured in a radial direction from a lateral surface of said barrel to a distal edge of said at least one reinforcement portion.

Method for producing a cable spool with rounded edges U.S. Patent No.: 10,106,366 Patent date: Oct. 23, 2018 July 19, 2016 Assignee: Axjo Plastic AB, Sweden Inventor: Jacob Nilsson A method for producing a cable spool including the steps of providing a mold for producing a cable spool, assembling said mold by joining said at least two central mold pieces and said first and second flange mold pieces, adding molten polymer material to said mold, removing said mold and cooling said cable spool. Also, a mold for producing a cable spool, said mold including at least two central mold pieces, a first flange mold piece and a second flange mold piece. Also, a plastic cable spool including a barrel and two annular flanges located at opposite ends of said barrel, wherein each one of said flanges has an inward facing side directed towards said other flange and an outward facing side, and each one of said flanges includes a through-hole extending between said inward facing side and said outward facing side.

Wire electric discharge machine having function to correct detected value of tensile force U.S. Patent No.: 10,105,776 Patent date: Oct. 23, 2018 March 5, 2016 Assignee: Fanuci Corporation, Japan Inventor: Keita Hada There is provided a wire electric discharge machine including a calibrating unit which carries out calibration for obtaining a detected deviation amount of the tensile force detector based on the set tensile force and a tensile force detected by the tensile force detector when the set tensile force is applied, the calibrating unit correcting out-

Apparatus for transporting and dispensing wire or cable from a barrel pack U.S. Patent No.: 10,102,943 Patent date: Oct. 16, 2018 Oct. 12, 2017 Assignee: Encore Wire Corporation, USA Inventors: Justin Hrbacek, John Rhoads, David Maxey An apparatus for the movement of a barrel pack containing spooled wire or cable. The apparatus comprising a frame, a handle attached to the frame, a plurality of wheels rotatably attached to the frame, securing structures attached to the frame, the securing structures securing the barrel pack to the frame and a footage counting assembly attached to the handle. The footage counting assembly counts the amount of footage of wire or cable passing through the footage counting assembly.

Method of manufacture of electrical wire and cable having a reduced coefficient of friction and required pulling force U.S. Patent No.: 10,102,947 Patent date: Oct. 16, 2018 April 28, 2016 Assignee: Encore Wire Corporation, USA Inventors: William Bigbee, Stephen Griffin A process for manufacturing finished wire and cable having reduced coefficient of friction and pulling force during installation, includes providing a payoff reel containing at least one internal conductor wire; supplying the at least one internal conductor wire from the reel to at least one extruder; providing the least one extruder, wherein the at least one extruder applies an insulating material and a polymerized jacket composition over the at least one internal conductor wire, wherein the polymerized jacket composition comprises a predetermined amount by weight of nylon; and at least 3% by weight of a silica providing a cooling device for lowering the temperature of the extruded insulating material and the polymerized jacket composition and cooling the insulating material and the polymerized jacket composition in the cooling device; and, reeling onto a storage reel the finished, cooled, wire and cable for storage and distribution.

(section cont’d. on p. 74)

DECEMBER 2018 | 23


put of the tensile force detector by the detected deviation amount which is obtained by the calibration, and the wire electric discharge machine carries out feedback control of the tensile force of the wire electrode based on a corrected detected tensile force which is obtained by correcting the detected tensile force of the tensile force detector by the calibrating unit.


ASIAN FOCUS Patent advocate: why the Chinese system is far better at encouraging innovation There has been a lot of focus on IP thefts by Chinese companies, but one patent expert believes that there is a bigger problem plaguing U.S. companies. Below is a lightly edited (for space) report, “A Journey Through the Chinese Patent System: The differences in how patent rights are treated,” by Paul Morinville, managing director of US Inventor, Inc., that ran recently at The trade dispute between the U.S. and China started with a U.S. accusation of intellectual property theft on the part of China. Is China really “stealing” intellectual property? I’m not so sure. Perhaps the Chinese are stealing trade secrets, and if parties are engaged in such activities they should be punished, but there is a lot of taking that has been legitimized—even authorized—by the Congress and the Supreme Court in recent years. U.S. patent law today enables foreign corporations, including Chinese ones, to legitimately take U.S.-developed intellectual property. That is not theft. It’s just business. And far more damage is being done to the U.S. as the result of this than could ever be done by the theft of trade secrets. The U.S. government has gutted the U.S. patent system. For small inventors like me, it no longer works. There are no longer contingent fee attorneys or angel investors willing to fund startups, so my patents and those of so many like me just languish. As the clock runs on a patent’s term, it can eventually make even breakthrough and groundbreaking patented innovations worthless. I recently became president of a Hong Kong company. Our assets are the Chinese patents of another independent American inventor, and I am tasked with defending that inventor’s patent rights in China. This post on my journey through the Chinese patent system hopefully will shed some light on the differences of how the two countries treat patent rights, which is a key to understanding the roots of IP transfer between the two largest world economies, as well as the organic technology development and commercialization. I believe that China’s rise as a technology powerhouse has more to do with its strong patent laws interacting with weak U.S. patent laws than it does stealing U.S. IP. It is the only logical conclusion, given it also is our own experience from a century or so earlier. For the last few months, I worked with Chinese lawyers preparing a patent licensing campaign in China. Just like in the U.S., potential infringers must be identified. That is where the similarities end. In China, the parties are strongly encouraged to first negotiate in good-faith to


resolve a patent dispute before filing a law suit in a Chinese court. That process starts by sending a demand letter to the party stating that they are infringing patent rights. Then, the parties generally enter into a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), and once it is in place, the inventor provides claim charts showing their claim in detail. Technical discussions follow to sort through the disputed details. If infringement is clearly shown, discussions then start to establish the value of the patent and structure a licensing agreement to the patents. There is a real likelihood that the infringer will be enjoined if the court finds infringement, a potential that serves to move negotiations forward and, importantly, helps value the infringement in relation to the value the invention created. China’s insistence on first holding good-faith negotiations is in stark contrast to the U.S. courts, which could care less if that happens. In fact, the laws have evolved so that a patent owner would be nuts to do this as initiating negotiations in the U.S. could result in a declaratory judgment action brought on turf friendly to the infringer. U.S. patent laws and judicial attitudes effectively discourage the concept of negotiations prior to litigation. In China, a patent suit will cost each side about $250,000 and can be completed in less than 10 months. In the U.S., that same process might cost millions of dollars on each side and can last five or more years with the inevitable appeals. Further, infringers can use tactics to exacerbate those conditions, so they have motivation to launch into litigation upon any perceived threat because the uneven playing field then becomes the platform for negotiations. Most small inventors capitulate. But U.S. laws make it even easier for infringers to put the property owner on the defensive. They can launch into litigation over the patent asset before a district court ever gets involved. The infringer can file a validity challenge against the patent with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). There are three types of challenges, the most popular being an Inter Partes Review (IPR).

for infringement of their patent rights under these circumstances. Negotiating a U.S. patent’s value has nothing to do with value that the invention created in the market. Instead it is valued at its litigation cost because infringers will often settle at a license cost if it is below the costs of litigation. Inventors will accept that value just to save the patent from a near certain death. However, in China, due to the low cost of litigation, the speed to closure and the very real possibility of injunctive relief, a patent is valued in relation to the value that the invention created in the market. This distinction of how patents are valued is the real reason that China is moving ahead of the U.S. in technology, especially in new technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing or block chains. It is also why investment is moving to China. These complex technologies require significant early stage investment. Like most new technologies, the most important ones are brought by an independent inventor. A little guy with a big idea. Few of these inventors can collateralize to attract investment other than a patent. Without a meaningful patent, no investment can be obtained because there is no collateral. Again, this explains why China has taken the lead over the U.S. with respect to startup funding with respect to artificial intelligence related innovations. In China, a patent attracts investment in relation to the market that the invention creates. An invention that creates a significant market can attract significant investment. In the U.S. we watched in disbelief as 48% of early stage funding in artificial intelligence went to Chinese startups and only 36% to U.S. startups. It is not because China is stealing technology. It is because China’s patent system works, and the U.S. patent system doesn’t.

About Paul Morinville/US Inventor, Inc. US Inventor, Inc., is a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy firm that supports and lobbies for strong patent protection for inventors and startups. Company Founder and CEO Paul Morinville holds and is pursuing further patents in enterprise software. For more details on the organization, go to

About, which has been online since 1999, is published by the IP Watchdog Institute, is a leading resource for news and information on patents and innovation law, policy and legislation. It also offers courses, seminars, and training. For more details on the company, go to

DECEMBER 2018 | 25


Once an infringer files a validity challenge and pays a filing fee, the inventor now must participate in an administrative proceeding that will cost every penny of $500,000 to successfully see through to a conclusion. The review can take up to three years and any negotiations with the infringer (or any other infringers) that were in process stop until the review is completed. Time lost off the patent’s term due to a PTAB review is not added back to the patent’s limited enforceable life. It is just lost. The effects of the PTAB dramatically shift against the inventor because it invalidates patents at rates between 60% and 90% depending on the type of invention. A single patent can be challenged multiple times from one or more challengers. If the patent survives this onslaught of PTAB reviews, litigation in court begins. The patent challenges are never really over unless and until the challengers win. Patents are like virtually any other property right: title is never certain and can always be challenged. One of the biggest differences between the U.S. and China processes is injunctive relief. In China, upwards of 85% of law suits where infringement is found see patent owners awarded injunctive relief. In the U.S., it is practically impossible to get injunctive relief. Because a U.S. infringer cannot be enjoined, they keep the market for the invention, win or lose. This reality encourage infringers to intensify litigation to delay and drive up costs, which without the real possibility of an injunction generally results in the inventor capitulating. In the U.S., if a company steals an invention, that company will keep the market even if a court finds that they stole it in the first place. This sets up negotiations with one side having no fear of loss and the other side having a very real fear of a total loss. No inventor will be paid a fair value


PEOPLE Service Wire Co. reported several recent promotions and hires. Corey Jarvis was promoted to assistant sales manager in the Culloden sales office. He joined the company eight years ago, and in his new role he will continue working with customers and manufacturers’ representatives in his assigned territories. He holds a degree from Marshall University. Lorenzo Valverde has been hired as plant manager of the Phoenix manufacturing facility. He has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing management, process improvement, operations management and production planning. He holds a degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. Todd Christiansen has joined the sales team in Houston, working with customers in Kansas, Oklahoma, Western Missouri and south Texas. He has 28 years of experience in the electrical industry, including inside and outside sales, product development and management. Rachel Ramsey has been promoted to marketing coordinator in the corporate marketing department in Culloden. She has been with the

company for two years and has a B.A. degree in business management from Marshall University. Based in Culloden, West Virginia, USA, and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Service Wire Company is a second-generation, family-owned wire and cable manufacturer known for brand names such as ServicePlex and Service Drive. Molex Incorporated announced that Joe Nelligan has taken on the additional role of company CEO in November, replacing Martin P. Slark, who retired after 42 years of service. Nelligan began his career at Molex in the product engineering department. He worked two summers as an intern, then joined Molex full-time in 1986. He held several roles in engineering, product management, and sales. He was named COO in 2016 and added the role of president in 2017. He led the company through Molex’s acquisition by Koch Industries in 2013. A U.S.-based business, Molex has 50 manufacturing locations in 18 countries that provide interconnect solutions.

OBITUARY Dimitri R. Stein, the founder of Cable Consultants Corporation, died at his home in Bridgehampton, New York, on October 27 at age 98, but he leaves behind an amazing life story that transcends his technical accomplishments. Born in 1920, the son of a Jewish father, Stein was five months old when his family had to flee St. PetersStein burg, Russia, after the victory of the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War to Berlin, Germany. Since he was not affected as a “stateless person” by the “Law against the overcrowding of German schools and colleges,” in 1938 he earned a degree in electrical engineering at the Technical University of Berlin. In 1942, he earned the title of Diplom-Ingenieur and began writing his dissertation on the basis of his diploma thesis. After he had submitted this in 1943, he was deemed to be a “Mischling 1st degree” (a mixed race) and was not allowed to be considered for a doctorate. From 1944 to the end of World War II, he was kept hidden from the Gestapo by his scientific supervisor, Alfred Dennhardt, in Lower Bavaria. In 1946, Stein and his business partners founded Nordwind GmbH in Porta Westfalica, a wind turbine company that still exists today. In 1947, he emigrated to the United States, where he first worked as an academic at North Dakota State University, in Fargo, before moving to the City College of New York. In New York City, he also met his future wife, Sophie, (herself a Jewish immigrant from


Berlin), who served as a simultaneous interpreter at the United Nations. In 1952, he headed the American representation of the cable manufacturer Hackethal (which later merged in what would become Nexans). In this role, he negotiated license agreement texts with the Soviet Union, which subsequently served as a model for all license agreements with Western companies. In 1962, Stein was promoted at Hackethal to director. He became well versed in both transatlantic cable knowledge and technology transfer. In 1962, he founded Cable Consultants Corporation, brokering European electrical engineering know-how to American companies. He also served as a representative for the Gmelin Institute, whose exhaustive “handbook” on inorganic and organometallic chemistry was in high demand in the U.S. market, He promoted the exchange and distribution of technological developments and research results. Under the name of Science Information Service, Inc., he headed the office of the Fachinformationszentrum Karlsruhe in the U.S. In 2006, Stein’s German friend and business partner, Gerhard Ziemek, approached the Technical University of Berlin to encourage a restoration of the doctorate which had been denied. Stein, who was initially doubtful about Ziemek’s advance, was allowed to complete his education. He successfully defended a copy of his original doctorate, based on the technology at the time. On Nov. 12, 2008, at age 88, he was awarded his doctorate with honors, 65 years after he had submitted his thesis. Stein is survived by sons David, Daniel and Alexander; grandchildren Rebecca, Sarah, Eli, Isaac, Nina, Miranda and Oliver; and a great-grandson, Keegan Jr..

Web Industries has named Andrew O’Connor as vice president of quality, responsible for all the company’s quality resources. He previously held a series of increasingly responsible positions with Rolls-Royce Corporation focusing on corporate culture, continuous improvement and customer quality. Most recently, he was global director of quality, health, O’Connor safety and environment, as well as business improvement for Rolls-Royce Naval Marine. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. Based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA, Web Industries, Inc., is a precision formatter of flexible materials and provider of outsource manufacturing services. Bekaert announced that following the decision by Executive Vice President and CFO Beatríz GarcíaCos Muntañola to leave the company, Frank Vromant, executive vice president of Bekaert Americas, has been appointed CFO ad interim. He has been with Bekaert since 1979, holding financial and management positions in Belgium and the U.S. From 2011 to 2013, he also served as the acting global head for steel cord. He then became a member of the Bekaert Group Executive. From 2013 until March 2016, he was Executive Vice President for the Regional Operations Europe, North America and South

Asia. 1n April 2016, he was appointed Executive Vice President Americas, responsible for Bekaert’s operations in North and Latin America. Based in Belgium, Bekaert is a global leader in steel wire transformation and coating technologies. Dieter Kuper has joined JoeTools as director of extrusion technology. He has more than 30 years of experience in the development and manufacturing of a variety of wire and cable products, having served during his career as an operator as well as a leader. He has served as vice president of operations at the HEICO Companies, vice president Kuper of manufacturing engineering at Coleman Cable Systems, vice president of operations at Copperfield LLC, general manager of Prestolite Wire Corporation and in multiple positions at Laribee Wire and Pirelli Cable. In his new position, he will help customers develop new solutions that produce better products and processes. He holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of North Dakota. Based in Lilburn, Georgia, USA, JoeTools is a full service supplier of extrusion crossheads, tips, dies, breaker plates and related accessories. Jon Compas has joined the sales team of Kris-Tech Wire, heading up the serving Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. He holds a B.A. degree in international relations from the University of California, Davis, and an MBA from University of San Diego School of Business. He previously worked in sales for ROCKSOLID, LLC, and as a territory manager for The SoCO Group. In May, Kris-Tech Wire hired Kevin Watkins to serve Northeast Account Development. Specifically, he will cover the states of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. He previously worked for Billows Electric Supply, Rumsey Electric Co., Anton Electric Co. and Breandan Stantoin, Inc. Based in Rome, New York, Kris-Tech Wire manufactures a range of wire products.

DECEMBER 2018 | 27


Richard DeMar Jr. has joined Lloyd & Bouvier, Inc., as a senior mechanical design engineer. He has 17 years of machine design experience with DeMar Technologies, Inc., where he designed and produced new custom equipment for the wire and cable industry. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Western New England College. DeMar Jr. Based in Clinton, MA. USA, Lloyd & Bouvier, Inc is a provider of new, used and rebuilt wire and cable equipment.


















Introducing ‘Nextworking’ at Interwire The next generation of wire & cable is in our DNA People. Products. Technology. Iterations. Generations.

Interwire and WAI’s 89th Annual Convention deliver this Next Gen event as the fast-forward way to learn the science behind one of the most omnipresent industries in the world and how to prepare for what’s ahead. Nothing compares with the face-to-face ‘nextworking’ that propels careers and inspires innovation. At Interwire you’ll hear and see what manufacturers around the world are talking…and doing…about the next generation of wire and cable making. Plant automation. IoT. Industry 4.0. Tariffs & trade. These topics affect what you do and how you do it within the industry’s global marketplace. What’s next? See first hand at the Americas’ wire & cable industry fair. SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE! Contact


400+ Exhibitors • Educational Programs • Tour • Demos DETAILS: WWW.INTERWIRE19.COM


WCISA Wire and Cable Industry Suppliers Association


> > > exhibitors Accuracy Technical Services LLC Ace Metal Inc. ACIMAF ACM AB ADVARIS GmbH Aeroel Srl AFA Industries AFH AIM Inc Air Control Industries Inc. AITMAC Inc. Albert Krenn Amacoil Inc. American & Efird, LLC American Kuhne Amexstra Inc. Appleton Manufacturing Arkema Inc. ARM Asaclean - Sun Plastech Inc. ATE Applicazioni TermoElettroniche Srl Aversion Technologies AW Machinery LLC AWT Machinery Axjo America Inc. Aztech Lubricants LLC B&Z Galvanized Wire Ind. Balloffet Die Corp. Bechem Lubrication Technology LLC Bergandi Machinery Co. Blachford Corp. Bobbins India Boockmann Engineering GmbH BOXY Buhler Redex GmbH Caballe Cable Consultants Corp. Cablogic Technologies Calmec Precision Ltd. Candor Sweden AB Canterbury/Genca—a division of Milacron Carris Reels Inc. CBC Metals Processing CCPIT Shanghai Ceeco Bartell Products, Bartell Machinery Systems Cemanco LC Ceramtec CERSA-MCI Chase Wire & Cable Materials Chemetall Cheng I Wire Machinery Co. Ltd. Chengdu Centran Industrial Co. Ltd. Cimteq Clayton Industries Clifford Machines & Technology Clifford North America Clinton Instrument Co. CM Furnaces Inc. CMEC International Exhibition Ltd. Commission Brokers Inc. Condat Confex Technology Ltd. Conneaut Industries Inc. Conoptica A/S Continuus-Properzi, S.p.A. Copper-Lines.K sarl CTS - Cincinnati Thermal Spray Inc. Davis-Standard LLC DEM Die Quip Corp.

Dino-Lite Scopes Domeks Domeks Makine Ltd. Sti Drawing Technology Inc. Dynamex Corp. Ebner Furnaces Inc. Eddytech Systems Inc. EFFEGIDI Electron Beam Technologies Inc. Enercon Industries Enkotec Co. Inc. ERA Wire Inc. Esteves Group USA Eurodraw Energy Eurowire Magazine George Evans Corp. EVG Inc. Evolution Products Fabritex Inc. FIB Furnaces Fenn LLC Fil-Tec Inc. Filtertech Inc. Fine International Corp. Flymca & Flyro FMS USA Inc. Foerster Instruments Inc. Fort Wayne Wire Die Inc. Frigeco Gautschi Gem Gravure Co. Inc. GEO W. Gillies Technologies LLC Gimax S.R.L. Granite Falls Furnace Guill Tool & Engineering Co. H. Folke Sandelin AB Hafner & Krullmann GmbH Hangzhou JR Exhibition Co. Ltd. Heany Industries Inc. Heatbath Corp. H-I-S Coatings HONTA Inc. Houghton International Inc. Howar Equipment Inc. HPI Huestis Industrial Huettner Machinenfabrik IDEAL Welding Systems IDEAL-Werk InnoVites International Wire & Machinery Association (IWMA) International Wire Group, Inc. IWE Reels IWM International Joe Snee Associates, Inc. Joe-Tools Jouhsen - Bundgens Inc. Kablosan Turkey - FBC Yayincilik Ltd. sti Kabmak Muh. Ve Mak. San Kalmark Intergrated Systems Ltd. KEIR Manufacturing Inc. Kieselstein GmbH King Steel Corp. Kinrei of America KMK Kopilowitz Engineering Krollman Krollmann Pointers Lamnea Bruk AB

Laser Micrometers Distribution LLC LaserLinc Inc. Leggett & Platt Wire Group Leoni Wire Inc. Lloyd & Bouvier Inc. M+E Machinery MAC BEE Engineering Corp. Madem-Moorecraft Reels USA Madison Steel Inc. Magnetic Technologies Ltd. Maillefer Extrusion Oy Mario Frigerio SpA Marposs Corp. Mekosan USA Metal Link Inc. Metal Resource Solutions Inc. Metal Solutions LLC Metalloid Corp. METAVAN The MGS Group Micro Products Co. Microdia USA Mid-South Wire Mikrotek Machines Ltd. Morgan-Koch Corp. Mossberg Associates Inc. Mossberg Industries Inc. Movacolor/KN Manufacturing Solutions/ Nano-Diamond America Inc. NDC Technologies Niehoff Endex North America Inc. Maschinenfabrik Niehoff GmbH & Co. Oden Technologies Inc. Oklahoma Steel & Wire OM Lesmo OMCG, Inc. P & R Specialty Inc. P/A Industries, Inc. Pan Chemicals Americas Paramount Die Co. Parkway-Kew Corp. Pentre Group Ltd - Hearl Heaton Phifer Wire Inc. Pioneer Machinery USA Plas-Ties Co. PRATTO S.A. Precision Die Technologies Inc. Premier Wire Die PrintSafe Process Control Corp. Progress Maschinen & Automation AG Properzi International Inc. Proton Products Q8Oils QED Wire Lines Inc. QMS RAD-CON Inc. Radyne Corp. Rainbow Rubber & Plastics Rautomead Ltd. Reber Systematic GmbH & Co Kg Redex of America Reel Power Wire & Cable Refractron Technologies Corp. RENOVA RichardsApex Inc. Roblon US Inc. Rosendahl Nextrom Roteq Machinery Inc. RSD Group RSD Tecknick, GmbH RTD Manufacturing

SACO AEI Polymers Saint-Gobain Samp SpA SAMP USA Inc. SAMPSISTEMI Sanxin Wire Die Inc. Schlatter North America Schmidt Maschinenbau GmbH Shanghai HOSN Machinery Co., Ltd. Shanghai Pudong International Exhibition Co. SIEBE Sikora International Corp. SIMPACKS SIRIO Wire Sivaco Wire Group Sjogren Industries Inc. SKET Verseilmaschinenbau GmbH Sonoco Reels Spirka Schnellflechter GmbH Staku Anglanbau Star Materials Co. Ltd. Steel Cable Reels Stolberger Inc. DBA Wardwell Braiding August Strecker GmbH & Co KG Sweed Machinery Inc. T & T Marketing Inc. Takikawa Engineering Co., Ltd. Tapeformers Ltd. Taubensee Steel & Wire Co. Taymer International Inc. TECVIL Teknikor Teknor Apex TEKTAPES Tensor Machinery Ltd. Traxit North America LLC Troester GmbH & Co. KG United Wire Co. Inc. UNITEK Upcast OY V. Hagen & Funke Vandor Corp. Varibelt Inc. Vinston US Corp. Voge Composites WAFIOS Machinery Corp. WCISA Weber & Scher Mfg Co. Inc. Windak Inc. Winding Automation Inc. Wire & Cable Technology International Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp. wire 2020/Messe Düsseldorf North America Wire Association International, Inc. Wire Forming Technology International (WFTI) Wire Journal International, Inc. Wire Lab Co. Wire Machine Systems Inc. Witels Albert USA Ltd. Woodburn Diamond Die Inc. WTM Srl Yield Management Corp. Zumbach Electronics Corp.

ADVANCE REGISTRATION FORM Convention: May 13-16, 2019 | Exhibits: May 14-16, 2019 Georgia World Congress Center | Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Register at: or use the form below | Use Code: WJ19 3. EVENT REGISTRATION


*advance (on or before April 30, 2019) | *on-site (after April 30, 2019)

Note: Please print and complete all information. If you mail this form, keep a photocopy.

E-MAIL (Required)




CONFERENCE REGISTRATION PLUS NEW WAI MEMBERSHIP (BL/AEM) Includes exhibits, welcome reception, conference, technical sessions & online proceedings, production solutions, keynote, awards breakfast, plus one year WAI membership.



New Member

$495 q

$595 q


$395 q

$495 q

Non Member

$495 q

$595 q

$85 q

$110 q


Includes exhibits, welcome reception, conference, technical sessions & online proceedings, production solutions and keynote.




Tuesday-Thursday, May 14-16, 2019 Includes exhibits, technical sessions and production solutions.


FUNDAMENTALS OF WIRE MANUFACTURING INCLUDES EXHIBITS (GDS) Monday, May 13, 2019 Includes program handouts, lunch, exhibits, and production solutions. q Ferrous Track (FT) q Nonferrous/Electrical Track (NT)






COUNTRY CODE TELEPHONE (include area code)

$395 q

$395 q

$495 q

Member with Conference Registration

$125 q

$225 q

Non Member with Conference Registration

$145 q

$245 q


$495 q

$595 q

Non Member

$595 q

$695 q

New Member

$545 q

$645 q



Monday, May 13, 2019 Note: Space is limited and preference will be given to Conference Registrants. Individual registrations subject to approval.

A. Company business type: (SELECT ONE)

FASTENERS, WIRE FORMING, FABRICATING 61 q Fastener Manufacture 62 q Four-Slide Forming 64 q Hot and/or Cold Forming and Heading 66 q Spring Manufacture 68 q Wire Cloth Mesh Screening 69 q Other Forming and Fabricating Please Specify: _____________________________

$295 q

Tuesday-Thursday, May 14-16, 2019 Includes Global Continuous Casting Forum technical sessions, Tuesday lunch, Wednesday dinner AND Interwire 2019 exhibits & welcome reception.


WIRE MANUFACTURING 10 q Aluminum & Al. Alloys (Rod/Bar, Bare Wire) 20 q Copper & Copper Alloys (Rod/Bar, Bare Wire) 30 q Steel & Steel Alloys (Rod/Bar, Bare Wire) 40 q Other Metal (Rod/Bar, Bare Wire) 50 q Electrical (Insulated Wire) 53 q Communication (Insulated Wire) 55 q Fiber Optics

Member Non Member

SUPPLIERS TO THE WIRE INDUSTRY 72 q Machinery 74 q Process, Accessories, Materials WIRE END-USER 11 q Appliance 12 q Communications (Voice/Data) 13 q Computer 14 q Construction/Building 15 q Electrical (Equip./Components/Power) 16 q Transportation/Vehicular 17 q Wire Formed Durable Goods OTHER 80 q Service Cntrs, Distrib. & Warehouses 90 q Consultants 91 q Student/Faculty 92 q Govt., Library, Others Allied to Field

B. Primary job function: (SELECT ONE)


$50 q


Non Member

$75 q


$135 q

$160 q

WELCOME RECEPTION ONLY (IE) Tuesday, May 14, 2019 Note: welcome reception is already included in Conference Registration and Global Continuous Casting Forum fees.

MANUFACTURING MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP (MMW) Thursday, May 16, 2019 Note: Space is limited and preference will be given to Conference Registrants.

with Conference Registration

$50 q

$75 q


$125 q

$175 q

Non Member

$175 q

$225 q

4. TOTAL REGISTRATION FEES: U.S. $ 5. PAYMENT OPTIONS q Check enclosed payable to THE WIRE ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL, INC. (Checks must be in U.S. dollars drawn on U.S. bank) Credit Card: q American Express q Discover q MasterCard q Visa

10 q General & Administrative Management 20 q Engineering and/or Operations and/or Production 30 q Technical and/or Research & Development and/or Quality Control 40 q Purchasing 50 q Sales & Marketing 60 q Student/Faculty 90 q Other, Please Specify: _____________________________________________________________

M M Y| Y




FREE SUBSCRIPTION: Wire Journal International ❏ Yes ❏ Print

I would like to receive/continue to receive Wire Journal International each month! ❏ Digital

❏ No thank you

❏ Both print & digital YOUR SIGNATURE (required)

DATE (required)

Cancellation Policy–Refund requests must be received in writing by these dates: On or before 4/3/19 – REFUND minus $25 handling fee • After 4/3/19 – NO REFUND


FBA CEO: fiber remains the key to 5G In October, Lisa Youngers, CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA), wrote an op-ed entitled ,“There is no 5G without Fiber.” Below are edited excerpts. The FCC has pressed for the U.S. to lead in fifth-generation wireless deployment, but a key aspect is getting additional spectrum in the hands of mobile wireless providers. To make 5G feasible requires not only access to spectrum but connections to dense, high capacity fiber networks. The aim of all 5G providers will be to ensure that once transmissions are “out of the air” they are “into the ground” quickly to their destination using critical and reliable fiber networks. As the vast number of small-cell sites are deployed for 5G, the role of fiber becomes even more important. Instead of connecting to a single cell tower, which can potentially serve a 10 square mile area, fiber will now need to go to approximately 10, 20 or even 100 times that number of small cell sites, each serving a limited area. The FBA estimates that 5G will require deployment of about 1.4 million miles of fiber in just the top 25 urban areas in the U.S., and we need to enable all sorts of fiber providers

to deploy as expeditiously as possible and at reasonable cost. Building 5G networks will be a monumental infrastructure project, but the benefits are vast. Per a recent Accenture report, 5G is projected to create 2.2 million jobs, and approximately $420 billion in annual gross domestic product, across communities throughout the U.S. Our 5G future will include more connected cities and technologies like autonomous vehicles, augmented/ virtual reality devices, infrastructure sensors for smart transportation and public safety applications, and airborne drones. That can only happen if the fiber infrastructure to support them. Deloitte Consulting recently reported that the U.S. will require an estimated $130 billion to $150 billion in fiber investment over the next five to seven years to adequately support broadband competition, rural coverage and wireless deployments for future network technologies such as 5G.

Here’s a speedy way to run your digital ad message.



DECEMBER 2018 | 31




FASTENER UPDATE IFI names new managing director The Industrial Fasteners Institute (IFI) announced that, following a comprehensive search, Dan Walker, P.E., has been named the IFI’s managing director. A press release said that Walker— who comes from the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), where he served in a number of techWalker nical roles over the years prior to being named the group’s General Manager—has more than over 20 years of trade association management experience. He also served as the Executive Director of the Concrete and Masonry Anchor Manufacturers Association (CAMA). He holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from Cleveland State University, and he is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio. The release said that Walker’s considerable association management experience will prove invaluable to IFI as the organization continues to grow and work on new initiatives set forth in its strategic plan for the benefit of the North American fastener industry. IFI Chairman, Phil Johnson, who was part of the executive search team that recruited Walker, said that the search was for an experienced association professional with a

demonstrated track record of creating growth, enthusiasm, and executing on strategic initiatives. “I have no doubt that Dan’s experience makes him the right person to take on this important role, and I’m very excited to have him leading the team.” “I am truly honored to have been selected as IFI’s next Managing Director,” Walker said. A”s an organization, IFI has a proud history of technical leadership and education that is second to none. Our members and highly qualified staff have achieved a great deal toward ensuring a healthy and vibrant fastener industry through their research, standards, advocacy and education programs. The member leadership has set clear goals for the sustained growth of the institute, and I’m very excited to start helping them achieve those goals.” Walker replaces outgoing IFI Managing Director, Rob Harris, who announced his planned retirement. “It was important to me and the Board of Directors that we find a worthy and capable leader, and that we ensure a smooth transition so that IFI could continue its important work without missing a beat,” said Harris, who successfully led the organization for more than 22 years. “I’ve had the chance to work with Dan during this transition, and I know we have the right person for the job. I feel very confident that I am leaving this great organization in good hands.”



Need a special pulley? Got tension control issues? Looking for the perfect pay-off? Wyrepak Industries has the answer for all of your manufacturing needs! For more details on any of our manufacturing product solutions, call us at 800-972-9222 or email WYREPAK INDUSTRIES — A Huestis Industrial Company •

68 Buttonwood Street, Bristol, Rhode Island 02809-0718 USA • tel: 800.972.9222 or 401.253.5500 fax: 401.253.7350 2C_WYREPAKHuestis_NeedASpecialPulley_WJI_halfHoriz_VariousCombos_withShowInfo_v3_04042017_press.indd 1


11/9/18 12:12:38 PM

What you see depends on what you look for.

Let’s start with your incoming e-mail. If you’re up for a quick look at everyday wire and cable manufacturing processes, we have just the medium for you: HardWIRED. This educational e-newsletter and companion website from the Wire Association is the fastest way to learn manufacturing specifics. It’s lively...complete with instructional videos that you can play {and replay} if you miss an important detail. Each segment is comprehensive and only minutes long so you can apply what you learn right away. The best part? HardWIRED comes to you.

So sign up at: And double check your e-mail so you won’t miss its speedy arrival.

jack rabbit & driftwood jack rabbit | details count

Catch the next wave of education—live & archived



WAI December 2018



Marco Dell’Oro Area Manager Wire and Rope Division, Mario Frigerio SpA Italy

Q: What does your company do? A: Mario Frigerio SpA is part of the MFL Group, which designs and builds the highest quality and best performing wiredrawing, stranding-screening-armoring and extrusion machinery. Q: What is your role there? A: I am area manager for North America, as well as general manager of the MFL USA Service Corp. Q: What do you like best about your position? A: I have always been proud of the products that we make and sell, but I especially enjoy the time I spend with current and hopefully future customers. That relationship may start with a presentation, but it continues through the completion of a project, and beyond, often for many years. Q: How has your industry most changed? A: Most technology change the last 20 years has involved automation. It is challenging to find workers willing to commit to this industry, especially in the western world. The benefit has been in how engineering has changed, resulting in machines that are more communicative to the work force, “directing” the need for preventive maintenance and to maintain good procedures. Robotics is still limited as a solution, but we need to keep focusing in that direction. Q: How does your company remain competitive? A: By continuing to commit to a high-quality product and not just focusing on price, our equipment comes from our collective know-how, technology and passion in engineering, production and customer service, all of which are needed to satisfy a customer’s long-term needs. Q: Why are your part of WAI? A: I joined back in the late 80s or early 90s, as I was participating in WAI’s trade shows, where we could share our work for the industry. I also appreciate WAI’s sharing industry know-how, and its Fundamentals course that is very helpful to young workers in our industry. I am also proud to be part of WAI’s Italian Chapter, whose members are listed on the next page.


The following individuals are members of the WAI’s Italian Chapter. Marco Appiani Appiani Srl

Angela Cerrini Cerrini Srl

Fabio Guarneri ORI Martin SpA

Roberto Rigon Rigon Instruments Sas

Giancarlo Arrighetti Tecnovo Srl

Nicola Ciancaglini Nuova T Srl

Alberto Longoni Altec Srl

Marta Rota VARO Srl

Paolo Barera Cogeim Europe Srl

Angelo Colombo M+E Macchine Engineering Srl

Mario Lopez Continuus-Properzi SpA

Leardo Ruggenenti Brick Srl

Laura Loturco Cortinovis Sictra Division of Trafco Srl

Alberto Rusconi Otomec Srl

Mario Beaupain ZT Srl Franco Bensi SICME Italia Impianti Roberto Bernardinis AWM Srl Cesare Bertoni Sacma Limbiate SpA Stefano Biondi Com.It Srl Massimo Borrella ATE Applicazioni Termo Elettroniche Srl Enrico Boschiero Simplex Rapid Srl Paolo Boso Redies Srl Guido Branchi ILES Srl Emilio Bucci Henkel Italia Srl Federico Felice Bussola Sampsistemi Srl Massimo Caimi Mario Di Maio SpA Nerio Casadio Angeli Srl Cinzia Cerami New Tech Srl

Sergio Trinca Colonel Officina Meccanica Trinca Snc Antonio Corso Lubrimetal SpA Michele Corti OMC-Wirelombardia Srl Giovanni Corti OMAS Srl Carlo D’angelo Eurotek Srl Marco Dell’oro Mario Frigerio SpA Lorenzo Facchinelli Eurodraw Wire Equipment Srl Massimiliano Fantuzzi Tenova SpA Simone Formenti DRT Impianti Srl Gaia Frigerio Froma Srl Giovanni Garoli Koner Srl Mario Ghezzo Invimec Srl Roberto Gnecchi Tecno Impianti Srl

Laura Loturco Trafco Srl Roberto Macuglia Promostar Srl Gianluca Marangoni Gimax Srl Flavio Marocco Ferriere Nord SpA Gianluca Milani Milani Srl

Oreste De Sabbata Atomat SpA Giovanni Sala OMSA Srl Marco Santini WCM Bergamo Srl Cristian Saraceno Tramev Srl Maria Teresa Sorli TLM Srl

Massimo Minca MEP SpA

Carmen Sperandii Rs Extrusion Snc Di Romagnoli N & Sperandii C

Mauro Nava OMA Srl

Nicola Spessato WTM Srl

Matteo Paganoni RTP Paganoni Srl

Antonio Spizzamiglio Aeroel Srl

Massimo Parise Euroalpha Srl

Fermo Pietro Stefanoni SAS Engineerin and Planning Srl

Stefano Parma PS Costruzioni Meccaniche Srl

Enrico Tocchetti Cometo Srl

Marco Pizzi Carlo Salvi SpA

Alberto Tononi Boxy SpA

Sandro Poli IFP SpA

Andrea Zacco Tecnofil SpA

DECEMBER 2018 | 35





WAI staffer receives PR award The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. announced today that Janice Swindells, director of marketing and corporate communications, has been awarded the 2018 Bronze Mercury Award for Media Relations by the Greater Connecticut Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA CT). Swindells received the award for media coverage of WAI’s recently held WAI Operations Summit & Wire Expo 2018, held in Nashville, Tennessee. The Mercury Awards recognize outstanding creative and strategic excellence demonstrated in 201718 by a wide variety of agencies, companies, colleges, non-profJanice Swindells with her latest its and organizations across the state. award.

“This award is a reflection of Janice’s day-to-day contributions to the success of the operation and as well as the professionalism of the entire organization,” said WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll.

Interwire Exhibitor Manual up for view Companies that plan to or are exhibiting at Interwire 2019 can review the official Exhibitor Manual on-line now at The manual presents exhibitors with a guideline for the trade show which takes place May 14-16, 2019, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. 2019 Contents include all the E X H IB IT OR MA necessary forms, includNUAL CO N FE RE N CE ing registration, rules, : M AY 13 -1 6, EX HI BI 20 19 TS : M AY 14 -1 6, booth listing procedures/ 20 19 deadlines, move-in and move-out times, booth accessories, event schedule, and more. GE OR GI



IR E1 9.


Add: No.33 Qinhuangxi Street, Qinhuangdao, P.R.China, 066000 Tel: +86-335-3893600 Fax: +86-335-3870760 Email: Website:



Reservations can now be made for 8 hotels for Interwire 2019 Reservations are now being accepted at all official hotels for the Interwire Trade Exposition, May 14-16, 2019. Please note that the price and distance varies from each of the eight hotels to the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), Atlanta, GA, USA. The following link to EventSphere, the hotel provider, ——allows attendees to book, modify or cancel your hotel reservation at any time, and to receive updated information about the event. You can also contact via telephone 24/7 at tel. 877-419-8753 (toll free)/864-208-2945 (international). The hotels include: Aloft Atlanta Downtown; The American, a DoubleTree by Hilton Atlanta Downtown; Embassy Suites Atlanta at Centennial Park; Glenn Hotel - A Marri-

ott Autograph Collection Hotel; Holiday Inn Express & Suites Atlanta Downtown; Omni Hotel at CNN Center; and Westin Peachtree Plaza. All the hotels are located in walking distance to the GWCC, and the exact distances are cited at the website. Of note, there is no shuttle service from the hotels to the GWCC. EventSphere is the only official housing provider associated with Interwire. While other hotel resellers (poachers) may contact you offering housing for your trip, they are not endorsed by or affiliated with Interwire and entering into financial agreements with such companies can have costly consequences. Reservations made through these companies will be at your own risk.

Toroidal® Steel Reel

DECEMBER 2018 | 37


CHAPTER CORNER Poland Chapter reports good results for its latest wire technical conference in Poland—for his significant contribution to the develThe WAI Poland Chapter held its 10th seminar on Oct. opment of the wire drawing industry. He was cited for 11-12 at the Hotel Ostaniec in Podlesice, Poland, which intensive cooperation with many leading suppliers whose was attended by more than 90 participants from 40 compatechnology has bolstered cable production in Poland. nies and institutions. Świerczyński has worked closely for nearly 30 years with The event, which included seven technical presentaWilhelm Tatje KG, a highly regarded supplier of machintions, ranged from wire and wire rod quality to die design, ery and industrial equipment, and also represents machine reported WAI Poland Chapter President Jan Pilarczyk, who companies such as KOCH, WAFIOS and IDEAL as well provided the below wrapup. as Schlatter, Italian The presentaSacma and Belgian tions were made FIB, Condat, by representatives Traxit, Lubrimetal, for the U.S.’s CMC Altrimex and Commercial Metals American McDerPoland (new wire mid. rod grades); GermaThe seminar’s ny’s Witels Albert honorary guest GmbH (straightwas CUT Rector ening, transportProfessor Norbert ing and guiding Sczygiol. Based wires, tapes and on discussions cables technology); and comments Poland’s Italmec from attendees, Sp., (wire drawthe participants ing equipment); have confirmed the Poland’s Czestovalue in organizing chowa University of From l-r, CUT Prof. Norbert Sczygiol; Barbara Stefaniak, ArcelorMittal; Laureate Adam Świerczyński; Prof. Jan Pilarczyk; and Ralf Tatje, president more seminars. Technology (CUT) of Wilhelm Tatje KG. In related news, faculty (steel cord Prof. Knych has wires with high been promoted to dean of AGH’s Department on Non-Fertensile strength and large fatigue durability); Germany’s rous Metals. This may allow for further Poland Chapter Traxit GmbH (low-dust wiredrawing lubricants); the U.S.’s participation in organizing seminars for nonferrous enterMagnetic Analysis Corporation (eddy testing of steel wire prises and research institutions. Plans call for a seminar to rod and wire); Poland’s Institute for Ferrous Metallurgy be held next spring on continuous casting and processing (advanced multi-phase steels for fastener production); and of copper and its alloys. Italy’s Vassena (benefits of long nib dies). The Poland Chapter organizes international conferences The seminar allowed producers to meet with their clients, every other year (see WJI April issue, p. 36), so in between and encouraged discussions of fruitful and prospective it seeks to organize seminars specifically for selected cooperation. It included tabletop displays by Drahtwerk aspects of production of nonferrous wire rods, wires and Friedr. Lӧtters GmbH & Co. (Germany); WiTechs GmbH cables. Such seminars will also include bestowing of (Germany); VoiTec, Skrzyszów (Poland); Heberlein GmbH awards to highly recognized people who have achieved (Germany); Magnetic Analysis Corporation; Met-Prim success in the nonferrous metals sector. Of note, Poland (Poland); Traxit; Welding Wire Machineries (Poland); and has more than a hundred enterprises in this sector, includCloos-Polska Sp. (Poland). ing Telefonica and KGHM. The presentations were moderated by Prof. Tadeusz Of note, Professor Knych was the 2015 winner of WAI’s Knych, chairman of the Scientific Committee and Vice Mordica Award, and he is a member of the AssociaPresident of the WAI Poland Chapter, and by Associate tion’s Memorial Awards Committee. As dean, he hopes to Prof. Beata Smyrak, a member of the Seminar Scientific encourage the future exchange of specialists from the U.S. Committee, both of whom are from the AGH University of industry with their Poland counterparts. Science and Technology (AGH), in Cracow. The 8th Conference on Drawing is scheduled for Nov. The Schneider Memorial Award, Poland’s most import7-9, 2019, also in Hotel Ostaniec in Podlesice. The event ant for the wire and cable industry, was bestowed upon website is Also, look for more details Adam Świerczyński—president of MET-PRIM Radomsko in future WJI issues. and the exclusive representative of Witels Albert GmbH 38 | WIRE JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL

we’ve been part of something that is really good, someWAI’s New England Chapter will return Thursday, Jan. thing you are proud to be associated with.” He also thanked 24, to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, all the past sponsors of chapter events as they have made where it will celebrate its being founded 25 years ago. it possible for the chapter to increase both the size and The New England Chapter is the Association’s oldest numbers of the scholarships. and largest chapter. Plans were still being finalized for the annual meeting, and will be presented in the January issue. The annual event has long drawn more than a hundred attendees, and chapter officials expect that this one will be especially well-attended. “Twenty-five years is quite a milestone,” said chapter President Michael Crouchley, who noted that the chapter has achieved much since it was formed. It may be best known for the annual golf tourFront, l-r, the 2018 New England Chapter’s leaders and WAI Liaison Shannon Timme. nament, and then for its educaThe chapter will introduce its officers for 2019 at the tion events and plant tours, but the real value is how it has meeting, including an update on the scholarship program provided camaraderie and networking. as well as future plans. The cost for the event is $120 for Crouchley said that while the social and technical aspects chapter members, $130 for WAI members and $140 for all are important elements, perhaps the biggest contribution others. A block of hotel rooms are also available at a cost of has been the chapter’s scholarship program that started $150. For tickets, sponsorships and any other information, in 2006. “I think everyone I’ve talked to agrees that this contact WAI’s Shannon Timme at is something we can all be proud of. There’s a sense that

Wire machinery. Trusted.

We supply: Dry drawing machines Single block drawing machines Coilers and Spoolers Reinforcing steel lines Auxiliary machines Project planning DECEMBER 2018 | 39


New England Chapter: a big crowd is expected to celebrate its 25th year



This feature pitches a relationship with the U.S. government that you may never have considered: your partner. If a company has a truly innovative concept but is leery of costly R&D, Uncle Sam may be able to help. Ironically, the riskier the premise, the better your chances. It’s not literally free as there are internal costs (see p. 54), but the process does work (see below), and wire and cable awards have been issued. Further, it may be feasible to access outside technology (see p. 48/50), opening up future markets. These and other aspects are presented here.

Minnesota Wire: its R&D journey from kitchen table to satellites Founded in 1968, Minnesota Wire evolved from a bulk cable manufacturer to be a technology leader in fields such as medical and defense. That success was fueled by taking advantage of federal funding (16 awards over 12 years) for R&D. Below, company Chairman/CEO Paul Wagner explains how the metamorphosis came to be for a family business that was literally created at the kitchen table. At Minnesota Wire, we believe we’re quite unique compared to every other wire company, and frankly most small manufacturing firms. We decided back in the 1990s that innovation was essential to survive and thrive in a fast-paced economy. We weren’t going to be dictated to by the market. Instead, we reached pretty aggressively for a different future, and it was a risky stretch, to re-invent how we made electrical conductors and shields for our target markets of medical and defense technologies. We saw that these sectors were going to need vastly different electrical interconnect systems, not just variations of what had been done the same way for a century or more. In this journey, we faced, and embraced, three big challenges. Predicting market demand. This was the first challenge, and at the time the future was not so crystal clear. Internally, we felt comfortable in our assessment that conductors had to be lighter, more robust and offer even more added value, like built-in “smart” diagnostics, radar-absorbent components and assemblies that would not corrode over time. Further, we saw that wire had always been an afterthought for devices in these target markets.


We concluded that making them central to the application design was the way to go. We were convinced that the market was ready Paul Wagner with a for us if we could deliver. CNT sample at work. The technology. The second challenge was how to get there from a technology perspective. We found much of the answer largely through our ground-breaking work with carbon nanotube (CNT) material. These connectivity products were lighter, non-corrosive and largely unknown to the wire and cable industry, yet they represented a unique way to match future designs for high tech products. They could also be more than just conductors, as they could serve as shielding for the interconnect assemblies. It was exciting to be driving the technology for our own products, rather than reacting to it. Funding. Finally, our vision was admittedly ambitious for a small, family-owned wire company in the Midwest.

SBIR/STTR: noteworthy aspects  SBIR was created by Roland Tibbetts at the National Science Foundation and signed into law in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan.  Awards are offered by the SBIR (11 agencies), and STTR (five agencies). See below.  Each year, more than $2 billion in awards are issued.  The success rate for applicants for Phase I is 15 to 20%, and for Phase II it is 30 to 50%.  To date, some 160,000 awards have been issued, and more than 70,000 patents issued.  To date, SBIR programs have awarded over $43 billion to American small businesses.  Some 450,000 engineers and scientists have taken part, one of the largest STEM talent concentrations in the world.

Types of federal funding available to small U.S. companies Each year, 11 federal departments and agencies are required to reserve a portion of their R&D funds for awards to small business. These include the departments of Agriculture; Commerce; Defense; Education, Energy, Health and Human Services (HHS), Homeland Security, Transportation, the EPA, NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Each body’s websites explain their programs. The federal government provides R&D funding primarily through two programs, both of which come under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Technology. A proposal for either program must be submitted in response to an “open” research topic listed online. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Candidates are limited to 500 employees, must be American-owned and independently operated, and for-profit, with the principal researcher employed by the business. A Principal Investigator (PI) must be named. For 2018, Phase I, the start-up phase, provides awards of up to $150,000 for approximately six months for further exploring the merit or feasibility of an idea or technology. Phase II awards, up to $1,000,0000, for as many as two years, can be used to expand Phase I results. During this time, the R&D work is performed and the developer evaluates commercialization potential. Only Phase I award winners are considered for Phase II. Phase III, commercialization, is not funded, but significant Phase III dollars are

sometimes available from the government using a different contract vehicle, other than SBIR/STTR. The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. This program, which expands funding in the federal innovation R&D arena via five agencies, is similar to SBIR, but it expands the public/private sector partnership to include JV opportunities for small business and nonprofit research institutions. It does require a candidate to collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. Unlike SBIR, the PI need not be an employee. Each year, the departments of Defense, Energy, HHS, NASA and the NSF are required by STTR to reserve a portion of their R&D funds for award to small business/ nonprofit research institution partnerships. The agencies make STTR awards based on small business/nonprofit research institution qualification, degree of innovation, and future market potential. The STTR program is generally similar to that of SBIR, other than for Phase I award period is longer, approximately one year. As with SBIR, Phase III does not get funding. More details, including the full qualifications, can be found at Of note, while carbon nanotubes and high-temp superconductors account for many projects, past funded proposals have included tow wires for a submarine, lightweight wire and cable for aircraft, tungsten 3% rhenium wire, wire coatings, graphene wire, dimensionally stable composite cables, and more.

DECEMBER 2018 | 41


We knew that self-funding the R&D was problematic, especially as there were no guarantees that the market would buy into our concept. So, we went to the greatest venture capitalist in the world: the U.S. Federal Government. The opportunity provided through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program allowed investigation and development of our CNT products. These programs are designed to engage small business innovation for national technology needs, particularly in defense. And from what we saw, very little of it was being applied to re-invent legacy wire. We had found our dream investor. At the same time, it was also a way to give back, as our innovations, commercialized, could keep soldiers safer and make them more effective. At that point, it was a wild ride. We hired a really smart MIT grad to start writing our proposals to win research projects for the Pentagon. It was all about systematic bidding on relevant topics and “suggesting” topics to government program managers so we could bid on contracts we had helped design. This got us on a path to where we are now. We have bid on, and won, more than $6.6 million in federal R&D contracts. With those funds, we were able to develop the capability to design, process and establish performance relative to commercial wire


ues to assist small businesses in the products. Very quickly, we learned Midwest. how small business can advance via All that energy and exposure led the federal marketplace. The subject to other attention and opportunities, matter is broad and success depends including a very competitive $2.3 on overall performance results that million Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) are acceptable by the customer. award to commercialize space wire for With our community-based values a three-letter agency and large prime as a guide, we decided to share those defense contractors, and winning the lessons, and in 2004 we started a national Tibbets Award for technolregional defense industry network ogy commercialization excellence. The called the Defense Alliance. Within RIF is designed to transition innovative a few years, the entity grew to over technologies that resolve the Pentagon’s 800 corporate members in 34 states, near-term (within two years) operational eventually earning federal funds A Minnesota Wire CNT cable. challenges. for its own operations from the U.S. We’ve continued development work on both our CNT Small Business Administration (SBA). and copper space wires, creating more than 4,000 cable The Defense Alliance was designated an Advanced variations to date. In 2016, we began receiving qualified Defense Technologies cluster with the Department of orders and our products headed to space. We continue to Defense (DoD)’s endorsement, and has since contributed sell finished product as well as R&D advancements to the to its member companies gaining over $250 million in country’s top five satellite manufacturers, which know federal and commercial contracts, as well as the creation full well that removing 20–50% of weight with CNT is of over 2,200 high tech jobs. The company, which won critical to dropping launch costs. During our 14 years of the SBA’s Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year R&D, we discovered ways to make our CNT cables offer Award in 2007 and the 2014 Progress Minnesota Award, greater strength and a longer flex life, radio translucence, was sold last year to Logistic Specialties, Inc., and contin-

Phase I

Robust, Lightweight Wiring for Space Applications

Company: Minnesota Wire Agency: Department of Defense Branch: Air Force Amount: $149,935 Program: SBIR Year: 2012 Abstract: Phase I technical objectives are to:

develop a requirements analysis for EMI shielding for Space Wires; develop prototype CNT shielded wires that are ECSS-E-ST-50-12C compliant; conduct validation testing of CNT shielded wires to make an initial assessment of robustness of cables; investigate termination strategies for the ECSS-EST-50-12C compliant CNT shielded wires.

Benefit: The potential benefits of this innovation

could include military development for future ground, air or space systems that have stringent weight requirements, including launch vehicles, UAVs, portable communications, small satellites, etc.


Phase II

Robust, Lightweight Wiring for Space Applications

Company: Minnesota Wire Agency: Department of Defense Branch: Air Force Amount: $749,802 Program: SBIR Year: 2014 Abstract: Using a Phase I SBIR grant, Minnesota

Defense and the University of Minnesota used carbon nanotubes (CNT) to create coax and ethernet cables that weigh 23.2% and 42%, respectively, less than commercial off-the-shelf cables. This Phase II grant will fund the optimization of the cables, validation of the physical performance of the wires, and perform aging tests to ensure fulllife-cycle performance.

Benefit: Reducing the weight of coax and ethernet

cables using CNTs has the potential to provide significant cost savings, reduce maintenance and improve reliability of satellites. These would be impactful for government and commercial satellite applications.

Lack of a Ph.D. is not an excuse A manufacturer without a Ph.D. can still prepare a successful proposal, declares Chip Laingen, an executive for Logistic Specialties, Inc. (LSI), which last year bought the Minnesota Defense Alliance. Below, he explains why. Many manufacturers are better than they think they are. Be bold about the inventiveness of your engineering team. An essence may either exist or be able to be bolstered to where, for some goals, it equals the intellectual capital of any academic research institution. Do not avoid R&D funding paths that either explicitly or implicitly require one to partner with a Ph..D and/or an academic institution, a testing facility or federal lab. You, as a manufacturer, can offer a real-world commercialization path, prototyping and full scale production as well as disciplined project management timelines. You need to fill in the gaps, so seek out partners that can provide that, including academia. In a perfect world, a candidate would have both university research credentials and honed manufacturing processes, but those don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Assemble a team to the table that can do both, and you have the essence needed to secure R&D contracts.

DECEMBER 2018 | 43


inflammability and heat dissipation as well as corrosion resistance. In summary, Minnesota Wire is an example of how commercialization of a vision—which at points, especially the early stages, may seem quite daunting—can be accomplished. We were able to re-invent how electrical interconnections are done for high-technology applications. We currently hold six patents for CNT, elastomeric conductors and shield fault protection capabilities. If we had not stretched beyond the comfort zone of our niche to take those first steps, our story would undoubtedly be far different. This was not an easy journey, but it was one that reflects the potential and possibilities that exist for those who are willing to embrace it. Editor’s note: See p. 51 for further comments by Wagner.


Federal R&D awards: some basics and advice from a program expert Through the Small Business Administration, the R&D awards are available through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Below, Pat Dillon, a Minnesota-based expert, discusses the process, and why it as an incredible resource for companies that may have never considered it. WJI: Aside from the “small� size limit, can any wire and cable manufacturer with an innovative concept it wants to commercialize apply for an SBIR/STTR funding? Dillon: Yes, but there are requirements. Some key ones are that a company must to be at least 51% U.S. owned and controlled by U.S. citizens and/or legal resident aliens and all of the research must be done in the U.S. There are a lot of other requirements, and they are explained in detail in the eligibility guide at

Pat Dillon discusses the SBIR program. WJI: If a proposal is truly innovative, will it get funding? If not, where can a company go wrong? Dillon: A proposed project must have a strong business case. It is not enough to have a good idea anymore: the small business must understand the market opportunity for the future product, service or process before starting this journey. Congress, and taxpayers, want a return on investment for SBIR/STTR investments. The scientific and technical research is similar to research that is conducted at a university; however, the small business is focused on applied research that has the potential to become a product, service or process five years or more from now. WJI: Who should prepare a proposal? Dillon: In my opinion, the scientist, engineer or the person who will lead the research ought to write the proposal. Although outside grant writers can help with proposal efforts, I think that the researcher needs to understand the state-of-the-art to differentiate their project from other known research. The overall decision to seek federal funding is a strategic business decision, and should be a part of a long-term plan.


WJI: How many Phase I awards go on to become Phase II awards? Dillon: For Phase I, from 15 to 20% of proposals are approved. The transition from Phase I to Phase II is about 40%. During Phase I, and certainly in Phase II, companies need to discuss the commercialization strategy that will certainly include potential future customers, which can be either commercial and/or government offices. For a Phase III award, if the product, service or process can be traced back to an SBIR/STTR funding, then a company could exercise sole-source rights, meaning that they could receive contracts without any further competition. The SBIR/STTR Policy Directives provide these details. WJI: Are SBIR and STTR awards equally hard to earn? Dillon: They both are demanding and competitive. Small businesses with the required internal resources and capabilities to conduct cutting-edge research normally pursue SBIR funding. This includes the principal investigator or project director, who must be an employee of the company at least 51% at the time of award and during the conduct of the research. Companies without the facilities, resources and expertise typically pursue STTR funding. Under the STTR program, the small business must collaborate with a research institution, like a university, a medical institution or other non-profit research institutions. The principal investigator or project director can be from either the company or the research institution, except in the case of the National Science Foundation. They require the PI/PD to be with the small business. WJI: Do you think there are companies that have never sought such funding that could, in fact, be chosen? Dillon: Absolutely! If a company is already doing business with the federal government, they are in a prime position to drive innovation and commercialization of new products and services without equity dilution or having to repay the funding. SBIR/STTR projects with academic involvement have a higher likelihood of funding. They know the government rules, regulations and processes, which is a huge bonus. Deciding to seek federal funding requires a long-term business strategy focused on the product offerings that may be five to 10 years off. WJI: What about companies that have no such experience and are leery of investing time and money? Dillon: I would encourage any such business to explore the basics to determine if this a good fit for these programs. Start with, and then consult their local state

WJI: Any other thoughts on SBIR? Dillon: This is the second best federal program after the GI Bill. These programs support the American Dream. The federal agencies have broad and diverse research areas, focus on what the company wants to do, then match it up with the federal agencies. This will require time and effort to make the match; however, it is where it all starts. Dream big!

Phase II

Metal-Encapsulated CNTs to Enhance Steel Wire Performance

Company: Mainstream Engineering Corp. Agency: Department of Defense Branch: Navy Amount: $749,659 Program: SBIR Year: 2017 Abstract: The addition of CNTs traditional steel cabling has the potential to significantly improve cable strength and longevity. However, previous methods for CNT integration struggle due to CNT aggregation and poor interfacial interactions between CNT and matrix. Our CNT coating process is based on a simple, scalable, one-pot process using emulsion chemistry to coat a metal on a nanotube surface. This coating provides an iron-coated CNT nanopowder which enhances the binding of the CNT to the steel matrix, improves mixability, and limits aggregation. In addition, the emulsion chemistry enhances the matrix/CNT interface, improving both mechanical properties. During the Phase I, Mainstream showed a 90% increase in fatigue life by integrating Fe-coated CNTs into a pure iron matrix. During the Phase II work, we will advance the state-of-theart FeCNT encapsulation process developed during Phase I and optimize the composite loading, mixing, and fabricating conditions before testing in relevant conditions.

The difference between contracts and grants The Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977 was created to guide U.S. Federal government agencies in their use of awarded funds, which can be contracts, grants and cooperative agreements. The differences between them are explained below. Contracts: These are used when the U.S. federal government acquires (i.e., purchases or procures) goods or services from a non-federal entity. A contract directly benefits the government in fulfilling its public duties. The scope of the work is defined by the federal agency, and the selection follows the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA). The results of the research is delivered to the federal agency.

Grants. These are used when the U.S. federal government transfers anything of value from the federal government to a non-federal entity to carry out a public purpose authorized by U.S. law. Grants advance the public purpose. Selection is primarily a competitive manner, and mandatory and formula grants differ. The results are for public purposes and are released to the public. Cooperative Agreements. These are very similar to a grant agreement. Where they differ from a grant is that they provide for substantial involvement between the federal awarding agency or pass-through entity and the non-federal entity in carrying out the activity contemplated by the federal award.

DECEMBER 2018 | 45


resource (also at Most states have a dedicated group to help new inquires to understand the programs and the process, and it is usually free. A PhD. is not required for a project, either SBIR or STTR. The agencies are looking for a technical team that is capable of carrying out the proposed R&D effort internally, or with external partners if needed. The ultimate goal is to fund innovative R&D with the right mix of talent, business and technical. Besides specific topics, the programs offer grants that allow the firm to propose a project that aligns with the mission of the target agency. We call these Principal Investigator projects. Using wire as a general search term, the database resulted in 2000 awards for the term “wire.” A manufacturer needs to focus on advanced manufacturing research opportunities in their respective markets. If the SBIR/STTR funding process seems daunting, consider partnering with a small business that already has experience doing this. Moreover, you can also consider technology transfer from university, a federal laboratory or another small business that will enable your company to augment its current product offerings. If it makes sense, follow up. I always say, “We send all this money to Washington DC, how do you get it back? We write quality research proposals that are funded!”


National Science Foundation funding: how it works The National Science Foundation (NSF) notes that it has been the backbone of America’s science and engineering research enterprise for more than six decades. NSF issues some 12,000 new awards annually, engaging hundreds of thousands of researchers, postdoctoral fellows, technicians, teachers and students in science and engineering. Below, Sarah Bates, of the NSF Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, discusses NSF’s mission.

WJI: NSF gets tens of thousands of proposals a year: how can it review so many to choose those to fund? Bates: In FY 2016 alone, NSF acted on 49,285 competitively reviewed full proposals. Through its review process, NSF ensures that submitted proposals are reviewed in a fair, competitive and in-depth manner. On average, roughly 50,000 experts share the benefit of their knowledge and give their time to serve on review panels each year.

WJI: Does NSF get a lot of proposals from some companies that are “well-versed” in the process? Bates: NSF funds many companies that are new to government grants. Looking at our most recent pool of Phase I grantees (awards stated June-July 2018), 73 were first-time submitters, 129 had received no prior Phase II awards from any agency, 77 of the companies were founded from 2016 to 2018, and 101 had between three employees or less for the average 12-month period prior to submission.

WJI: How does you consider the merits of a proposal? Bates: NSF selects reviewWJI: It sounds like many ers from the national pool companies were formed specifiof experts in each field, and cally to pursue funding grants. their evaluations are confiBates: Some awardees spin dential. All proposals are out of other small businesses or reviewed according to two even larger corporations, but the merit review criteria: Intelmajority do not. A small busilectual Merit and Broader ness that is majority owned or Impacts. Nearly every controlled by another business proposal is evaluated by a that’s not a qualified small busiminimum of three indepenness would not be eligible. The dent reviewers consisting startup has to be majority owned of scientists, engineers and by U.S. citizens or residents, and educators who do not work meet SBIR eligibility requirefor either NSF or the instituments. tion that employs the proposing researcher. WJI: How can a company NSF’s merit review process determine if its particular project is considered the “gold stanis likely to qualify? Also, can a dard” of scientific review. denied proposal be resubmitted? Perhaps the best evidence of Bates: Small businesses are NSF’s success is the repeated Highlights of NSF’s awards activity. encouraged to submit an execureplication of its merit review tive summary before they apply. An NSF program director model for discovery, education and innovation in nations will send them feedback about the proposed project and around the globe. may either encourage or discourage them from applying. Our program directors can be contacted at any time if a WJI: Why does NSF encourage “high risk” projects? potential applicant has questions or wants more informaBates: NSF is looking for “moonshot” projects that tion. Every proposal is reviewed by technical and commerhave technical challenges to overcome and commercial cial experts and receives written feedback. If a company and broad impact potential. We want to fund projects that does not get funding, they can schedule a call with the could upset an industry or make a big impact on life as we cognizant program director about their proposal. They can know it. We are talking about technology that might be too resubmit if they make changes to their proposal. “risky” for an investor but could really make a difference. WJI: What percentage of NSF small company proposals do not pass the initial review for a Phase I award? Bates: NSF averages some 3,000 such proposals a year, with 250 to 300 companies receiving a Phase I award.


WJI: If a proposal passes the initial review stage, is it then just a matter of filling out the paperwork? Bates: NSF SBIR funding is for R&D that involves a good amount of technical risk. If a company is already sure

WJI: If a company that wins NSF funding achieves commercial success and patents, what does it owe? Bates: Our funding does not need to be repaid, nor do we obtain ownership in any of our awardees. The government does retain some limited rights to any intellectual property that our funds help to create; however, to date it has never exercised these rights for any funded small business award. WJI: What advice can you offer companies? Bates: Reach out to a program director to see if your idea fits with the goals of NSF. We also recommend registering early and applying early. We encourage a visit to our website,, to see what NSF has funded in the past, and our “Apply Page” for more information on the process.



NSF Standard Grant: Size Effect on the Evolution of Kirkendall Pores in Ti-Coated Ni Wires

Sponsor: Northwestern University Agency: NSF Amount: $396,789 Year: 2016 Program: Division Of Materials Research Abstract: Nitinol, commonly used for applications

such as actuators or switches, is a biocompatible material. Traditional bulk Nitinol can be further improved by introducing open porosity to enhance the properties in a variety of ways. We seek to investigate a novel approach where controlled interdiffusion in Ti-coated Ni wires forms near equiatomic NiTi alloys with shape-memory or superelastic behavior. This project aims at understanding the wire size effect on the Ni-Ti interdiffusion behavior and Kirkendall pore evolution ... This research will focus on transforming pure Ni wires into three-dimensional NiTi wire-woven structures.

With all of the suppliers out there...why should you call Wyrepak Industries for your manufacturing needs? Quite simply, Wyrepak is a name you can trust for reliable and dependable products. With our many years of experience in creating cost-effective manufacturing applications, backed by a solid guarantee and excellent customer service – Wyrepak has it all! For more details on any of our manufacturing product solutions, call us at 800-972-9222 or email

WYREPAK INDUSTRIES — A Huestis Industrial Company •

68 Buttonwood Street, Bristol, Rhode Island 02809-0718 USA • tel: 800.972.9222 or 401.253.5500 fax: 401.253.7350 2C_WYREPAKHuestis_WhyCallWyrepak_WJI_halfHoriz_VariousCombos_withShowInfo_v6_04042017_press.indd 1

11/9/18 1:43:10 PM

DECEMBER 2018 | 47


that the product is technically feasible, or if it is simply offering a plan that has no innovation in terms of their product or service, this would not be a good fit. In selected cases, NSF supports innovations to existing products and services, but these innovations must dramatically change the products’ commercial prospects. NSF doesn’t fund work that modestly improves existing products. For a better idea for what we are looking for, go online to to see some of the companies that have been quite successful.


Federal R&D funding furthered a company’s CNT technology for wire and cable The October feature included a story about how DexMat, a small Texas-based company spun off from R&D at Rice University, was able to make advances in carbon nanotube (CNT) technology. Here, company CEO Dr. Alberto Goenaga and COO Dmitri Tsentalovich explain the role that tapping into federal grants has had for DexMat. WJI: How important has the SBIR funding been to making your research a reality? Tsentalovich: SBIR funding from the US Air Force, NASA and NSF has been critical to the development of DexMat’s conductive carbon nanotube (CNT) technology. We were able to lease a lab facility, purchase supplies and equipment and hire two researchers. The process has also helped us get feedback about our products directly from people working at NASA and the Air Force, and they will ultimately be the end-use customers that benefit from using our CNT wire and cable on board aircraft and spacecraft.

due to my previous roles in R&D, process/product development director and administration, I was well versed in experiment design, planning, scheduling, coordination, accountability and management. As a PI, for Phase I you must cite concise goals and explain why you think it is highly likely you will succeed, and why customers will want the technology. Phase II is more comprehensive as it can include new and even riskier ideas. For both phases, the budget has to be consistent with the goals. WJI: What specifically did you as PI do? Goenaga: The role is complex. The PI creates the main document, the Statement of Work (SOW), which includes a timeline for how the project will proceed, and the budget. A good proposal should be feasible with a month of dedicated effort. Of note, the clock starts ticking when the government agency makes a call for proposals. The deadline is firm, so there are no late submissions. WJI: During the process, did you contact people outside the company, including customers? Goenaga: Yes. The SBIR process is not focused on just pursuing abstract research. There has to be a purpose and demand for it, and the more immediate the need the better. Potential customers are generally pleasant and enlightening. They want you to succeed, and will try to help you avoid mistakes by making sure you understand what they need and want. It behooves every entrepreneur to listen carefully to future customers.

DexMat’s Dmitri Tsentalovich (left) and Dr. Alberto Goenaga (right) at a recent trade show. WJI: Were you confident your proposal would qualify? Tsentalovich: DexMat has unique capabilities for developing lightweight wire and cable by being able to process CNTs into continuous fibers and films without any binders or additives. This has helped us get multiple SBIR awards for topics where cable weight reduction was a primary focus. The research component is the most difficult part of the SBIR process, as one needs access to lab space, appropriate equipment and personnel with relevant expertise to carry out the work that is required by an SBIR award. WJI: When did you first serve as a “principal investigator” (PI) for a funding proposal? Goenaga: That was when I wrote my first proposal for DexMat. I’ve never seen a job description for a PI, but


WJI: Were all your proposals approved? Goenaga: Sad to say, but no. When we were rejected, it was because either our competitors submitted a better plan or the solutions we proposed were not adequate, or sufficiently mature, to convince the reviewers. My personal philosophy is to “over-deliver on reasonable promises.” So far, this philosophy has worked and nobody has complained. WJI: Where can a proposal go wrong? Goenaga: Inventors tend to fall in love with their technology, and fail to ask themselves if it can actually be used to produce something that is desired by (paying) customers. An entrepreneur has to be able to look critically at the technology, assessing its shortcomings, the strength of your company and that of existing competitors. You have to have the discipline and fortitude to be honest with yourself, your colleagues and customers.

High-Temperature Electric Wires

Company: DexMat Agency: Department of Defense Amount: $149,967 Branch: Air Force Year: 2016 Program: SBIR Abstract: DexMat is developing a technology for

PRIMARY WIRE WIPE AN ECONOMICAL WAY TO REMOVE COPPER DUST • EXCESSIVE OIL LUBRICANT • DIRT • DUST FROM PRIMARY WIRE OR STRAND Wire range: up to 18 AWG Max. f/m: 8000 Materials: smooth non-ferrous wire / strand / strip / tinned, bare or plated Floor space: 18” x 27”

coating doped carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with impermeable barrier films. Under this Phase I project, DexMat will adapt the use of metallic barrier film coatings to prevent the egression of CNT dopants and, thus, preserve high electrical conductivity even if the fiber is subjected to high-temperature environments.

• Reduce Spark Faults • Improve Insulation Bond • Easy to Install • Improve Insulation Concentricity • Increase Pre-Heater Sheave Life • Environmental Friendly

Benefit: The technology is directed to companies

seeking to reduce the weight of their aircraft design. Potential uses of CNT wires and films include a broad spectrum of military and civilian applications from lightweight aerospace cables, to power and data conduits for wearable electronics, to health monitoring and diagnostic sensors.

Phase II


High-Temperature Electric Wires

Company: DexMat Agency: Department of Defense Branch: Air Force Amount: $749,950 Year: 2017 Program: SBIR Abstract: Electric wires and cables constitute by far the largest weight portion of aircraft electrical power systems, as well as a large fraction of the entire aircraft weight. ... This Phase II Proposal involves a dual pronged strategy for developing high temperature CNT-based power cables: 1) Dexmat will seek to improve the underlying CNT yarn conductivity with and without dopants that do not require encapsulation (i.e., non-transitory dopants); 2) Improve the encapsulation process to enable the use of dopants that do require encapsulation.




• Special Applications • Impact bond welding • Induction Melting • Wires • Tube & Pipe Heating Units • Strands • Bars / Billets

CABLE CONSULTANTS CORP. 7 Woodland Avenue, Larchmont, NY 10538 Tel: 914-834-8865 | Fax: 914-834-8903 325 Queens Road, Apt. 7, Charlotte, NC 28204 Tel: 704-375-9313 | Fax: 704-375-9321

DECEMBER 2018 | 49


Phase I


WJI: On the prior page are shown two awards that DexMat won: what technical advances did they result in? Tsentalovich: With that financial base, we succeeded in increasing the conductivity of CNT fibers and yarns by applying novel doping strategies and then encapsulating the dopants within the fibers. The proprietary encapsulation process allows the fibers to be used in settings up to 600°F. Phase I focused on the initial development of a fiber doping process and the encapsulation process. In Phase II, multiple additional dopants were evaluated, the yarn production process was scaled up and optimized to improve starting fiber conductivity, and a robust high-temp conductivity testing method was developed to evaluate doped CNT yarns performance. WJI: What does the SBIR get for providing the support? Tsentalovich: The government benefits by being able to use that technology. For example, development of 50% lighter CNT-based cables could help NASA reduce the weight of various spacecraft and satellites, which would help either lower launch costs or allow more instrumentation to be placed on board the spacecraft. WJI: Are you likely to apply for further SBIR funding? Tsentalovich: Yes, if there were relevant SBIR topics. The CNT materials we produce have a combination of

A few of DexMat’s CNT products that can be bought at properties unlike any other material that currently exists, and there are a lot of potential applications for our fibers and films. WJI: Would you consider partnering with a wire and cable company? Tsentalovich: If the company is interested in developing lightweight, CNT-based wires and cables, we would like to hear from them. WJI: Any advice for companies seeking such funding? Goenaga: Go for it. Even if you are not approved, you can learn a lot just by going through the process. Seek opportunities where your company’s product is a very good fit, and do not try to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Where to find a list of funding topics (open, future and closed) To find available topics, go to and then to the “Funding” tab. Under the “Topics” tab, click on “Open.” On Nov. 27, 409 results were displayed. Enter “manufacturing” in the search, and one gets 59 STTR and SBIR results. Click on any topic (below is “Advanced Materials”) and then click on the highlighted “Solicitation” designation (NSF-18-592), and you can see a list of available funding topics. If a given category seems relevant, you can use the “Resources” and “Tutorials” tabs to make further contact or call the helpdesk at tel. 571-306-5201.

Release Date

Open Date

Application Due

Close Date

September 06, 2018

November 03, 2018

December 04, 2018

December 04, 2018

Recent Funding Topics: Advanced Materials • Metals and Ceramics • Structural and Infrastructural Materials

• Multiferroics and Specialized Functional Materials

• Coatings and Surface Modifications

• Materials for Sustainability • Other Materials


As Minnesota Wire has had superlative results from its experience in winning federal R&D awards, WJI asked Chairman/CEO Paul Wagner to further the discussion on the opening spread of what his company achieved. WJI: What do you consider your greatest R&D success that directly stems from the awards you won? Wagner: For Minnesota Wire, the success stories are commercializing copper and carbon nanotube (CNT) wires for space and satellites. We were able to win R&D funding to create rugged iSTRETCH cables to improve soldiers’ monitoring and communications, then we drove that technology into medical wearable patient monitoring systems – a true “Life Saving Connection.” I also want to highlight the considerable success of the entity we founded in 2005, the Defense Alliance of Minnesota, which serves as a regional business alliance for the defense industry, and now has member companies in 34 states. In three years, it won $250 million in Department of Defense (DOD) grants for small businesses. As a footnote, we are proud to note that we had a federal R&D proposal success rate of 80% versus the industry average of 13%.

ing trade secrets and processes from full view to protect the company. One definitely should speak with the topic author during the 30-day verbal communication open window. They are required to talk to bidders and will answer any quesPaul Wagner tions you might have. That interaction also helps them get them used to hearing your company’s name. After receiving the award, it’s essential to meet face-to-face with the topic author. Ensure timely monthly reporting. You may see more flexibility and willingness to change the obligation and scope of the work.

WJI: Did you have a high success rate from the start? Wagner: Not always, and that actually turned out to be a bit of a blessing. Our original proposals for iSTRETCH cables were initially turned down. We contacted the topic author to ask why, and he gave us some good advice. We rewrote the proposal and planned to resend it for review. He told us not to bother as the program was closed, but we wanted to demonstrate that we were serious. We submitted the revised proposal within 30 days. He was very impressed with the extra effort and overall idea, and passed it off to another topic author, who eventually led to our approval for funding our iSTRETCH cable research.

WJI: Has applying for grants over the years helped your company as a whole elsewhere? Wagner: We have a long list of lessons learned. • Stay in your lane! Complement and advance your best competitive advantages. • Be careful of distractions and learn when to say “no.” We once accepted an award to create a 65-lb connector, which is not a staple product for us. We did it, but our resources could have been better used elsewhere. • Innovate new products to help deter margin erosion and build unique competitiveness. • Recognize the value in expanding one’s technology footprint, gross margins and one’s supply chain. • Never stop looking for awards to supplement your R&D budget. Through our development work, to date, we have won six patents on our new technologies.

WJI: How long did it take for you to develop and commercialize iSTRETCH as well as your carbon nanotube (CNT) cables? Wagner: Overall, we spent 12 to 14 years developing and commercializing iSTRETCH and CNT cables, with us getting about $6.5 million in awards from the DoD. For individual awards, the bidding and approval process takes 90 days, and with most SBIRs, you have nine months to complete the work. If you can plan properly, a company has a chance at getting another award in the same budget year for Phase II development. WJI: Having developed multiple proposals, is it fair to say that you have proposal writing down to a science? Wagner: We did come a long way, to the point where our Defense Alliance taught classes on the process of bidding DoD grants to other small business owners. Part of the secret sauce is to prepare a proposal while keep-

WJI: Are you surprised more companies do not do this? Wagner: I believe that a lot of companies still do not realize that 3% of the DoD budget is allocated for companies with under 500 employees. The ability to capture significant R&D awards that allows you to pursue state-ofthe-art technology represents a competitive advantage. I think it also helps if you can combine the art of communication/sales with great scientific people. Our director of R&D, Tom Kukowski leads product development and helps us understand emerging technology markets while I’m the visionary/entrepreneur. That combination gives us a healthy holistic view. A company should approach opportunities from both a technical as well as a sales position. At Minnesota Wire, we plan to continue doing that.

DECEMBER 2018 | 51


Further thoughts from Minnesota Wire’s Paul Wagner on federal funding


‘EAGER’ award issued by NSF for terabit per second copper wires This feature looks at the SBIR and STTR awards, but within the 11 agencies that work with those programs are some that have different names, such as the National Science Foundation’s Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) program. Below, Brown University Prof. Daniel Mittleman, the PI, discusses a proposal regarding terabit DSL—proposed by Dr. John Cioffi, chairman and CEO of ASSIA—that he is part of that was approved by NSF. WJI: The NSF gets some 40,000 proposals a year for research, education and training projects, but very few of them are for its EAGER proposals: did you start out knowing about this “short track” option, or did you later discover that this method could be done? Mittleman: I was aware of the NSF’s EAGER program before. However, I was also encouraged to use this funding vehicle by an NSF program manager who handled the application. His assistance was extremely helpful. WJI: How did you, a professor, come to partner with ASSIA Inc. on this proposal? Mittleman: I was approached by John Cioffi about a year ago to consider this idea. It was very intriguing, and it is great that we now have some funding to make a preliminary investigation of the concept. Without John’s input, this would certainly not have happened. My group has a lot of expertise in terahertz measurements and guided-wave phenomena, but not very much knowledge in the area of DSL, particularly the signal processing that will be necessary to disentangle the information from a multi-mode transmission. So, having ASSIA as a partner on this project is not merely convenient, it is crucial. WJI: Have you submitted such proposals before, and if so, what was the first time like? Did going through that make this one much easier? Mittleman: I have a long history of NSF funding for my research, dating back over 20 years. However, this is my first experience submitting an EAGER proposal. The process is very similar to a typical NSF proposal, except that the turn-around time is much faster. WJI: What do you hope to achieve by Sept. 30, 2020? Mittleman: We hope to have a set of preliminary data that can be used to convince people that this idea of terabit DSL is feasible, using existing infrastructure. By that I mean the wires currently used for DSL transmissions, not the source of signals at the input end or the detectors at the output end. That is, we would like to show that, using the wires that are already installed, we can send signals using millimeter-wave or terahertz radiation, with extremely broad bandwidth (and therefore extremely high data rate), and with low enough losses that we can still detect and decode these signals after hundreds of meters of propagation distance.


Brown University Professor Daniel Mittleman.



Brown University Principal Investigator/Sponsor: Daniel Mittleman

Amount: $200,000 Year: 2018 Program: COMMS, CIRCUITS & SENS SYS Abstract: The proposed research will explore the

use of existing copper twisted-cables for transmission of signals at much higher frequencies than those that have previously been employed in DSL systems. ... (It) seeks to study the use of millimeter waves or terahertz waves as the carriers for modulated digital data on twisted-pair cables, acting as waveguides. This proposal seeks to initiate a research collaboration between the PI at Brown University and engineers at ASSIA, Inc. This company specializes in the software and signal processing that enables efficient use of spectrum in DSL systems. Their expertise, in particular in the area of vectoring (conceptually equivalent to MIMO in wireless systems), combined with the PI’s expertise in millimeter-wave and terahertz waveguides, represents a unique team which is ideally positioned to carry out the proposed exploratory research program.

Below, ASSIA Chairman and CEO Dr. John Cioffi explains how he turned to an industry body to find an academic person to further his company’s research into furthering the potential of existing copper-twisted cables. ASSIA, and I in particular, “found” Prof. Daniel Mittleman through his considerable publication in professional organizations like the IEEE. Good companies will usually have several active IEEE members who review monthly periodicals, attend conferences, standards meetings, etc, and ASSIA certainly has such a group of employees.

We thought that Prof. Mittleman’s particular expertise in metallic waveguides, theory and implementation was exceptional, so we approached him about this possible research subject. Our discussions led to a joint approach with NSF, which encouraged Brown to apply for the EAGER Program. We provided a supporting letter, and ultimately, the approval of the EAGER award.

Past article cited advantages of EAGER awards, including higher acceptance rate NSF’s EAGER award is a funding mechanism that can support exploratory work by a company in its early stages on untested—but potentially transformative—research ideas or approaches. Such funded work should have an especially “high risk-high payoff” element, in the sense that the candidate’s focus involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives. Per an article posted at the Office for Sponsored Programs at Harvard University, the proposals are shorter (five to

eight pages instead of 15-20 pages), and must explain why it is not a regular project. EAGER proposals are not reviewed externally: a potential PI must talk with an NSF program officer for an initial determination of whether the focus would qualify before an official proposal can be sent. Of note, EAGER grants have a higher chance of being approved. Per NSF analysis, in the past, as many as 90% of such proposals got funding. In 2013, 399 of 441 EAGER proposals were funded, a relatively small slice (0.9%) of the overall NSF-funded research that year.

Wire & Cable Customized Compounds ECC offers a broad portfolio of customized elastomeric or polyolefin based compounds utilized for medium/high voltage as well as certain low voltage flame retardant applications including: EPR and Polyolefin Compounds Elastomeric, Crosslinkable, and Thermoplastic Compounds Flame Retardant and Halogen Free Compounds Moisture Crosslinkabe Compounds Specialty/Custom/FR Masterbatches Insulation, Jacketing, and Bedding Compounds ISO 9001 certified manufacturing process ensures quality, efficiency and ultimately customer satisfaction. • Non-carbon black product lines produce super-clean, elastomeric high voltage cable compounds. • Personalized customer service and support to customers worldwide. • • • • • • •

108 Rado Drive, Naugatuck, CT 06770 USA Tel: +1 203-723-2590

DECEMBER 2018 | 53


How 1 company found an academic star for its Tbps copper wire research


Company shepherds candidates through the SBIR/STTR proposal process InteliSpark,, is a U.S. business development consulting firm that specializes in securing funding for start-ups through the SBIR, STTR and other government research funding programs. Founder Kirk Macolini has developed proposals that have resulted in some 300 funded projects from agencies, including all SBIR granting federal agencies. WJI: How did you come to start your company? Macolini: I originally worked at a software company that received a fair number of SBIR grants contracts, and began to develop expertise. I helped another company on a freelance basis, and saw how steep the learning curve is for new applicants. I saw there was a significant need for a firm that could provide expertise in the SBIR and STTR proposal development area.

tive for a small business do this. We can. We analyze your ideas, technology, and capabilities. Then as we review each new development and solicitation, we look for opportunities that fit your business. We then generate a report of opportunities that are relevant to your business as well as analysis of potential barriers to success. Opportunities can include government research contracts, commercial opportunities and partnership opportunities.

WJI: What’s the catch? Macolini: I like to say that it is non-dilutive, but not free. While the award is free, there are internal costs in the form of preparing the proposal, and that can easily take well over 100 hours. You’re doing business with the federal government so there are always strings attached to the funding. There also are limitations on how you use the money. When people ask me how much preliminary data is required, I always answer: “More!”

WJI: If a given company can show its concept is innovative, is the rest a matter of filling out paperwork? Macolini: Not even close. A proposal consists of a proposal narrative and an array of forms. A typical full Phase I application will be between 20-75 pages in length. What’s vital to understand is that you are not competing against an arbitrary standard. Rather, you are competing against other applicants for a limited pool of money. Many worthy projects will not be funded. The factors that matter include innovativeness of the technology, quality of the proposed research plan, importance to the funding agencies priorities, company team, commercialization plans and prior track record.

WJI: How can a company figure out if what it does is likely to qualify or is not worth the effort? Macolini: This is a challenging question. It’s the kind of thing where I know a SBIR competitive project when I see one, but it is extremely hard to characterize it in general terms. Companies should put effort into vetting opportunities and if they determine the risk/reward effort is there, then put significant effort into proposal preparation. If the risk/reward isn’t there, they should pass. Also, there are 11 different federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program, and most of their priorities differ by agency, subagency, topic area and program manager. Thus, a proposal that could fall flat before one agency might be funded by a different agency. Each agency runs their own SBIR/STTR programs independently, so they can be dramatically different. One step you should do to determine your relative competitiveness is to talk with a program manager. Another useful approach is to look at the abstracts of projects the agency has funded previously. WJI: Can you help a company find appropriate solicitations to send a proposal to? Macolini. Yes. We spend hundreds of hours each year pouring over SBIR and non-SBIR solicitations, attending conferences, following trends in government research, analyzing government technology needs, and monitoring relevant legislative initiatives. It is simply not cost-effec54 | WIRE JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL

WJI: How difficult is the process for a company considering doing this for the first time? Macolini: Very. Often small businesses don’t know which opportunities they should pursue, they have no experience with the SBIR program or writing SBIR proposals, and they are up against “professional SBIR” companies that do nothing more than feed off of SBIR funding without ever commercializing their “innovations.” We want the nation’s investment in the SBIR/STTR programs to go to the truly innovative companies. WJI: What advice do you have for companies that have never done this but are intrigued by the possibility? Macolini: Try to find someone who has prior SBIR successes at the agency you are targeting. Proposals are about quality, not quantity, so more effort put into fewer proposals equals more awards. Don’t base yours on a sample proposal as it could have flaws. Make sure your submission has a compelling narrative that captures the strength of the proposed R&D. Also, this is not school, so making a proposal longer than it needs to be is not better. Readers who are serious about considering this route are welcome to contact me at

One company, UES, Inc., has had incredible success collaborating on award proposals. To date, per SBIR’s company details, it has won 179 Phase I awards worth $14.85 million, 57 Phase II awards worth $37 million, and another 36 worth $11.5 million, the majority for the Department of Defense. The company, which provide customers with scientific research services and technical expertise, did not respond to multiple calls and e-mails, but below is a related May 2 press release. It’s National Small Business Week and UES is excited to be celebrating small business wins! We are pleased and honored to announce that a UES-led team, with UDRI and Astro Inc. collaborators, has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract for developing high temperature wire insulation. Funded by the U.S. Navy, this effort aims to develop a high performance wire construction for use in a flexible harness for engine applications that is able to withstand the severe environment of an engine bay of an H60 helicopter. The SBIR program is a highly competitive program that encourages U.S.-based small businesses to engage in

Phase I

High Temperature, High Performance Wire Insulation

Federal R&D that has the potential for commercialization. UES won this award by demonstrating the technology’s feasibility in a Phase I effort, and aims to mature this in Phase II. In Phase I, the UES-led team successfully demonstrated a lab-scale flexible high temperature wire coating, which passed all specified testing. The prototype they developed differentiated itself against current materials in a needle abrasion test. The UES coated wire survived 10 to 50 times more cycles than uncoated wires after exposure to 425°C for 50 hours. In Phase II, the team will scale up the wire production process and increase the margin of safety through validation testing at 450°C.

Phase II

High Temperature, High Performance Wire Insulation

Company: UES, Inc. Agency: Department of Defense Branch: Navy Amount: $150,000 Program: SBIR Year: 2017 Abstract: UES, Inc., in collaboration with the

Company: UES, Inc. Agency: Department of Defense Branch: Navy Amount: $750,004 Program: SBIR Year: 2018 Abstract: The objective is to further advance the

Benefit: Successful completion of the proposed

Benefit: The proposed work will produce high temperature, insulated wire constructions for use in a flexible harness which can withstand the severe environment of an engine bay. Such flexible harnesses will have potential applications in the engine bay of current and future military and commercial aircraft.

University of Dayton Research Institute, plans to develop high temperature wire insulation. The relevant characteristics of the insulating materials with and without conductor will be evaluated under simulated atmosphere to demonstrate their feasibility as high temperature insulation meeting the required key performance parameters.. work will enable high temperature insulating materials and thereby high temperature wiring for engine bay application. The developed high temperature wire will have potential commercial applications in current and future military and commercial engine applications.

technologies developed in Phase I for the production of high temperature high performance wire insulation on a commercial scale. The performance of the developed wiring insulations will be validated through the required longer term higher temperature endurance tests. A prototype of the wiring insulation will be produced.

Editor’s note: A basic goal in any feature is to provide the essential information on the given subject. Yet, in this case, it’s not so simple. The scope is so immense—the more one explores, the more one finds other directions to follow—that anyone who finds the concept intriguing should spend some time at, as it hosts a wealth of information and advice. DECEMBER 2018 | 55


Not all stories can be told, but wire insulation was featured in SBIR awards



Moving toward visible difference and beyond: imaging-based surface quality control for rod and wire In recent years, imaging-based equipment has been used not just for hot rolling of wire rod mills but also for wire peeling and drawing. This technology presents a key capability for detecting and verifying very fine surface anomalies as well as timely identification of process/equipment issues such as roll and die wear, among others. By Tzyy-Shuh Chang, Howard Huang and Jianjun Shi

In-line imaging-based surface inspection equipment has been implemented for bars and rods since 20031. To date, there are over 40 installations in America, Europe, China, India, Japan and Korea that inspect long products ranging from wires as small as 0.5 mm, to bars, rails, shapes and seamless pipes as large as 280 mm. The proven in-service speed is as high as 110 m/s with hot rolling. In-service speed for processing plants—such as cold drawing, peeling, grinding, and even shot blasting—is substantially slower. The in-situ non-destructive testing (NDT) is garnering more and more attention because of the awareness of process control. NDT is typically used to identify defects or problems, but not provide solutions. However, as the utmost concern of a manufacturer is to produce surface-defect-free material at a low processing cost, there is a disparity between the manufacturer’s business objective and the function of NDT equipment. To mitigate this disparity, the NDT data should be used primarily as the feedback to uphold the process stability and correctness by way of process control. As an example, the SPC (statistical process control) concept was brought to the manufacturing by Dr. Deming based on measurements. Imaging-based, in-line equipment offers some unique features that are unavailable with the prior generation of electro-magnetism based equipment and may facilitate better process control: • Visible difference. It provides highly visible and intuitively verifiable image of a surface defect to operators. This is critical, particularly for high-volume or high-speed production, or for long length products, such as wire rod. • Expanded detection. It has the capability to detect omni-directional surface defects: longitudinal (parallel to the rolled product), transverse (perpendicular to the rolled 56 | WIRE JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL

product), or slant (angular in all directions to the rolled product). • Temperature malleability. It is immune to the Currie temperature transformation, and thus supports the new thermo-mechanical rolling processes to achieve fine grain structures. • Steel grade flexibility. No requirements are needed to adjust the imaging system for different steel grades. • Very fine detection capability. It offers detection capability of surface defects as fine as 0.020 mm, or even finer if the wire rod is stable. • Measurements in additional perspectives. Not just signal strength as in-line NDT systems provide, but surface defect length, width, estimated depth, shape, and so on. Since 2004, there have been a handful of reports about imaging-based surface inspection for bars and rods. The approaches included image morphology analysis1-4, image difference analysis5 and 3D scan contour analysis6. The key difference of those image-based approaches is how to extract the surface protrusion/indentation based on the differences of the images from at least two perspectives. The reported trial unit was installed in an intermediate mill where the bar stock is of a relatively constant size and stable motion. The 3D scan applications, as reported, are associated with bars moving at 5 m/s or less, and the reported defect detection capability are at least 2 mm in size. The morphology analysis is a common approach, yet the results could substantially differ from different image processing algorithms. There are also about 10 installations that combine imaging and eddy current7-8, which provides the benefits of transition from eddy current to imaging with the two technologies supporting each other.


What’s noteworthy in this paper

WJI: What kind of results have your customers reported to date? Chang: Improved profitability and enhanced satisfaction of the wire users, based on better understanding of the wire producing processes and the equipment conditions, as well as higher efficiency, yield and quality.

version PRii™, has been adopted by over 50 metal plants located in America, Asia and Europe. More than half of the installations are associated with wire rod facilities that produce carbon steel, stainless, or special alloy products. Installation of a PRii™ unit is scheduled in 1Q19 in a copper rod mill, which emphasizes on the magwires and fine wires market. The PRii™ unit will be installed inline of the copper rod rolling line, with its 0.025mm detection capability for not only the scabs, slivers, and pits, but also the very fine seam cracks and laps that traditionally can only be exposed by the torsion test on samples extracted into a lab.

WJI: What is the adopting status of the HotEye® technology? Chang: The HotEye® technology, along with its room temperature

WJI: Are you continuing research, and if so, on what? Chang: Yes, R&D is a constant effort to improve the technology

WJI: What’s the most important news in your presentation? Chang: A new and matured technology available for surface defect detection on wire products emerged, bringing very high detection capability and providing visual feedback to the wire industry. It complements or works in lieu of the existing technologies.

At Wire Expo 2018, Dr. Tzyy-Shuh Chang accepts the award for best general paper. with equipment robustness and capability. Implementation of the functions supporting data utilization is a focus. Questions for the author? Contact

With over 10 years of practice, it is evident that visibility is crucial, particularly for wire rods that can be hundreds— if not thousands—of meters long per coil. Visible records are vital in making process corrections and coil quality decisions.

Imaging-based system An imaging system utilizes the basic principle of designed light projection. The controlled light is projected onto and impinges the wire rod surface. If there is any sudden surface slope change on the wire rod surface, such as the opening of a seam crack or a scab, the light reflect-

Dr. Chang at or tel. 734-973-7500.

ed by the wire rod surface may be substantially disturbed when compared to the light reflected by a regular wire rod surface. The disturbance is then captured by an imaging device, forming the images of the wire rod surface. Imageprocessing algorithms are applied to these images for the identification of surface defects. This equipment is used for both hot and room temperature steel products, as illustrated in Fig. 1. These imaging systems have demonstrated the ability to detect various types of defects, ranging from long and thin defects—such as seams, laps and scratches—to scabs, slivers, cuts, pits, etc. Fig. 2 shows a group of defects from hot

Fig. 1. Surface inspection systems installed in a wire rod hot rolling mill, peeling line, and drawing line, respectively. DECEMBER 2018 | 57

TECHNICAL PAPERS Fig. 2. Various defects detected during on hot rolling wire rods.

Fig. 3. Various defects detected for ground, peeled, cold-drawn and shot-blasted products.

wire rod mills, while Fig. 3 contains the detected samples from an array of room temperature processes. Given today’s optical and image processing capability, the most advanced imaging-based surface inspection equipment is capable of detecting defects that are visually difficult to identify. As an example, a test was carried out using billets with known subsurface pinholes. The billets were rolled into wire rod coils, which were continuously monitored by an advanced in-line, imaging-based surface inspection system. The detection results were documented. Fig. 4(a) shows a detection e x a m ple of a fine seam crack. A sample was extracted from the coil to verify the Fig. 4(a). In-line imaging detection of a detection seam crack narrower than 0.050 mm on referenca wire rod.

ing to the location of the seam indicated in the surface inspection data. As illustrated in the left-hand half of Fig. 4(b), the seam was virtually invisible on the as-rolled rod sample. Yet, shot blasting or magnetic particle test could bring the underlying seam up, as shown in the right-hand half of Fig. 4(b) and in Fig. 4(c), respectively. Fig. 4(d) documents the results of destructive tests. The upsetting and metallurgical cross-section samples both verified the existence of the seam crack. The cross-section microscopic photos further reveal the true nature of a seam crack. Unlike an artificial defect on a typical test sample, the naturally occurred seam does not have a canonical cross-section geometry. Even for the same seam, the width may vary along its length, and so does the depth and the shape.

Fig. 4(b). A rod sample with the detected seam crack. Left side: original as-rolled surface (seam crack invisible); right side: shot-blasted surface.

Fig. 4(c). Rod sample under magnetic particle test.


Applications for hot rolling The use of an in-line surface inspection system has two major objectives: to limit quality spills so that the amount of waste is contained and to prevent the defective materials being delivered to the next step. For this purpose, the imaging-based equipment demonstrates a high utility. Surface defects, be it longitudinal or transverse, are detected within one or two rolled coils, with immediate visual verification. This enables the mill to stop to correct the source of the surface defect prior to the continuing operation. Further, mills can use the in-line imaging system to investigate their rolling process for root causes analysis of the source of defects detected by the surface inspection system, categorizing surface defects and associating them to process variables in the rolling or process equipment failures. The implementation of best practices disciplines in monitoring process variables and improving the preventative maintenance of process equipment significantly reduces off-specification products. The implementation of the in-line, image-based system has demonstrated significant benefits in the areas of equipment monitoring, process optimization, mill management, and customer relationship in a hot mill.

Fig. 4(d). Destructive tests on the seam crack sample.

Equipment monitoring & protection. A major source of surface quality spill comes from equipment failure. Issues such as roll cracks, loosened rolls, bearing seize, roll wears and guiding wears could induce tons of material held in production. With in-line imaging capability, the equipment condition is closely monitored to prevent failures, or in the case of failures, to quickly identify the root causes and contain the damage. As an example, roll cracks—such as a longitudinal thermal crack or a chipped-away pit, whether on the processing roll or on a guiding roll—may cause a sequence of repetitive marks on the rolled surface. While some marks may cause an immediate quality spill on the finished product, many may initiate light and allowable marks, as shown in Fig. 5. Undetected light marks never get better, and will grow in severity, leading to not only scraps, but also the potential of damaging the rolling equipment, especially if the broken metal piece is inside a high-speed mill block. The imaging data will provide an early warning, allowing the mill operators time to prepare for the correction with minimal interruption to the production schedule. This type of events occurs quite often and is part of the normal rolling practices in a mill. The periodic nature is clear if the roll marks are induced at the finishing mills, but not necessarily so if from prior mills. In another example, the surface inspection system reported a hiked surface quality score and defect quantity during the process of roll- Fig. 6. A defect induced by a seized guide; left: damaged guide, middle: ing 16-mm spring steel. The defects in-line image, right: actual rod surface. were sporadic along the coil. The equipment inspection identified a roll dislocation—the spindle shaft could shift axially when load was applied by the bar stock in the stand—at the #30 stand inside the mill’s reduce sizing mill, causing occasional cross roll, and unexpected tearing on the rod product. The root cause was a damaged thrust bearing. This incident was contained to only two coils of product Fig. 5. Roll marks detected, caused by thermal cracking (upper, on 12 mm) being held for re-inspection. As well, and small pitting (lower, on 16 mm).

DECEMBER 2018 | 59


the potential of a catastrophic failure, namely, severe damaging to the #30 stand roll box and a cobble, was avoided. An incident of seized guiding roll at the #28 stand (inside the rod block) when rolling 5.5-mm, high-carbon wire is another case example. The quality spill was contained to one coil, because the rolling cycle of a 5.5-mm coil is long enough that the detection appeared prior to the discharge of the next billet from the reheat furnace. Mill management. The images carry not only the “defect information” but also the “equipment/process condition.” The time-stamped, grade-related defect information provides a quality production record for the mill management to evaluate the performance of each rolling day, shift by shift. The management team can also use the images as a training tool for mill personnel to implement changes to mill-quality performance by utilizing concrete and visible data (images) that can be reviewed with the rolling crew. The information associated with the equipment/process condition is used to better manage the shift change. As the mill is automated with many sensors—such as temperature, rolling force, dimensions, rolling rpms, etc.—the in-line images provide a solid ground to verify the roll setup and conditions for the shift handover without stopping the mill. The information carried in the in-line images is rich and can be used in multiple cases. As an example, management of some mills initiated a practice of weekly multi-discipline meetings (electrical, mechanical, production, quality, process and metallurgical engineers) to review the images, gain improved process knowledge, and control on the mill via improved maintenance and rolling practices.


Customer relations. The detection/classification results, particularly with the images for verification, enable a simplified quality control decision process with a traceable basis. The availability of images greatly reduces the need to physically open up a coil and assess the anomaly. In particular, the images provide a multi-dimensional basis, instead of merely a level of signal strength, for decision making about shipments. The judgment can be based on defect types, sizes, severity, and so forth, to match the subsequent processes and use. The simplified, quality-cognizant decision process is crucial to the effectiveness of a quality control system in today’s demanding and dynamic steel market. The in-line image database, as well, provides a forum to communicate with the steel product customers in the case of a surface quality issue. There was an instance in which a customer filed a complaint about marks on steel rods to a mill. The mill reviewed the image data of that batch of rods together with the customer, and concluded that there was no record of this type of defect in the batch. Two months later, the customer dismissed the claim, because the customer found the source of damage to be from their pre-processing machine. The significance of this event for the mill is that it promoted an enhanced satisfaction and trust in customer relationship by resolving the issue promptly with quantifiable image data, resulting in a win-win situation for both the mill and the customer.

tool marks as well as whether the settings caused any chattering. Fig. 7 illustrates the visual feedback an operator will see during the tool setup. Drawing die condition monitoring is another case of application that can be valuable. One issue of interest is the chatter marks as they can be substantial on a wire rod surface. The other is scratches, which can be a result of a scab or a foreign object, or simply a damaged die. Realtime software recognition and visual verification of these surface issues lead to avoidance of problematic production.

Combination with other testers

Cold-processing applications can be separated into two categories: either dedicated inspection lines or as part of the processing lines. The objective is more straightforward for the inspection lines: to identify and verify defects. In this application, the imaging-based surface inspection system so far is typically running in tandem with other equipment, such as MFLT or eddy current, with the complementary capability, which is discussed in the next section. The applications in the processing lines are more interesting. The imaging systems have been used, in addition to defect detection, for peeling tool design, tool tip condition monitoring and chatter avoidance, as well as for preventing other issues, such as scratches. In one instance, different types of peeling tools were tested with immediate visual feedback on the severity of

While many production facilities solely operate imaging-based surface inspection equipment, several wire rod producers—both hot rolling and cold processing—are also equipped with inspection devices, such as eddy current testers (ECT) and/or magnetic flux (MFLT) machines. It is possible to combine the imaging systems and the existing devices for a few reasons. The concept and implementation was published in 20087 and it has been implemented in both hot-rolling and cold-processing applications. First, the combination provides a transition for the operation to adopt the new imaging technology. Transition is a major challenge in the introduction of new equipment, particularly to replace existing ones. The operation group has to buy in, with the new routines, new procedures and new data. Running the imaging-based equipment in tandem with a device being operated for years is a good approach for the operators to phase in. Second, the new imaging technology provides visibility, so that it overcomes sensitivity issues as well as supports the verification. Technologies without visibility are disadvantageous because perfect instruments do not exist, particularly for wire rods that are miles long. An inspection device can be tripped by false conditions, such as a flying-by debris or a cold spot on a hot wire, to name but a couple. Conventionally, there is a trade-off between detection sensitivity and detection rate. For quality-demanding applications, “stop to review” practices are unavoidable and the efficiency is highly limited; otherwise the production could suffer a high yield loss with high sensitivity. The visibility provided by imaging devices, especially those with high-definition capabilities, pulls the ends at odd together.

Fig. 7. Images of chattering and tool mark improvement in peeling (from left to right).

Fig. 8. Images of drawn wires, chatter marks (top) and scratches (bottom).

Cold processing


Fig. 9. Imaging device (PRii, on the left) installed along with an MFLT device (right).

Fig. 10(a). Images of detection, a seam crack (left) and slivers (right).

Fig. 10(b). ECT signal for the entire coil (left) and the tail end zoom-in (right).


Fig. 11(a). A coil with 4 ECT indications and one sliver detected by imaging.

The emerging development of imaging-based surface inspection technology is leading the wire rod industry into a visible world. The inspection equipment is evolving from a problem finder to a more positive role, a source of information to prevent faulty operations. The digitized visibility provides the foundation for interacting parties, such as the producer and the buyer, to work together toward a new level of supply chain integration, for easier management and higher degree of automation.

DECEMBER 2018 | 61


As an example, the imaging-based equipment detected both the seam cracks (long and thin) as well as the slivers, as in Fig. 10(a). However, the ECT indication is only matching with the slivers toward the tail end of this coil. Fig. 10(b) shows the ECT signal of the same coil as in Fig. 10(a). It is clear that there was no ECT indication matching the seam crack, left of Fig. 10(a). However, the slivers at the tail end of the coil, right of Fig. 10(a), were matched to the imaging detection. Another example is to have the imaging device providing images of the ECT detections for verification. See Fig. 11. For the coil shown in Fig. 11(a), the ECT has four indications, two for the ends and two in the middle of the coil. Yet, the imaging device has one detected sliver. For the ECT indications, the imaging device was synchronized to acquire images of the coil based on the indication trigger. Fig. 11(b) shows the images associated with the two in-coil ECT indications. The 1st indication was a false, and the 2nd indication, as on the right- hand side of Fig. 11(b), matched with that of the imaging detection in Fig. 11(a). One thing proven in the hot-rolling application is about the use of ECT for thermal-mechanical rolling, which is also known as low-temperature rolling. Fig. 12 documents an example of the comparison between an imaging device and an ECT during thermal-mechanical rolling. As the rolling temperature is getting close to the Currie temperature, any small temperature disturbance on the wire rod surface may trigger an ECT indication. Operators have to pay extra attention to avoid this problem.

TECHNICAL PAPERS Fig. 11(b). Images of the wire rod acquired based on the in-coil ECT indications, 1st (left) vs. 2nd (right). 6. SMS Meer, Surface Analysis, Automatic detection and allocation of surface defects on the hot product, 2015. 7. Chang & Huang, “Perfection in Sight: the value of in-line inspection for long products,” MPT, 2009. 8. Chang, et al., “Surface flaw detection and verification on metal bars by eddy current testing and imaging system,” U.S. Pat. No. 8,143,885, 2012.

Fig. 12. The imaging record vs. ECT record on a coil produced by thermal-mechanical rolling.

Acknowledgements This material is based upon work supported, in part, by the U.S. Department of Energy (Award Nos. DE-PS3600GO10486, DE-FC36-04GO14003, DE-SC0010169) and National Science Foundation (Award Nos. IIP-0646502 & IIP-1058237). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor. Support from our industrial partners is also greatly appreciated.

Reference 1. Huang, et al, “Imaging-based in-line surface defect inspection for bar rolling,” 2004 AIST Iron & Steel Conference and Exposition, 2004, Nashville, Tennessee. 2. Choi, et al, “On-line surface inspection system for hot wire rod,” International Surface Inspection Summit 2008, 2008, Amsterdam, Netherland. 3. Liu, et al, “A computer vision system for automatic steel surface inspection,” 5th IEEE Conference on Industrial Electronics and Applications, 2010. 4. Li, et el., “A local annular contrast based real time inspection algorithm for steel bar surface defects,” 2010, Applied Surface Science. 5. Ferrari & Appio, “Enhanced surface inspection of long products with pseudo-3D techniques,” AISTech 2014, 2014.


Dr. Tzyy-Shuh Chang is a co-founder and president of OG Technologies Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. He led the team that developed the HotEye® system, which was a 2006 R&D 100 award winner. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan. As a senior engineer at OG Technologies Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, Howard Huang has been involved in the development of the HotEye system and several other imaging based instruments. He has a wide range of experience in working with wire rods both in hot-rolling mills and cold-processing plants. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. Professor Jianjun Shi, Ph.D., is the Carolyn J. Stewart Chair and Professor at the School of Industrial & Systems Engineering, at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a well-known leader in system informatics and control with focuses on in-process sensing, monitoring, diagnosis, and control. He has published one book and more than 160 papers on related topics. This paper, which was presented at WAI’s 87th Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, May 2017, won the Medal Award for best general category paper.

Capital projects and continuous improvement at Sterling Steel Company This paper describes major capital projects and resulting improvements in two operational elements: the Pre-Finishing Mill (PFM), which consists of two new rolling stands installed in the rod mill after stand 15, and the Electro-Magnetic Stirring (EMS) installed at the caster, as well as subsequent continuous improvement actions. By Nichole Garza and Andrew Bettin

Sterling Steel Company (SSC) was established in 2003 when parts of Northwestern Steel and Wire were purchased by Leggett and Platt to be used as the prominent plain carbon steel wire rod supplier for their wire mills. Since the initial purchase, Leggett and Platt has invested in many capital expenditures to expand the product mix and increase the volume of high margin products. Two recent projects, one in the melt shop and one in the rod mill, have allowed Sterling Steel to expand into PC strand, ASCR, tire bead wire, and wire rope applications, with trials for music wire applications on the horizon.

MEMS Project During an outage in June 2015, Sterling Steel contracted SMS Concast to install electromagnetic stirring in the mold (MEMS). As part of this capital project, the mold level control (MLC) was replaced and the zone 1 secondary cooling equipment was upgraded in addition to the MEMS installation. The main goal of the project was to reduce centerline

Fig. 1. Longitudinal sampling method. Schematic provided by SMS Concast.

segregation in the billet and in turn reduce both segregation and martensite in the rod and wire produced from these billets. The impact of the reduction of centerline segregation improved the quality of the current product mix, and also allowed the expansion of the maximum carbon level SSC could achieve. The ability to melt higher carbon grades is a prerequisite to supplying higher margin products. Prior to the MEMS installation, Sterling Steel purposely did not produce steel above 0.75% carbon due to known centerline segregation. After the MEMS installation, carbon levels up to 0.83% are achievable. Additional benefits of the MEMS project include improved billet shape in regards to rhomboidity and concavity or convexity, more uniform distribution of inclusions, larger equiaxed zone in the billet center, and reduced center voids.

Center segregation improvements Billet analysis. The key metric used to analyze carbon segregation is the ratio C/C0, where C is the carbon in the center of the billet and C0 is the bulk carbon. This measurement is completed by cutting a billet sample approximately 15� long, milling it longitudinally to just above the solidification centerline, and then drilling samples along the centerline (C) and at approximately one quarter of the billet width (C0). Fig. 1 is a schematic rendering of the sampling method used. Prior to installation of the MEMS, the centerline carbon segregation was estimated at about 20% based on several prior studies. That is, C/C0 = 1.20 on average along the centerline of the billets. After the installation of MEMS and setting the power at the optimum level for SSC’s caster, SMS Concast guaranteed these levels to be an average of 9% or less for heats with carbon below 0.60% and 13% or less for heats with carbon above 0.60%. After the installation, an extensive study was performed and found that segregation averaged 7% on 10 heats, with no heat more DECEMBER 2018 | 63



Cup/cone Breaks per Million Tons


than 12%. This study was performed Table 1: Legend for Levels of Segregation in Rod, Viewed at 50X immediately after the MEMS instalLevel Description lation and prior to the optimization of the new equipment and casting paramLevel 0 No segregation (visual) eters, so current segregation results Level 1 Slight dark center have likely improved beyond the initial Level 2 Obvious dark center testing. Rod analysis. Sterling Steel also perLevel 3 Obvious dark center, slight white halo forms standard metallographic analysis Level 4 Obvious dark center, distinct white halo on transverse cross-sections of hot Level 5 Obvious dark center, very distinct white halo rolled rod that are polished to a mirror finish, etched using Nital, and then examined using an optical microscope. The segregation level is visually rated at 50X magnification on a scale from 0-5. If martensite grains are found, they are measured in microns and notated in a table of the heat analysis results. Table 1 outlines the scale developed by SSC as a rating system for rod segregation. The Fig. 2. (Left) Microscope image of rod with Level 4 centerline segregation, rod rolled resolvable pearlite was also from billets cast without MEMS. (Right) Microscope image of rod with Level 0 cenmeasured on these rod sam- terline segregation rolled from billets cast with MEMS. ples; although this parameter is not affected by the MEMS, experiencing many breaks during the wire drawing process, slowing production and quality. Beginning in Table 2: Segregation Analysis Averages, Pre- and Post-MEMS Installation it is an important May 2016, there was a downward trend in the occurrence of cup/cone breaks as changes to the # Center Martensite % Estimated resolvable tool to verify propsecondary cooling profile were implemented. Beginning September 2nd, the final changes were made Type samples segregation grain count pearlite, 500X with Sterling Steel achieving 2.4l/kg cooling. Since the data in Figure 4 does not reflect the changes for er Stelmor cooling up to 2 months due to inventory lag at Sterling Steel and the Carthage Wire Mill, this final change is during the rolling Pre-MEMS 82 1.5 4 10.5 reflected in the near zero occurrence of cup/cone breaks during the months of October and November. of the rod. Typical Post-MEMS 120 0.55 0 10.6 The slight uptick in December is believed to be due to adjustments that were necessary for casting high carbon rod during cold weather. at SSC contains 10 – 20% resolvable pearlite, with an aim maximum of 25%. Table 2 shows Cup/Cone Breaks per Million Tons the average of the centerline segrega12000.0 tion levels, the number of martensite 10000.0 grains found, and the average resolv8000.0 able pearlite. As expected, the center segregation and number of martensite 6000.0 grains found both were reduced with the 4000.0 MEMS installation, while the amount of 2000.0 resolvable pearlite remained the same. Representative microstructures in the 0.0 center of rod cross-sections before and after the MEMS installation are shown in Fig. 2. After MEMS installation, the microstructure appears to be significantMonth ly more uniform. Wire analysis. Another metric used No EMS EMS to measure segregation and martensite is the rate at which the Carthage Wire Figure 4: Trend of the cup/cone breaks in wire testing over time. Mill, a downstream customer of Sterling Fig. 3. Trend of the cup/cone breaks in wire testing over time. Steel, finds brittle cup/cone fractures Process Optimization


After the MEMS installation, various parameters required modification based on actual results of different casting campaigns. The first parameter that was tested at different levels was the MEMS amps setting. Several iterations of MEMS power settings were trialed over various casting campaigns to

WJI: These projects seem to be very demanding: how many staffers were active in this to some degree? Bettin: The engineering team, working with SMS Concast (EMS) and Primetals (PFM), was instrumental in making the installation of equipment go smoothly. From there, it took a team effort including caster and rod mill employees and supervisors, lab employees, the maintenance team, and support from upper management to run the trials needed to optimize the new equipment. Let’s just say, a lot of people were involved. WJI: Which element was tougher to optomize: the PFM or the EMS? Garza/Bettin: Both projects presented unique challenges, but

optimizing the EMS and caster secondary cooling took more trials, samples, and equipment updates to achieve the results we were looking for. WJI: How much of a learning process were these projects? Garza/Bettin: We definitely learned a lot about our process and equipment while working on these projects. We referenced literature and extracted a great deal of knowledge from industry experts to come to the solutions we did. WJI: Is your work here done, or are you seeking to further refine the irther is there more left to do? Bettin: Both projects are in the control phase. We now track and

either during wire drawing, or more commonly on the fractured tensile test sample. A strong correlation has been found between cup/cone fractures and the presence of heavy segregation or martensite in metallographic samples near the break. The chart below shows the progression of the cup/cone break frequency after the MEMS installation. After the installation, there was a drastic increase in martensite due to inadequate secondary cooling as discussed later in this paper. During this time, the wire mill was experiencing many breaks during the wire drawing process, slowing production and quality. Beginning in May 2016, there was a downward trend in the occurrence of cup/cone breaks as changes to the secondary cooling profile were implemented. Beginning September 2nd, the final changes were made with Sterling Steel achieving 2.4l/kg cooling. Since the data in Fig. 3 does not reflect the changes for up to two months due to inventory lag at Sterling Steel and the Carthage Wire Mill, this final change is reflected in the near zero occurrence of cup/cone breaks during the months of October and November. The slight uptick in December is believed to be due to adjustments that were necessary for casting during cold weather.

Process optimization After the MEMS installation, various parameters required modification based on actual results of different casting campaigns. The first parameter that was tested at different

monitor specific outputs that tell us that our process is in control, and we continue to check samples periodically. We are always lookBettin ing for new opportunities to refine our process and improve rod quality. Questions for the authors? Contact him at

levels was the MEMS amps setting. Several iterations of MEMS power settings were trialed over various casting campaigns to determine the optimum level. The suggested setting of 200 Amps was determined to be the proper setting, as 150 – 175 Amps did not reduce the center segregation satisfactorily, and 225 – 250 Amps caused excessive turbulence in the mold. Fig. 4 is a schematic representation of the effect of the different MEMS power settings. The 200 Amp power setting has been in place since May 2016 and using this setting has assisted in reducing wire breaks at Carthage Wire Mill. The next parameter that required modification was the secondary cooling profile. The change in the zone 1 secondary cooling equipment caused an unexpected consequence of increased reheating cracks on sulfur prints. Sterling Steel examines sulfur prints from various heats each casting campaign to look for equiaxed zone size and uniformity, cracking, and inclusion dispersion. After the cooling equipment installation, the sulfur prints showed large reheating cracks as shown in Fig. 5. Although these cracks likely seal up during the rolling process, Sterling Steel felt it was best to minimize them during casting. After many unsuccessful trials with various cooling profiles, it was determined that the reheating cracks were largely due to a gap in spray nozzles between zone 1 and zone 2 secondary cooling that did not exist with the previous zone 1 secondary cooling profile. Because there was less water reaching the billet during this section, the liquid-solid interface DECEMBER 2018 | 65


What’s noteworthy in this paper


within the billet was rapidBillet Surface ly reheating, causing cracks. MEMS Comment Oscillation Marks The gap was eliminated with the installation of four extra nozzles (one per side of the Straight oscillation marks billet), which helped reduce 0 Amps No stirring effect the occurrence of reheating cracks, as shown in Fig. 5. While working to optimize casting parameters for Light wave form of oscillation marks due to reheating cracks, Sterling rotational velocity in the mold 150 Steel was also finding an Amps increase in the occurrence of Light stirring effect martensite present in rod and wire cross sections. After an investigation and several trials, it was determined that 200 Moderate wave form of oscillation marks the secondary cooling was Amps Good stirring effect responsible. Sterling Steel’s secondary cooling flows are dependent on the instantaneous cast speed. Prior to Excessive wave form of oscillation marks with MEMS installation , the typbreaking of standing wave at corners 250 ical cooling rate was about 1.7 l/kg total between the Amps three spray water zones, but Washed out oscillation marks - stirring too high based on predictive modelling with the new MEMS, Fig. 4. Schematic representation of the effect on the billet when various MEMS and attempting to reduce power settings are applied. Schematics supplied by SMS Concast. reheating cracks, that cooling rate was decreased to as low as 1.4 l/kg after the installation. Upon investigation, Sterling Steel determined that maximum possible cooling was necessary to reduce segregation and martensite, and installed larger spray nozzles in zone 2 to increase cooling capacity. This change helped reduce segregation, but was also causing reheating cracks to occur between zone 2 and zone 3, due to the rapid decline in cooling between the zones. Larger nozzles were also installed in zone 3 to counteract the reheating cracks as well as further increase cooling capacity. The strainers from the water source were also replaced, reducing the mesh size from 0.03” to 0.01”, which has improved spray water cleanliness and reduced the tendency for clogged nozzles. Maximum cooling of 2.4 l/kg has been achieved, and paired with more even spray water flows with fewer clogged nozzles has greatly reduced the amount of segregation in the billets and thus martensite in the rod and wire. Project Update. Since this paper was written, Sterling Steel has continued to work on Fig. 5. (Left) New zone 1 cooling head from SMS Concast, and improvements to secondary cooling. Installation the resulting typical sulfur print. (Right) Modified zone 1 cooling of new pumps has provided slightly increased head, and the resulting sulfur print. secondary cooling at the caster. New practices 66 | WIRE JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL

Pass Style Box Pass

Pre-PFM ROA (%)

Post-PFM ROA (%)





















































2 Box Pass

3 Diamond (pre-PFM)

Oval (post-PFM)

4 Square (pre-PFM)


Round (post-PFM)


6 Round

7 8

Oval Dummy Pass

9 Round



11 Round



13 Round



15 Round

PFM-1 Oval

PFM-2 Round

Fig. 6. Pass design in the roughing mill at Sterling Steel, before and after the PFM installation. DECEMBER 2018 | 67



Stand #




c) Fig. 7. Examples of typical rod surface defects present in the pre-PFM rod sample analyses: a) rolled-in scale, b) laps, c) seams.

Fig. 8. Microscope images of SSC rod surface and the smoother contour imparted by the improved pass design and additional rolling stands.

Rod Surface Analysis Comparison, Average Severity, Pre- and Post-PFM (Results in Inches) Section

# of Samples

Seams (depth)

Laps (length)

Laps (depth)

Scabs (length)

Rolled in Scale (depth)






















Pre-Finishing Mill (PFM) project The 12” Rod Mill at Sterling Steel prior to the PreFinishing Mill (PFM) installation had a total of 24 mill stands to reduce 5-1/8” (130 mm) square billets to finished rod sizes ranging from 7/32” to 1/2” in diameter. These 24 stands included 14 roughing mill stands and a 10-stand NTM rod block. The majority of comparable rolling mills have a minimum of 26 rolling stands. Prior to the PFM installation, the rolling stands 1 – 15 in the roughing mill, with Stand 8 being a dummy stand, consisted of 2 box passes, followed by a diamond pass, a square pass, and then 10 alternating oval-round configured passes. The roughing mill prior to the PFM installation put the majority of the reduction on Stand 3, with a reduction of 43% when rolling 7/32” rod. Adding the two additional PFM stands allowed for a pass design change that lessened the reduction at Stand 3, and also more evenly distributed the reduction across the 14 roughing mill stands. No changes were made to the pass design of the NTM (rod block). Fig. 6 shows the roughing mill pass design both before and after the installation of the PFM stands, as well as the change in reduction of area on each pass for 7/32” rod. The large amount of reduction on Stand #3 compared to the other rolling stands in the roughing mill resulted in higher opportunity for rolled-in scale, seams, scabs, and other surface blemishes in the finished rod product. Crosssection analysis of typical samples of rod that was rolled prior to the PFM installation showed it was normal to find these defects in any random sample of material. The surface quality was acceptable for industrial quality (IQ) rod, but there was obvious room for improvement. In order to quantify the general rod surface quality both before and after the installation of the two PFM stands, the various types and severity of the blemishes were analyzed on many samples from different rod grades rolled both before and after installation. Pre-PFM rod anlysis. Rod samples from heats of steel rolled prior to the PMF installation were prepared for metallography by cutting transverse cross-sections, polishing the face to a mirror finish, and then using an optical microscope to find and measure surface blemishes around the circumference of the rod. Fig. 7 contains microscope images of the various types of surface blemishes that were discovered during the analyses. Post-PFM typical rod surface quality. Rod analysis of steel rolled after the PFM installation reveal a much smoother and cleaner surface in cross-section. The PFM was not intended to be a means to allow SSC to make very round rod; however, the improved pass design did result in a smoother contour, and significantly reduced the number and severity of surface blemishes discovered during rod

surface quality analyses. The resulting smoother contour improves drawability and efficiency in wire drawing, and has allowed SSC to resume trials with wire rope applications. The severity of each type of defect was measured over a large sample set for both pre and post PFM installation. The averages of the defect severity are compared in the following table.

Conclusion Through a combination of capital expenditure, process optimization, and continuous improvement work, SSC has improved the overall quality of its billets and rod coils, allowing for an expansion into new products and customers. It is the goal of the entire organization to always strive for continuous improvement for the good of our customers and our business.

Nichole Garza is senior metallurgist at Sterling Steel Company, Sterling, Illinois, USA. She joined the company in 2008 as a metallurgist. She holds a B.S. ’s degree in metallurgical engineering and in materials science and engineering from the University of Idaho. She is a member of AIST, ASTM and WAI. Andrew Bettin joined Sterling Steel Company, in 2016 as a plant metallurgist. He holds a B.S. degree in materials science and engineering, with a concentration in metals, from the University of Illinois. He is a member of AIST and WAI, and was the 2016 Wire Link Traveling Scholarship winner. This paper was presented at Interwire 2017, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, May 2017.



DECEMBER 2018 | 69


have been established for caster secondary cooling and Stelmor deck cooling to counteract the effect of colder temperatures during the winter months.


PRODUCTS Aluminum shielding tape excels for use with Cat. 6a data commutation cables At IWCS earlier this year, Web Industries featured custom-designed laminated discontinuous aluminum shielding tape on 16-inch wide spools capable of unwinding 25,000 linear ft. for use in Cat. 6A data commutation cables.

The product offering, the longest spooled shielding tape available in the datacom industry, facilitates longer uninterrupted production runs by datacom cable manufacturers. It virtually eliminates product rejects due to shielding foil breaks, ragged edges, delamination and tensile weakness. Web’s shielding tapes are composed of polyester film and aluminum foil, and are available in a range of material thicknesses and slit widths. The tapes help prevent electromagnetic interference (EMI) and alien crosstalk in LAN and datacom cable applications. The laminated products can also include foam/ foil low-capacitance and heat dissipation tapes, which are used to draw heat away from a cable’s core and toward its exterior jacket. At the show, Web also presented advanced cable filler and extruded products. These included the SUPERBULK® family of cable fillers: regular SUPERBULK, flame-retardant FR SUPERBULK®, and zero-halogen, flame-retardant ZHFR SUPERBULK®. They are lightweight, lower-cost materials that prevent wicking and water absorption, and resist acids and other harsh substances in cable applications. The fillers, which are formed into yarns or tapes, are generally made of foamed or solid polypro70 | WIRE JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL

pylene. Web recently added new polyethylene cable fillers and a broader range of filler colors to its offerings. FR and ZHFR SUPERBULK fillers offer flame-retardant performance in cable applications. Contact: Web Industries,

Automated swaging technology showcased at industry trade show At FABTECH 2018, FENN displayed an automated turnkey swaging system, which included a FENN 3F swager, a hydraulic feeder, integrated robotics, laser engraving, and a cutting system. The system was focused on showing automation related to swaging, but systems can be developed for any of FENN’s product lines, including wire forming and shaping equipment, Turks heads, drawbenches, swagers, spring coiler machines, and rolling mills. FENN exhibited a variety of secondary operations with the automated system. The process began with an integrated robotic arm removing a tube from the material presenter, loading it onto a hydraulic feeding table, which then fed the tube into the FENN swager. Once swaging was complete, the robotic arm placed the swaged tube into a laser engraving unit for part documentation. Next, the robotic arm inserted the tube into a cutting system where it was cut to specified lengths and then the finished product was placed in a collection bin. The turn-key automated system is an ideal solution for companies manufacturing repeatable products. FENN’s exhibit showed that with its user-friendly and reliable automation, a single operator can efficiently manage several systems at once, resulting in significant labor savings. “Visiting the customer to really understand their business and production goals is an essential part of designing the right automated solution for our clients” said Sales Manager Mike Geiger. “We work hard to fully understand the intended application of the machine, the process, the material to be used, and the desired start and finished product dimensions.” Contact: FENN, by e-mail at, and at .

UL-listed hybrid cables combine GPON with two copper conductors

TE Connectivity (TE), a specialist in connectivity and sensors, recently introduced its Raychem Cat 5e cable, which offers high-performance Ethernet connectivity at speeds up to 1-Gb/s in harsh military, marine and aerospace environments. A press release said that, combined with TE’s expansive line of connectivity products, the Cat 5e cable can be part of a customizable, end-to-end solution from TE. The cable makes use of high temperature fluoropolymers that are designed to perform under extreme temperature fluctuations from -65°C to +200°C. Designed in accordance with ANSI/TIA-568-C.2, the cable is both lightweight and easy to terminate, attests the manufacturer. TE’s waterblock variation uses super absorbent tapes and yarns that further help reduce weight, increase flexibility and lower installation costs when compared to silicon-filled waterblocks. TE’s variety of in-house jacket materials help give customers the flexibility to design the solution that’s right for their application, the release said. The company’s cable designs can meet a wide range of needs, from a marine environment that requires zero halogen materials or small, tight spaces that call for flexible materials, “The ability to support 1 Gb/s speeds while maintaining data integrity and quality is critical for high data rate communications in harsh environments,” said Lynden Bajus, specialty cable product manager for TE’s Aerospace, Defense and Marine division. “We believe the Raychem Cat 5e cable is an important complement to our expansive line of high-speed connectors, contacts, backshells and terminals.” TE’s Raychem Cat 5e cables can be used in a variety of specific applications, including those for shipboard, satellite, missiles C4ISR, weapons systems, avionics, soldier systems and IFE (In Flight Entertainment) systems. For more information on the Raychem Cat 5e cable, visit the company’s website. For more than 75 years, the company has partnered with customers to produce highly engineered connectivity and sensing products that make a connected world possible Contact: TE Connectivity,

Optical Cable Corporation (OCC) offers a new UL-listed cabling solution for GPON (gigabit-capable passive optical network) networks—Slimline Hybrid cables—that combine GPON fiber-optic cables with two copper conductors enclosed within the same jacket, allowing external power to essentially be “pushed” from a central location. A press release said that, by including copper in the same cable as GPON fiber, high bandwidth data and power can be supplied to numerous users with a single, lowercost option. The Slimline cabling is especially intended for commercial applications involving multiple, separated nodes or buildings or where new, data-hungry applications are continually being added to the network. Per the company, GPON uses a single fiber-optic strand on which high speed, high-bandwidth data is transmitted in both directions (2.48 G of downstream and 1.24 G upstream). The Slimline Hybrid cables can contain either one or two strands of single-mode fiber and are UL plenum rated for use inside buildings, including above suspended ceilings. The cables also have a very small bend radius, and tensile strength almost three times that of traditional Cat. 6 copper cable. “For enterprise networks, the advantages of GPON are undeniable,” the release said. “These all-fiber networks cost less to implement than copper, provide unlimited bandwidth potential, and as a passive network, require much less power.” Further, single-mode passive optical LAN infrastructure will support 10G-PON networks and beyond. Slimline cabling further simplifies installation and reduces costs by eliminating the need to run dedicated electric wiring. It can also be a significant benefit for aging buildings that experience frequent power outages.” Contact: Optical Cable Corporation,

Platinum-clad molybdenum wire can resist corrosion at high temperatures A line of metallurgically bonded platinum-clad moly wire and rod for use in aerospace, electronics, semiconductor, and high-vacuum applications is available from Anomet Products. A press release said that Anomet’s platinum-clad molybdenum wire is metallurgically bonded and provides high oxidation and corrosion resistance at temperatures up to DECEMBER 2018 | 71


Cat. 5e cable can provide dependable Ethernet connectivity for up to 1 Gb/s


1,200°C, depending upon the application. Featuring a smooth, consistent surface finish, the wire offers superior integrity, formability, and weld-ability compared to wire that is electroplated. An economical design alternative to pure platinum wire for making connectors and switch components, Anomet platinum clad molybdenum wire is available in 0.010” to 0.060” O.D. sizes, with cladding from 14% to 38% by weight, depending upon diameter, the release said. Ideally suited for use in devices subjected to harsh environments, platinum-clad nickel products are also offered. The wire is priced from $1.00 to $30.00 per ft., depending upon configuration and quantity. Literature, samples, and price quotations are available upon request from prospective customers. Contact: Daniel Lambert, Anomet Products, tel. 508- 842-3069,,

Matched cable pairs are designed for high-speed digital testing Pasternack has launched a new line of skew matched cables for use in high-speed digital tests of 10 Gbps to 28 Gbps, including differential signals, bit-error-rate testing and eye diagrams. A press release said that Pasternack’s new line of skew matched cables is made-up of three new models that are extremely flexible and have 1 ps delay match. These cables deliver excellent VSWR of 1.4:1 and are 100% tested for skew match. They also include polarity indicators and restraint bands to keep themselves paired up. These delay matched cables have a frequency range of DC to 40 GHz, covering two channels with 50 Ohms nominal impedance. They are made of micro porous PTFE cable dielectric 72 | WIRE JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL

and feature triple-shielded outer conductors, 2.92 mm male connectors and finger-grip coupling nuts. They are ideal for networking, semiconductor test and supercomputing industries where skew match is important. “These skew matched cable pairs perfectly complement our existing line of high-speed vertical and end launch connectors. They are extremely flexible while providing exceptional performance, plus we can ship them out right away,” said Dan Birch, Product Manager. Contact: Pasternack, tel. 949-261-1920,

Ethernet cables designed to address harsh networking applications settings L-com Global Connectivity has launched a new series of IP67-rated waterproof Ethernet cables designed to address harsh environment networking applications. A press release said that the company’s innovative design of its new IP67 waterproof cables allows them to be used with IP-rated receptacles for a watertight seal; or they can be used with standard RJ45 jacks. This eliminates the need to find specialized cables that are IP-rated on one end and have a standard RJ45 on the other end. This dual functionality is accomplished by a waterproof shroud that can be pulled back to mate with standard RJ45 jacks. Additional features, the release said, include a foil shield to protect against EMI/RFI interference, a tethered dustproof shroud cap, and a CMX outdoor burn rating. The versatile cables are available in both Cat. 5e and Cat. 6 versions and are compatible with L-com’s WPBH-series of RJ45 jacks for an IP67-rated seal. They can mate to standard or IP-rated jacks, so just one assembly can address multiple applications. The company also offers a wide range of coaxial cable, RF connectors, RF cable and other related products, such as SMA connectors, coax adapters and tools. Coaxial cable assemblies are available in 50 Ohm and 75 Ohm RG styles. In addition, L-com stocks thousands of low loss 50 Ohm antenna RF cable assemblies, pigtails and bulk cable for all your wireless connectivity needs. Coax interfaces include: BNC, SMA, TNC, Type F, RCA, SMB, MCX, MC-Card, Type-N, and more. The company also supplies coax RF connectors and tools such as cable strippers, coaxial crimp tools, compression tools, and pin crimp tools to accommodate all of your coaxial termination requirements. Contact: L-com Global Connectivity,

Germany’s Leoni reports that the company has developed fire-retardant cables that meet CPR (Construction Products Regulation) approval for industrial applications. A press release said that the cables, which significantly reduce flame propagation and heat generation in buildings and simultaneously minimize the probability of caustic gases and smoke escaping, have been tested according to the new European EN 50575 standard. That standard has been in effect since July 2017 for power and control cables as well as communication cables intended for permanent use in buildings. Compliant cables are given a CE mark in accordance with the EU 305/2011 Construction Products Regulation.

Leoni’s fire-retardant cables fulfill the regulation’s requirements and can reduce flame propagation and heat generation, while simultaneously releasing less caustic gases and smoke, the release said. The goal is to prevent fires in buildings and to reduce the risks of any fire that does occur. These cables are available in seven classifications – Aca, B1ca, B2ca, Cca, Dca, Eca and Fca. Leoni also offers certified industrial cables with CPR approval, such as a PROFIBUS cable and a PROFINET cable for automation engineering. The cables are designed for fixed internal wiring in industrial networks and guarantee transmission properties for use in such rough ambient conditions. Other CPR-approved products include EIB (European Installation Bus) cables used in building automation. Contact: Leoni,

Lightweight aerospace cable offers HUBER+SUHNER recently showcased latest innovations in connectivity and RF energy at electronica 2018, where alongside its recently launched CT assemblies, the company demonstrated its future-proof solutions for automotive, energy and semi-conductor testing applications. A press release said that the company’s new line of Consistent Over Temperature (CT) phase invariant cable assemblies, designed for phase critical applications requiring ultimate precision and reliability, offer leading perfor-

mance across a number of key factors. They offer optimum stability over harsh temperatures, minimal phase and insertion loss, return loss and shielding effectiveness as well as simple and efficient installation, all of which makes the CT assemblies ideal for applications where communication cannot be compromised, such as drones, military vehicles, and test and measurement scenarios. CT variants are also available for the tried and tested Sucoform, EZ, Minibend, and Multiflex product families. With autonomous vehicles in mind, the company also offers injection molded radar antennas to suit the latest radar systems. Using radiator geometries, three-dimensional signal distribution networks, radar systems using technology from HUBER+SUHNER provide higher resolution images, can measure large distances and detect obstacles even in harsh weather conditions. Supporting charging times below 15 minutes (up to an 80% charge state), the company’s RADOX® HPC High Power Charging system offers quick, convenient and safe charging of electric vehicles. Offering a smaller cable cross section, the RADOX HPC is available with Combined Charging System (CCS) type-1 (USA and Canada specific) and type-2 connectors (Europe compatible). Contact: HUBER+SUHNER,

Lightweight aerospace cable offers multiple deployment advantages U.S.-based PIC Wire & Cable®, a division of The Angelus Corporation that specializes in aerospace cable, connectors and assemblies, has launched a new RF cable. A press release said that the RFMATES® ULTRALITE UH25107, PIC Wire & Cable’s lowest loss RF cable, providing major weight and loss savings over traditional RG cables. UH25107 is a 50 ohm RF aerospace cable that is highly shielded, light and flexible. The cable’s sophisticated design yields low loss characteristics that make it a robust solution for systems requiring a low dB loss budget for antenna runs, like SATCOM and Iridium systems. In addition, it provides significant cable weight savings over competitor cables, saving 60% or more in weight over similar RG cables. “The ULTRALITE product line is the most exciting innovation within the RF cable market in years,” the release said. “The rapid adoption of these new ULTRALITE cables demonstrates their ultra-low loss and weight saving characteristics are highly valued.” Contact: PIC Wire & Cable, tel. 262-246-0500,

DECEMBER 2018 | 73


Cables for industrial use are certified to EN 50575 construction products regs


Patent Update (Cont’d. from p. 23)

Coated electric wire and multi-core cable for vehicles U.S. Patent No.: 10,102,944 Patent date: Oct. 16, 2018 Aug. 17, 2017 Assignee: Sumitomo Electric Corporation, Japan Inventors: Takaya Kohori, Hiroyuki Okawai A multi-core cable for vehicles comprises two power lines, two signal lines, two electric wires, and a jacket. The two power lines are the same in size and material, each comprise an insulation layer composed of an inner layer and an outer layer, and are excellent in abrasion resistance and bending resistance. The two signal lines are the same in size and material and the two lines are twisted as a set to constitute a twisted pair of the signal lines. The two electric wires are the same in size and material and the two wires are twisted as a set to constitute a twisted pair of the electric wires. The two power lines, the twisted pair of the signal lines, and the twisted pair of the electric wires are integrally twisted.

Flat shielded cable, wire harness and shielding member U.S. Patent No.: 10,102,943 Patent date: Oct. 16, 2018 Sept. 28, 2017 Assignee: Yazaki Corporation, Japan Inventors: Hiroki Kondo, Mizuki Shirai, Daisuke Suzuki A flat shielded cable includes conductors arranged in parallel, an insulating jacket section that covers the conductors and has an exposed conductor section which exposes a part

of at least one of the conductors, and a shielding member that covers the jacket section. The conductor is electrically connected to the shielding member via the exposed conductor section. The shielding member has a first layer made of shielding material and a second layer made of binder resin containing metal filler. A D90 particle diameter of the metal filler is 6 .mu.m and a difference between a D10 particle diameter and a D95 particle diameter of the metal filler is 6 .mu.m or more, and the metal filler is contained in the second layer in an amount of 65 wt % or more.

Traceable cable with side-emitting optical fiber and method of forming the same U.S. Patent No.: 10,101,553 Patent date: Oct. 16, 2018 July 6, 2015 Assignee: Corning Optical Communications LLC, USA Inventors: Anthony Bauco, Douglas Butler, Adam Collier, Kevin Lewis A traceable cable and method of forming the same. The cable includes at least one data transmission element, a jacket at least partially surrounding the at least one data transmission element, and a side-emitting optical fiber incorporated with and extending along at least a portion of the length of the cable. The side-emitting optical fiber can have a core, spaced apart scattering sites having scattering material disposed on an exterior surface of the core along the length of the optical fiber, and a cladding substantially surrounding the core and the scattering material. The scattering sites are capable of scattering light so that the scattered light is emitted from the side-emitting optical fiber at discrete locations proximate to the scattering sites. When light is transmitted through the core, light scattered from the side-emitting optical fiber allows the cable to be traced along at least a portion of the length thereof.

Optical fiber cable U.S. Patent No.: 10,101,549 Patent date: Oct. 16, 2018 Jan. 15, 2015 Assignee: Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd., Japan Inventors: Yutaka Hoshino, Noburo Okada Optical fiber ribbons each comprise a plurality of optical fiber strands bonded in parallel. In the optical fiber ribbons, adjacent optical fiber strands are bonded by bonding sections that are intermittently bonded at prescribed intervals. The positions of the bonding section for all optical fiber


ribbons are mutually offset in the longitudinal direction. In other words, the longitudinal-direction positions of the bonding section for the optical fiber ribbons never exactly match.

Multi-core cable and production method therefor U.S. Patent No.: 10,096,402 Patent date: Oct. 9, 2018 Nov. 25, 2016 Assignee: Junkosha Inc., Japan Inventors: Suguru Tanabe, Tomohiro Adachi Provided herein is a multi-core cable through which positions of a plurality of insulated conductors and a plurality of non-insulated conductors in a cross section in a longitudinal direction are changed and a likelihood of transmission performance being reduced is low. A multi-core cable includes n conductor bundles.

Wire harness sheet, wire harness, and method of manufacturing wire harness U.S. Patent No.: 10,096,399 Patent date: Oct. 9, 2018 Feb. 15, 2013 Assignee: Yazaki Corporation, Japan Inventors: Kenichiro Kawaguchi, Mitsunori Tsunoda Provided is a wire harness sheet by which it is possible to manually fix an electric wire bundle at an exact position without bending the electric wire bundle. A wire harness sheet 11 includes a sheet base material 13 that has a rectangular shape formed by a pair of first side portion 19 and a second side portion 21 in parallel with each other and by a third side portion 23 and a fourth side portion 25 orthogonal to the first side portion 19 and the second side portion 21; an adhesive layer 15 that is provided on one surface of the sheet base material 13; and a slit 17 which is cut into the sheet base material 13 in such a manner that the slit is formed along and in parallel with each the third side portion 23 and the fourth side portion 25 between each the first side portion 19 and the second side portion 21, and a placement region 31 of an electric wire bundle 27.

Wire contact inspection U.S. Patent No.: 10,096,102 Patent date: Oct. 9, 2018 Oct. 26, 2016 Assignee: The Boeing Company, USA Inventors: Gary Ray, Bradley Mitchell, Bentley Northon A method of inspecting a wire contact includes determining, at a processor, a striation metric of a particular image of the wire contact. The particular image depicts an inspection hole in the wire contact. The method also includes comparing the striation metric to a wire-in-hole detection threshold and determining that a threshold number of visible wire strands are oriented along a particular axis in the inspection hole if the striation metric satisfies the wire-in-hole detection threshold.

Portable multi-function cable tester U.S. Patent No.: 10,094,866 Patent date: Oct. 9, 2018 April 1, 2015 Assignee: USA/Secretary of the Navy, USA Inventor: Brent Davis The methods and apparatus described herein are designed and configured to allow one user to test cable continuity using a wire-configurable directional connector. The methods and apparatus may transmit a first and second voltage pulse through a first and second wire of a cable under test, respectively, having a wire-configurable directional

DECEMBER 2018 | 75


Aluminum alloy wire rod, aluminum alloy stranded wire, covered wire and wire harness, and method of manufacturing aluminum alloy wire rod U.S. Patent No.: 10,096,394 Patent date: Oct. 9, 2018 May 17, 2017 Assignee: Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. Furukawa Automotive Systems, Japan Inventors: Shigeki Sekiya, Sho Yoshida, Kengo Mitose An aluminum alloy wire rod having a composition including Mg: 0.10-1.00 mass %, Si: 0.10-1.00 mass %, Fe: 0.01-1.40 mass %, Ti: 0-0.100 mass %, B: 0-0.030 mass %, Cu: 0-1.00 mass %, Ag: 0-0.50 mass %, Au: 0-0.50 mass %, Mn: 0-1.00 mass %, Cr: 0-1.00 mass %, Zr: 0-0.50 mass %, Hf: 0-0.50 mass %, V: 0-0.50 mass %, Sc: 0-0.50 mass %, Sn: 0-0.50 mass %, Co: 0-0.50 mass %, Ni: 0-0.50 mass %, and the balance: Al and inevitable impurities, wherein a ratio of (standard deviation of crystal grain size of the aluminum alloy wire rod)/(average crystal grain size of the aluminum alloy wire rod) is less than or equal to 0.57, and a ratio of (diameter of the aluminum alloy wire rod)/(average crystal grain size of the aluminum alloy wire rod) is greater than or equal to 10.


connector attached. Both voltage pulses travel through the wire-configurable directional connector. The first voltage pulse selectively leaves at least one of the second wire and a third wire of the cable under test and the second voltage pulse selectively leaves the third wire. The methods and apparatus may store a pre-determined pattern of a returning voltage pulse specific to the cable under test, and determine a state of the first, second, and third wires in response to receiving the first and second voltage pulses.

Halogen-free flame retardant polyamide moulding compositions with increased glow wire and fire resistance U.S. Patent No.: 10,093,801 Patent date: Oct. 9, 2018 Dec. 12, 2013 Assignee: Italmatch Chemicals SpA, Italy Inventor: Ugo Zuccehhli The present invention relates to halogen-free flame retardant compositions essentially comprising polyamide polymers (preferred is PA6), at least an Hypophosphorous acid metal salt (preferred is Aluminum hypophosphite), at least an organic phosphinate metal salt (preferred is Aluminum Di Ethyl Phosphinate), at least a Nitrogen based flame retardant agent (preferred is Melamine Cyanurate), at least an organic polyhydric polymer (preferred is EVOH) and optionally further conventional components. Such compositions are highly flame retarded at low thickness and have high Glow Wire temperature resistance.

Cable insulation compositions comprising a phosphorus-containing antioxidant U.S. Patent No.: 10,093,788 Patent date: Oct. 9, 2018 May 25, 2016 Assignee: Dow Global Technologies, USA Inventors: Jeffrey Cogen, Manish Talreja, Timothy Person, Raghunath (Roy, Thomas Peterson, Jessica Drazba, Neil Dunchus, Gerrit Groot-Enzerink The process for making extra high voltage cable insulation is improved by using a composition comprising in weight percent based on the weight of the composition: (A) 95 to 99.9% of an ethylene-based polymer; (B) 0.2 to 2.5% peroxide; (C) 0.01 NI to 0.5% of a sulfur-containing first antioxidant having at least one --S(CH.sub.2)2CO. sub.2R group, wherein R is a C6 to C20 alkyl; (D) 0.001 to 0.009%) of a phosphorus-containing second antioxidant that does not contain a --S(CH.sub.2).sub.2C0.sub.2R group, wherein R is a C6 to C20 alkyl; (E) Optionally, an organic nitrogenous base; and (F) Optionally, a phenolic third antioxidant that does not contain a --S(CH.sub.2). sub.2C0.sub.2R group, wherein R is a C6 to C20 alkyl.


Anti-slip cable tie U.S. Patent No.: 10,093,465 Patent date: Oct. 9, 2018 Jan. 23, 2017 Assignee: Thomas & Betts International LLC, USA Inventors: Ryan Rufty, Andrew Cole A cable tie includes a band that extends lengthwise from a first end to a second end. The cable tie also includes a housing, affixed near the second end, with a first opening to receive the first end of the band when the first end of the band is brought toward the housing in a loop. The housing includes: walls that enclose a space and have a stop toward the second end of the band; a first mass in the space; and a second mass placed in the space and between the first mass and the stop. When the first end is inserted into the housing, the first end passes under the first mass and the second mass and exerts a pull on the first mass toward the second mass. When the first mass is pulled toward the second mass, the second mass acts as a spring between the first mass and the stop and prevents the first mass from hitting the stop. After the first end is inserted into the housing and when the first end is being pulled out of the housing, due to a force exerted by the second mass to the first mass and the walls, the first mass squeezes the first end against the bottom of the housing and locks the first end in the housing.

Shielded electrical cable U.S. Patent No.: 10,090,082 Patent date: Oct. 2, 2018 April 7, 2017 Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company, USA Inventor: Douglas Gundel A shielded electrical cable includes conductor sets extending along a length of the cable and spaced apart from each other along a width of the cable. First and second shielding films are disposed on opposite sides of the cable and include cover portions and pinched portions arranged such that, in transverse cross section, the cover portions of the films in combination substantially surround each conductor set. An adhesive layer bonds the shielding films together in the pinched portions of the cable. A transverse bending of the cable at a cable location of no more than 180 degrees over an inner radius of at most 2 mm causes a cable impedance of the selected insulated conductor proximate the cable location to vary by no more than 2 percent from an initial cable impedance measured at the cable location in an unbent configuration.

Anywhere your travels lead...’ll be at home with WAI’s international network. If you’re on the road or cloud bound The Wire Association International’s network, educational products, and digital and print resources will always be within reach. Access the new, better, and best in wire manufacturing technologies wherever you are in the world or in your career. These WAI brands bring a fresh vantage point to the familiar, the way that travel can. That’s why WAI is home to thousands of wire industry professionals as it has been for more than eight decades. Begin your journey and join WAI today! WWW.WIRENET.ORG.




4 5 1 0

12 (twelve)

5. Number of Issues Published Annually

4 0

2. Publication Number

Steve Fetteroll


Telephone (Include area code)

Contact Person

USA $110

71 Bradley Road, Suite 9, Madison, CT 06443-2662

Wire Association International

PS Form 3526, July 2014 [Page 1 of 4 (see instructions page 4)] PSN: 7530-01-000-9931

PRIVACY NOTICE: See our privacy policy on

Has Not Changed During Preceding 12 Months Has Changed During Preceding 12 Months (Publisher must submit explanation of change with this statement)

12. Tax Status (For completion by nonprofit organizations authorized to mail at nonprofit rates) (Check one) The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes:

71 Bradley Road, Suite 9, Madison, CT 06443-2662

Wire Association International

Complete Mailing Address

71 Bradley Road, Suite 9, Madison, CT 06443-2662

Wire Journal, Inc.

Full Name

11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or None Other Securities. If none, check box

71 Bradley Road, Suite 9, Madison, CT 06443-2662

Wire Journal, Inc.

10. Owner (Do not leave blank. If the publication is owned by a corporation, give the name and address of the corporation immediately followed by the names and addresses of all stockholders owning or holding 1 percent or more of the total amount of stock. If not owned by a corporation, give the names and addresses of the individual owners. If owned by a partnership or other unincorporated firm, give its name and address as well as those of each individual owner. If the publication is published by a nonprofit organization, give its name and address.) Full Name Complete Mailing Address


Managing Editor (Name and complete mailing address)

Mark A. Marselli, 71 Bradley Road, Suite 9, Madison, CT 06443-2662

Editor (Name and complete mailing address)

Steven J. Fetteroll, 71 Bradley Road, Suite 9, Madison, CT 06443-2662

9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor (Do not leave blank) Publisher (Name and complete mailing address)

Nov. 1, 2018 6. Annual Subscription Price

3. Filing Date

71 Bradley Road, Suite 9, Madison, CT 06443-2662

8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher (Not printer)

71 Bradley Road, Suite 9, Madison, CT 06443-2662

7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication (Not printer) (Street, city, county, state, and ZIP+4 ®)

4. Issue Frequency

Wire Journal International

1. Publication Title

Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (All Periodicals Publications Except Requester Publications) Wire Journal International

Paid Distribution Outside the Mails Including Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid Distribution Outside USPS® Paid Distribution by Other Classes of Mail Through the USPS (e.g., First-Class Mail®)



Mailed In-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include paid (2) distribution above nominal rate, advertiser’s proof copies, and exchange copies)

Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the Mail (Carriers or other means)

14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below





Nov. 1, 2018

Publication not required.

I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties).

18. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager, or Owner

December 1, 2018 in the ________________________ issue of this publication.

If the publication is a general publication, publication of this statement is required. Will be printed

17. Publication of Statement of Ownership

PS Form 3526, July 2014 (Page 2 of 4)

I certify that 50% of all my distributed copies (electronic and print) are paid above a nominal price.

d. Percent Paid (Both Print & Electronic Copies) (16b divided by 16c Í 100)



7404 c.  Total Print Distribution (Line 15f) + Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a)


N/A 6150

N/A a. Paid Electronic Copies


No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date

Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months

b. Total Paid Print Copies (Line 15c) + Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a)

16. Electronic Copy Circulation


Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (All Periodicals Publications Except Requester Publications)



















Average No. Copies No. Copies of Single Each Issue During Issue Published Preceding 12 Months Nearest to Filing Date

September 2018

* If you are claiming electronic copies, go to line 16 on page 3. If you are not claiming electronic copies, skip to line 17 on page 3.

i. Percent Paid (15c divided by 15f times 100)

h. Total (Sum of 15f and g)

g. Copies not Distributed (See Instructions to Publishers #4 (page #3))

f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and 15e)

e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (Sum of 15d (1), (2), (3) and (4))


d. Free or (1) Free or Nominal Rate Outside-County Copies included on PS Form 3541 Nominal Rate Distribution (2) Free or Nominal Rate In-County Copies Included on PS Form 3541 (By Mail and Free or Nominal Rate Copies Mailed at Other Classes Through the USPS Outside (3) (e.g., First-Class Mail) the Mail)

c. Total Paid Distribution [Sum of 15b (1), (2), (3), and (4)]

b. Paid Circulation (By Mail and Outside the Mail)

(1) Mailed Outside-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include paid distribution above nominal rate, advertiser’s proof copies, and exchange copies)

a. Total Number of Copies (Net press run)

15. Extent and Nature of Circulation

13. Publication Title

CLASSIFIEDS CLASSIFIED AD RATES: • $1.30 per word for WJI and on-line classifieds at (20-word minimum). • Blind box numbers, add $25. • Boldface headlines, add $6 per line (up to 18 characters per line). Specify category.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES WANTED: MANUFACTURER SALES REPRESENTATIVES. An established U.S. manufacturer of custom cables and bulk wire products, EIS Wire & Cable is looking for Manufacturer Reps. to promote their line in the following North American territories: Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southwestern, Rocky Mountain, Heart of America, Spirit of St. Louis, MidAtlantic, Carolinas Florida/Sunshine. Additionally, we are looking for representation in the following global regions: Central America, South America, United Kingdom and Europe. For more information, please contact: Mike Cinicolo at AA ENTERPRISE. México. Proveedores e soldadoras eléctricas y manuales; impresoras y discos; cilindros, bandas y anillos para recocedores, bobinas/ carretes de plástico y acero; carretes p/ enmalladoras; bandas para caterpillar; tapes; conos y anillos de cerámica y tungsteno p/estiradoras; maquinaria p/ producción; cabezas de extrusión,

PERSONNEL SERVICES “LET OUR SUCCESS BE YOUR SUCCESS” Wire Resources is the foremost recruiting firm in the Wire & Cable Industry. Since 1967 we have partnered with industry Manufacturers to secure the services of

BLIND BOX INFO: Address Blind Box responses to: WJI, Box number (as it appears in print or on-line), 71 Bradley Road, Suite 9, Madison, CT 06443-2662 USA. PAYMENT POLICY: All ads must be pre-paid. DEADLINES: Copy is due a full month in advance. Contact: for more details.

executives, managers, and thousands of key individual contributors. Contact: Peter Carino, pcarino@ or online at Wire Resources Inc., PO Box 593, Riverside, CT 06878, tel. 203-6223000.

MEDIA FERROUS WIRE HANDBOOK. This 1,168 page, hard-cover, indexed publication is a definitive industry resource for ferrous wire, a reference tool for those in the steel wire or manufacturing, engineering or operations sectors. It includes 36 chapters that cover many of the equipment types, processes, and specialty applications of steel wire manufacturing. The book begins with a history of the steel industry and its evolution, followed by details on: continuous casting; controlled rod cooling; rod defects; pickling and coating; mechanical descaling; deformation in cold drawing; wiredrawing theory, machinery and finishing equipment; lubrication; heat treatment; stress relief; annealing; oil tempering; patenting; corrosion; galvanizing; statistical process control; bridge rope and strand; nails, barbed wire, mechanical springs. The price is $235, $195 for WAI members. To buy, go to and click on The WAI Store.

WAI’S ELECTRICAL WIRE HANDBOOK, PART 3. The revised Electrical Wire Handbook has been

divided into 3 handbooks: Part 1: Wire and Cable Production Materials, Part 2: Wire and Cable Production Processes, and Part 3: Types of Cables. The goal of the books is to provide basic but meaningful information to those people working in the wire and cable industry-especially those who are new to the field. The price is $45, $25 for WAI members. Buy at and click on The WAI Store. WAI’S ELECTRICAL WIRE H A N D B O O K, PA RT 2. The revised Electrical Wire Handbook has been divided into three separate handbooks: Part 1 - Wire and Cable Production Materials, Part 2 - Wire and Cable Production Processes, and Part 3 - Types of Cables. The intent of these handbooks is to provide basic but meaningful information to those people working in the wire and cable industry—especially those who are new to the field. Produced by the WAI’s Electrical Management Committee, these books are intended to serve as a valuable reference tool for members of the industry to help keep up with today’s rapidly changing technology. Topics in Part 2, 206 pages, include the history of extrusion; adjustable speed drives; estimating extruder output; improving screw design; screw and barrel wear; cleaning alternatives; microprocessor control systems; braiding; wire and cable marking; cabling; and measuring gauges. The price is $45, $25 for WAI members. To buy, go to wirenet. org and click on The WAI Store.

DECEMBER 2018 | 79


WAI MEMBERS seeking positions are entitled to free “Position Wanted” classified ads.


ADVERTISERS’ INDEX ADVERTISER............................. PAGE Amacoil Inc ..................................Cover 3 Anbao Wire & Mesh Co Ltd.................. 36 Cable Consultants Corp ....................... 49 Carris Reels Inc ............................Cover 4


February 2019 Compounds & Colorants

Electric Cable Compounds Inc ............. 53 George Evans Corp .............................. 37 Howar Equipment Inc .......................... 25 Huestis Industrial ................................ 17 Inosym Ltd ..................................... 14, 27 KEIR Manufacturing Inc ...................... 31 Mexichem Specialty Compounds Inc ...........................Cover 2 Morgan-Koch Corp .............................. 39 Paramount Die Co ................................. 4 Proton Products International Ltd ........ 51 Queins Machines GmbH ...................... 15


Rainbow Rubber & Plastics Inc .............. 2


REELEX Packaging Solutions Inc ........... 1


SIKORA AG ........................................... 7



Teknor Apex Co ..................................... 9

Robert J. Xeller/Shannon Timme Wire Journal International Tel: 203-453-2777 Fax: 203-453-8384

U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, & Scandinavia

Vandor Corporation ............................... 5 Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp ............ 13 Witels Albert USA Ltd .......................... 36 Wyrepak Industries ........................ 32, 47


Jennie Franks David Franks & Co. Tel/Fax: 44-1223-360472

India Office

WIRE ASSOCIATION INT’L ADS Verona 2019 Call for Papers ................ 19 Interwire 2019................................ 29-30 WAI HardWIRED............................ 31, 33 WAI Membership ................................. 77


Huned Contractor Wire & Cable Services Pvt. Ltd. Kondhwa, Pune - 411 018, India Mobile: +91-988-1084-202

China Office Zhuang (Frank) Zhilu Shanghai, China 200331 Mobile: 0086-18018681117

Germany, Austria, & Switzerland Dagmar Melcher Media Service Int. Tel: 49-8801-914682 Fax: 49-8801-914683