US steel wire prices seems to have stabilized

US domestic steel wire prices have stabilized at price levels not seen since the mid 1990th. No wire or wire rod is presently imported at these prices. There is no established floor price in the market as rod inventories are being cleared and most users are shutting down their plants until well after New Year. In the case of automotive related wire many parts suppliers are shut down all of January. As earlier reported some mills are stuck with wire rod inventory that are being converted and the wire sold below rod replacement cost. No one can be sure that prices have dropped to the bottom but one thing is clear once current rod inventory is converted and shipped, wire rod prices will have to drop or wire prices go up before anybody is going to make any more steel wire. The market drop-off came very sudden in October and it will take a couple of month for the market to adjust.

Interview with Manoj Kakkar, Chief Operating Officer, KEI Industries. India’s leading Cable Manufacturer

Question: What makes KEI Industries unique to the cable and wire industry?

Answer: KEI Industries is a unique company operating within the cable and wire industry for three main reasons.

Firstly, KEI Industries are unique due to the wide range of products manufactured under one roof, which include flexible cables, LV cables, Elastomeric cables, instrument cables, MV and HV cables.
Secondly, KEI Industries is working on international certifications and has already achieved South African approval (SABS). KEI are also in the process of achieving British standards, oil and gas industry standards and has taken CSA approval from Canada. This range of certification makes KEI a truly international company. It may also be noted that KEI is approved with various utilities and Oil and Gas companies across Middle East.
Thirdly, KEI Industries have a very strong position in India, with 3 manufacturing plants, bringing us closer to our customers, helping us deliver fast – reaching our customers in the shortest possible times and cutting manufacturing costs. This is truly unique within the cable and wire industry.

Question: Do you see KEI expanding into the Chinese, West African and Middle Eastern markets?

Answer: KEI Industries have set themselves significant targets and are very ambitions for global growth. As far as marketing is concerned, KEI is well established in the Middle East Markets and as far as Manufacturing is concerned, we aim to set up a manufacturing base in the Middle East for which we are working on.

Question: What environmental policies does KEI Industries have?

Answer: KEI are a leading company in India for developing policies to create the most environmental and ethical manufacturing processes with continuous improvement to health and safety standards. At KEI we also ensure there is very little wastage through out all stages in the cable manufacturing process ensuring we minimize the company’s carbon footprint. The use of more and more Steel drums for packing against conventional wooden drum is also one step in this direction

Question: How much budget does KEI Industries have for research and development?

Answer: In our case Research and development means, manufacturing various types of cables, as per various International standards, by sourcing various speciality compounds, creating infrastructure for manufacturing and making operation for commercial use.

The money spend on these developments, we classify as R&D expenses. Just for info, last year we have spent around $250,000 for taking various approvals and certifications.

Question: Please advise some key projects that KEI Industries have recently been involved in?

Answer: The majority of KEI Industries business is from the energy sector. KEI Industries has recently been involved in an energy project with major player Alstom, supplying MV and LV cables to them for a power plant in Oman. Domestically there has been an industry boom, and this has seen KEI support the likes of Essar, BHEL, Jindal, NTPC, PGCIL etc.

Question: What are KEI Industries main goals within the next five years?

Answer: KEI Industries has two main goals; one internal and the other external.

Our internal goal is to improve on our current work practices and increase efficiency through tighter management control. We have contracted leading international consultants to help reduce costs by at least one and a half – to two percent, so we remain competitive within the international market place.

Our external goal is to become a billion dollar company within the next five years. For that KEI is continuously expanding their manufacturing and marketing base.

Question: What are the main challenges that KEI face?

Answer: The biggest challenge KEI Industries face is the shortage of skilled workers, within production, testing, design aspects of the cable business.

If you have the right manpower, you can grow quickly; this is the biggest challenge facing KEI Industries.

Question: What advantages does the internet offer KEI that other mediums do not?

Answer: The answer is simple: mass branding and mass visibility. One can access information from any part of the world at the click of a button.

Question: What is KEI Industries biggest threat?

Answer: The biggest threats KEI Industries foresee are also seen as challenges to overcome. Domestically we face the threat of major foreign companies, such as Prysmian, Nexans and General Cable expanding into the Indian market. Also KEI Industries are required to keep up with the new technology developments and advancements of the major international players.

Question: Are there any other recent developments?

Answer: KEI Industries have started a new unit capable of producing $100 million worth of cable per year. The unit is totally dedicated to the export market for MV and LV cables. KEI is now equipped to manufacture cable up to 132KV and have in house Testing facilities to test the cable.

3M Introduces Compact Mini-Clamp Connectors for Demanding Applications

3M Electronic Solutions Division recently extended the Mini-Clamp Connector product line to include Right Angle Surfacemount Socket connectors. Designed for a reliable interconnection in demanding applications, the newest addition to the 3M Mini-Clamp Connector family features a compact, low-profile design that retains the reliable dual-wipe, high-mating cycles and positive mating latches of its predecessors.
Continue reading 3M Introduces Compact Mini-Clamp Connectors for Demanding Applications

Nexans wins a 42 million Euro subsea umbilical contract for Usan oilfield in Nigeria

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2008
Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, has been awarded a 42 million Euro contract by EMC B.V, a subsidiary of Saipem S.p.A., to develop, manufacture and supply umbilicals and associated equipment for the subsea development of Usan deepwater oilfield, off the coast of Nigeria. The contract is one of the largest umbilical orders ever received by Nexans and confirms the company’s position as a market leader in the subsea umbilical sector.
Continue reading Nexans wins a 42 million Euro subsea umbilical contract for Usan oilfield in Nigeria