WAI’s Interwire 2019 “Next Gen” inspires visitors with new program content
24 May 2019
The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. reports that its Interwire 2019 engaged 3,514 wire and cable industry professionals representing 39 states and 47 countries. The biennial event included WAI’s 89th Annual Convention, the Interwire Exhibition and new Interwire Conference, the concurrent Global Continuous Casting Forum, the Fundamentals of Wire Manufacturing course, and the co-located International Fastener Manufacturing Exposition (IFME). Events were held at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, May 13-16, 2019.
Commenting on the activities, 2019 WAI President W.T. Bigbee said, “This year’s Interwire was a perfect blend of solutions on the exhibit floor and comprehensive educational programs. As a representative of one of the 400 manufacturing facilities with personnel in attendance, I saw that the industry was well served by this extensive showcase of everything that makes the wire and cable industry special.”
The Interwire Conference featured a roster of VIP speakers representing the industry’s leading wire and cable manufacturing companies who addressed the conference’s “Next Generation” theme.
Presentation highlights included:
• Keynote Speaker Dr. Shawn DuBravac, who discussed “The Future of Wires and Cables in a Connected World”;
• The “State of Manufacturing,” by Karl G. Glassman, President & CEO, Leggett & Platt; and Director, National Association of Manufacturers;
• “Global Wire & Cable Market Outlook,” by Philip Radbourne, Director, Integer Research (An Argus Media Co.);
• “Sector Insights/Forecasts” Panel, with Bill Reichert, President, Champlain Cable Corp.; Brian Parsons, President, Interstate Wire Co.; and Paul Wagner, President & CEO of Minnesota Wire;
• “Positioning for Future Challenges and Opportunities,” by Giacomo Sofia, COO, Prysmian Group North America;
• “Operations Innovation” Panel, with Andy Talbot, Mid-South Wire; Dave Hawker, Nexans Energy; Richard Wagner, Insteel Wire Products; Tom Heberling, Southwire Co. LLC; and Ali Shehab, Cimteq Ltd.; and
• “Tariffs & Trade – Steel Wire Impact,” by H.O. Woltz III, CEO Insteel Industries, Inc.
• 430 exhibiting companies showcased machinery and supplies for wire and cable manufacture;
• WAI’s third Global Continuous Casting Forum for copper and aluminum, featured 38 presentations, a social hour and gala networking dinner;
• WAI’s one-day Fundamentals of Wire Manufacturing Course, with record attendance of 161 students;
• The Champion’s Code presentation: “Building Relationships Through Life Lessons of Integrity and Accountability from the Sports World to the Business World,” presented by best-selling author Ross Bernstein;
• WAI’s Welcome Reception at the Chick-Fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, a 900-person networking event, with a performance by comedian John Floyd; and
• A tour of the Delta Airlines Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility at Georgia Tech where visitors saw the creative workspaces and innovation center used by the institute’s graduate students.
Ray Zirkle, organizer for the International Fastener Manufacturing Exposition (IFME), said “I’d like to thank the exhibitors that took part. At this point, we have shown that we have a sound venue in a good location. The key is whether exhibitors are willing to work with customers to make a return in 2021 a success.”
Interwire sponsors and support*: Platinum level: Cerrowire; Encore Wire Corp.; Gem Gravure Co. Inc.; James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp.; LLFlex; Nexans Energy; Sonoco Reels & Spools; Southwire Co. LLC; and Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp. Gold level: Carris Reels Inc.; M. Holland; Niehoff Endex North America; and SAMP/USA Inc. Silver level: Champlain Cable Corp.; Cimteq Ltd.; Enkotec Co. Inc.; Lloyd & Bouvier Inc.; The MGS Group; Oden Technologies; Prysmian Group; RichardsApex Inc.; and SIKORA International Corp. Bronze level: Baum’s Castorine; Fort Wayne Wire Die; NDC Technologies; and Zumbach Electronics Corp.
* The Wire and Cable Industry Suppliers Association (WCISA) is an industry partner with WAI.
Global Continuous Casting Forum sponsors and support: Platinum level: Continuous-Properzi SpA; Encore Wire Corp.; Freeport McMoRan; RichardsApex Inc.; SDI La Farga, LLC; Southwire SCR Technologies. Gold level: Asarco Grupo Mexico; Prysmian Group; UPCAST®. Silver level: Allied Mineral Products; Saint-Gobain; SMS Group.
Interwire 2021 will be held again at the Georgia World Congress Center. The conference runs May 10-13, 2021; the exhibits run May 11-13, 2021.
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