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Q&A with key thought leaders in the high-performance cable industry

Published: - 27/12/2017 Author: Simonati, Programming office
Q&A with key thought leaders in the high-performance cable industry

Integer Research, specialist provider of research, data, analysis and consultancy services, is happy and excited to present the first Advanced Cable North America event (ACNA 2018) to be held on February 26th-28th, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Opening with a three-course dinner at the Georgia Aquarium, ACNA 2018 will bring together an exciting mix of industry thought leaders, cable producers, technology suppliers, buyers, traders, key government officials and more to examine the increasing opportunities in North America’s high performance cable market.

The following two days in Atlanta, sees more discussions, content, and presentations from an excellent group of key speakers, and presents them on the ideal stage for knowledge-sharing and networking. ACNA 2018 will empower senior decision makers to determine the impact of market trends, regulations and compliance, supply and demand shifts, and assess which high performance products are likely to yield the greatest returns.

This Q&A below with Corning Optical Solutions, JDR Cables, and Integer Research will give you insight into the automotive cable, data connectivity and communication cable, and renewable energy cable markets as well as opinions from one of the key thought leaders in the high-performance cable industry.

Integer looks forward to welcoming you to Advanced Cable North America 2018 - make sure you make use of the $200 discount, before the offer ends on January 19th, 2018.

Automotive Cable Q&A with Philip Radbourne, Director, Wire & Cable Research, Integer Research Ltd

What is the background and context of the Automotive sector?

The automotive sector is a massive global industry. The leading passenger car manufacturers include, Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, General Motors (GM), Ford and Nissan.

These global companies have assembly plants on virtually every continent. The United States and China have held leading roles in global automotive industry since the early 2000s. Today there are more than 28 million unites produced each year in China alone meaning the sector, with its complex supply chain and just-in-time management has shifted to key locations across China.

How do wire harness companies fit into the market?

These car companies have global operations, and have their preferred Tier 1 suppliers and integrators. Leading Teir 1 integrators included Robert Bosch, Denso Corp, Continental and Magna. Tier 1 Wiring harness suppliers include Yazaki, Sumitomo Electric, Lear, Delphi and Leoni.

These tier 1 suppliers work closely with the Tier 1 wiring harness suppliers to supply the electrical system directly to car companies. These car companies will generally award the contract for major models to Tier 1-2 suppliers, and in others will have Tier 3-4 main suppliers.

How do cable makers fit in?

The complete electrical and electronic install in a car can now represent as much as 25% of total production costs. However, wiring harness itself, even at the high end, in a European or US based sport utility model will cost less than US$1000 per unit. A mid-sized mid-range car might have a wiring harness costing around US$300-400 per unit. Much of the production cost is labour, and explains why so many wiring harness operations are based in lower cost economies.

Wiring harness itself consists of a range of cables, from single core, multi-core cables (shielded and unshielded), through battery cables, flat flexible cables (FFC), specialty cables for ABS systems and increasingly complex cables used in hybrid power systems in electric vehicles. The primary wire has been constructed from PVC since the 1970s, but as space constraints and bottlenecks have increased and more cable is required in the engine compartment, we are seeing a trend towards the use of thin or ultra-thin wall jacketing, or materials that can be used at higher temperatures. Compact cables are being increasingly used, that require higher copper alloys for further mechanical strength.

What does the Future Hold?

Mr Dieter May, of BMW Group recently stated that “there will be more change in the electrical function of a car over the next five years, than in the previous two decades”.

What we do know is that in 2017, automotive engineers in car companies and Tier 1 suppliers are facing unprecedented challenges absorbing all these changes and innovation the next generation of Electronic & Electrical Distribution Systems (EEDS). Step by step more and more features are being added to vehicles. These include stability control and dynamic or intelligent safety. As more and more levels of “Active Safety” are added into passenger cars, they will become more and more autonomous and interconnected.

All these improvements mean an increase in the number of system circuits, and consequently automotive cable per car. Right now, the cable industry has been looking at thin wall, ultra-thin wall, and now a massive shift towards copper alloys as the main conductor. There are increasing uses of aluminium in battery cables, but aluminium has struggled to be accepted for small gauge wires (0.35mm2 and 0.5mm2).

So, combining all these changes, automotive wiring and cable will become thinner and thinner, but has its limits. Higher temperatures and ratings will also be needed, in hybrid engines and electric vehicles, which means that cross linked cables, and more exotic materials will find greater use in the wiring system, we are already seeing Olefins and other materials displacing PVC cables in the harness.

About Philip Radbourne:

Philip Radbourne heads up the wire and cable research team at Integer Research Ltd. He is one of the founders of the company and has managed market studies which analysed a range of products from power cables, magnet wire, LAN data cables to copper telecom and fibre optic cables.

Philip has travelled extensively visiting cable companies in the Americas, Europe and Asia (including India, ASEAN, and South Korea). He also worked with management in a number of cable companies, covering company strategy, market analysis and technical studies.

Philip will be on the automotive cable market at a breakfast briefing on day two of Advanced Cable North America 2018

Data connectivity and communication networks Q&A with Bob Whitman, Vice President, Global Market Development

What does your company/organization stand in the North America electric and cable industry and what’s your role within the company?

Corning invented the world’s first low-loss optical fibre in 1970. Since that milestone, we have continued to pioneer optical fibre, cable, and connectivity solutions. As global bandwidth demand driven by video usage grows exponentially, telecommunications networks continue to migrate from copper to optical-based systems that can deliver the required cost-effective bandwidth-carrying capacity. Our experience puts us in a unique position to design and deliver optical solutions that reach every edge of the communications network.

As VP of market development, my focus is on transforming access networks, specifically how Corning can help increase performance, lower costs, and improve installations. We strive to understand customer challenges in order to help solve problems and improve the business case for all optical networks.

What are the key opportunities and challenges faced by the North America communication and connectivity industry?

A key challenge all carriers face is finding the right balance between capital spending and network performance and efficiency. Optical fibre is widely regarded as the best performing wireline network, but civil costs can make new network builds impractical. By combining wireline and wireless (backhaul/front haul) networks, the cost challenge can be overcome with a single platform capable of offering multiple services.

Competitive pressures are a key challenge that all operators face, regardless of their size or scope. The adage “first one down the street wins” is creating a bit of a fervor, with the broadband delivery business no longer limited to traditional telephone companies and cable TV companies, but now also to smaller ISPs, municipalities, and even power utility companies seizing on the opportunities that come with broadband delivery. The resulting increases in market demand extend the challenge to the industry overall, pushing hard on consultants, design firms, installation crews, and the vendor ecosystem to support more deployments than ever before.

Ensuring this broad ecosystem remains up to speed on evolving technologies to support fast and reliable networks is a challenge. Because no two broadband deployments are exactly the same, there isn’t a single product solution for the job. Instead, network operators have the opportunity to select a solution optimized for their specific deployments, making better use of their network investments.

Another opportunity that many see as a challenge is the question of how to leverage todays spend to support tomorrow’s needs. When operators look more holistically at both network requirements and costs (CapEx and OpEx) over a longer horizon, the winning move is to provision for wireless densification, smart city services, and services yet to exist. Preparing effectively requires some vision on the part of operators and communities.

What optical fibre innovation are you and your organization most excited about?

The ongoing development and commercialization of NG-PON2 systems will enable true network convergence, allowing the use of a single network solution to provide multiple services across a common OSP network. This convergence will lower total deployment costs and enable new revenue streams over previously inflexible discrete networks.

How do you expect Integer’s expertise to influence this summit?

Ultimately network builds are a business decision, so Integer’s expertise could influence network operators to look beyond initial deployment costs. In the best interest of deploying the fibre necessary to deliver emerging services and applications, I believe that this holistic approach will serve the industry at large.

With networks evolving at an unprecedented rate and scale, education across the industry is critical. Bringing the full network ecosystem together in Atlanta is an opportunity for Corning to share the experiences we’ve had deploying FTTH networks around the world, and it gives us a chance to listen and understand challenges.

Integer’s expertise, specifically the ability to research and analyze data, is a skill set that would serve network operators well as they weigh the shelf life of today’s network investments.

What is your key objective by participating at the Advanced Cable North America?

As FTTH deployments began in North America in earnest years ago, Corning and I have learned so much from being at the leading edge of this thriving industry. Sharing the trends, best practices, and insights with wider audiences serves to educate, inspire, and accelerate FTTH deployments – which is our shared primary goal, necessary to prepare networks for what’s coming next in the industry.

About Bob Whitman:

Bob Whitman was appointed Global Market Development Vice President in 2013. Whitman is responsible for Carrier Networks Market and Business Development to include strategy and execution of Corning’s Fibre to the Home, Inside Plant and Emerging Applications initiatives
With over 20 years’ experience in optical fibre network architecture, product development and carrier engagement, Bob has developed commercial and technical expertise in all aspects of optical communications. He is one of the three founding individuals of the FTTH Council NA.

Previously, Bob was VP for Global Program Management and has held a variety of Engineering, Marketing and Market Development positions. Prior to joining Corning in 1997 Bob served as a Nuclear Power Engineering Officer in the US Navy.

Bob Whitman will be speaking on converged Wireline and Wireless Access Networks

Renewable Energy Cable Q&A with Louisa Winnik, Senior Analyst, Integer Research Ltd

How important is the renewable energy cable sector for high performance cable demand?

Of the six industrial end-use sectors that Integer Research monitors (Renewables, Shipboard, Rolling Stock, Offshore oil & gas, Mining and Aerospace) we estimate that the renewables sector represents 25% of total demand in value terms.

Where are the key consumers of cable in the wind sector based?

Integer identified nine major turbine producing countries - China, USA, Denmark, Brazil, Germany, India, Spain, Portugal and Japan. Around 60% of all nacelle production is in USA and China.

What about the solar market?

Overall solar cable consumption is highly fragmented and widespread with a long tail of demand as wherever solar PV capacity is being installed, there will be demand for specialty cable. In this respect, the market is in stark contrast to wind power where the bulk of cable demand is driven by nine countries where the major wind turbine manufacturers locate their plants.

What does the future hold?

The renewables sector (wind power and solar power) is looking the strongest for high performance cable demand in the next five years. It is being driven by the need to reduce carbon emissions from power generation, and government support, as well as widespread caution surrounding nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels. This is definitely an area where we would expect to see considerable growth in cable consumption.

How do you expect Integer’s expertise to influence the discussions?

We have been tracking the global renewable energy cable market since 2009 and by that we hope to provide a broad picture for the North American sector, while also taking ACNA as a great opportunity to learn directly from the industry itself.

About Louisa Winnik:

Louisa Winnik is a Senior Analyst working across Integer’s business areas. She is the editor of the Focus Report: The Market for Specialty Cable as well as the Wire & Cable Data Service. She has presented at various conferences including Europacable, Metal Bulletin and Integer’s Advanced Cable conferences in Shanghai and Dubai. Louisa has worked across a range of wire & cable consultancy, including projects on the potential for copper substitution, power cable demand and reports for the International Cable Federation.

In this quick question and answer session about specialty cable in the renewables sector, Louisa offers some interesting insights into use, capacity, forecasts and key consumers for the cable in both wind and solar energy.

Renewable Energy Cable Q&A with Jeremy Featherstone, Product Development Director, JDR Cable Systems

What does your company/organization stand in the North America electric and cable industry and what’s your role within the company?

JDR Cable Systems became a part of TF Kable in 2017. JDR is a specialist subsea cable and umbilical manufacturer with production sites in the UK and service centres in Houston, Brazil and Singapore. TF Kable provides a full range of cables up to 400kV and has production sites in Central and Eastern Europe, and a US distributor. I am the Product Development Director at JDR.

What are the key opportunities and challenges faced by the North America electric and cable industry?

For us, the growth of offshore wind in Europe has become a very important market, and we have a leading position in the supply of subsea array cables for offshore wind farms. Offshore wind in North America is just starting, and has the potential to become a significant market, so we are interested in exploring the opportunities in this new area.

What topic will you be addressing at the Advanced Cable North America and which part are you most excited about?

I will be talking about subsea cable for the offshore wind renewable market, our experience to date in this exciting new market, the business potential and the technical, commercial and environmental challenges everywhere. Given its demographics, Asia is obviously the focus of all attentions, but the most critical variable for defining market growth potential today is regulation.

How do you expect Integer’s expertise to influence this summit?

Integer can bring the right people together to have a productive and enjoyable conference and help build relationships across the industry.

What is your key objective by participating at the Advanced Cable North America?

I want to find out more about the challenges of the North American market and am looking forward to meeting other people with an interest in cables for offshore wind in North America.

About Jeremy Featherstone:

Jeremy Featherstone is a Chartered Engineer, and is the Product Development Director at JDR Cable Systems Limited. JDR supplies subsea umbilicals and power cables, in particular inter array subsea power cables for offshore wind farms. JDR has two manufacturing facilities in the UK and from September 2017 became part of the TF Kable group of companies, which has substantial cable manufacturing capabilities within Central Europe.

Jeremy has worked in subsea cables for some 30 years. He started his working life at SMD on subsea telecom cable burial equipment, before spells at Global Marine Systems on telecom cable installation, and then Centrica Renewable Energy on subsea power cables for offshore windfarms, and now JDR, where he leads the product development team.

Jeremy will be speaking on new developments in offshore wind energy cables

Other Advanced Cable North America 2018 speakers include:
- J. Derrick Smith, Manager of DAS Technical Standards, AT&T
- Mark Agnew, Senior Director, Financial Analysis, Edison Electric Institute
- Rich Stinson, President & CEO, Southwire
- Patrick E. Hughes, Senior Director, Government Relations and Strategic Initiatives, National Electrical Manufacturers Association
- Hakan Ozmen, President & CEO, Prysmian Cables and Systems
- Tom Doring, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy, Southwire
- William Reicher, President, Champlain Cable Corporation
- Samuel Friedman, Director Technical Services and Codes, General Cable
- Brian Ensign, Director of Global Accounts, Superior Essex International
- Mikael Wennerberg, Vice President, Commercial & Tendering, United States and Canada, HV Solutions, NKT Cables Group
- Daniel Winkler, Vice President, Sales and Engineering, LEONI
- John Emanuel George, Director Solutions and Professional Services, OFS Fitel
- Tony Walker, Business Development Manager, Data Centre, HUBER+SUHNER
- Mark Niehus, Director of Strategic Accounts, Connectivity Wireless
- Antoine Brossault, Marketing Product Manager, ACOME
- Matt Herbers, Director of Business Development, IEWC

Advanced Cable North America 2018 provides over 14 hours of networking time across three days with over 150 key senior executives. Stand out and keep in touch with market leading companies and organizations such as AT&T, Niefhoff Endex, Superior Essex, LEONI, NKT Cables, JDR Cables, Corning, OFS Fitel and many more. Hear from experts on:

- North American cable market outlook
- Political trends and new opportunities
- Industry insights
- Regulatory compliance & quality improvement
- Cabling solutions for electric vehicles
- Renewable energy cables
- Data communications and connectivity
- Wireless network

Join Integer Research in Atlanta, Georgia, USA next February 26th - 28th, 2018 beginning with a welcome dinner held at the Georgia Aquarium, then two days of engaging content from expert speakers split with extensive networking session consisting of breaks, lunches, and a cocktail evening.  View the full program on the website

Last early booking discount offer ends on January 19th, 2018 – save US$200 off your ticket today!

Reserve your place online at, or email or call +44 (0)20 7503 1265 to arrange your booking.


Diamond sponsor: Southwire
Silver Sponsor: Nexans
Environmental sponsor: Dow
Evening networking Sponsors: Superior Essex
Associate sponsors: Conneaut - Niehoff Endex

Full list of sponsors click here >>

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