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U.S. wire and cable manufacturers see uptick in growth

Posted by IndustryNet on Wednesday, November 15, 2017

U.S. wire and cable manufacturersAccording to data collected by IndustryNet, wire and cable manufacturers have performed quite well relative to United States manufacturing as a whole.

Recent IndustryNet data shows four percent of manufacturers across all sectors have reported employment growth, while four percent have reported decreases in the last year.

By comparison, five percent of wire and cable manufacturers showed growth in employment, while three percent reported declines. These figures encompass 1,302 companies in the industry that employ 62,554 people.

Anixter Wire and Cable has a manufacturing plant covering 10 million square feet in Lenexa, Kansas. It is the largest in the country. The 10th largest is a division of Bekaert Corporation and occupies 600,000 square feet in Van Buren, Arkansas.

In sales, both across manufacturing and exclusively wire, one percent of wire and cable manufacturers report increases and one percent report decreases. Average sales for the industry this year were $24,686,549,950 up 1.06 percent over the previous year. That's an increase of nearly $260 million.

Jobs in the wire and cable industry overall grew 3.3% over the past year.

This article will address how growth in employment and sales varies by both location and by category of wire products, while briefly profiling a couple of the top wire and cable manufacturers in the U.S.

Geographic differences in wire & cable growth

The highest density of wire companies, 30.57 percent, are located in the Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Just 4.37 percent of the industry's companies are situated in the Mountain West: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

Similarly, the Midwest continues to see new market entries with 27.14 percent of the industry's new businesses located there. Meanwhile, only one new wire company started operations in the Mountain West during the past year.

Employment in wire & cableWire and cable manufacturer

IndustryNet examined 30 sectors of the wire industry. Non-specific wire, wire rope, wire forms, insulated wire, wire fabrication, and stainless steel wire indicated negative employment growth. No change was seen in 10 types of wire: aluminum wire, wire for baling, galvanized wire, and wire used in the automotive industry.

Eleven sectors of the wire industry, including wire harness and cable assemblies, steel wire, wire mesh, and nickel alloy reported positive growth over the last year. The latter led the way with a 30.43 percent larger workforce than the previous year. But wire harness remains the biggest employer in the sector. With 8,370 employed, it grew 9.28 percent over the previous year.

Wire & cable sales

Six sectors reported decreases in sales, with the most severe year-to-year drop in shaped wire, at 50.62 percent. Copper wire, wire harnesses, wire rope, steel wire and wire fabrication saw smaller losses.

The highest increases in sales over the previous year were in electrical wire, at 13.53 percent with wire harness and cable assembles close behind at 13.09 percent. The latter added over $42 million in net sales leading the sector.

Growth leaders

Wire harness and cable assemblies are a source of considerable expansion in the wire industry. The company second in sales growth and specializing in this sector is Absolute Quality Manufacturing, Inc. of Minneapolis.

Stark Electronics, a firm established in 1938, founded Absolute Quality in 1999. The formation of a second company expanded Stark's capabilities as a distributor, providing their clients with custom cable and electromechanical assemblies, wire harnesses and electrical equipment. Absolute Quality serves markets that include medical, military, industrial, lighting, consumer, agriculture, and energy.

Another expanding segment is wire mesh. The leader in sales growth, Riverdale Mills Corp. of Northbridge, Massachusetts, is the largest manufacturer of welded wire mesh in the world. They produce both galvanized and PVC coated mesh. Commercial, industrial, and consumer-oriented businesses all employ their products.

A highly innovative company and another leader in sales growth, Paige Electric Company, L.P. of Union, New Jersey, has developed a unique product to address the need of consumers for cable connections. Their patent-pending GameChanger cable is expanding the limit of video cabling infrastructure from 100 meters to over 250 meters.

These cables carry both high definition video and power over ethernet, minimizing both the time and cost of residential and commercial installations. Their success highlights the importance of the development of improved products.

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As a one-stop resource for all your industrial needs, IndustryNet provides up-to-date details on 400,000 U.S. manufacturers and suppliers of over 10,000 types of industrial products and services. A free search on IndustryNet will yield wire and cable industry vendors offering the right products for your business. 

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