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Madison, Connecticut, USA – February 27, 2024 – The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. announces two Keynote Speakers for Wire Expo 2024, which will be held at the Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino, Uncasville, CT, USA, June 11-12, 2024.

On June 11, H.O. Woltz III, Chairman, President, and CEO of Insteel, will deliver his Keynote Address “Success based on committing to continuous improvement and a passion for manufacturing.” Mr. Woltz will provide a status report on the challenges and opportunities facing the ferrous wire industry. He will draw from his 45 years in the industry including more than 30 years as CEO and numerous business cycles.

In addition, Mr. Woltz will be honored at Wire Expo as the 2024 recipient of the WAI Champion’s Award, which recognizes an industry executive for his support of the Wire Association and its mission.

On June 12, Keynote speaker Paul Furtado, COO, Prysmian North America will present “Elevating operations: Paving the way to manufacturing excellence.” His presentation will outline key elements of on-going efforts to optimize operational processes through the Prysmian Operating System (POS) approach, including how to build employee engagement and a culture of continuous improvement strategies in creating focus, transparency, and alignment throughout the organization. It will highlight specific tools such as strategy deployment and leverage internal systems an approach centered around core manufacturing principles and maximizing teams’ capabilities.

Commenting on the conference, WAI Executive Director Steven Fetteroll said “WAI is honored to have these executives involved to inspire each day of Wire Expo. Their individual messages on improvement and excellence are echoed in the rest of the conference program.”

For further details, visit website: www.wireexpo24.com and contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details.

WAI, founded in 1930, is a not-for-profit association with more than 2000 individual members in 50 countries. The association serves the educational needs of the wire and cable manufacturing industry through a variety of products and services. WAI manages the Interwire Trade Exhibition and Wire Expo and publishes the Wire Journal International and the Wire Journal International Reference Guide.

Media Contacts: Janice E. Swindells, Director Marketing & Corporate Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel.: 001-203-453-2777, x. 117; Steven J. Fetteroll, Executive Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel.: 001-203-453-1777.

Last modified on February 27, 2024

Last May, Bard and ChatGPT “responded” to a request from WJI as to why people in manufacturing should not fear AI. Now, they respond to a second request: do they agree with a legal ruling that AI cannot be listed as an inventor on a patent? Below are their responses, followed by the thoughts of WJI Patent Columnist Bill Honaker.

Bard’s perspective:

As a large language model, I believe the current legal stance on AI inventorship is justified, with some nuances. Here’s why:

Lack of intent and moral rights. Unlike humans, AI lacks the independent capacity to form intent and pursue goals. My outputs are based on my training data and prompts, not on a conscious desire to solve problems or innovate. Granting me inventorship would ignore the human effort behind my creation and training, diluting the moral rights of true inventors.

Unclear attribution and accountability. AI models are complex, incorporating data from countless sources. Identifying the specific contribution of AI in an invention is challenging, raising potential attribution disputes and ethical concerns. Additionally, holding an AI accountable for potential harm caused by its creations is legally complicated.

System integrity and misuse. Recognizing AI as inventors could weaken the patent system. Malicious actors could exploit AI to generate spurious inventions, flooding the system and eroding trust. Moreover, granting legal rights to AI creates ethical ambiguities when considering potential misuse of the invention for harmful purposes.

While I support the current legal stance, the debate is evolving. As AI advances, we may need to revisit the definition of “inventor” and explore alternative models for protecting AI-generated innovations. This could involve recognizing the contributions of both programmers and AI as part of a collaborative inventive process, without attributing full inventorship to the AI itself.

Ultimately, the goal should be to foster AI innovation while safeguarding the integrity of the patent system, protecting human ownership, and ensuring responsible development and use of AI-driven inventions.

ChatGPT’s perspective

The question of whether AI, like me, should be listed as an inventor on a patent application touches upon complex and evolving legal, ethical, and technological considerations. I’ll outline why, under current understandings and legal frameworks, it is generally agreed that AI should not be listed as an inventor due to the nature of invention and inventorship.

Human-centric definition of inventorship. The concept of an “inventor” in patent law has traditionally been human-centric. It is rooted in the idea that an inventor applies a non-obvious and novel thought process to solve a problem or create something new. This human-centric view underpins most intellectual property laws, which are designed to protect human creativity and ingenuity.

AI as a tool, not a creator. AI, including myself, operates based on algorithms and data provided by humans. We process information and generate outputs based on predefined parameters and learning from vast datasets. This process, while sophisticated, is fundamentally different from human creativity. AI does not possess consciousness, intent, or the ability to conceptualize problems and solutions in the way humans do. We are tools used by human inventors to achieve certain tasks more efficiently.

Legal precedents and policies. Current legal systems in many jurisdictions, including the United States and the European Union, have upheld the principle that inventors must be natural persons. This reflects a broader legal recognition that AI, as of now, does not have legal personhood or the capacity for legal rights and responsibilities. Allowing AI to be listed as an inventor would require a significant overhaul of existing legal frameworks and an examination of the consequences of granting such a status to non-human entities.

Ethical and responsibility considerations. Assigning inventorship to AI raises ethical questions about responsibility and accountability. In the realm of patents, the inventor bears certain responsibilities and enjoys specific rights. If an AI were listed as an inventor, it would be challenging to address issues like moral responsibility for the invention or the handling of rights and profits derived from it.

Innovation and incentive structure. The patent system is designed to incentivize human innovation. Granting patents to humans for their inventive activities encourages further research and development. If AI were recognized as inventors, it might complicate this incentive structure, possibly devaluing human contribution and effort.

In conclusion, under the current legal, ethical, and technological landscape, it is appropriate that AI is not listed as an inventor on patent applications. This stance aligns with the fundamental principles of inventorship, the nature of AI as a tool rather than a creator, legal precedents, and the broader objectives of the patent system. Recognizing AI as an inventor would necessitate a reevaluation of many underlying principles of law and ethics, a task that society and legal systems are not presently equipped to undertake.

 

Editor’s note: the AI "responses" were attained by WAI Director of Technology Chuck Szymaszek.

 

Bill Honaker’s perspective

The AI perspectives are generally correct but have errors. Of the two perspectives, Chat GPT’s perspective is more accurate. Both have errors in their comments. This is to be expected. Even Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT, doesn’t trust its answers. He recently said, “I probably trust the answers that come out of ChatGPT the least of anybody on Earth.”

I found Bard’s perspective to be the least helpful. Bard’s comment that granting it inventorship would ignore the human effort behind its creation and training, really misses the mark. An inventor is anyone who conceived of the invention in any claim within the patent. Creating or adjusting the tools is irrelevant. Bard also discusses being held liable for harm caused by being an inventor. To my knowledge, no inventor has ever been found liable for an invention that later caused harm. The use of the product may create liability, but not inventing it.

ChatGPT’s perspective is more correct. The only error was the comment that inventors apply a non-obvious and novel thought process to solve a problem or create something new. Inventors use thought to create non-obvious and novel solutions. This is important to understand: it’s the result that must be new and non-obvious, not how one thinks.

I enjoyed reading ChatGPT’s admission that AI does not possess consciousness, intent or the ability to conceptualize problems and solutions in the way humans do. That’s the problem with relying on the output from AI. They can’t anticipate problems and propose solutions.

I agree that AI is a tool for human inventors to get results more efficiently, and when people use it, they should be named as inventors. The USPTO suggested this when confronted with AI being named as an inventor. Dabus (short for “Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Science”) is an AI system created by Stephen Thalen. Dabus was named as the sole inventor on two patent applications.  The US Patent and Trademark office suggested that Thalen name himself as the inventor, but he refused. As a result, the USPTO refused the application. The same result occurred in other countries where he filed, except for South Africa, which issued the first AI patent.

The AI responses also failed to discuss who owns AI inventions. I asked ChatGPT, and it was wrong. It said that the creator of the AI device would own the invention. This is what Thalen argued. But in the U.S., the inventor owns the invention unless assigned to another. Thalen felt he should own it because he created the inventor. If this were the case, every mother and father throughout history would own every invention, since they created their sons and daughters.

 

 

The WAI Poland Chapter’s XI International Seminar, held Nov. 23-24, 2023, continued the chapter’s rich tradition of staging technical events, drawing more than 80 attendees from 25 countries. Attendees also heard about a new award named after one of the four listed founders of the chapter in 1997.

Chapter President Jan Pilarczyk said that the seminar, held at the MEALURGIA Hotel in Radomsko, saw hearty exchanges among participants. The attendees came from 25 companies, domestic and foreign.

The first day saw a memorable presentation by U.S. steel industry veteran Robert J. Glodowski, the 2002 winner of the WAI Mordica Award, who is now the principal of RJG Metallurgic LLC. His talk, The Evolving Technology of Steel Rod Manufacturing, was well received for the detail that it went into. That evening he was presented the Poland Chapter’s Professor Marian Schneider Award, which is the highest honor.

Pilarczyk noted that support from Glodowski, along with steel industry veteran Robert Shemenski, both winners of the Professor Marian Schneider Award, along with Eugeniusz Filipczyk, were instrumental in the Poland Chapter being created in 1997.

Of note, Glodowski’s presentation was translated into Polish by Piotr Milewski, of WireCo World Group, whose profile appears on the opposite page. Milewski also presented a paper the next day.

Also receiving the Professor Marian Schneider Award was Jan Krnáč, who made a presentation at the conference, Analysis of possibilities to improve the quality of drawn steel wires intended for the production of needles. The author and co-author of 14 publications and contributions to national and international conferences, including publications in foreign professional journals, Krnáč helped develop drawing technologies for new production equipment, using a holistic approach to achieve better technological properties.

The program included a panel discussion on the condition of the steel industry in the era of political and economic destabilization in the post-Covid period and in the face of war in Ukraine. The audience also heard about the creation of a new Poland Chapter award honoring the late Henryk Dawid, the 1957 founder of DAWID company, a producer of sieves and wire meshes. The idea came from his son, Jerzy Dawid, and Maciej Górak, the Chapter’s vice-president. The statuette has the WAI logo on the globe that emphasizes the global nature of the organization promoting the winners.

Henryk Dawid, who died March 29, 1999, at age 69, attended Interwire in Atlanta in 1997. Two years later, at Interwire 1999, the WAI Association’s Board of Directors approved the establishment of the Poland Chapter. In the application, Henryk and Jerzy Dawid were listed as two of the four founders, along with the late Prof. Bogdan Golis and Pilarczyk.

Last modified on February 4, 2024

Interwire 2025 Points Meeting date set

The floor show of Interwire 2023 saw a healthy total of 335 exhibiting companies representing some 80 product categories, and WAI is optimistic that the upcoming Points Meeting set for March 21 will signal further strength. The meeting matters because it reflects the expectations of exhibitors.

The Points Meeting for Interwire 2023 saw a total of 133 booths taken that represent approximately 65,000 sq ft of exhibition space. The Points Meeting for Interwire 2021 saw a total of 63,650 sq ft of floor space taken by 140 exhibitors.

Exhibitor representatives get to pick first in order of their accumulated points from past participation. The booths will be assigned by WAI staff. After the Points Meeting is held, other companies wanting to exhibit can seek a booth by either going directly to the event website, interwire25.com, or contacting WAI Sales Director Shannon Timme.

“What we’ve seen so far is inspiring,” Timme said. “many companies had their interest set on Interwire 2025 far in advance. During the sold-out 2023 event we had exhibitors ready to lock in their space for 2025. Since then, the inquiries have been continuous.”

Last modified on February 4, 2024

Members of WAI’s New England, Southeast, Midwest and Ohio Valley chapters have until March 29 to submit scholarship applications from their respective chapters.

For more details on applying, contact WAI Member Services Manager Corey Flynn at tel. 203-453-2777, ext. 128, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications must be received by March 29. Below are photos of 2023 recipients. N

Last modified on February 4, 2024

Last year, WAI’s Ohio Valley Chapter (OVC) announced that it would launch a scholarship program, administered by The Wire Foundation, with plans for two $1,500 awards. It now is carrying out that mission, and as part of that is re-issuing a call for applications for the first time.

The chapter, which covers the states of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania (west of State College), and New York (west of Rochester), has joined the New England, Southeast and Midwest chapters in offering the program. “This is a good cause for the chapter and a big moment for all our members,” said OHC President Tom Maxwell.

Per the OVC outline, eligible applicants are academically qualified high school seniors or college students who are children, grandchildren, or dependents of WAI Ohio Valley Chapter members in good standing. Scholarships will be awarded up to $1,500 per recipient with preference for one to be for a two-year accredited technical school or associates program enrollee and/or the other to be for an accredited four-year college or university enrollee. The student must either be a graduating high school senior or currently enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year technical school, college or university.

Applicants must provide an essay (300-500 words) as to why they deserve the scholarship, their official transcript, and a resume of community service involvement, high school and/or college activities and three references. Any planned field of study is acceptable, and no financial information is required; however, special circumstances will be considered. For more details on applying, contact WAI Member Services Manager Corey Flynn at tel. 203-453-2777, ext. 128, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications due by March 29. They can be submitted to https://bit.ly/ OH24Scholar.

Last modified on February 4, 2024

The WAI Poland Chapter’s XI International Seminar, held Nov. 23-24, 2023, continued the chapter’s rich tradition of staging technical events, drawing more than 80 attendees from 25 countries. Attendees also heard about a new award named after one of the four listed founders of the chapter in 1997.

Chapter President Jan Pilarczyk said that the seminar, held at the MEALURGIA Hotel in Radomsko, saw hearty exchanges among participants. The attendees came from 25 companies, domestic and foreign.

The first day saw a memorable presentation by U.S. steel industry veteran Robert J. Glodowski, the 2002 winner of the WAI Mordica Award, who is now the principal of RJG Metallurgic LLC. His talk, The Evolving Technology of Steel Rod Manufacturing, was well received for the detail that it went into. That evening he was presented the Poland Chapter’s Professor Marian Schneider Award, which is the highest honor.

Pilarczyk noted that support from Glodowski, along with steel industry veteran Robert Shemenski, both winners of the Professor Marian Schneider Award, along with Eugeniusz Filipczyk, were instrumental in the Poland Chapter being created in 1997.

Of note, Glodowski’s presentation was translated into Polish by Piotr Milewski, of WireCo World Group, whose profile appears on the opposite page. Milewski also presented a paper the next day.

Also receiving the Professor Marian Schneider Award was Jan Krnáč, who made a presentation at the conference, Analysis of possibilities to improve the quality of drawn steel wires intended for the production of needles. The author and co-author of 14 publications and contributions to national and international conferences, including publications in foreign professional journals, Krnáč helped develop drawing technologies for new production equipment, using a holistic approach to achieve better technological properties.

The program included a panel discussion on the condition of the steel industry in the era of political and economic destabilization in the post-Covid period and in the face of war in Ukraine. The audience also heard about the creation of a new Poland Chapter award honoring the late Henryk Dawid, the 1957 founder of DAWID company, a producer of sieves and wire meshes. The idea came from his son, Jerzy Dawid, and Maciej Górak, the Chapter’s vice-president. The statuette has the WAI logo on the globe that emphasizes the global nature of the organization promoting the winners.

Henryk Dawid, who died March 29, 1999, at age 69, attended Interwire in Atlanta in 1997. Two years later, at Interwire 1999, the WAI Association’s Board of Directors approved the establishment of the Poland Chapter. In the application, Henryk and Jerzy Dawid were listed as two of the four founders, along with the late Prof. Bogdan Golis and Pilarczyk.

 Dan Hughes has been named president of Windy City Wire (WCW), a company that he joined after completing college. He has more than 15 years of experience in the automotive and oil and gas industries. He started with WCW as an inside sales representative in 2001. He was promoted to national sales manager in 2007, then chief sales officer in 2014, where he served for 10 years prior to being named president. Based in Bolingbrook, Illinois, Windy City Wire supplies low-voltage wire products.

 Ahmet Kabaktepe has joined Marmon Industrial Energy & Infrastructure (IEI) as director of sales, transit infrastructure. He previously worked for nearly 15 years for Sark Wire Corp., where he was vice president of sales and marketing. He started as operations manager in 2009 and had been promoted to plant manager and sales manager. He also had worked in operations for Sark-USA Inc. for four years, and before that had been a marketing specialist for Sarkyusan A.S. in Turkey. He holds a degree in metallurgical engineering from Yıldız Teknik Üniversitesi in Turkey. The Marmon Industrial Energy & Infrastructure Group, a division of Marmon Electrical, supplies wire and cable for industrial, energy and infrastructure applications.

 Mark Froggatt has joined Eland Cables as head of training, learning & development. He most recently was Technical Director, for the British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC), which he joined in 2019. Prior to that he worked as a technical manager for four years for British Cables Company and BT Cables, three years as a market development manager for Nexans, and 14 years in different positions for Draka. He holds a B.Ss. degree in chemistry and management studies from the University of Sussex. Based in London, U.K., Eland Cable is supplier of power, data, control and instrumentation cable.

 The SAMP Group reported four personnel announcements. Bernhard Messerli was named the new general manager. He has more than 30 years of experience in key managerial roles across various companies, spanning from Switzerland to China. He was cited for his extensive expertise in sales and operations management and strong leadership skills. Mattia Baccini is the new head of global sales. He will have a pivotal role in the company’s development. He has more than 15 years of experience in the automotive and oil and gas industries, including 11 years of experience at Koch Industries. He resided in the U.S. for two years and navigated diverse international assignments. Adriano Soldati is the new project manager extrusion, overseeing and optimizing extrusion projects from start to finish. He was cited for having a “dynamic skill set that aligns seamlessly” with the company’s goals. Hellen Cristina Basile is the new marketing manager. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise, including more than five years of experience in B2B marketing within the engineering industry. A global supplier of wire and cable machinery based in Bologna, Italy, the SAMP Group has production sites in Italy, China and Brazil, and a sales and service unit in the USA.

Obituary
  Alfred “Al” G. Pratt Jr., a respected innovator in the wire and cable industry and the founder of Jersey Strand and Cable, died on June 27 at age 78.
  The Rome, New York, native attended Cornell University for one year, then went to work for Strandflex division of National Standard Co. in Oriskany, New York. As plant superintendent, he developed specialty strand and cable to fit customers’ needs, including the exact strand needed for a customer working on the first heart pacemaker. In 1978, he moved to New Jersey, and with his wife, Diane, started Jersey Strand and Cable in New Jersey. He also customized equipment to produce both ferrous and nonferrous wire. He later started a second company, Sinc, Inc., to spool multiple wires on bobbins, and later added wire braid products. The companies grew from three employees to more than 40 and he bought a 100,000-sq-ft-building in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, where the company is now based. 
  One crowning achievement was Pratt’s development and production of the strand and braid used to create the Frank Gehry-designed Eisenhower Memorial Tapestry that was dedicated in September 2020 on the mall in Washington, DC. Made by Thomas Ozinsky, a frequent Gehry collaborator, the outdoor tapestry is the world’s largest such display. His son, John, joined the company—working side-by-side with his dad for more than 41 years—and is now the president. A WAI Life Member, Al Pratt was known as a tremendous, innovative businessman and a man who deeply cared for his employees. Survivors include his wife, Diane; four children: John Pratt, Wendy Bowen, Amara Pratt and Jessica Mattox; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a feasibility study grant to Malaysia’s Hexa Capital Consultancy to support development of the Malaysia-U.S. (MYUS) submarine fiber optic cable system, which would be the first subsea cable system directly connecting Malaysia and the U.S.

A press release said that Malaysia currently connects to 18 international subsea cable systems, but of those, only the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) club cable connects to the U.S. The MYUS cable is expected to be just over 19,220 km with six landing stations in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. MYUS will also have three landing stations in U.S. states and territories across the Pacific. No details have yet been given about the MYUS cable in terms of planned capacity.

USTDA director Enoh T. Ebong said in a statement that the MYUS cable would add cost-effective digital connectivity capacity and “increase access to reliable and affordable digital services across Southeast Asia, including remote and underserved areas, while creating a secure communications link between the region and the U.S.”

Last modified on February 4, 2024

EllaLink reports that it has been awarded a contract by SPLANG (the Local Public Company for the Digital Development of Guyana) for a 2,100 km extension to the existing EllaLink cable to land in the South American French territory.

A press release said that the new branch will land in Cayenne, French Guiana, and include two fiber pairs. The system will be built by Alcatel Submarine Networks. No timetable was provided.

The original EllaLink cable was lain between late 2020 and 2021 and runs from Fortaleza in Brazil via Cabo Verde and Madeira to Sines in Portugal, with a branch to Morocco. The 5,900-km cable offers around 100Tbps across four fiber pairs.

State-owned SPLANG manages and operates electronic communications infrastructures deployed by the Territorial Collectivity of Guyana. The project will include funding from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program.

This will be the first trans-Atlantic cable landing at the South American French territory. French Guiana currently has three other subsea cables planned or in operation, with two landing in Cayenne.

The Americas-II cable, laid in 2000, runs from Brazil to Florida via Cayenne, Venezuela, and a number of islands in the region, while 2019’s Kanawa cable from Orange connects Kourou in French Guiana to Schoelcher in Martinique. Set to go live later this year, Digicel’s Deep Blue One will connect Cayenne to Georgetown, Guyana; Paramaribo, Suriname; and Chaguaramas and Rockly Bay in Trinidad and Tobago.

Last modified on February 4, 2024

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