Cable Trade Associations

How many cable trade associations?

We estimate the number of wire-and-cable-related trade associations to be near 100, possibly between 100 and 150.  There are many national cable organizations, some having as few as five to ten corporate members.  There are several regional associations, such as Europacable, Arabcab and AWIA (Australasia Wire Industry Association).  There are international cable organizations having hundreds of corporate members.  There are associations for wire and cable makers, as well as associations for companies in related industries – machinery for making wire and cable, polymers used in cable, cable users and applications, cable standards groups, and many others.

Cable associations go back 100 years

In the cable industry, Sycable of France was started in 1917, the Wire Association International was started in 1930, and the JCMA of Japan was started in 1948.  Most of the wire and cable associations appear to have started in the last 50 years, although some countries in Europe have precursors or cable associations (possibly under a different name) that go back much further.  The IEEE evolved from the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE), which started in 1884, and many of its early leaders were from the telegraph, power, and telephone industries.  (The AIEE merged with the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1963 to from the IEEE.

How big are cable trade associations?

Most wire and cable associations are small compared with the IEEE, ACS, or other multi-industry groups.  The Wire Association International (WAI), for example, has about 2,400 members.  Like the ACS and the IEEE, the WAI’s membership is individuals, not companies.  The largest wire and cable associations with corporate members have hundreds of members: 

  • The Electric Cable and Wire Branch of the China Electrical Equipment Industry Association (ECWB-CEEIA) has more than 500 corporate members.
  • The International Wire & Machinery Association (IWMA) has more than 300 members in 50 countries.
  • Europacable represents large multi-national companies and, via National Associations, around 200 highly specialized small- and medium sized businesses from across Europe in all areas of wire, cable, accessories and winding wires.
  • The International Cablemakers Federation has close to 100 members, many of which are large multinational cable-making groups.

There also are many smaller national and local organizations, some of which have no full-time staff, but use volunteers from their membership to maintain communications and organize their meetings.  The US’s National Armored Cable Manufacturers Association, for example, has five members, and officials from the member companies manage the association’s information services and scholarship program.

ICF News 77 - Slide: Trade Associations Help

Overview of the main work:

The remainder of this article describes a sampling of some wire and cable trade associations.  We cannot summarize the activity of all cable associations here.  Rather, the goal is to illustrate the range of activities currently underway among wire and cable associations.  As a group, these associations are addressing the following areas:

  1. information on “green” cable materials, recycling, and “cradle-to-grave” life-cycle issues;
  2. how cable materials, technologies, and designs can help improve energy efficiency in key application areas;
  3. certification and other programs to prevent mislabelling or counterfeiting;
  4. providing current information on standards and developments in new market areas, such as solar cable, offshore wind cables, data centres and premises networks, broadband telecom networks;
  5. training, education, and the exchange of technical information.

The associations below are grouped into international, regional, national, and other categories, and listed alphabetically within those categories.  There are at least 25 national cable associations, and we have described a handful from each region to help illustrate the background and history of cable associations.