Founded in 1990, the ICF has close to 100 corporate members from almost 40 countries. Many of the members are large cable-making groups with factories or subsidiaries in many countries. The two largest groups, Prysmian and Nexans, for example, had 45,000 employees between them in 2014, and their 2014 sales figures combined for €13.2 billion (US$14.2 billion). Prysmian has plants in 50 countries, and Nexans has plants in 40 countries. These two companies represent the largest geographic “footprints” in the wire and cable industry, but many other ICF members have operations in multiple countries throughout the world. The ICF membership directory is organized so that web users can search it by region, country, or product (type of cable or wire).
The ICF objectives include its annual congress, collection of industry statistics, and programs to promote contacts and relationships with suppliers of machinery and raw materials and with other organizations. The ICF’s information and promotional programs are focused on topics such as health and safety, improved utilization and recovery of cable materials, and current trends in cable design and usage.
The IWCS is not an association with corporate or individual members, but it serves several roles common to other associations – an annual meeting for sharing technical information, scholarship programs, and an archive of technical information. The major activity of the IWCS is the annual symposium, currently called the IWCS International Cable & Connectivity Symposium. The IWCS has two permanent staff members and a large group of volunteers from the industry that plan and develop the annual program, chair the sessions, oversee the symposium’s financial structure, and help deliver the group’s missions of technical information and education.
The symposium committee and the annual conference date back to 1952, when US government and industry officials organized the first conference to discuss and support technical advances in military wire and cable systems. The sessions expanded to cover more topics, and the agenda attracted more international participants, so the group adopted the name International Wire and Cable Symposium in 1967. The most recent conference, held in November of 2014, had more than 100 technical papers, 10 training courses, more than 100 exhibitors, and about 1,000 attendees.
The IWMA dates back to 1970 when several UK wire industry executives formed the Wire Manufacturers Association (WMA) to promote the capabilities of companies making machinery for wire and cable production. Initially the group had 44 companies as founding members, and they organized several UK technical conferences in the early 1970s. Within a few years, the WMA was attracting overseas members, and in 1976, the organization changed its name to the IWMA. By the 1980s, the group’s bi-annual exhibition in Switzerland had become an important event, and in 1986 it was moved to Dusseldorf, Germany. Also in the 1980s, the IWMA established events in other countries, including one in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, organized in cooperation with the WAI. During the 1990s, the IWMA established a relationship with Messe Dusseldorf for the industry’s biannual Wire Dusseldorf exhibition.
Currently, the IWMA is involved in numerous exhibitions and conference throughout the world, some in cooperation with local partners. Wire Dusseldorf is held in even-numbered years, and the Atlanta Interwire is held in odd-numbered years. The IWMA also publishes the semi-annual WCN, an industry directory, and various technical proceedings. The IWMA also manages an educational trust fund that provides scholarships and grants.
The WAI is a professional society for individuals, not corporations. The WAI’s mission is to support technical, manufacturing, and general business segments of the wire and cable industry. It does this with educational programs, conferences and exhibits, and publications. In addition to its monthly magazine (Wire Journal International), the WAI has an on-line store with more than 50 technical reports, handbooks, industry guides, reference books, and conference proceedings for sale, along with more than 1,000 technical papers.
The WAI’s main event is the biennial Interwire conference and exhibition held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. WAI describes this event as “the largest wire and cable manufacturing trade show in the Americas.” It attracts attendees from more than 50 countries
The WCMA was established in June 2004 as the successor organization to the Wire & Cable Clubs of America. WCMA’s corporate members include manufacturers of electrical, electronic and fiber optic wire and cable with a base in North America. The membership also includes suppliers of materials, machinery, distributors and other service suppliers, affiliated companies and organizations serving the wire and cable industry. A major function of the WCMA is networking events.