WireCo CEO Keith White Comments on US-Made High-Performance Crane Rope Production

WireCo CEO

On the opening day of CONEXPO-CON-AGG in March, WireCo formally announced the launch of brand-new production of US-made high-performance crane rope. Their press release noted that “For the first time, customers can now purchase Casar and Oliveira brand ropes proudly made in America.”

That release continued, “This launch is the culmination of WireCo’s investment of about $30 million in a commitment to deliver the same quality ropes that customers have acquired from facilities in Germany and Portugal but now also produced in Sedalia, Missouri. The new ropes follow the exact same manufacturing and testing protocols, but local production means improved availability and quicker delivery for United States customers.” You can read the complete release at this link: www.wireropeexchange.com/wireco-launches-us-made-rope

We reached out to WireCo with a few additional questions, and here is what Keith White, CEO of WireCo, had to say about this initiative:

Bob Glenn, Editor, Wire Rope Exchange (WRE): Tell us why WireCo felt that this investment was important?

Keith White, CEO, WireCo (WireCo): This investment came down to listening to WireCo’s customers and proactively investing in the infrastructure change coming to the United States. We are investing to grow with the market, and the market is expanding most in the U.S. WireCo recognizes the pending long-term investment in infrastructure, and almost all of the associated priority projects require cranes and therefore durable, dependable crane ropes. We are now positioned to satisfy customer and market demand.

We’ve been manufacturing high performance crane rope in the U.S. for a long time under our Union brand, and now we’ve added our high-performance rotation-resistant designs represented by our Casar and Oliveira brands to our existing premium rope family.

WRE: What did you hear from the market – your customer and your prospects – that led you to believe this was a good investment to make?

WireCo: The United States recently passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. The funds will go to large, high-visibility projects that require cranes to move, hoist and lift essential materials. On its own, this would be a big market boost for WireCo products, and our customers told us and showed us through order patterns that they love our ropes but wanted quicker access to them. Moving a portion of our manufacturing operations to Sedalia, Missouri, — in the heart of the United States — made sense for all key stakeholders.

WRE: Any history about the facility you’ll be using that you’d like to share?  What is its legacy?

WireCo: WireCo has been making ropes in one form or another for more than two centuries, and our legacy in the United States goes back 100 years. The Sedalia facility specifically is our largest domestic manufacturing site and has been making all types of steel wire ropes for a long time. We invested here because of the central location with a strong workforce, and we have strategically located production, technical and engineering resources that are ensuring we are producing the same high-quality ropes as we do in Europe.

WRE: Is this a “toe in the water” or phase one of “x” in onshoring – or is that to be determined?

WireCo: This isn’t really either. This is a bold investment in U.S.-made production of crane ropes to satisfy market demand based on customer feedback to have our high-performance rotation-resistant crane ropes (represented by our Casar and Oliveira brands) made closer to where they are utilized in this part of the world. However, we will continue the same level of production in Germany and Portugal, as the demand for crane ropes remains high globally thanks to infrastructure investment in all areas of the world. But this investment is really about listening to our customers and the market and committing the resources to produce these rotation-resistant ropes in the United States.

WRE: Thank you for sharing your perspective on this news with us!

CLICK HERE to learn more about WireCo.

CLICK HERE to see more WireCo coverage from Wire Rope Exchange.

top photo: Part of WireCo’s booth at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023, photo ©2023 Wire Rope Exchange

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