CWI’s stainless steel wire roots connect to Sheffield (where it all began)

CWI’s stainless steel wire roots connect to Sheffield (where it all began)

Central Wire Industries embraces new opportunities and advancements that make us a well-rounded specialty alloy wire supplier meeting the needs of a variety of industries. While we continue to look forward we haven’t forgotten our industrial roots and are proud to have a connection to them with CWI UK, our plant in Rotherham, a stone’s throw from Sheffield. CWI acquired Hempel Wire Industries Rotherham, UK facility in 2015, which added new IP, shaped profile wire, and other products.

CWI stainless steel wires and alloy wires manufacturing product

Sheffield was often called Steel City and was once the undisputed metalworking capital of the world. It has been known for its cutlery production for nearly 800 years, but it became one of the world’s industrial capitals in the 1700s when new techniques were developed there that revolutionized the steel industry.

CWI Perth , Ottawa Ontario and CWI UK Sheffield - Rotterdam

Crucible and silver plate

First was the crucible steel process, the first method of casting steel bars, producing a tougher, steel that had consistent, reliable quality. It also could be produced in larger quantities. Benjamin Huntsman’s technique led Sheffield from producing 200 tons of steel a year to 20,000 tons.   

Soon after Thomas Boulsover, a cutlery maker, created silver plate. He happened upon a temperature for fusing silver and copper and found them compatible for manipulation. This faux silver was obviously cheaper and became popular, allowing the working class to showcase their own silver teapots, candlesticks and cutlery.

Bessemer to Brearley

More than 100 years later Sheffield would again be at the center of a steel-industry revolution when Henry Bessemer perfected a special furnace to super-heat iron and refine the metal to steel. The process lowered the production cost of steel and thus increased an industrializing world’s ability to acquire and use it.

Maintaining its reputation as a place for innovation, the formula and process for making stainless steel were developed by Harry Brearley in the steelmaking labs of Sheffield in the early 1900s.

Brearley ran into considerable resistance when trying to sell the steel that rusted and stained less. It was as if only he could see its potential value. He said:

“The range of the mind’s eye is restricted by the skill of the hand. The castles in the air must conform to the possibilities of material things—border-line possibilities perhaps; or, if something beyond the known border is required, the plan must wait until other dreams come true.”

Eventually, his persistence paid off. Where other low-carbon chromium-iron alloys didn’t take off, Brearley teamed with his cutlery-making friends to prove what he had immediately thought—this rust-resistant steel would be brilliant for knives. It would eventually find other uses—anywhere that corrosion would be an issue, including power generation, oil and gas, construction and food production industries.

Brearley is known as the Father of Modern Metal, and we think of him as our forefather and Sheffield as our ancestral home. From that beginning CWI now produces more than 40 grades of stainless steel wire, used for everything from fine jewelry to aerospace components. Bessemer, Brearley and the others would be proud.


Facing off against alloy wire counterfeiters

How companies can guard against fraud that threatens brand integrity and safety

It is difficult to imagine that counterfeiters copying patented and trademarked goods from halfway around the world affect your business, employees and customers, but they do. The theft of intellectual property patents, trademarks and copyrightscreates a negative chain reaction that can include the loss of revenue, jobs, brand integrity and safety.

On a global scale, counterfeit products sometimes known as knock-offs cost billions of dollars every year. That estimated cost has grown from $5.5 billion in 1982 to $600 billion presently, a staggering 10,000 percent increase. It’s more than purses and jeans. Knock-offs have crept into the alloy wire industry, which produces critical components of products that affect every aspect of our lives—from medical equipment to bridges, from toasters to cars. The repercussions from using counterfeit metals and wires could be dire.

A company can implement numerous safeguards to protect its intellectual property (IP):

  1. Search the internet: Search for your keywords, taglines and product identifiers to see what comes up in results besides your company and products. Then you can determine whether any infringement issues are present. Many sites, such as Trademarkia, offer checks for trademarks and intellectual property. Basic searches can provide fast and free information regarding trademark names, logos and symbols and patent applications. Use DMCA to protect your content.
  2. Invest in a monitor: Many companies retain trademark and patent monitoring services, which have proliferated in the digital age. It’s a company’s responsibility to protect its trademark, patents and copyrights against illegal confiscation, infringement and misuse.  Monitoring companies will do your internet searches for you, watch patent applications and trademark requests, and alert you to potential issues.
  3. Use non-disclosure agreements: Also known as confidentiality agreements, non-disclosure agreements outline confidential material, knowledge or information that is shared between two or more parties.
    “Make sure your employment agreements, licenses, sales contracts and technology transfer agreements all protect your intellectual property too, right from the get-go.” (SOURCE:
  4. Use smart contracts: These logic-based computer algorithms are designed to exchange goods or services using money, property or shares without the complex interactions of a middleman. It’s contract by computer code. Smart contracts are black and white and leave open few windows of opportunity for misinterpretation or fraud. 

    “Smart contracts not only define the rules and penalties around an agreement in the same way that a traditional contract does, but also automatically enforce those obligations.” (SOURCE:
  5.  Join organizations: Groups such as the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition Inc. combat the escalation in IP fraud around the globe. The IACC in conjunction with credit card and financial services companies established RogueBlock in 2012 to detect and squash counterfeit fraud. RogueBlock’s  tentacles have reached and destroyed more than 5,000 counterfeiting merchant accounts operating via more than 200,000 websites.
    Another force of unprecedented success is IACC MarketSafe, which was launched in 2014 to eliminate listings of counterfeits. It has resulted in a “100% takedown rate on listings when companies stand behind their claims,” the company reports. Approximately 6,800 sellers’ storefronts have shut down and been permanently banned, and 200,000 product listings have been removed from the internet. While business-to-consumer (B2C) fraud protection typically gets all the press, business-to-business (B2B) and industrial supply chain fraud can be just as extensive. Industrial suppliers need to use the same safeguards as B2C.

With unscrupulous counterfeiters tempting and deceiving companies with lower prices, how can you protect your process, employees and reputation? And perhaps more importantly, how do you protect the safety of your products and avoid the possible dire consequences of having a device or piece of equipment fail because of inferior metal “knock-offs”?

As a business buying goods, you can also take extra precautions against counterfeit materials.

  1. Search government IP databases. In a digital world, copying and pasting trademarked names and logos into documentation is easy, and even support documentation such as raw material certifications can be misleading or falsified. Buyers need to do their homework and understand where and how the products they are buying are produced; going directly to the originator or holder of the trademark will expediate this. Many countries have government trademark databases wherein the holder and interested parties such as distributors can be verified.
  2. Verify certification: Does the product meet industry testing standards? Legitimate metal producers such as CWI (Central Wire Industries) employ mature quality management systems, backed by quality certifications such as ISO: 9001 and AS9100C. The testing process leading up to certification ensures that the quality of products meets or surpasses the industry standard. Supply chains of raw materials are vetted and checked, including independent third-party laboratory testing. Buyers of trademarked or patented products need to check with the original IP holders to see whether the product they are purchasing comes from the proper manufacturer, a licensed producer or an authorized distributor or agent.

Counterfeiters and their fraudulent products can be catastrophic to many parties and undoubtedly to a company’s reputation. A little bit of time spent researching the legitimacy of your suppliers, their product origins and quality standards is well worth the effort in helping to combat trademark and IP fraud. Also, it can ensure the safety of your workers and others and preserve the good standing and trustworthiness of your company within your industry.

This is the second blog on trademark counterfeiting. Read “Copycats and costly catastrophes: A dangerous supply chain game” for more information.






Copy Cats and Costly Catastrophes: A dangerous supply chain game

Stealing intellectual property (IP) or using counterfeit branded products, whether it’s a designer purse or a special metal alloy, can result in devastating consequences to the end user. 


Companies spend considerable effort, time, and money in creating new products for customer benefit.  This intellectual property is often patented and/or trademarked.  The latter action is undertaken to create brand names for customers to readily identify the products they want and need.  A trademarked product acts as a type of insurance, but buyers need to do their homework to ensure that they are getting what they paid for and are not using an inferior and potentially dangerous “knock-off”.

Counterfeits and knock-offs are a multi-billion dollar a year industry that has grown from a vendor selling goods out of the back of his truck to the vast globalized supply chain that has descended upon us in the last 25 years, and has unwittingly provided an infinite number of enticing illegal opportunities for counterfeiters to embrace.

So why is incorporating counterfeit metals into your production process or end use playing a dangerous game? 


Knock-offs have crept into the alloy wire industry which produces critical components utilized in the medical, aerospace, oil & gas, appliance, electronics, mining, automotive and a host of other industries, touching every aspect of our lives.  In fact, the majority of the goods we consume on a daily basis carry some elements of metal, from the smart phones buzzing in our pockets to the intricate leading edge medical wire MIT researchers have used to develop an implantable device that recognizes which drugs are compatible for eradicating cancerous tumors.  In this precarious situation, using a “knock-off” metal could result in dire consequences, and possibly even death for an individual already struggling to survive.

Industrial infrastructure that we depend on in our daily lifestyles is often tied to proper use of trademarked materials and the benefits they incur to the end users.  The creation of industry standards for commercial materials, such as the Unified Numbering System (UNS) for metals and alloys to systematically designate them by composition, does not guarantee any performance specifications or exact composition with impurity limits.” Quality and performance variances exist from supplier to supplier within any given alloy, despite the classification system used to identify and source them.

Leading manufacturers of metals and metal products, like Central Wire Industries (CWI) employ process trade secrets to ensure quality, tight tolerances and/or discernable special properties of final product grades. CWI goes to great lengths to ensure the integrity and quality of raw materials in their supply chain, especially when the final product carries a globally recognizable trademark or brand name like GDTM and SUPAâ used in oil and gas wireline and slickline applications.  Many end users test and approve these products and include the trademarked brand names in their final purchase specification and such is the case for several grades of the GDTM and SUPAâ family of products.  Only CWI plants are authorized to make these trademarked products and select distributors and agents then act as resellers around the world to ensure stock availability and on-time delivery.

Specialty alloy slicklines are designed to perform in very harsh and corrosive conditions, and with varying degrees of mechanical stress in wells.  Oil and gas wells around the world are being drilled to almost unthinkable depths, with the deepest well completed by Exxon Nefegus in 2012 measuring an astounding 12,376 meters (40,604 ft.)  The strength, quality, and reliability of metals required  to withstand the severe operating pressures, temperatures, loads and chemical environments at these depths is crucial in order to avoid catastrophic events such as failed equipment, loss of production, or even loss of human life or environmental disasters.

Using products from un-approved suppliers or trademark counterfeiters can result in product liability claims due to: equipment failure, loss of production and/or costly repairs or fishing jobs, and possibly structural and environmental catastrophes.  Even worse is the prospect of worker injury should the inferior metals purchased from deceitful suppliers fail during use.  These consequences of failure can be greatly compounded in environmentally sensitive areas such as offshore drilling. 

In today’s globalized supply chain environment, raw materials can be procured from any number of sources and due diligence is required to guarantee not only trademark ownership, but also the absence of conflict minerals.   Subsequently, minerals can be melted almost anywhere in the world including numerous locations in new or developing economic regions and countries, where industrial and commercial trade practices may not meet recognized supply chain integrity standards. 

With unscrupulous counterfeiters tempting or deceiving companies with lower prices and availability of specialty alloys, how can you police the fair use of your trademarked products and the integrity of the brands?  Quality suppliers want to ensure the safe use of their products, and maximize customer user experience.  The next blog in this series will explore how manufacturers and customers can both protect trademarks and ensure that they are getting what they paid for from metal melt to finished product.


Note:  GDTM and SUPA® are trademarks of Central Wire Industries Ltd.

Copy Cats and Costly Catastrophes: A dangerous supply chain game

Central Wire Industries Celebrates the Acquisition of Sanlo, Inc

August 26, 2016 – Perth, Ontario, Canada - Central Wire Industries (CWI) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Sanlo, Inc. (Sanlo), a manufacturer and distributor of galvanized and stainless wire rope, custom extruded products, and engineered cable assemblies located in Michigan City, Indiana.

CWI Sanlo

Please click here for the news release in PDF format.

CWI UK Showcased at “Wire 2016” Trade Show

Dusseldorf, we miss you already! Central Wire Industries UK had the opportunity to display at Wire 2016. Previously known as Hempel Wire Ltd, CWI purchased the company in 2015 and was very excited to showcase their wide range of Stainless Steels / Nickel alloys / Non-Ferrous wires - spring wires, profiles, slicklines, ropes and cables.

It was a huge event that brought together numerous industry professionals. Thank-you to all our international agents that were with us to assist in building new relationships and connecting with the visitors to our stand. Over the course of the five day show we met business experts and customers from all around the globe in industries such as nuclear, aerospace, medical, automotive and oil and gas sectors.

Wire 2016 was the perfect time to launch our newest innovation, our mobile CWI APP. This new technology provides on-thego access to important information and services related to your business needs. With the 60 inch touch screen-feature available this allowed visitors to draw their desired profile/shape and submit the design to CWI. Guests visit the CWI booth at Wire 2016 With a great number of new connections and many more requests for information by mail, CWI is happy to report the success of Wire 2016. Keep a close eye on us for Wire Dusseldorf 2018, CWI plans on being the biggest, and best ever!

WIRE 2016


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