Editor’s note: Sometimes inspiration strikes when you least expect it. Here’s how Dave Sylvia’s spark of inspiration turned out to be a new, useful discovery for fiber optic cable assembly production. By all indications, Dave’s innovation – a new application for an existing product – can help cable assembly houses reduce time, labor, and defects. This is just one example of how Fiber Optic Center takes a leadership role in our industry. We’re constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to help you make the best fiber optic cable assemblies in the world. Here’s Dave’s story …
Recently, I was visiting a customer at his site. We were chatting about his current product, and he began explaining some of his frustrations with the process. “We’re making very long cable assemblies – hundreds of meters long – and need to fish the cable through an equally long furcation tube. But the process takes too much time and too many people. Since a long space is needed, the team works outdoors in a parking lot or nearby field, weather/season permitting. In the winter month the lead-time for these assemblies is out 3-4+months. Plus, the manual process carries significant risk to the final cable assembly in terms of potential contamination, defects, and splicing errors.
A lightbulb went off for me: “Would a fiber-blowing machine help? It’s an affordable piece of equipment, so it doesn’t need capital approval. The original application is FTTH, but it could be useful for this application.”
His eyes lit up, “Yeah, that could be really effective in our cable assembly house.”
Here’s a “new” and affordable solution: Fremco NanoFlow fiber-blowing machine
You may have seen fiber-blowing machines at industry tradeshows, and you probably walked past those booths. That’s because the original application for fiber-blowing machines is FTTH (Fiber-To-The-Home), not fiber optic cable assembly.
In the FTTH application, fiber-blowing machines blow fiber optic cable through a conduit, which is typically underground. This allows an installer to push the fiber very long distances up to 10 kilometers. It’s amazingly fast and easy. It is amazingly fast and easy.
FOC is proud to distribute a high-quality, affordable fiber-blowing machine made in Denmark called the Fremco NanoFlow. How does it work?
- It’s very easy to configure and use this fiber-blowing machine. No tools are needed.
- The operator places one end of the fiber on the left side, places one end of the conduit or furcation tubing on the right side, and clamps them down.
- An LED display shows speed, distance, and fiber protection. The operator can adjust speed and torque.
- The fiber rides a wave of air, so there’s minimal friction through the conduit or furcation tubing.
All signs point to a reduction in time, labor, and defects
FOC is teaming with several cable assembly houses to integrate a fiber-blowing machine into their process. Our customers are looking forward to an efficient, effective process that should dramatically diminish labor time, process time, and defects.
- Reduction in time and labor – I’ve used the Fremco NanoFlow fiber-blowing machine and have found that the process takes minutes instead of hours. Total time depends on fiber length, of course, but it certainly won’t require a full day like the current manual process. Also, using the fiber-blowing machine is a one-person job, which takes the pressure off your production team.
- Reduction in defects and damage – Our customers report that the current process requires fishing the fiber optic cable through the tubing by hand. The cable can get caught, dislodged, and damaged. Instead, with the fiber-blowing machine, it’s a quick and smooth process. Also, the manual process requires keeping the fiber and tubing as straight as possible for its entire length. Most facilities don’t have an indoor corridor hundreds of meters long, so they complete this production task outside, in a parking lot or nearby field. On the other hand, the fiber-blowing machine doesn’t require a straight shot, so this production task can be completed indoors, which can reduce debris and damage.
Why Fiber Optic Center offers the best consulting services and technical problem solving for our customers
When this “lightbulb” idea hit me, I was actually at the customer’s site. In fact, I’m not sure we would have had that discussion – or come up with this innovative solution – if we had simply been talking on the phone. I was proactively reaching out to that customer to make sure we’re doing our job correctly, giving them the service and support they need, and introducing any new products we have.
Visiting our customers’ cable assembly houses is how we continue learning about their needs. Plus, this speaks to our troubleshooting ability. When someone says, “I have an issue,” we know how to solve it. Our technical team has something like 200 years of cumulative industry experience! Our team has an incredible depth of expertise, and we’re happy to share it with our customers at no cost. This is what sets us apart from other distributors.
In this particular case, FOC is taking a product that’s designed for a different application and applying it to our core customers – cable assembly manufacturers – to help them increase their effectiveness and product quality. This directly ties in with our goal: Help our customers make the best fiber optic cable assemblies in the world.
Want to learn more about the Fremco NanoFlow fiber-blowing machine?
- Note the simple step by step instructions – After removing from the case
- Pick the correct gaskets
- Load the fiber
- Lock the unit
- Set torque and tension
- Press start
- Call us to schedule a demo – We’re happy to chat about how this new application can help your fiber optic cable assembly house, and we’ll schedule a demo with you. (800) 473-4237 or 508-992-6464
- View video - https://youtu.be/jOyXAtdrXVY
- Read details – Click HERE to review the brochure for Fremco’s NanoFlow fiber-blowing machine.
Click HERE to view the FOC web page with the part number, dimensions, and other product details.
Additional resources from the FOC team include:
- FOC technical solution content: http://bit.ly/29WTvgn
- Glossary, Acronyms, Military Specifications for Connectors: http://bit.ly/2a2EFn8
- Q&A Resource: email technical questions to AskFOC@focenter.com
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