Siemens’s Industry Automation Division has developed a new system for the quick assembly of fiber-optic cables (FOC).
FastConnect FOCs are suitable for both office and industrial networks – such as Industrial Ethernet, Profinet and Profibus. The system consists of tools, connectors and couplings that can be assembled in the field, and a special FOC suitable for distances of up to three kilometers.
Previously, glass-fiber optic cables have only been able to be assembled in the field by gluing or splicing methods of limited practicability. In contrast to plastic FOCs – which are relatively easy to assemble and suitable for distances of up to 100 meters – there has been no adequate method for the on-site assembly of glass FOCs for distances of several kilometers. Siemens has developed the new FastConnect FOC system to meet this need. It consists of a “termination kit”, couplings that can be assembled in the field, subscriber connectors (SC), bayonet fiber-optic connectors (BFOC) and a new FastConnect FOC. The special feature of these cables is that they incorporate a central 62.5 µm (micrometer) light transmitting core. The surrounding layers stabilize the core, so that even untrained workers can now assemble glass FOCs of the right length and with the right connectors in the field. That provides considerable advantages in practical use, because the glass FOCs can be adapted flexibly and exactly to on-site requirements. Ordering cables of the wrong length and badly assembled FOC connectors are now things of the past. The termination kit also contains stripping tools and a microscope, so that the user can check the quality of the joints, for example to detect any chips in the fiber cross-section.