EDP Europe is a distributor of Fujikura fibre optic splicers. In this Guide To Fibre Optic Splicers you’ll find out what fibre fusion splicing is, why choosing the correct fibre optic splicer is important and the how the process of fibre splicing works.
What is a fibre splicing?
Fibre splicing is the process of joining two fibre optic cables together. There are several instances where this may be necessary including, repairing a damaged fibre cable, extending a fibre cable link or installing a new fibre tray or IANOS Module where the installation fibres need to be spliced to the pig tails within the tray.
There are two main ways of fibre splicing fusion splicing or mechanical splicing:
- Fusion Splicing – Fusion splicing requires the use of a fibre fusion splicer which welds the two fibres together in a permanent connection. There are various types of fibre fusion splicer available, with advanced models such as the Fujikura 70S+ offering core-to-core alignment. Fusion splicing provides the lowest loss, less reflectance, strongest and most reliable method of joining two fibre cables together.
- Mechanical Splicing – Mechanical splicing enables splices to be made quickly and easily and is usually achieved through the use of a junction where two of more fibres are aligned and joined in a self-contained assembly. For example, Hubbell PROclick fibre connectors provide a mechanical solution to replacing damaged LC or SC connectors.
What Fujikura fibre splicing machine should I choose?
A fibre splicing machine is required to conduct a fusion splice. Fujikura are a market leader in manufacturing fibre fusion splicers but which of their fibre splicing machines should you choose?
The answer is dependent on the type of fibre you are fusion splicing. If you are splicing mainly Single Mode cables then the need for a splicer with true core alignment will be greater, particular where there may be a mix of Single Mode cables from different manufacturers or different eras. The Fujikura 70S+ is a true core alignment splicer that features a programmable automatic wind protector that clamps, aligns the cores and splices in seconds. Core alignment splicers are ideal where the core in a fibre cable is not concentric (centred), as the alignment motor moves in multiple directions and will compensate for this lack of concentricity and still align the cores. Active V-Groove Alignment splicing machines, such as the Fujikura 41S, are capable of splicing Single Mode fibre cables providing the fibres have good core concentricity, this is due to there being less movement in the alignment motor and why they are less expensive than a true core alignment splicer. Cladding Alignment splicers are ideal splicing machines for splicing Multi Mode fibres where the core is larger. With cladding alignment there is minimal alignment motor movement, making them less appropriate for splicing Single Mode cables without suffering some signal loss.
Why the use of a fibre optic tester is important in the fibre splicing process?
The use of a fibre optic tester plays an important role in the fibre splicing process. Firstly, the use of a Visual Fault Locator (VFL), such as the OWL VFL, or Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) can help locate where a fibre optic cable is damaged and where the fibre splice needs to be carried out. Secondly, once the fibre splice has been conducted a fibre optic tester can be use to check the splice is good and in the case of the FiberXpert OTDR 5000 certify the performance of the fibre optic cable. For more information on network cable testers please refer to our ‘Guide To Network Cable Tester Equipment’ page.