Optical Fiber Management: Top 3 Products that will help you on that Mission

optical fiber management

In any optical fiber solution, optical fiber management is one of the most important topics to consider, as it will guarantee that the equipment reaches its maximum potential.

The Importance of Optical Fiber Management Practices and its Benefits for Networks

From the installation moment, a telecom technician must have the maximum caution in guaranteeing that fibers have a perfect radius of curvature, to avoid losses in signal (signal attenuation). This matter should be considered during the installation and maintenance phases. The technician must think long term, as the installation will define what measurements future technicians can take when continuing the job.

Besides being cautious when installing fibers, choosing the right fiber management products is also important, as the capacity in its interior is what allows for technicians to install fiber in a professional and safe manner. Also, when servicing a network, if a technician finds a box with spacious sections and the correct accessories to manage the fibers, which were initially chosen by the operator during the installation phase, it becomes easier to manage the fibers and to maintain organization.

Both caution during installation and maintenance, and choosing the right equipment, will contribute strongly for good optical fiber management.

Good optical fiber management can provide many benefits for networks, as overall, it will reduce the maintenance risks and costs. This practice guarantees the signal in the network and, consequently, the clients signal. When this signal is compromised, the customer might complain and seek to terminate his contract obligations with the operator.

Nowadays, internet is available everywhere, including in people’s houses. This makes it a sensitive topic, as fiber networks must have the capacity to carry a lot of data, including larger files like photos and videos, that are increasingly being more and more uploaded online. To guarantee this, service should always be online, never offline. In other words, the network cannot be interrupted. To achieve this, good optical fiber management is essential.

The Main Challenges in Optical Fiber Maintenance

There are many challenges that can be faced when managing an optical fiber network. Some of these are:

  • Technicians with non or poor qualifications and training.
  • Sub-standard equipment with no accessories or space for fiber management.
  • Short installation time, that rushes the process and affects quality, preventing “perfection”.

All these situations can result in a chaotic spaghetti of fibers, a problem that should be avoided as it may cause many failures in the future. Problems such as difficult access to certain fibers, managing of the wrong cables, etc., and lead to an unhappy client. To prevent and avoid fiber spaghetti scenarios from happening, technicians and operators should make efforts to choose solutions that protect the fibers.

fiber optic cables spaghetti

The Best Solutions for Optical Fiber Management

Developing solutions for fiber management problems can be a complex process to go through. It involves many steps, such as testing, a step that is essential to make an equipment viable. When testing a new product, it’s of high importance to make sure that fibers can be perfectly placed inside the product, to avoid future risks of maintenance and involuntary signal attenuation.

At Yelco, the process of verifying and confirming the best position of the fibers and curve radius, was done by taping the optical fibers to a real scale drawing print. It looked like this:

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Nowadays, through the development of prototypes through 3D printing, the mapping of fibers in testing can be done in a more viable way, as it allows us to have the real product in our hands.

With these processes, we have been able to develop some solutions that allow for optimum optical fiber management. The top 3 products that will help you on that mission are:

  • Internal Fiber Distribution Enclosure (aka Floor Box)

We were challenged to develop this product by one of our clients. This client was having problems with optical fiber management with existing boxes, as they had no fiber protection, and no infrastructure for good management, making it confusing and messy to work with. Because of this, the client asked for a box with optical fiber management solutions with room to connect at least 12 clients.

To answer these requirements, Yelco created the Internal Fiber Distribution Enclosure, a product that has the same base concept as other products alike but with increased fiber protection, multiple cable entries, location for Splitters, splice tray swing protection and other features. Through the implementation of add-ons inside of the box, this product allows for improved optical fiber management.

floor box

  • Outdoor Termination Box up to 168 Fusion Splices

In the past, optical distribution boxes split clients’ connections between 5 entrances. All the fibers would be installed in the same place, creating a chaos inside the box. Every time a cable had to be installed, a technician would just place it where they could, and to disconnect a client they wouldn’t be able to take off the cable without creating problems for other costumers. For that reason, they would just cut the outside part of the cable and leave the rest there.

Being an equipment that connects clients and that integrates fibers from the main network, this type of product is highly important to operators. Guaranteeing the protection of such fibers is essential to prevent the risk of having situations as the one previously mentioned. To avoid that from happening, it’s essential to create space for routing of fibers, to keep them protected. This product is exactly the solution for that.

This solution allows the connection of up to 24 clients and has an individual slot for every one of the connections, which means it can have every drop cable connected individually, which allows for cable strain relief. Besides that, it also allows for these cables to easily be routed to the FO cassette. These features make optical fiber management easier, and allow to keep fibers protected, accordingly.

Another characteristic of this product is that it also allows the connection of up to 168 optical fibers, which is 24 more than other similar products (144FO).

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  • The Backpack Closure (V2)

This product is an upgrade from an existing one, that even though it originally allowed for some organization, it took a lot of time to manage, which wasn’t good for technicians.

To improve that situation, Yelco upgraded this product’s capacity from 344 to 768 fibers, that can be installed and managed in a reduced space, with easy access for technicians. It allows for internal rotation of the fibers, easy placement, and replacement. Overall, it is a product that does the essential of allowing for better and easier optical fiber management, with even greater capacity.

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All these products are guaranteed solutions for optical fiber management and protect fibers from being damaged. They all have mechanisms and accessories that help technicians to install fibers in a way that won’t pressure them and minimize or attenuate the signal.

When fibers are organized and optical fiber management is well done, we can solve signal loss problems easily, which is important in a telecommunications network.

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