Tools and Equipment for the Production of Fiber Optic Patch Cords

patchcord
(Last Updated On: April 24, 2023)

As the use of optical fiber networks becomes more widespread, more overseas customers are interested in producing their optical fiber patch cords to meet some engineering projects’ stringent lead time requirements. So, what tools and equipment are necessary for making fiber optic patch cords? And what are the most important ones?

Although the fiber optic patch cord looks very simple in structure, it requires a lot of tools and equipment. We have organized the following mind map according to the tools and equipment needed for each process, hoping it will help you (The tools and equipment that must be used are marked with blue boxes)!

Tools for Patch Cord Production

Now let’s take a look at the tools and equipment mentioned in the 4 key processes one by one!

1. Curing Process

Necessary Tool: Fiber/Cable Stripper, Kevlar Scissor, Curing Oven

Fiber/Cable Stripper: Strip 250um buffer coating, 0.9mm, 2.0mm, 3.0mm cable jacket;

Kevlar Scissor: Cut the extra Kevlar;

Curing Oven: used to cure various types of fiber optic connectors, such as FC, SC, LC, MU, MTRJ, ST, MPO etc.

tools 1

Optional: Automatic Cable Cutting Machine, Automatic Dispenser, Planetary Mixer, Flange Crimping Machine

tools2

Automatic Cable Cutting Machine: Only needed when the production capacity is large. If the number of patch cords to be produced is not too much, it will be better to use manual cable cutting to save costs.

Automatic Dispenser: the syringe can be used instead of glue injection (Please notice that the syringe’s needle requires special handling, and we can provide assistance at any time if necessary).

Centrifugal Defoaming Machine: Mix the two-component glue according to the mixing ratio of 10:1, manually stir evenly, then put them into the Centrifugal defoaming machine to de-bubble;

Flange Crimp Machine: used for crimping the ferrule into the flange, it’s no need to buy it. You can ask the supplier to assemble the connector to save labor costs.

2. Polishing Process

Fiber Polish machines are generally divided into two types: the Center Pressurized Polish Machine and the Four-corner Pressurized Polish Machine.

Polish Machine2

The central pressurized polish machine is a polishing machine that transmits pressure through the center of the polishing fixture and changes the polishing pressure by adjusting the position of the weight. The precision of this control method is not enough. It is generally only used for polishing low-quality products, and the accuracy is inaccurate. The main reason is that for the flat plate structure, the central pressure will cause a certain amount of side tilt so that the pressure of the optical fibers on the entire surface is inconsistent. Optical fiber polishing is a precision manufacturing process, so it is easy to cause the same batch of the quality of the optical fiber polishing to be uneven, which affects the subsequent optical fiber manufacturing and processing. Therefore, now the Four-corner Pressurized Polishing Machine is mainly used in the production of patch cords in factories.

Polish Jig

Polishing Jigs are divided into Finished Polish Jigs, Semi-Finished Polish Jigs, and Hand-Polishing Discs. Finished polish jigs are primarily used for four-corner pressure polishing machines; semi-finished jigs are mainly utilized for center pressurized polishing machines; hand-polishing discs are used for individual defective products (it is currently used less as they are not very good control the polishing effect.)

According to the core type of Finished Polish Jigs, there are currently 12 cores, 16 cores, 18 cores, 20 cores, 24 cores, 32 cores, and 36 cores to choose from, which significantly improves production efficiency.

Polishing Jig

Fiber Cutting Pen: Ruby type and Carbide type;

Polishing Pad: Need to prepare70°, 80° and 90° those three types;

Polishing Film: Choose 30um, 9um 1um, ADS will be enough.

Polishing Pad

3. Assembly Process

Crimping Machine: Used for assembling fiber optic connectors. The machine’s pressure is adjustable, and it is available for different kinds of fiber optic connectors, such as FC, ST, SC, MU, LC, E2000, LX.5 , and so on.

Hot Air Gun: Use for fixing heat shrink tubing

Assembly Process

4. Test Process

End face Detector 200X / 400X: Can quickly check blemish, scratch and chipping, etc. defects on fiber jumper and fiber ferrule;

IL & RL Test Machine SM & MM: Test the insertion and return loss of fiber patch cord;

VFL Pen 5mw: to find breakpoints, poor connections, bending or cracking in fiber optic cables;

3D interferometer:  Mainly measures the radius of curvature, apex offset, and fiber height. Usually, only Grade A and Grade B patch cords need this test. It’s very expensive, if you do not often need to produce high-quality patch cords, then it’s not necessary to buy it.

Test Machine

5. Parts

353ND Epoxy, Alcohol Dispenser, Industrial Alcohol, Kimwipe, Blades, and Sand Paper.

Parts

Well, the tools and equipment required for standard fiber optic patch cords are introduced here today. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us: sales@holightoptic.com.

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