When it comes to terminating fiber cable, fusion splicing is often the preferred method. But have you ever considered mass fusion splicing as an alternative? It’s a fast and economical method for field-termination of fiber connectivity in data centers and enterprise LAN environments.
Fusion splicing creates strong, reliable joints between the fibers being fused together, and also ensures low loss and minimum reflectance (light passing through fibers isn’t scattered or reflected back by the splice, which can lead to poor performance).
The traditional approach to fusion splicing involves fiber pigtails (a single, short, tight-buffered optical fiber that has an optical connector pre-installed on one end). The exposed fiber end of the pigtail is stripped back and then fusion spliced to a single fiber of a multi-fiber trunk.
Instead of fusing one fiber at a time, mass fusion splicing can fuse up to all 12 fibers in one ribbon at once. Many of today’s cables with high fiber count involve subunits of 12 fibers each that can be quickly ribbonized. Splicing those fibers individually is very time consuming; mass fusion splicers splice entire ribbons simultaneously.
Mass fusion splicing may involve a slight increase in tooling costs, but can drastically reduce the amount of labor time spent on termination (by up to 75%) – which more than makes up for it. (Recent price drops have now made mass fusion splicers even more affordable.) With this increase in throughput, a typical contractor can turn jobs over much faster and bid jobs with more aggressive timelines.
Mass fusion splicing also allows for potential material savings. It enables migration from common indoor distribution cable with 900um fiber to smaller mini-distribution cable with 250um fiber, which is more cost effective.
Belden offers a new way to store splice sleeves and manage slack in splicing applications. By eliminating bulky splice trays and housings, the FX UHD Splice Cassette integrates the connector, splice-holder and slack management into a compact, easily managed cassette format. Any shrink tube can be used inside the same cassette to make your job easier by ensuring compatibility – no matter the type of fusion splicing. Belden’s traditional pigtail and mass fusion pigtail kits provide whatever type of fusion option your project requires.
To learn more about fusion splicing options, read our blog post, "To Splice or Not to Splice is Not the Only Question". To decide whether mass fusion splicing is an option for you, download our free comparison sheet.
Dwayne Crawford has more than 20 years of experience in the datacomm industry. He has served on several international standards committees to advance high-performance/low-latency protocols (such as IEEE-1394, GigE Vision and CameraLink) used in real-time image processing and utilizing high-performance computing platforms.