■Interviews with engineers in charge
What are the difficulties in manufacturing optical fiber?
Impurities in the optical fiber deteriorate its data transmission characteristics and strength. Even minute impurities that cannot be detected by an analyzer or invisible dust have a substantial effect on the characteristics of the optical fiber. To minimize the effect of such impurities, we must pay close attention to the factory environment and the quality of parts used in the production equipment.
Our facilities were severely damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred last year. Soon after the earthquake, all company employees made concerted efforts to recover the facilities. With the dedicated cooperation of the construction workers, we were soon able to restore the facilities to their normal operational status and started delivering optical fiber to our customers again. This experience deepened our feelings of unity and group cohesion among employees.
Tell us what advantages users of Sumitomo Electric’s optical fiber particularly value.
Our customers value the low transmission loss and stable longitudinal characteristics of our optical fiber. They also rate highly its outstanding mechanical strength and long-term reliability.
Tell us about the new products you have developed recently.
We have developed an easy-to-disassemble optical fiber cable. Immediately after releasing the new cable, we received many inquiries from our customers. With conventional optical fiber cable, we need a cutting tool to remove the loose-wrapping and binding tapes. We need to take care not to damage the optical fiber ribbon. The new optical fiber cable comprises a precut binding tape that can be easily removed by hand without using a cutter. In addition, the loose-wrapping tape is fused to the binding tape on the slot so that both tapes can be removed simultaneously. Thus the new optical cable reduces the working hours significantly.