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Newsletter "SEI NEWS" 2012

Home > Company Information > SEI WORLD > Back number > Vol.419

[Newsletter "SEI NEWS" Vol.419]

Optical Fiber Cables

Enjoying online chats with friends living overseas, watching movies distributed on the Internet during the holidays, …
Sumitomo Electric’s optical fiber helps you enjoy the on-line activities.

Automotive wiring harnesses

■Product Data
Start of production 1974
Production bases Japan (Yokohama, Tochigi, Osaka), U.S., China

What is optical fiber?


Optical fiber is a glass fiber as thin as a human hair. It is a high-performance signal transmission medium that confines optical signals and transmits them over long distances of several tens of kilometers with significantly low losses. At the early stage of its development, optical fiber was said to be a dream communication medium since it was more immune to electromagnetic noise, allowed more stable communication, and achieved higher signal transmission speeds and longer transmission distances than the copper wire that has traditionally been used for communication.

Principle of optical communication systems

Electrical signals sent from telephones, personal computers, and other data communication terminals are converted into optical signals by a converter and then transmitted to a receiver through an optical fiber cable. When the optical signals reach the receiver, a converter converts them into electrical signals and sends them to a particular receiving terminal. Optical fiber connects all terminals used in this country. Optical fiber cables are also laid on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to connect terminal equipment between various countries around the world.

■Interviews with engineers in charge

Kiichiro Kawasaki, Production Dept., Kiyohara Sumiden Co., Ltd.

Mitsuru Tada, Production Dept., Kiyohara Sumiden Co., Ltd.

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.

EZremove-plus (an example of construction)

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.

・EZremove is a trademark or registered trademark of Kiyohara Sumiden Co., Ltd.

2012 Index
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