I am pleased to inform you that an event to commemorate the release of TYPE-72C+, the world's first fusion splicer incorporating AI technology, was held at Sumitomo Electric Optifrontier Co., Ltd. on November 25.
A fusion splicer is a device that melts the end of optical fibers to join them by using heat generated by electric discharge on electrodes. Fusion splicers are indispensable in building and maintaining the optical fiber network, such as laying optical fiber cables for long-haul systems and installing optical fibers to the home (FTTH). In our group, Sumitomo Electric is in charge of business management, sales and marketing of fiber optic products, while the Shonan Works in Chigasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture of Sumitomo Electric Optifrontier is in charge of their development, design and manufacture.
TYPE-72C+, which has just been launched, is a product mainly for the overseas markets. It features various innovative technologies and functions. Examples include the following.
- NanoTune™, the world's first proprietary AI technology, enables further fine-tuning of splicing conditions in the order of nanometers. Splicing skills are no longer necessary.
- SumiCloud™, an IoT technology, offers preventive maintenance functionality. It notifies the user of the timing to replace consumables and to conduct periodic inspections of fusion splicers in order to avoid unexpected problems.
- The heating time required to splice optical fibers is eight seconds, which is the fastest in the world. The number of operation cycles on a full charge is 320, which is the largest in the world.
The event featured the first shipment ceremony of TYPE-72C+ and the premiere of "The FUSION INVESTIGATOR," a promotion video for the markets outside Japan. Executive Officer Yoshiyuki Suetsugu, who is responsible for the Lightwave Network Products Div., and Manager Shigeru Kawabata, who concurrently serves as the general manager of the Global Network System Div., held a press conference.
At the first shipment ceremony, Executive Officer Suetsugu told the employees and stakeholders, who gathered at the venue, with commitment: "TYPE-72C+ is an innovative product, which may be likened to the successful landing on the moon in the Apollo program. This marks the launch of fusion splicers of our dreams. With its release as a new beginning, we will aim to grab the top share in the global market and continue to pursue our dreams by fiscal year 2022, which is the target year of the mid-term management plan VISION 2022." A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to send off the first shipment.
At the premiere of "The FUSION INVESTIGATOR," behind-the-scenes stories by the director and the cast were introduced, and video messages from overseas sales companies were presented. The shooting period took as many as six months, indicating the high expectations of the people involved. The movie was created based on a foreign drama style. It is available only in English, but it is worth watching even for non-English speakers.
■ Promotional video "The FUSION INVESTIGATOR"
Regarding the market environment of information communication (e.g., optical fibers, fusion splicers), the global data traffic has been steadily increasing, but construction projects have been on hold in various parts of the world due to the novel coronavirus. It should be noted that in China, where the coronavirus pandemic has almost ended, investments in 5G-related facilities and data centers have been growing. The investments in China are expected to help drive the global demand. We will contribute to building the optical fiber network, which continues to expand globally.
■ Sumitomo Electric Launches TYPE-72C+, the World's First AI-Programmed High-Definition Core-Aligning Fusion Splicer
■ Fusing splicers on LinkedIn (Sumitomo Electric Fusion Splicer)
■ Fusion splicers on Facebook (Sumitomo Electric Fusion Splicer)