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3M announces products that bring fibre installation within reach of more communications installers and service providers

21st September 2007, Bracknell, UK - 3M has announced new products that are designed to simplify installation of fibre cable in both enterprise and carrier environments, reducing the need for specialist training and helping more connections to be completed within tight timescales.  As a result, these products enable a greater range of installers to offer fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and fibre-to-the-desk (FTTD) services.  As well as enabling fast assembly of fibre connections, the No Polish Connector (NPC) and the 3M Fibrlok mechanical fibre splice also provide installers with a cost-effective alternative to other methods. 

With the growth of fibre installations, in domestic, business and public network environments, more and more communications engineers are looking towards adding fibre cabling to the services they are able to provide.  However, until now, the skills required for fibre installation, plus the costs of training and equipment, have prohibited many contractors from entering this market.  The development of products such as 3M NPC and Fibrlok mechanical splices are helping to change this: no specialist training is required, on-site equipment and tools are minimised and project costs reduced. 

No Polish Connector
With the No Polish Connector from 3M, fibre connections can be completed in less than two minutes.  The No Polish Connector (NPC) is designed for splicing 250um and 900um single or multimode fibre, without the need to polish the fibre ends, since the one-piece, factory-assembled product incorporates a fibre stub that has been polished in the factory. 

No on-site power or resins are required to complete the connection either.  A bell-shaped boot and buffer strain relief mean that the fibre can be easily manipulated without the risk of being damaged.   The assembly tool allows the installer to align a prepared fibre in the connector and activate the splice and buffer clamp using the same tool.  Finger grips on the tool make it easy to handle even without a flat work surface.  As a result, the costs associated with project completion times and training are reduced.

3M Fibrlok mechanical fibre splices – high performance and reduced costs
Building on the long-established Fibrlok range, the new 3M Fibrlok mechanical splices provide a fast and cost-effective alternative to traditional fusion splicing for connecting fibre drop cable at the carrier’s exterior pole, or fibre pigtails to cables within the customer’s premises.  Unlike fusion splicing, 3M Fibrlok is a mechanical device that does not require electrical power to be installed.  In test conditions, has provided minimal communications signal loss, even in extreme environmental conditions.  Two new versions are available: one that is ideal where space is highly constrained and a second that is ‘tool-free’.

Says Rosemary McGlashon, 3M’s European Technical Manager, Telecommunications: “Millions of Fibrloks have been used all over the world since their introduction twenty years ago. Although these versions are new to European markets, more than two million have already been deployed by a Japanese FTTH service provider with a 99.98% success rate.  Mechanical splicing with 3M Fibrlok can be completed in approximately half the time of fusion splicing - and the splicing kits typically costing considerably less. For instance, fusion splice equipment might cost 4000 euros or more, while the 3M kit costs just 250 euros.”  

Media contact:
Maxine Ambrose
Ambrose Communications
Tel + 44 (0) 1491 412944

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