Before the radical idea, there was the problem.
For years, the field installation of connectors in a cable network was a time-consuming process. To ensure the seamless flow of data-forming light, each hair-thin strand of glass fiber had to be glued into a connector. To accomplish this, technicians toted along portable ovens to heat-cure a special epoxy. After waiting for the connector to finish curing, the technician still had to clean and polish the components by hand to ensure a pristine surface required for optical transmission.
On average, it took six to eight minutes to terminate a single connector. Results varied widely, based on the skill and experience of the technician.
But as carriers everywhere began to embrace the fast transmission capabilities of optical networks, Corning engineers were already looking for a better way.On average, it took six to eight minutes to terminate a single connector. Results varied widely, based on the skill and experience of the technician. As recently as the mid-1990s, that’s just how it was.
But as carriers everywhere began to embrace the fast transmission capabilities of optical fiber networks, Corning engineers knew they had to find a better way.
Instead of spending all that time and effort in the field, what if we supplied customers with a connector that already had a near-perfect end-face, courtesy of a factory-polished fiber stub inside? What if that connector only required the technician to quickly cleave and clean the field fiber, then insert it into the connector?
The result was our OptiSnap® connector, the world’s first no-epoxy, no-polish (NENP) connector. With it, technicians could perform that 8-minute process in under a minute, and with far more accurate results.