Fibre optic cables (FOC), also called glass fibre cables, consist of optical fibres which serve to transmit light. The light is transmitted into fibres of quartz glass or plastic. The fibres of the fibre optic cable consist of the basic glass material. The cables, which are harnessed with plug-in connectors and cables, convert the electrical information into optical light pulses. This specification makes the fibre optic cables a universal transmission medium.
Dependable cables for movements in the e-chain - for many cycles, high speeds and accelerations and more challenges.
In our 3,800m² laboratory, we put our cables through their paces – and we can confidently give them an up to 36-month guarantee!
chainflex fibre optic cables are offered as graded fibre optic cables, polymer optical fibre (POF) and hard clad silica optical fibre (HCS). POFs are used in short-distance transmission because of their easy harnessing. HCS fibres, on the other hand, are suitable for their average bandwidth and transmission rate of < 100 Mbps for medium ranges up to two kilometres in local networks of buildings or industry. chainflex fibre optic cables can be used with the smallest mechanical bend radii for use in energy chains. They are free of metals and coolants and are oil-resistant. Depending on the fibre optic cable range, they can be used in torsion applications, for severe climatic conditions, narrow radii or long travel distances, and at high speeds and accelerations.
igus fibre optic cables are specifically designed for use in energy chains. The special jacket (PUR, PVC, TPE) and the special design allow problem-free use in moving applications. Due to the various strain relief options, the cables withstand high mechanical loads. Here the fibre can withstand vibration, oil, gasoline or solvents equally. igus GmbH offers its fibre optic cables with four different fibre diameters in order to meet the high requirements in different applications, depending on the range, as well as other transmission parameters.
Originally, the glass fibre was used to conduct light to a specific location. In lighting technology and in special medical devices, this method was groundbreaking to begin with. The combination with plug-in connectors has greatly expanded the range of applications. Since then, fibre optics have been the decisive medium in the choice of data transmission in computer and communications industries. Their advantages are higher range, speed and insensitivity to electronic magnetic interference. For a long time, the fibre optic cables were underestimated and rated too weak and too sensitive. Nowadays, the cables are used without problems in other applications such as machinery and industrial technology.
Fibre optic cables are used to bridge larger distances. There are two main types of defined fibre optic cable standards - single-mode (100BaseBX standard) and multimode (100BaseSX standard). Telecommunication networks usually use single-mode because of the higher bandwidth capacity, while local networks typically use multimode glass fibre due to the lower cost. Fibre optic cables are differentiated according to the type of connectors used in SC cables and LC cables. The abbreviation LC means "lucent connector" and SC "subscriber connector". Fibre optic network cables are manufactured as LC/SC, LC/LC and SC/SC cables. Glass fibres are less susceptible to interference, cause hardly any failures and are bug-proof. However, fibre optic cables are not compatible with copper cables, traditional routers or network cards.
Today, the use of fibre optic cables in industrial technology is a matter of course. Many classic bus systems, such as Profibus, Profinet and Ethernet, are equipped with fibre optic cables. In particular, for long stretches in industrial equipment, such as cranes and assembly lines, information is transmitted via optical signals. If interference is caused by electromagnetic fields, fibre optics are used. The fibre optic cables resist the influences and prevent data loss during transmission. In bus systems such as USB or Firewire, fibre optic cables are more advantageous because they do not reach their limits with longer travels - compared to copper cables - and easily transmit data.
Copper cables are favourable only for their lower acquisition costs. Already when laying the cables, it becomes clear that the thick cable strands quickly lead to disruption and faults if they are routed too close to other data or power cables. In addition, copper is not suitable for bridging longer distances; the power is no longer sufficient after about 100 metres. Fibre optic cables are superior for their modern material, high speeds and use at longer distances (up to 80 kilometres). The fibre optic cables are resistant to interference and can easily be installed next to other cables. Fibre optic cables are more expensive in the short term, but costs are continually decreasing as they are less expensive to maintain and cause fewer failures. In conclusion, it can be said that in the long run fibre optic cables are more advantageous and compatible for the future.
Our chainflex fibre optic cables are found in a wide range of applications, such as the larger-than-life LED screen in Dallas. Thanks to the extreme resistance to weather and temperature of our fibre optic cables, they are ideally suited for special climatic conditions. chainflex cables are tested in e-chains in the igus test laboratory with millions of cycles, which guarantees dependability.
The company MACH4 Automatisierungstechnik develops, produces and distributes automated medication storage systems for pharmacies and hospitals. Here, fibre optic cables are used in the energy supply lines in all systems. In order to be able to transfer data volumes quickly and trouble-free, functionally reliable cables are essential. igus relies increasingly on glass fibre optic cables, which allow very high data volumes with increasing cable lengths. For eight years, our fibre optic cables have proven their worth in more than 300 systems.