The FOA Instructor Certifies Industrial Technicians
When you think of fiber optics systems the last application that usually comes to mind is the operational controls of an industrial machine. Walk thru a modern factory and you will see a very high technical environment with maintenance technicians trained in industrial networking systems and their components. Of course, they are using fiber optics to network these systems together.
During the past year Tom Collins (right, in yellow shirt), member of the Board of Directors of the Fiber Optic Association and a full-time instructor at Gateway Technical College has worked with major players in the automotive, printing, and robotic industries to develop an industrial fiber optic training program that fits their needs. The industrial market has been long overlooked as large user of fiber optics. They are using fiber optics to connect their industrial process controls as well as factory networking. Industrial applications are now requiring greater bandwidth and faster speeds as well as the elimination of interference from unwanted signals.
After numerous visits to various industrial sites Tom found the industrial environment contains networks using singlemode, multimode, and plastic fiber optics. The next step in developing the program, was to contact the Plastic Optical Fiber Trade Association to share their training resources. Tom developed a program customized to electrical and mechanical technicians with interactive industrial-oriented labs.
Following the beta test groups, the program received very positive feedback from both the technicians and the companies. During the training sessions the industrial technicians brainstormed ideas to incorporate fiber optics into many other industrial applications. One result from the test group was the realization that fiber optics can be incorporated into other industrial applications such as CCTV cameras, quality control processes, and fiber optic lighting.
The Fiber Optic Association is
proud to be part of the industrial revolution that is occurring
in our factories. We welcome the newest Fiber Optic Association
members that have completed the industrial fiber optic program.
We also applaud the companies that have invested in their employees
as well as the fiber optic technology. The FOA intends to continue
its focus on this expanding technology.
The FOA FTTx Summit included presentations about FOA markets by Paul Polishuk of IGI and FTTx technology and products by Corning, OFS, ADC and JDSU. Presentations about job opportunities by Verizon covered CO and field jobs. About 60 attendees were able to learn about FTTx technology and meet the people involved.
Dave Miller of NHTC and Jim Hayes start the day off.
Bob Whitman of Corning reviews FTTx markets, technologies and products.
Lew Welstead of Verizon HR talks about job opportunities. Openings are available for distribution and drop (home) installers as well as CO support personnel. Details of openings are posted on the Verizon website.
More Verizon FTTx News
The old story (not a joke!) about the most likely fiber optic communications system failure being caused by "backhoe fade" reminds us that digging safely is vitally important. The risk is not just interrupting communications, but the life-threatening risk of digging up high voltage or gas lines.
There is a website called "Common Ground Alliance" that focuses directly on this issue. Here is how they describe themselves:
Of special interest is their "Best Practices" Manual, available for downloading. If you do OSP installs, please get yourself a copy and read it.
There is a new toll-free "call before you dig" number: 811
See www.call811.com for more information
Best Laugh Of The Month
Contributed by a reader of IEEE COMSOC magazine...
CuPON: The Copper Alternative to PON 100 Gb/s DSL Networks
The authors investigate the ultimate bandwidth limits of a copper DSL binder of 200 telephone line connections, finding the ultimate available shared data bandwidth to be 100 Gb/s. A new "Copper-PON" or, more compactly CuPON multidropping DSL architecture enables DSL bandwidth sharing and increases data rates through exploitation of all modes of crosstalk, particularly with the use of vectored dynamic spectrum management. The inevitable emerging conclusion raises an intriguing question about the broadband access evolution of telecommunications networks: Why deploy currently available or contemplated passive fiber systems when the existing last kilometer of copper can provide broadband gigabits per second to everyone?
John M. Cioffi, Sumanth Jagannathan, Mehdi Mohseni, and George Ginis, Stanford University and ASSIA Inc.
What are they talking about? Using 200 pairs of copper wires simultaneously to send signals. Would any of them care to comment on our questions: Do you know what the cost of that copper would be or how much a 200 pair cable would bring as scrap copper? How much will the electronics for 200 channels cost? How much power will it consume? And, by the way, what do you do with the subscribers using the other pairs in the cable? Finally, who paid for your work? (We can guess!)
POF is Slow, Right?
No - wrong. Siemens has achieved gigabit rates on POF. Using modulation techniques similar to DSL, Siemens has been able to compress signals into bandwidth compatible with POF. This could make POF even more attractive for applications like home systems. (See below.)
Switching Light With Magnets
Work being done at US Naval Research Labs and the Unversity of Alberta, Canada, have shown that light can be controlled by magnets in small transistor-like devices, opening new possibilities for optical switching, computing, etc. Read more.
Air-Blown Fiber Finally Recognized In International Standard
Air-blown fiber has been around for a long time, but has not been widely used in place of conventional cables, in part perhaps, because it was seen as a proprietary, non-stnadard, solution to installing fiber. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published the first blown fiber standard, IEC 60794-5. One obstacle for blown fiber use has been the lack of a recognized standard for components, installation and testing. With publication of this standard, it may become more acceptable to end users wary of proprietary solutions. Read More. Here is an explanation on it's use from Emtelle.
Market Forecast: SCS MARKET FORECAST TO GROW 18.6%
HUMMELSTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA, JUNE 1, 2007 - Frank Murawski, President of FTM Consulting, Inc., announced the publication of its latest market research study on the structured cabling systems (SCS) market. In this new study, Structured Cabling Systems Market: 2007, the total U.S. SCS market is forecast to grow at a rate of 18.6%, from $6.8 billion in 2007 to $15.9 billion by 2012. Frank commented that this growth is higher than previously reported, as newer network applications are expected to grow dramatically in the future. These include VOIP, data centers and video over IP. Frank stated, ?We see the SCS cabling architecture evolving to a universal enterprise network consisting of the current primary installed LAN networks supporting newer IP sub nets, such as voice with VOIP, data for the data centers and video via video over IP.?
The study segments cabling applications into five major categories:
Even though the current growth market is data centers, the study indicates that the highest growth market in the future will be VOIP. By 2012, the largest market for Cat 6a cables is projected to be VOIP followed by data centers. The largest market for fiber cable is forecast to be LANs, with data centers trailing by the year 2012. The longer cable backbone runs for LANs, compared to the shorter cable runs inside data centers, is the primary reason for LANs to continue to be the largest market for fiber cables. The study contains other valuable product forecast data, including detailed product forecasts by each of the five cabling applications, which provides insight into future major market opportunities for the SCS suppliers.
Frank Murawski, President
What Has Much Higher Resolution Than An OTDR?
A reflectometer that works in the frequency domain instead of the time domain has higher resolution than a OTDR, with dead zone measured in cm, not tens of meters. Few manufactureres had ever considered it a commercially feasible instrument and to our knowledge they were all very expensive until now, when a converter for RF spectrum analyzers has been introduced. (Mind you, RF spectrum analyzers are not cheap.) Theoretically this should be a very useful product for manufacturers of connection components and patchcords, even some specialized installers (shipboard or aircraft, for example.) The instrument is called a "Sidelighter" and product info is on the Fiberoptic.com website.
We'l like to have some user reports - anybody had experience with this device?
Home Tech - Needed To Take Advantage of FTTH
Once a home has a broadband connection, which we hope is fiber to the home, but could be DSL or Cable Modem, the usage of all that bandwidth depends on distribution within the home. The in-home connections can be UTP or Coax copper, wireless or fiber. But architects and home builders must learn how to build homes to take advantage of broadband connections. The FOA, in conjunction with the Structured Cabling Association, have started working with home builders to bring them up to speed. You can see the first tutorial we have jointly developed at the SCA website.
Improving Vendor Training
The FOA is always interested in hints on improving training, and we though this was quite good.
3 Ways to Improve Vendor Training
Bob Ballard of FOA-Approved
School BDI Datalink
has a neat website with some good technical content. Be sure to pay particular attention
to these pages:
Like Good Technical Videos? Try NECA/IBEW/JATC's Electric TV.
Your Name, CFOT - It pays to advertise!
The FOA encourages CFOTs to use the logo on their business cards, letterhead, truck or van, etc. and provides logo files on this site for that purpose. But we are also asked about how to use the CFOT or CFOS certifications. Easy, you can refer to yourself as "Your Name, CFOT" or "Your Name, CFOS/T" for example.
Feel free to use the logo and designations to promote your achievements and professionalism!
Remember To Renew Your Certification !
Remember to renew your FOA certification. All current CFOTs have a ID Card with their certification data and we keep a database of current CFOTs to answer inquiries regarding your qualifications if needed. You must be a current FOA member and CFOT to participate in our online database of installers, contractors, technicians and consultants. If you forgot to renew, use the online application form to renew NOW!