We have executed several projects with underground/aerial fiber optic cabling and connectivity solutions for Campus Networks, Interconnecting PLCs, Industrial drives, DCS, SCADA Systems etc. for various Steel Plants, Cement Plants, Pharma plants, Chemical plants, captive power plants etc. all over India.
Firefighting on the Fiber HighwayCustomer Challenges that lead to customer delight
Customer A has a brand new OFC infrastructure in place and has state of the art telemetry equipment connected but is encountering high attenuation in the fibre link. We were the guys who did the cabling so we get hauled over the coals.
Every bit of our work is subjected to scrutiny viz. how we laid the cable, how many bends, quality of our splicing etc. They even get a telecom operator to come and test our link who promptly tells them that attenuation levels on the link are extremely high. Now they start suspecting the OFC itself. It’s like a pandora’s box and there is no dearth of experts to rip us apart.
Off we go with our thinking hats one morning driving 4 hours to this site. We do our own testing and yes, the link attenuation is very high, to our surprise. We remember testing the cable as soon as it was laid and comparing the results with the manufacturer’s test report. Everything was in order and now somehow everything is haywire.
Now, we look at their equipment and they think we are trying to pass the buck. The telemetry gear is from Canada, costing a bomb and how could there be anything wrong with it ? We look at the fiber interface on the equipment and Voila! it hits us … the typical bathtub revelation. We just need to change two patchcords from PC to APC. We don’t happen to be carrying one. They have one which came with the equipment. We cut that and spliced the two pigtails to both ends of the cable directly and checked… the attenuation dropped down like a vulture in free fall!
They do a functional test to download the telemetry data.Happens in a jiffy as against many minutes of agonising waiting that they were used to before. So here is where some quick thinking with domain expertise can solve problems. You must have guessed it by now… They had a PC patchcord in an APC interface which was the culprit causing the high attenuation.
Customer B makes steel.
He has coal dust everywhere on the pathways in the plant, to the equipment, on the hard hats, in the nostrils..no wonder some of it gets inside our LIU through the open adapter cutouts and plays hide and seek with the communication.
No amount of blowing and cleaning seems to solve the problem as long as the cutouts are open. Well, a quick fix would be to stick cellotape on the cutouts and move on..but No… Why provide a run-of-the -mill quick fix when a sustainable solution is possible? You need to be part of the solution not part of the problem and off we go looking at the LIU as if it is a new piece of passive gear that landed from Mars. Aha! we can get some blanking plates to cover the holes and fix the problem … but they cost a few bucks more that nobody wants to pay for and so out of the blue emerges the “knockout” to knockout the problem of dust.
Have you seen our LIUs with SC plates? All of them are “knockouts”. You just knock them out with a regular screwdriver and fix as many adapters as you need and let the remaining stay there to block out the dust.
Customer C is nothing about fiber optics.
He just needs to connect his CPUs to his keyboard mouse and video display some 20m away. He has 8 such systems and his in house IT guy tells him to go for a standard KVM extender rather 8 sets which is going to cost a bomb and his client somewhere in Africa is not keen on paying for.
Well, maybe this can be done on fiber and so we get called to take a look. Yes we can do it on fiber but it will end up costing more than the KVM extender. Now that’s shocking isn’t it ? But hey! there is another way - cheaper and more efficient if you break up the KVM into providing connectivity separately using USB extenders for the keyboard and mouse and just making use of a long length VGA cable for the display. The whole solution at less than half the KVM extender solution originally proposed.
What’s in it for us…no fiber ? ..That’s okay, the satisfaction of giving a technically compliant and optimised solution to the customer and as we shake hands to leave, customer tells us to buy the USB extenders and the VGA cable from the market and supply it… simple trading with a small margin for our effort.
Ultimately win-win is all that counts… isn’t it ?
We have executed major fusion splicing contracts in various parts of India .