The assembly of bundled optical fibers with plug connections, which are used in information and communication technology, is still difficult to automate today: Fibers with fixed polarization must be aligned with great precision in the connector, and their handling and bonding also require maximum accuracy. Together with the Dutch University of Twente and the industrial partners Aixemtec GmbH from Herzogenrath and Phix B.V. from Enschede, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT from Aachen presented a modular system for the automated assembly of polarization-maintaining fiber arrays at the "Laser – World of Photonics" trade fair from 24 to 27 June 2019 in Munich.
With so-called single-mode fiber arrays, the precise arrangement of the individual fibers is crucial.
After the bonding of the individual fibers, a lid component is aligned with high precision and bonded to finalise the assembly.
Foto: Fraunhofer IPT
Up to 32 light-conducting fibers are mounted in several layers in one connector – today, they are usually still glued manually and individually in the connector, since the correct alignment of each individual fiber determines whether the component can perform the desired data transmission.
The assembly system can now take over this complex and thus costly task:
The system automates all of the essential process steps for manufacturing the connectors – from storage and feeding of the fibers to rotary and translational alignment, gluing and hardening of individual fibers through to final assembly of the entire system into a linear fiber array.
Today, the system can already assemble connectors with up to 16 fiber connections autonomously. Further developments now aim not only to increase the number of fibers processed, but also to improve the handling of the non-rigid fibers and thus further accelerate the entire production process.
- Aixemtec GmbH, Aachen
- Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, Aachen
- Phix B.V., Enschede, Netherlands
- University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Maximilian Hoeren M.Sc.
Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie IPT
Susanne Krause | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie IPT
2020 Hannover Messe Preview: New hearts for fuel cells: Fraunhofer IWU is researching future-oriented serial production
12.02.2020 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Microtechnologies for Optical Devices: Special exhibition area at W3 shows solutions for optics, electronics, mechanics
11.02.2020 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik
Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.
The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...
Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics
Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...
Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.
A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...
The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.
Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...
Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.
Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...
12.02.2020 | Event News
16.01.2020 | Event News
15.01.2020 | Event News
26.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy
26.02.2020 | Interdisciplinary Research
26.02.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering