We invite you on a tour of our manufacturing facilities in Carrollton, Georgia, USA. View the highly automated OFS manufacturing process that produces a wide variety of fiber optic products for telecommunications applications. Loose tube, microcables, flat ribbon, ADSS, ultra high density rollable ribbon cables and premise cables are all made here.

OFS Fiber

The Carrollton facility is vertically integrated, with fiber delivered on a daily basis from the OFS Norcross facility, approximately one hour away.

Quality

The facility is registered in compliance with the ISO 9001, ISO 14000, and TL 9000 standards. Traceability is maintained through every step of the process and ultimately back to the incoming fiber. The facility also has a fully functional product qualification lab and cable installation test track.

OFS Uses Both 200 and 250 Micron Fibers

OFS makes several different fiber structures in the Carrollton facility, including loose tube, flat ribbon and rollable ribbon structures. These structures are used in different cable types and applications.

Statistical Process Control Techniques

Each stage in the manufacturing process is highly controlled with appropriate dimensional targets and tolerances.

Colored ink is applied to Fiber

The industry standard color code is used to provide clear identification of the fibers over their lifetimes. Colored ink is applied to specified thicknesses, cured, and respooled for the next step in the process.

Buffer Tube Manufacturing Process

To make loose tubes, fibers or ribbons are paid off of their spools and a buffer tube is extruded around them. The Carrollton plant makes gel-free and gel-filled buffer tubes of different materials, including polypropylene and PBT. Different sized buffer tubes are used for different product types. Buffer tubes used in outside plant applications include either water blocking materials impregnated with super absorbent polymer or gel.

Ribbon Manufacturing Process

A matrix material is applied to the fibers to bind them together so they can be spliced as a group. 12 and 24 fiber flat ribbons are most common. Fiber color code alignment and geometric specifications are very important so ribbons can be spliced and connected in the field.

Rollable Ribbon

Rollable ribbons are only partially bonded together, enabling them to be rolled into a cylindrical package. Rollable ribbons are only partially bonded together, enabling them to be rolled into a cylindrical package. Since circles are more space efficient than rectangles, rollable ribbons cables can hold twice the fibers as comparable sized flat ribbon cables. Since these fibers are partially bonded, they can be easily spliced either as single fibers or as a ribbon, giving more deployment flexibility to the network operator.

Cabling

OFS makes two main types of cables – stranded cables and central tube cables.

Stranded Cable

Stranded cables are made by stranding tubes of fibers, flat ribbons, or rollable ribbons around a central member. Stranded cables are often used in applications requiring frequent access to fibers.

Central Tube Cables

Central tube cables are made by extruding a central tube around a fiber structure. Central tube cables can provide higher fiber density. ​  

Strength

Strength members, including fiberglass and aramid yarns are used to limit the strain on cables and fiber when tension is applied to cables.

Water Blocking Materials​

Yarns and tapes are added to provide water blocking outside the core of the cable.

Armor

For direct-buried cables, one or more steel armor layers may be added to provide rodent resistance and toning capability.

Outer Jacket

Different versions of polyethylene are used for the majority of outside plant cables. For inside plant or indoor/outdoor cables, materials are chosen to include appropriate flame and smoke resistance.

Information Printing

Type of cable, date of manufacture, length and a unique serial number that can enable traceability through the manufacturing process is printed.

Final Testing

Once manufacturing is complete, the finished cable undergoes final testing for length and optical properties.

Shipping

Cables are then packaged for shipment and loaded on trucks to their final destination. ​


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