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Vytran™ Stand-Alone Fusion Splicer and Preparation Stations: SM, MM, and PM
Fiber Fusion Splicer Workstation
Fiber Preparation Workstation
Base Units and Components Sold Separately
Tungsten Fusion Splicing Filament
Thermo-Mechanical Stripping Blade Insert Set
Fiber Holding Blocks (Right Block Shown)
Thorlabs' VytranTM Stand-Alone Preparation and Fusion Splicing Stations are designed to allow preparation and splicing operations to be performed simultaneously for increased throughput or in different locations of the facility. Offering similar performance to our FFS2000 all-in-one workstation, the FPC200 preparation station and FSX2000PM Fusion Splicing Station accept SM, MM, or PM fiber with cladding diameters from 80 µm to 200 µm, when outfitted with the appropriate components. This includes standard Ø80 µm cladding / Ø180 µm coating and Ø125 µm cladding / Ø250 µm coating fibers.
To build a complete fiber preparation and splicing system, you must purchase both the FPC200 and FSX2000PM base units, as well as other components that depend upon the fibers' cladding and coating diameters. For more information on how to make your selections, please see the Decisions tab.
Thorlabs also offers a line of stand-alone recoaters and proof testing systems that can be utilized to reapply a coating layer to the spliced region and to test the strength of the fiber splice.
Questions? We're All Ears!
To build a complete fiber processing system, you will need to purchase base unit(s) plus additional components that are dependent upon the size of the fiber being processed. Upon receipt of your order, we will review it for completeness and accuracy and contact you if there appear to be any discrepancies. All inserts are installed and factory-aligned within the base unit prior to shipping.
If you would like assistance in choosing the correct components or have questions about component compatibility, please contact tech support. We're more than happy to answer your questions any time before or after purchase.
The FPC200 and FSX2000PM base units include all of the accessories that do not depend upon the particular fibers being processed. Required components that depend upon the fiber size or type must be purchased separately. We have arranged this page in a way that will help you ensure that you have all the required components. Simply scroll down the page; the red headings will indicate whether an item must be purchased and for which system (FPC200 preparation station or FSX2000PM splicer).
If you purchase either an FSX2000PM or FPC200 and do not have one or more of the required components in your order, we will contact you to help you complete the purchase. If you have any pre- or post-sale questions, please contact tech support.
The FSX2000PM is designed to directly accept fibers prepared for splicing using the FPC200. If you are planning to utilize these stand-alone units in tandem, we suggest purchasing two sets of FHBR1 fiber holding blocks and inserts so that the preparation and fusion splicing processes can be performed simultaneously by different operators.
The flow chart below details the decisions that must be made and the products that must be purchased to build a complete system. Click on the blue links to jump to the specific product grouping for more information.
Questions to Ask When Choosing Components
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The locations of the required components that must be purchased separately are labeled in the schematic above and are available for purchase below. For more details, please see the list to the right and the Decisions tab.
The FPC200 Fiber Preparation Station is an all-in-one fiber stripper, cleaner, and cleaver. The unit is designed to support the FSX2000PM fusion splicer (sold below), performing all of the necessary steps to prepare fiber for splicing. The thermo-mechanical stripping station uses a filament to heat the fiber, softening the acrylate coating for stripping, with an LED light to indicate when the heating process is complete. The stripper uses two flat blades (sold below) to scrape the buffer off in two locations.
Fiber holding blocks are not provided with the FPC200 base unit. If using the unit as a stand-alone cleaner, stripper, and cleaver, then we recommend buying the FHB1 non-rotating fiber holding blocks (available below). If utilizing the FPC200 with the FSX2000 as a combined preparation and splicing system, then we recommend buying at least one set of FHBR1 rotating fiber holding blocks. For more information, please see the Decisions tab.
The initial alignment of the components in the FPC200 preparation station is critical to ensure all processes work seamlessly together. For that reason, your complete system will ship with all of the components factory installed. Once you receive the system, all inserts can be easily replaced by the user if needed.
To clean the fiber, the entire fiber holding block (available separately below) can be moved from the stripping station to the cleaning station, eliminating direct handling of the fiber at each step. After installing the holding block next to the ultrasonic cleaner, simply tilt it to dip the stripped end of the fiber into the solvent-filled ultrasonic cleaner. An indicator light turns off when the cleaning process is complete. The built-in ultrasonic cleaner must be filled with user-supplied acetone or isopropyl alcohol.
The cleaving station uses the "tension-and-scribe" cleaving method, where tension is applied along the length of the fiber followed by an automatic scribing process utilizing a diamond cleave blade. After the blade scribes the fiber, tension is maintained, causing the scribe to propagate across the fiber width and complete the cleave. During the cleaving process, the fiber holding block can apply up to 2.45 N (0.55 lbs) of tension along the length of the fiber to create flat cleaves.
A handset controller is included with the FPC200 for setting the thermo-mechanical stripper heating time and ultrasonic cleaner run time.
Once the cleaving process is complete, the cleaved fibers can be transferred, in the fiber holding blocks, to the FSX2000PM (available below) for splicing.
Replacement cleave blades are available separately below.
Thorlabs offers four sets of blades for stripping fiber. The maximum buffer diameter is limited by the size of the channel in the insert. Each blade set consists of two pieces: one top and one bottom insert that each have flat blades on the ends.
Three of the blades sets are designed to strip the same size cladding on both the left and right ends. The CSTM080125 blade set is designed to strip Ø80 µm cladding fiber on one end and Ø125 µm cladding fiber on the other. When ordered with the FPC200 base unit, it will be installed by default with the blades for Ø80 µm claddings on the left and the blades for Ø125 µm cladding on the right. The blade orientation can be reversed by the user to strip Ø80 µm cladding on the right and Ø125 µm cladding on the left; however you must be certain to switch both the top and bottom inserts together.
We offer four inserts from stock to accommodate standard fiber sizes. TMS blade insert sets are available for cladding diameters up to Ø200 µm upon request by contacting Tech Support.
When purchased with an FPC200 base unit, the stripping blade insert set will be installed at the factory. If necessary, the stripping blade insert set can be replaced by the user.
These Bottom Cleaver Inserts secure the fiber inside the cleaving assembly of the FPC200 preparation station. They are sold individually to allow cleaving of differently sized fibers held within the left and right fiber holding blocks. Different inserts are available to support a variety of fiber sizes; compatibility is listed in the table to the right.
Two bottom cleaver inserts, one for both the left and right fibers, must be purchased in order to operate your workstation; when purchased with an FPC200 base unit, the bottom cleaver inserts will be installed at the factory. If necessary, the cleaver inserts can be replaced by the user. When the cleaving assembly is closed, the top (sold in the next product grouping) and bottom inserts mate to secure the stripped fiber.
The Top Cleaver Insert is a flat plate that helps secure the fiber inside the cleaving assembly of the FPC200. It is sold individually, so two items must be purchased, one for the left and one for the right fiber cleaver.
In addition to these top cleaver inserts, you must buy the bottom insert that matches your fiber size (see the previous product grouping). When purchased with an FPC200 base unit, the top cleaver inserts will be installed at the factory. If necessary, the cleaver inserts can be replaced by the user. When the cleaving assembly is closed, the top and bottom inserts mate to secure the fiber.
Fiber Holding Blocks secure the fiber and simplify moving the fibers between the different processing steps. The FHB1, which is sold as a pair of left and right fiber holding blocks, is designed for processing of fibers on the FPC200 where PM rotational alignment is not necessary.
In order to securely hold a fiber with a particular diameter, a set of bottom V-Groove Inserts is installed within the fiber holding block. V-groove inserts must be purchased separately below. For the FHB1 non-rotating fiber holding block, you must purchase both the bottom V-groove insert based upon your fiber size (any Item # ranging from VHH125 to VHH900S) as well as the corresponding top insert (either Item # VHH000 or VHH900).
Are you planning on purchasing an FSX2000PM Fusion Splicer? If so, the FHB1 is not necessary.
The FHB1 fiber holding blocks do not contain the rotation mechanism necessary to align PM fibers for splicing on the FSX2000PM. Therefore, you should choose the FHBR1 rotating fiber holding blocks available below. For more details please see the Decisions tab or contact Tech Support.
These bottom V-Groove Inserts are designed for the bottom of the FHB1 Non-Rotating Fiber Holding Blocks. A total of two items must be purchased, one insert for the left holding block and one insert for the right holding block. They are provided individually so as to allow for the construction of a system that can process two fibers with different coating diameters. Different V-groove sizes are provided to support a range of fiber cladding diameters; compatibility is listed in the table to the right.
Two bottom inserts from the list below must be purchased if you are purchasing FHB1 fiber holding blocks. When purchased with an FHB1 fiber holding block set, the bottom fiber holding block inserts will be installed at the factory. If necessary, these inserts can be replaced by the user. In addition, a top insert (sold in the next product grouping) is required.
In addition to the bottom V-groove inserts that must be installed in the FHB1 non-rotating fiber holding blocks, top inserts must be purchased as well. There are two choices of top inserts. The VHH000 is a flat insert that fits in the lid of one of the fiber holding blocks; it is compatible with all of our bottom V-Groove inserts except the VHH900S. If you are using the VHH900S as a bottom V-groove insert, you must select the VHH900 as the top insert to allow clearance for the lid of the holding block to close.
When purchased with an FHB1 fiber holding block set, the top inserts will be installed at the factory. If necessary, the top inserts can be replaced by the user.
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The locations of the required components that must be purchased separately are labeled in the schematic above and are available for purchase below. For more details, please see the list to the left and the Decisions tab.
The FSX2000PM is a fusion splicing workstation designed for demanding manufacturing and R&D environments. Ideal for splicing PM fibers, PCF, dissimilar glass compositions, soft glass fibers, as well as standard SM and MM fibers, it can be used for device splices, volume manufacturing, and customized R&D splicing.
Splicing is accomplished using filament fusion technology, which leads to high-strength, low-loss splices. Precision control of splicing is achieved by using a tungsten or iridium filament (purchased separately) and inert argon purging gas (user supplied). True Core ImagingTM gives a high-resolution image of the fibers' inner core structure, which enables precise alignment of the fibers for splicing using a three-axis stepper motor positioning system. For PM fibers, end-face imaging and a 4th axis stepper motor allows for precise rotational adjustment for aligning the fiber stress members. Fiber holding blocks (available separately) and a transfer jig (included) allow for precise positioning and minimize handling when transferring the fibers between our FPC200 preparation station and the FSX2000PM splicer.
The alignment of the components in the FSX2000PM splicer is critical to proper performance. For that reason, your complete system will ship with all of the components factory installed. Once you receive the system, most inserts (except the Graphite V-Groove Inserts) can be easily replaced by the user if needed.
An on-board Windows PC with GUI provide control of the splicing functions; an included mouse, keyboard, and monitor allow for user input of commands and display of the fiber alignment. A library of splice files provided on the PC offers options for many common fiber splicing applications, and new splice files can easily be added by the end user.
These Graphite V-Groove Inserts help to position the fiber in the FSX2000PM fusion splicer. The fiber size is limited by the size of the channel in the insert; the compatible sizes are listed in the table to the right.
These items are sold individually; two Graphite V-groove inserts, one for the left and one for the right side of the splicer assembly, must be purchased to operate your workstation. Due to the alignment precision required, these inserts must be installed and aligned at the factory and are not user replaceable. If you require a different insert size for an existing system, please contact tech support to arrange the reconfiguration.
There are two available fusion splicing filaments for the FSX2000PM splicer. The FTV7 tungsten filament is ideal for most splicing applications, while the ETV7 iridium filament is ideal for soft glass fibers. The omega-shaped filament is housed in an included mount and is easily replaced by the end user. The omega shape provides a uniform concentric heat source for fusing the fiber tips and for an optional post-fusion fire polishing step. Filament lifetimes will depend upon the particular splicing parameters used but are typically about 40 minutes.
One filament must be purchased in order to operate your workstation. Additional filaments are recommended, as this is a consumable item.
Fiber Holding Blocks secure the fiber and simplify moving the fibers between the different processing steps. The FFBR1, which is sold as a pair of left and right fiber holding blocks, is designed for processing of fibers on the FSX2000PM splicer by itself or when used in conjunction with the FPC200 preparation station.
If you plan on using the FPC200 preparation station and FSX2000PM splicer simultaneously, then two FHBR1 holding block sets, along with inserts for each, should be purchased.
In order to securely hold a fiber with a particular diameter, a set of V-Groove Inserts is installed within the fiber holding block. V-Groove inserts must be purchased separately below.
These inserts are designed for the FHBR1 Rotating Fiber Holding Blocks. A total of two items must be purchased, one insert for the left holding block and one insert for the right holding block. They are provided individually so as to allow for the construction of a system that can process two fibers with different coating diameters. Different V-groove sizes are provided to support a range of fiber coating diameters; compatibility is listed in the table to the right.
When purchased with an FHBR1 fiber holding block set, the inserts will be installed at the factory. If necessary, the V-groove inserts can be replaced by the user.
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The blade is shipped in a protective covering.
The ACL83 Diamond Cleave Blade is a replacement blade for the Vytran™ fiber processing systems listed to the right. Each system is shipped with a blade included.
When used with proper cleave parameters, a single location on the blade can provide up to 5,000 cleaves (dependent on the cladding properties of the fiber being cleaved). The blade can be positioned approximately 10 times before replacement (assuming proper cleave parameters and usage that does not cause unexpected damage to the blade). Blade replacement instructions for each system are provided in the user manuals.
Note: Severe damage to the blade can occur if conditions cause high stress perpendicular to the edge of the blade or if incorrect parameters are used to cleave the fiber.