Fiber optic vs. copper: 5 reasons fiber wins

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Fiber-optic cables are steadily replacing copper wires for signal transmission in many manufacturing, process control, and SCADA applications. Here are five reasons why fiber optics are preferable to copper cabling.

01/29/2008


Fort Lauderdale, FL – Fiber optics, also called optical fibers, are microscopic strands of very pure glass with about the diameter of a human hair. Thousands of optical fibers, arranged in bundles, protected by a jacket, in optical cables, transmit light signals over long distances. Although similar to copper wire systems, fiber optics are steadily replacing copper wires as a means of communication signal transmission; applications include manufacturing, process control, and supervisory control and data acquisition.

CableOrganizer.com

gives five reasons why fiber optic cables are preferable to copper cabling for telecommunications and datacom network applications .

1. Fiber optic is more efficient and secure than copper cabling, transmitting information with greater fidelity. Fiber links offer more than 1,000 times as much bandwidth over distances more than 100 times farther than copper, and extra data security is provided since it is more difficult to tap than copper cable.

2. Fiber optic cable can carry more data than copper and for longer distances. It can transmit a signal as far as 80 km or beyond without need for amplification.

3. The glass-based cables don’t conduct electricity , which eliminates the need for grounding and makes them immune to electrical interference, even lightning. They can be used outdoors and in proximity to electrical cables.

4. Glass fibers are virtually free from corrosion . While copper is sensitive to water and chemicals, fiber optic runs almost no risk of being damaged by harsh elements, and can endure “living conditions” that coaxial cable cannot, such as direct contact with soil. And, while you may not have considered it....

5. of physical injury if it breaks. Since it transmits light, not electricity, handlers run no risk of injury from fire, sparking, or electrocution.

In 1999, an estimated $14.6 billion was spent on fiber optics items. These figures were attributed to the growing use of the Internet. Companies are increasingly using fiber optics for other purposes. Applications exist for manufacturing plants, computer offices, telemarketing networks, Internet broadband companies, online video providers, Ethernet users, medical offices, hospitals, financial institutions, and communications companies.

“Today’s increased ability to transmit more information over longer distances quickly has expanded the boundaries of technological development in many areas, including data networking, wireless and satellite communications, cable operations and broadcasting,” said Paul Holstein, co-founder and COO of CableOrganizer.com. “All of this has, in fact, become possible by the use of fiber optics, and as technology users insist upon improved performance, the demand for and use of fiber optics will continue to increase.”

Related reading from Control Engineering includes:

Product Research: Industrial Networks

- Control Engineering News Desk
( Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .)





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me