AUTOCOATER 2 SC™

Description

The AUTOCOATER 2 SC™ is used to restore the protective coating on acrylate coated optical fibers in high strength applications. It is fully automatic, allowing for operator skill independent operation in factory environments with high cost and productivity advantages. This modified version of the automatic AUTOCOATER 2 SC™ is equipped with special clamps for recoating applications where only short lengths of fiber are available. A narrower positioning and shorter distance between the fiber clamps than in the standard version enables clamping and recoating of fibers as short as 124 mm without reducing the recoat length itself.

Soft silicone moulds identical to those of NYFORS manual recoaters are used, but the recoating material is injected automatically via the injection pump and needle. Moulds are available in different sizes to cover a range of coating diameters and can easily be exchanged by the operator with no realignment required. Custom moulds are available upon request. With standard moulds the recoated part of the fiber is round with a diameter that perfectly and uniformly matches that of the original coating. The operator can also choose to perform recoatings with a cross section slightly smaller than the original coating (undersize) or recoatings with a larger diameter that overlaps the original coating at each end (overcoating).

The customer selected recoating compound is automatically injected from an easily attached 1 oz Nalgene bottle functioning as the recoater reservoir tank. This greatly simplifies refilling in high volume production. The bottle as well as the injection pump, supply lines and injection needle may be removed and exchanged as a single unit. This completely eliminates the need to purge or cleanse the injection pump and supply lines when changing from one type of recoating resin to another. Another option when using several compounds in parallel is to operate the recoater in manual mode, using a syringe for manual resin injection into the mould.

This, in combination with the rapidly exchangeable moulds for different fiber sizes, provides a convenient way to swiftly change between different types of optical fiber. The system is easy to set up, optimize and rapidly reconfigure making this an ideal choice for fully automatic skill independent recoating operations where flexibility is required to meet many different needs and specifications.

Fast curing is achieved through an highly efficient UV LED array arranged along the length of the mould. Curing times depend on the fiber and fiber coating diameter as well as on the properties of the customer selected recoating resin, but are typically as short as 3 seconds which allows for very fast recoating operations. It is also possible to cure low index recoating compounds used in fiber laser manufacturing.

The AUTOCOATER 2 SC™ comes in an ergonomic bench top design for comfortable operation. The main operator interface is an easy to navigate and user friendly GUI on the touch screen control panel. System software supports storable and user defined programs for easy process change. Remote monitoring and supervision can be carried out through an Ethernet interface.

Technical Data

Curing time Programmable, 3 s typical
Cycle time 15 s typical
Light source UV LED
Wavelength 380-385 nm
Injection Automatic from 1 Oz bottle
Mould material Silicone
Mould mounting Exchangeable
Mould length 34 mm and 55 mm
Required fiber length 124 mm
Recoating diameter 165, 250, 300, 400, 550, 730 & 900 µm*

Interface & Dimensions

PC connection Ethernet and USB flash drive connection
Power supply External 12 V DC, 60 W
Compressed air Not needed
Dimensions 270 mm (W) x 210 mm (D) x 100 mm (H)
Weight 4.5 kg

* Custom moulds available.

Features

  • Automatic and operator skill independent
  • Short cycle time
  • Special fiber clamps for recoating with short fiber lengths
  • Easy mould exchange and replacement
  • Handles most fiber dimensions with custom moulds available
  • Uniform diameter, overcoating and undersize recoating capability
  • Short curing times
  • High and low-index recoating
  • No need for compressed air or vacuum

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