fibersect FAQs

Posted on: Sep 18 2020

Read on for answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Phenix fibersect.

 

FAQ Index:

  1. Warranty
  2. Saw Lifetime and Replacement
  3. Encountering Issues
  4. Custom Adapters and Applications
  5. Options & Accessories
  6. Use
  7. Benefits of the fibersect®
  8. Certification / Safety

WARRANTY

Q: What is Phenix Fiber Optics’ warranty on the fibersect®️ and accessories?

A: Phenix offers a limited warranty of one (1) year or 100,000 cuts, whichever comes first. This warranty applies to the full fibersect instrument, including the saw as well as accessories and adapters. Note that despite this warranty, the lifetime of the saw will be much greater than one year or 100,000 cuts when used properly (see below under SAW LIFETIME AND REPLACEMENT).

This warranty is very comprehensive, but will be voided by improper usage resulting in undue wear and tear and/or customer attempting to adjust or repair the fibersect. Phenix is committed to providing a durable, easy to use and maintain instrument. We stand by our product and will provide any support or training necessary for its successful use.
 

SAW LIFETIME AND REPLACEMENT

Q: How long does the fibersect saw last? 

A: Note Phenix’s limited warranty referenced above. With proper use, the saw lifetime will be much greater than the warranty period of one year or 100,000 cuts - particularly when processing single fiber ferrules and connectors (which have much less material to cut through). The most important factor is to ensure that the saw is not frequently cutting through the ferrule, which will result in faster wear. With proper use, we have seen saws last beyond 350,000 cuts for single fiber and multi-fiber MPO ferrules.
 

Q: Is it possible to replace the saw ourselves?

A: No; due to the finely controlled calibrations and proprietary materials and methods, saw servicing/repair can only be done by Phenix. Options include in factory saw replacement or installation of a replacement saw assembly (which include a full motor, hub, and saw). Replacement saw assemblies may be installed in-factory or on-site by a trained and authorized distributor. However, it is recommended that any fibersect in need of servicing be returned to Phenix for prompt and comprehensive assessment, repair, and recalibration, including any warranty upgrades. Phenix offers very quick turnaround (typically within 1-2 business days) as well as a loaner fibersect if necessary.


Q: How can you tell when a blade replacement is necessary?

A: With proper use, the saw will wear gradually. This can be monitored by measuring and recording the cut time (time for the saw to fully cut through the epoxy and fibers, as indicated by the cutting sound). This can be done at regular intervals; Phenix recommends every 10,000 cuts (for fibersects equipped with a cut counter) or once a month for fibersects without a cut counter.

Cut time will initially be 1-2 seconds. As saw wears this time will gradually increase. When cut time reaches approximately 8-10 seconds, contact Phenix Fiber Optics or your authorized distributor to arrange for a saw replacement. Replacement saw assemblies are available for purchase and installation by a trained and authorized distributor. Alternatively, the fibersect can be returned to Phenix Fiber Optics for saw replacement and is recommended to allow for any other repairs, calibrations or warranty upgrades.
 

ENCOUNTERING ISSUES

Q: What are common issues or signs of a failing unit?

A: The most common issues include: 

  • Lodged debris, which can cause the saw to not operate over its full range of motion.
  • Saw wear, which is evidenced by an increased cut time (cut time will gradually increase with wear) and a partial cut through the epoxy.
  • Improper cut length setting. Cutting too close to the ferrule face can result in cutting through the ferrule, which can affect saw wear. Cutting too far from the ferrule can result in excessive chipping or cracking of the fiber(s), if the saw is cutting bare fiber rather than fiber encased in epoxy.
  • Vacuum malfunction. Vacuum should be checked periodically to ensure it is cycling on with the fibersect cut cycle and fully extracting debris.
     

Q: What should I do if I encounter issues with my fibersect?

A: Contact the authorized distributor from whom you purchased your Phenix products or contact Phenix directly at support@phenixfo.com or +1 800-716-8052. Phenix can provide troubleshooting and diagnostic remotely and issue an RMA for return and repair assessment if needed. Phenix or an authorized distributor are able to offer a loaner fibersect if needed to ensure that your production is minimally impacted.
 

Q: How often is it recommended that we do a factory calibration?

A: With proper use, there is no need for return of your fibersect for factory calibration or scheduled maintenance. The key considerations for preventing the need to return your fibersect include:

  • For vacuum-equipped models, ensure vacuum regularly cycles on with the cut cycle and fully extracts debris.
  • For non-vacuum models, ensure the waste bin is emptied regularly (as needed and always before moving, shipping, rotating the fibersect).
  • Ensure adapter cut length is not set to cut so close that it is regularly cutting through ferrules, as this will result in increased saw wear.

     

CUSTOM ADAPTERS AND APPLICATIONS

Q: Does Phenix offer adapters for custom applications?

A: Phenix regularly works with customers to create custom adapter solutions for many different applications. There is no charge to conduct a feasibility study for custom solutions.

 

OPTIONS & ACCESSORIES

Q: If I purchase initially without the vacuum, can I later upgrade to the vacuum capability?  

A: Yes; your fibersect may be retrofitted for the vacuum option. This typically takes no more than 3-4 business days upon receipt of your returned fibersect.

 

USE

Q: Can I tilt the Fibersect on its side to do cleaving? 

A: Yes. Phenix offers an adjustable stand to allow the fibersect to be operated at an angle. This option is useful when working with large and/or rigid cable bundles or to better accommodate manufacturing process design. With the Adjustable Stand, the fibersect can be operated at an angle of 0-90 degrees from the horizontal surface. Phenix also offers a Folding Stand, which allows for use at a 0-30 degree angle.. Both stands can be used with vacuum-equipped fibersects.
 

Q: Does the adapter insert need to be adjusted to a specific orientation?

A: Some adapters require specific orientation. Refer to the Quick Start Guide, User Manual or User Information: Connector and Ferrule Adapters literature for details.
 

Q: Does the MT ferrule need to be inserted in the adapter with a certain orientation? 

A: Yes. MT 0° (PC) and MT 8° (APC) ferrules must be inserted into the adapter with the epoxy window facing down and the arrow icon on the adapter face pointing up. This ensures consistent and accurate cut length and angle.

Q: What happens if I cut through the ferrule -- is it ok to keep using the machine?  

A: The fibersect saw blade is very durable and strong but it is not meant to cleave the dense and abrasive ferrule material. The fibersect saw can withstand infrequently grazing the ferrule without permanent damage, but frequent cutting through the ferrule will result in rapid saw wear.
 

Q: What polishing is required after cutting with the fibersect? 

A: The fibersect produces extremely close cuts to the ferrule face, removing the bulk of the epoxy and fiber(s) prior to polishing - but final polishing steps are still required. Because there are no protruding fibers and a very small amount of epoxy left after cutting, no denubbing or hand polishing step is needed.

See this Q&A from Phenix authorized distributor Fiber Optic Center for more detail.

 

BENEFITS OF THE fibersect

Q: What are alternatives to using a fibersect for fiber cleaving?

A: Laser cleavers and hand cleaving are the only alternatives to the fibersect; there are no other mechanical fiber cutting instruments available.
 

Q: What are the advantages of the fibersect over laser cleaving?

A: The fibersect presents several advantages over laser cleaving, including:

  • Ability to cut closer to the ferrule face
  • Ability to cut more parallel to the ferrule face
  • Ease and safety of use
  • Fraction of the price of laser cleavers
  • Does not introduce heat damage to the ferrule, epoxy, or fiber, which could affect IL/RL and integrity of the epoxy over time
  • Increases yield and minimizes polishing by producing a consistent, flat cut with no protruding fibers ends
     

Q: Is the fibersect being used by many manufacturers? 

A: Since being made available to the market in 2015, the fibersect has been widely adopted by cable manufacturers around the world, including some of the world’s largest companies. US Conec lists the fibersect as recommended production equipment for processing their MTP® MPO-style connectors.

See this blog post by Phenix authorized distributor Fiber Optic Center on why the fibersect is considered “industry standard.”
 

Q: What is the ROI for using a fibersect?

A: Because of the multiple and complex variables involved in terminating fiber optic cables, it is impossible to pinpoint a universal ROI for the fibersect. However, fibersect users report significantly increased yield rates upon implementing this instrument in their process. Fibersect users typically achieve a yield rate of mid 90-100%. Because the fibersect produces a flat cut very close to the ferrule face with no protruding fiber nubs, this eliminates the need for any air polishing or de-nubbing, minimizing the potential for damage caused during that step that manifests in IL/RL failures and core cracks.

One fibersect customer reported a 10-12% first pass yield improvement from manual cleaving. Their baseline first pass yield using hand cleaving was 84-87%; with the fibersect their first pass yield improved to between 91-94% on average and in some batches 100%. This throughput resulted in an ROI for their fibersect purchase at a cleave rate of only 1,000/month.

This increase in first pass yield impacts the bottom line by allowing customers to fill orders more consistently on time or ahead of schedule due to reduced rework and scrapped materials.

fibersect customers have obtained 350,000 cuts before having to change the saw. Amortizing the purchase price of the fibersect over 350,000 cuts amounts to $0.04 per cut. This figure does not consider the additional savings on reducing training and rework time, scrapped ferrules, and reduced polishing films - all of which contribute to the fibersect’s ROI.

 

CERTIFICATION / SAFETY

Q: Does the fibersect have UL certification and/or CE marking? 

A: Yes. The fibersect and all accessories are UL certified and CE marked.