Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'...

Jim Solheid Jim Solheid July 11, 2018

Rollable-Ribbon-OFS - 360x203As a global company, many of us travel an awful lot. There are customer visits, partner appointments and in-person meetings. My colleagues that fly several times a month likely know the rolling trick: if you roll clothes in your suitcase, you can pack more. You have more space. So, why not apply that same logic to fiber?

Rollable ribbon is a method in which you organize glass fibers inside of a cable to get the bundling and organization of a ribbon with the flexibility and density of individual fibers.

There are several advantages to using rollable ribbon:

  • Size comparisons: rollable ribbon cables are often close to half the size of a traditional matrix ribbon cable. The pliable nature of the ribbon allows it to be rolled up and packed together to fill any available space inside of a cable jacket, much like a loose tube cable.
  • Organization: rollable ribbons maintain a ribbon-like structure when exposed. This helps with separating and identifying fibers. It also allows for quick mass fusion splicing. The fibers are presented flat and in order, so no ordering of fiber is necessary to prepare for a splice or for termination.
  • Flexibility: Standard matrix ribbon has a preferred bend direction. The ribbons will only bend in the flat orientation. Because rollable ribbons do not have a rigid matrix, they can be flexed in any orientation much like a stranded or loose tube cable. This helps not only at the cable level, but also when the ribbons are exposed to be terminated or spliced. Routing the fiber into a panel or splice tray is much cleaner when the fiber can be curved in any direction and routed like individual fibers.

CLICK TO TWEET: Keep fiber rollin' in your network with rollable ribbon from CommScope.

Recently, I took part in a Facebook Live about rollable ribbon and showed off some of our own. I’d urge you to check it out below, and let us know how you’re using the fiber in your network.

About the Author

Jim Solheid

Jim Solheid

Jim is a principal engineer at CommScope, responsible for developing new fiber optic product solutions for data centers and central offices around the world. He has 30 years of experience in telecommunications and electronic products, 18 of which he’s spent at CommScope. He has more than 30 patents in his name. Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science from St. Edward’s University.