Testing the Connections

Snow. Extreme UV rays. Salt water. Mother Nature can cause giant headaches for service providers when it comes to strengthening connectivity. CommScope employs a battery of tests to expose any factors to extend the life of a product for decades. Yves Petit explores a few ways CommScope tests the elements to enhance engineering design.

Are you ready yet?Imagine a cluster of homes nestled in a cozy, coastal town. A family sits down to watch its favorite streaming show, and the connection is way too slow or doesn’t download at all. And it might have everything to do with the salt in the air.

While living in beautiful places like this has its advantages, a downside is the daily saltwater mist that permeates the air. Small but mighty salt particles can wreak havoc on a neighborhood’s fiber distribution hub (FDH) or multi-port service terminal (MST), eroding the connections inside. And there goes movie night.

Rain, Snow, Sleet…

Several other environmental factors besides salt can damage a closure and the connections inside: severe heat or cold, snow, sand, water and even sunlight. Other man-made factors like grease or chemicals can be detrimental as well. When fiber connections are damaged, replacing or repairing them can get expensive.

That’s why solid engineering and rigorous testing are crucial to maintaining the integrity of hardened connectivity – and keeping all of those environmental or man-made factors out. CommScope is committed toachieving the telecommunications and safety standards set forth by local and regional government bodies, and global standards set forth by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Beyond the Norm

But as a team, CommScope goes beyond that. A global company like ours needs to be agile in its approach to engineering and set its own high standards. We leverage our global knowledge and decades of experience in the outside plant into all of our product designs.

As the last phase of engineering, successful tests don’t happen overnight. We spend weeks and months in engineering, and then we spend several more weeks and months testing the products. We expose our outdoor closures, rugged connectors and adaptors to freeze-thaw tests, thermal cycling and humidity aging to ensure the quality of the product in any condition.

But we don’t stop there; products then go through vigorous vibration testing and a full range of stress and mechanical tests. We submerge outdoor closures in water; we heat them to see if they shrink or expand, bombard them with chemicals and test whether they will withstand the worst environmental conditions.

Our goal as a company is to make products that last for several decades. Longevity is in our DNA. That’s why testing is such an important part of engineering to us. We want to be sure that our customers know we engineer products to stand the test of time.