Comet™ System Description

Laser-Based Fiber Optic Connector Cleaver

Technology

The Comet™ is the first commercially available product born from the agreement between Sagitta and Corning Cable Systems. This novel technology, developed by Corning Cable Systems and exclusively licensed by Sagitta, encompasses the most advanced and time-proven connector processing utilized in the industry today.

Sagitta has successfully packaged Corning Cable Systems' Innovative technology into a processing tool that revolutionizes the efficiency of every connector cell around the world, enabling more cost-effective connector manufacturing.

A key embodiment within the Comet™ is Sagitta's core expertise in machine vision, optical and laser processing, and adaptive process control. The Comet™ augments Sagitta's existing Gemini-Cx processing cell, which integrates polishing, cleaning, and inspection in a single manufacturing platform for the low-cost production of simplex and multifiber optical connectors.

Applications

The Comet™ is extremely versatile as it can handle all of the following connector and fiber types:
• Ferrule size (1.25mm vs. 2.5mm vs. MT, etc.)
• Fiber type - SM vs. MM

Design

The design of the Comet™ has thoroughly considered:
• Process flow
• Laser safety compliance
• Ergonomics

Enabling many benefits.

Cost Benefits

Laser Cleaving effectively combines scribing + denubbing + epoxy removal into a single laser processing step that serves to:
  Reduce consumable costs (abrasive films, scribes, etc.)
      • Minimizes abrasive consumable cost (1-2 polishing operations eliminated)
      • Eliminates scribe blade wear-out
  Higher yields
  Reduces headcount (or increases throughput)

By reducing both labor and consumable costs while also simultaneously increasing yields, the Comet™ reduces the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) by 5 to 10%, shaving ~$50M annually out of industry costs!

Quality Benefits

The Quality benefits of Laser Cleaving effectively remove up-stream variability thus "Leveling the process playing field" by:
  • Eliminating operator and tool dependent cleave quality
  • Simplifying the polishing process and removing interdependencies
  • Eliminating cleave related multimode fiber "core cracking"
  • Improving connector reliability - as the laser "tempers/anneals" fiber end face
      relieving inherent fiber stresses

Enabling Benefits

The Enabling Benefits of Laser Cleaving are:
  • Cleaves fiber types that are not readily mechanically cleaved
  • Accommodates large OD and specialty fibers
  • Suitable for MTP production

Results

Simplex Connector Field Performance
Cleave Height Reproducibility

By staying within the upper system limits (USL) and lower system limits (LSL), the Comet™ ensures that laser cleaving is sufficient to eliminate down stream polishing steps.

Field Performance - MTP

Cleave Height Reproducibility

For mulifiber connectors, the Comet™ delivers:
  • Maximum fiber variation < 20um
  • Demonstrated ability to remove 20mm3 (5mm x 2mm x 2mm) of epoxy bead
  • Cleave height adjustable from 50um
  • Only constraint is in molded ferrule tolerance (specified at +/- 50um)

Field Observations and Comments:
  • Laser cleaving removes operator dependence - excellent repeatability
     between shifts, minimizes training
  • Laser cleaving removes upstream epoxy bead variability - reduces polishing steps
  • Laser cleaving decreases manufacturing costs - 2x throughput, improves yield

Advantages of Laser Cleaving

  • Increased Quality & FPY
  • Faster - eliminate polishing process steps
  • Cheaper - lower process costs, less rework
  • Reliable - no detrimental impact
  • Field scalable
  • Enables Single Step Polishing