7Twenty Degrees CASE STUDY
FTTX MICRO LOOP
The FTTx MicroLoop is a multifunctional enclosure deployed in fibre optic distribution networks. This product needed to simultaneously be technically savvy, quick and easy to use and robust.
The Beginning Challenges
KM Product Design was called on by 7Twenty Degrees to help it design a microloop enclosure that was rugged and robust enough to withstand the FTTx mass deployment requirements whilst focusing on speed of deployment in the fibre installation process. It needed to be a non-metallic enclosure so as to avoid rust, specifically for coastal regions. Also suitable for wall mounting as well as placement inside underground chambers, making it waterproof to a high standard of IP68 rating.
Part of the complicated brief was to make it equipped for mid-span access with integrated bare fibre loop storage, and facilitate up to 4 drop cables either preconnectorized or spliced. KM Product Design was more than ready for the challenge and applied a user-centred approach throughout the development process.
The biggest challenge was the sealing configuration, to allow pre-connectorized drop cables to be inserted without compromising the seal or the use of complicated additional sealing components.
User Friendly for Technicians
A major brief point of the unit was to make it extremely user friendly for the technicians. And as mentioned before, this helps speed up deployment. The inner cable assembly is fully removable allowing ease of access and convenience for the technician to work with, free of the space restricted housing. This makes for a much easier and speedier installation/repair of the unit. We designed it so that the enclosure’s lid opens upward and contains a self-supporting hinge to allow the lid to remain in the open position while accessing the inner cable assembly
The slice tray hinges upwards and remains in position allowing unhindered access to the loop storage tray. Once the splice tray is returned to the resting point, there are two clips securing the tray in place.
We designed this over a period of approximately 6 months and 7Twenty Degrees were extremely pleased with the outcome. We more than exceeded their expectations and we even crushed the waterproofing brief as we were able to test the enclosure for 7 days under 2 metres even though the specification only required 1 metre submergence for 6 hours.
The mould was developed locally at Daneo Tooling Specialists and the product went into production at PIMMS Manufacturing. This enclosure is successfully utilised throughout Southern Africa in the installation of fibre optics.