Furukawa Electric Company has announced plans to nearly double its 2016 optical fibre manufacturing capacity by
2019, and also to increase its optical fibre cable manufacturing capacity. In the process it will create over 400 jobs over the next two years.
Between 2014 and 2016, Furukawa Electric increased its global fibre production capacity by 20%, and planned to achieve another capacity increase of 20% by 2018. However, in order to meet the strong customer demand for optical fibre and optical fibre cable, the Furukawa Electric board approved $150 million capital spending for further expansion in production, primarily in the USA and Europe, through the optical fibre and cable operations of OFS, its wholly owned subsidiary.
“The proliferation of hyper-scale and edge data centres, 5G wireless, and Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH), along with the greater digitisation of communications in business, are creating the need for fibre in the network around the world,” said Timothy F. Murray, head of the Global Optical Fiber and Cable business of Furukawa Electric and CEO of OFS. “Furukawa Electric is responding with greater capacity as we foresee this demand continuing into the next decade with communication traffic estimated to increase during this period. Furukawa Electric will continue to serve its global customer base and to contribute to growing communication solutions in the market through a company-wide effort.”
In a separate development, earlier this month OFS announced the expansion of the AccuRibbon® DC Fiber Optic Cable product family to include fibre counts up to 864. These totally gel-free ribbon cables will be available in dielectric and metallic/armoured versions. Previously, AccuRibbon DC cables were offered in fibre counts up to 432.
Gel-free cables are designed to significantly reduce both cable preparation times and cable weights, which help lower deployment costs, reduce splicing expenses and speed installation/restoration times.
The expanded fibre-count AccuRibbon DC cables are scheduled for commercial availability during the fourth quarter of 2017.