8 / 4 / 2015
The LC connector is well established on the market thanks to its compact design and reliable connection quality. In 2014, the number of sold LC connector from HUBER+SUHNER exceeded the 10 million mark for the first time, giving the company a significant global market share in this commodity market. This success can be attributed to a series of innovations and the company's consistent approach to supply chain optimisation. The innovative LC-XD connector in particular sets new standards for packing density and handling in data centers.
The demands placed on data center performance and expandability are constantly increasing as every-larger amounts of data need to be transferred and processed. At the same time, the costs of infrastructure and operations play a crucial role. To operate efficiently and reliably, data centers require well-structured cabling and high port densities that keep investment, maintenance and operating expenses to a minimum.
Innovative push-pull mechanism
For the past 25 years, HUBER+SUHNER has been producing and assembling fiber optic products that meet these requirements, and continues to develop them further. In 2009, the company improved the standard LC connector by designing an innovative push-pull mechanism for easier handling and a higher packing density. The LC-XD followed in 2013. This connector also features a push-pull mechanism, but with a rigid, extended lever. This guarantees efficient handling, even in the tightest of spaces. With the LC-XD connector, the packing density in a standard rack can be increased by 50%. The resulting space savings reduce a data center's operating costs significantly, depending on the location. The engineers developed a further innovation in the form of the LC-BTW connector, in which the rear housing and grommet are merged into one component. The axial installation length, for example in fiber trays, is considerably smaller than with conventional pigtails.
Increasing sales figures and falling costs
Low costs and easy availability make the LC connector one of the most popular fiber optic connectors. In particular, the LC-XD connector from HUBER+SUHNER has opened up new opportunities in data centers and set new standards. The positive response on the market is also reflected in the sales figures. In 2007, HUBER+SUHNER sold around two million LC connectors. By 2014, this figure had increased to around ten million. Over the same period, the company has reduced manufacturing costs by half. In addition to innovative, patented properties such as the push-pull mechanism, the connector is also set apart by its Swiss quality and attractive price. The LC from HUBER+SUHNER is available in various performance classes and designs, either directly from the manufacturer or through certified local assembly shops operated by sales partners.
Dartcom in South Africa is one of the distribution partners for LC connectors. Assemblies from Dartcom that feature HUBER+SUHNER connectors are used by companies including Telkom for the national fiber optic network. The operator Telkom insists on extensive mechanical testing as per the Telcordia specifications. “In terms of the geometry and mechanical testing, the LC assemblies with HUBER+SUHNER connectors are the highest quality products on our market,” says George Martin of Dartcom. “The assemblies meet all international standards.” He sees the push-pull mechanism as a major benefit of the LC connector as it enables easy installation. “We expect use of these connectors to increase further as the data center market continues to grow,” says George Martin.
Opportunity for further projects
The global LC market will continue to grow. The increasing demands on the performance and expandability of data centers will highlight the added value of the HUBER+SUHNER LC family compared to standard LCs in the future. This opens up new opportunities for HUBER+SUHNER to participate in additional projects in this market and continue the success story of the LC connector.