A large electronics company in Anaheim, California has switched to Sticklers™ fiber optic cleaners for the maintenance of their high-end industrial audio and visual equipment (A/V equipment). These cleaning tools made a big improvement in product quality and employee productivity.
This company provides industrial-quality A/V equipment to corporations, government agencies and universities. Many modern A/V systems feature fiber optic connectivity to maximize throughput of video feeds and multi-user connectivity. The company cleans both brand-new units and those being returned for maintenance and repair.
However, cleaning all the connections and patch cords became a time-consuming problem as both their sales volume grew and their product line expanded.
Upgrading Their Cleaning Process: Early on, the company was using inexpensive paper wipes and old-style alcohol if and when they cleaned their connectors; there was no formal process for cleaning.
One of the manufacturing managers discovered the Sticklers fiber optic cleaning tools. They selected three products to clean cables in the high-volume production zones: the Sticklers CleanStixx™ cleaning sticks, the Sticklers Clean Wipes and the Sticklers fiber optic splice and connector cleaning fluid.
In general, the company found using these tools worked brilliantly. However, employee productivity was still a problem simply due to the huge volume of connectors that needed to be cleaned.
Keith Sanducci, Western Coast Regional Manager, visited the company with the local distributor, to offer support and counsel on this critical application.
“I demonstrated substantial improvements with the Sticklers products,” Mr. Sanducci reported. “But even more usefully, I was able to speed things up by introducing the CleanClicker™ push-to-clean tool, which saved a lot of time.”
Clean and Inspect, Every Time:
After several visits the emphasis migrated from improved tools to the overall cleaning protocol. This focused on deploying an end-face inspection scope.
Fiber end-faces are so small the contamination is invisible to the naked eye. Even so, contamination can cause back-reflection and insertion loss. The inspection scope was an eye-opener for the client’s fiber team.
“We walked through the plant using the inspection scope and our cleaning tools on various cables and connectors,” Keith reports. “[The client’s] fiber optics team was convinced once they saw with their own eyes the difference before and after the cleaning with our CleanClicker tool.”
At this point, the client not only upgraded to the CleanClicker tools but they also invested in a fiber optic inspection scope. The customer estimates the CleanClicker tools have almost doubled hourly throughput. The client is convinced they are able to clean more cables more consistently, with a better process than ever before.
The client also has tested competing products but prefers the Sticklers choice because of (a) the quality of the cleaning, (b) the labor savings and (c) the lowest cost-per-cleaning.
“The client has noticed an important improvement in speed of cleaning and the quality of the results,” Mr. Sanducci added. “Before we arrived, they gave no real thought to fiber cleaning. Cleaning is now a priority and the Sticklers products are the preferred method. Sticklers products now are the specified cleaning process not only in Anaheim but globally, including locations in Asia and Europe.”