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PROFILE MICROCARE


The clean team: MicroCare employs about 100 people Jones noted that there is a certain amount of


cross-pollination between the sectors, with many of the company’s electronics customers beginning to enquire about how best to clean the fibre-optic transceivers being added onto circuit boards. Fibre itself is also becoming ubiquitous within the medical field, especially with regards to medical imaging as large data files move from an MRI or CAT scanner, for example, to a computer system. ‘It is fascinating to see,’ he observed. ‘From the


perspective of the electronics world it’s a computer; telecoms professionals see it another photon coming down the fibre; but to the medical doctor it’s an image of liver that represents a breakthrough in diagnostics and treatments. It all adds to the growing market for fibre.’ Jones believes that there is incredible potential


within the fibre-optics industry, given that cleaning is a necessity. And, as speeds continue to increase, cleaning will become even more important as the faster the fibre, the smaller the particle that can take it down. ‘Te demand for mobile computing, for


example, is almost infinite, and fibre is the only technology that makes this digital world we’re growing into possible,’ he said. ‘Companies that are putting in this fibre connectivity are learning pretty quickly that if they want their customers to have smooth and speedy video on demand, or consistent mobile data, then the fibre absolutely needs to be clean – it simply won’t work any other way.’


In the beginning Looking back across the product line, Sticklers originally began with a number of chemicals and blends specifically designed to clean fibre-optic terminations. Aſter listening to customer feedback, these blends were reformulated and the resulting solvent is unique in that – thanks to its non-hazardous and non-flammable formula – it is safe to use and store, and can be shipped globally without restriction. ‘Sticklers – and indeed all of MicroCare – is


devoted to developing comprehensive answers for critical cleaning applications, whatever those


If customers want to make it, then we’ll find a way to clean it


requirements may be,’ explained Wells. ‘For example, companies that clean fibre oſten deal with a variety of connectors, and those connectors could be in remote locations all over the world. We realised that providing just a cleaning solution or just a cleaning tool wasn’t enough; we had to deliver a full and comprehensive package of convenient, consistent and reliable fibre-optic cleaning tools that could be guaranteed to reach any project.’ He continued: ‘Tat’s been a difficult road. Our


research and development teams have been pushed to the limit but the result has been worth it. We now have a unique cleaning fluid that can be taken straight through airport security. We can clean any size and configuration of connector. And we can do all this at the lowest cost per connector.’ In addition to the cleaning fluid, the packaging


Sticklers CleanStixx EB cleaning tools (left). The close-up image shows the blunt end of the traditional cleaning stick (right) compared to the new Sticklers CleanStixx EB cleaning tool with the ‘ears’ that wrap around the expanded beam lens to clean it (far right)


itself is also the result of careful consideration. Te patented three-way dispensing top, which allows the user to select spray, dampening or wetting modes, is the only one of its kind on the market, the company claims. Sticklers offers the only cleaning tools for expanded beam connectors. Te Sticklers CleanWipes use the packaging of the wipe to eliminate static on the end-face, another first for the fibre industry. Tese small, innovative changes can have a disproportionately large impact for network operators, by improving


Issue 9 • Autumn 2015 FIBRE SYSTEMS 11


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