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Increase Efficiency in Fiber Installs with Miniflex® Microduct Rodder

Posted by Quan Lu

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When it comes to today’s technology, technicians are focused on two main features: efficiency and reliability. As demands for higher bandwidth and faster connection speeds rise across the globe, so does the need for rapid fiber optic cable and microduct installations.

Since the pressure is on for broadband service providers to keep up with these ever-growing demands, they’re looking at ways to improve efficiencies. Microduct and fiber cable installations are not just labor-intensive and time-consuming, but also prone to costly errors. To allow for a smoother, time- and cost-effective cable installation, key cabling equipment like a microduct rodder comes into play, featuring high functionality, resilience, and adaptability.

5 key skills for successful and safe fiber installations

 

Time and Cost Savings as a Result of Multifunctional Features

 

A microduct rodder is an important piece of equipment used in underground fiber cable installations. It can be used for various purposes from cleaning and locating paths, pulling cables and threading lines, to identifying duct obstructions.

The first step operators take when installing underground cable is burying microduct. Then, up to a few months after, they return to install fiber cables into these ducts. It’s nearly unavoidable for installers to run into complications during the process, such as blockages and kinks in the microduct caused by soil, dirt, and rocks over time. As a result of this, the fiber installation process can become time-consuming, wasteful, and costly.

To resolve these issues and to increase efficiency, a rodder, such as the Miniflex® microduct rodder, can be used to run through the duct from one end to the other prior to installing the fiber cable. When a blockage is encountered, the rodder can push these obstructions out of the duct.

If clearing the obstruction is not possible, the Miniflex rodder features an incremental length indication printed on the jacket, which assists operators in locating obstacles for a quicker repair. Installers can push the end of the duct rodder into the microduct until the damaged area is reached and use the printed incremental length indication to locate the blockage.

Once installers locate the section of damaged microduct, they can repair it using duct couplers and a short length of a new microduct. Once the rodder is successfully pushed through, fiber cables are ready to be installed by pushing, pulling, or blowing.

 

High Resiliency to Withstand Harsh Environments

trench-diggin_blogThe Miniflex Microduct Rodder was designed directly from customer feedback to address the difficulties faced during a cable installation. PPC found that installers will bury the microduct and often use fiber cable to test or clean pathways, instead of a rodder. Fiber cables are not as robust when faced with debris and kinks, and after an extended period of use, they can become damaged and must be discarded. This was shown to increase installation time and was costly in the long run, so demands for a stronger and higher quality solution surfaced.

With durability in mind, the Miniflex Microduct Rodder was designed to withstand all environmental conditions for underground or in-wall applications. With the highest quality materials, ranging from PBT Miniflex to Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Rod, the rodder will not break in cold conditions, nor lose its tensile strength in hot temperatures. These materials ensure protection from UV radiation, harsh environments, and are resistant to corrosive materials.

 

High Adaptability and Usability

The Miniflex Microduct Rodder was manufactured to reduce the difficulties faced during a fiber cable installation, and one key feature that simplifies installation is its revolving cannister. Unique from traditional designs, the microduct rodder cannister has a center axis point that dispenses the Miniflex rodder quickly and easily via single-handed operation.

Furthermore, a simple pulling eyelet is permanently mounted on the 4.3mm leading edge for easier movement in fiber microducts as small as 8mm diameter.

Installers must often transport a substantial amount of equipment to the job site, so the rodder was designed to be lightweight and is equipped with a convenient carrying handle for easy maneuverability from one site to another.

With rising demand for faster and better service, operators are installing fiber cables at a higher rate, and finding a solution to help ensure the installation is quick, easy, and cost-effective is vital. Thanks to products like the Miniflex Microduct Rodder, time, money, and energy is saved, enabling a seemingly effortless fiber cable installation.

 

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