PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP1181606 03.01.2008
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001181606
Titel FASERZUFUHRVORRICHTUNG
Anmelder Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ), Stockholm, SE
Erfinder BERGQVIST, Erik, S-820 70 Bergsjö, SE;
OLSSON, Bertil, S-820 64 Näsviken, SE
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 60037187
Vertragsstaaten DE, FR, GB
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 18.02.2000
EP-Aktenzeichen 009098674
WO-Anmeldetag 18.02.2000
PCT-Aktenzeichen PCT/SE00/00332
WO-Veröffentlichungsnummer 2000050947
WO-Veröffentlichungsdatum 31.08.2000
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 27.02.2002
EP date of grant 21.11.2007
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 03.01.2008
IPC-Hauptklasse G02B 6/52(2006.01)A, F, I, 20051017, B, H, EP

Beschreibung[en]
FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a fibre feeding device for feeding optical fibres into a tubular element or into some corresponding element, either singly, loosely or closely connected together, the latter being preferred.

DESCRIPTION OF THE BACKGROUND ART

It is known to install optical fibres by means of a blowing technique. In order to allow an optical fibre or several optical fibres contained in an optical fibre ribbon to be blown into a tubular element, duct, or the like, it is essential that the friction between the optical fibre or fibre ribbon and the inner surface of the tubular element is very low, that the presence of static electricity is negligible, and that the air resistance is sufficiently large to enable the optical fibre(s) or fibre ribbon to be advanced even at moderate air propulsion speeds. Hitherto, the solution to this problem has been achieved by applying to the optical fibre(s) 1 or to the optical fibre ribbon a diameter-increasing layer 2 that includes friction reducing material. In the case of mutually combined or closely connected optical fibres 3, 4, several of these fibre combinations have been orientated in a rotationally symmetric bundle so as to have the same flexural resistance in all planes, and have been provided with a diameter-increasing layer 5, 6 of glass beads, for instance. In order to be able to use optical fibre ribbon techniques 7-9 and utilise the advantages that this would afford in respect of welding and the establishment of electrical contacts without requiring additional material for rounding the cross-section of the ribbon, and for reducing friction and increasing air resistance, a thin Kevlar® wire or filament 10 may be wound around the optical fibre ribbon.

This wire can be readily removed at the ends of the optical fibres at a later time, when the ends are to be welded or when electrical connections shall be established. See Figures 1A-G.

When an optical fibre 11 or an optical fibre ribbon shall be fed into a tubular element, e.g. ducting, with the aid of compressed air, the optical fibre or ribbon is fed by an optical fibre feeding device into a pressurised space 12 that is connected to the tubular element into which the optical fibre shall be blown. In so doing, it is necessary to apply some form of force that will overcome the backward ejection force acting on the optical fibre in a direction opposite to the feed direction. This has been achieved in the case of several systems, by allowing the optical fibre 11 to pass between two feed rollers 14, 15 that have a soft surface coating. These rollers or wheels may be electrically operated, although they may also conceivably be operated by the compressed air used to propel the optical fibre, so as not to damage the fibre should it be prevented from moving along the duct for some reason or other. A pressure sensor 16 may be provided in the space 12 so as to detect any pressure changes that would result from forward movement of the fibre through the duct being prevented. An optical fibre feeding device designed to operate in accordance with this fibre feeding technique would be relatively complicated and would also require the supply of electrical energy in addition to the compressed air supply for propelling the optical fibre. See Figure 2.

The aforesaid backward ejection force in the duct can be partially overcome with the aid of an ejector effect generated by the compressed air 17 supplied, by allowing a leakage flow 18 to pass through an optical fibre blow pipe 19 that is designed to function as a Venturi tube, where the air velocity is high and the pressure is low. The blow pipe may be provided with adjustable outler valves 20 on the downstream side, for controlling the leakage flow. In this way, the optical fibre or fibre ribbon is subjected to an additional propulsion force when introduced into the blow pipe. The leakage flow results in a lower pressure in the blow pipe, a factor wihch may allow the blow length to be reduced. See Figure 3.

The patent application GB-A-2 207 562 discloses a device for blowing an optical fibre into a duct. The device has a housing for connection to the duct and a sleeve joined to the housing. The sleeve has a throughbore for a core, and a passage for the optical fibre is formed between the core and the throughbore inside. The housing has an inlet for injected air and the sleeve has a flexible membrane forming a non-return valve for the injected air, preventing it from flowing backwards in the device along the fibre. The sleeve and the housing can be divided into two parts along the directions of their lengths. The device can thereby easily be removed from the optical fibre.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

With the intention of simplifying handling of an optical fibre feeding device that includes a blowing passage for feeding one or more optical fibres into a tubular element, duct or the like, the blow passage can be opened to allow different types of optical fibres to be fed thereinto. The present invention provides an optical fibre feeding device according to claims 1 and 2. Holes for delivering and removing compressed air used to propel the optical fibre(s) are provided in the bottom surface of the channel in close proximity to its respective rear and front edges. With an optical fibre placed in the groove and with the bar placed in the channel in the body of said device, the optical fibre will be propelled forwards when compressed air is delivered through the holes at the rear edge of the channel, by virtue of the blow passage functioning in the manner of a Venturi tube, wherewith a small leakage flow in the blow passage will cause transportation of the optical fibre through the fibre feeding device and into a blow pipe through the medium of an ejector effect. Because the bar is removable and is provided with grooves of mutually different sizes, or there are different bars with grooves of different cross-sections, the fibre feeding device can be used for different types of optical fibres and also enables optical fibres that have already been connected electrically to be fed into the tubular element or duct. The blow passages may be given a rectangular cross-section, so as to enable a non-rounded optical fibre ribbon to be blown into the tubular element or duct by means of the fibre feeding device.

The invention will now be described in more detail with reference to a preferred embodiment thereof and also with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

  • Figures 1A-G illustrate conventional optical fibres whose surfaces include friction reducing means and/or air resistance increasing means, and an encased optical fibre ribbon.
  • Figure 2 illustrates an optical fibre feeding device.
  • Figure 3 illustrates the principle of advancing optical fibres with the aid of a Venturi technique.
  • Figures 4A-C illustrate an inventive optical fibre feeding device, including two cross-sectional views.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Figures 4A-C illustrate schematically an inventive optical fibre feeding device 21 that includes a removable bar 22 for in-feeding different types of optical fibre ribbons 23, The device includes an adjustable compressed-air connection 24 in the form of a pistol grip which is connected to one end of the fibre feeding device. This compressed air connection enables compressed air to be delivered to one or more holes 25 at one end of the bottom surface of a channel 26 in the feed device. One or more holes 27, which may optionally be adjustable, are provided at the other end of said channel and connected with a region outside said device for evacuating air therefrom. The bar 22 has an essentially square cross-sectional shape and can be inserted into the channel 26 in the body 28 of said device and includes on at least one long side a groove 29 which is intended to function as a blow passage for an inserted optical fibre when the bar is placed in the body of said device. In this regard, the cross-section of the blow passage 29 is adapted to fit a specific optical fibre or optical fibre ribbon for advancement of the fibre or ribbon with the bar placed in said body. The upper side of the body 28 includes threaded holes 30, 31 which coact with at least two tightening screws 32, 33 for securing the bar 22 in the channel 26. The screws enable the position of the bar in the body to be adjusted, i.e. the blow passage can be opened for insertion of an optical fibre ribbon or closed for forward feeding of said ribbon. In the illustrated case, the device includes a spring 34 positioned between bar and body for simplifying handling of the optical fibre, by enabling the bar to be lifted away from its abutment surface with a spring force and an optical fibre to be easily removed from or placed into the blow passage. An optical fibre blow pipe 35 can then be readily connected to the fibre feeding device, by clamping the pipe firmly between the body 28 and the bar 22. Bars that include grooves for blow passages of mutually different cross-sections can be used with one and the same body, thereby enabling ribbons/cables of mutually different cross-sections to be fed into the tubular element/duct by means of the inventive device.

The installation of optical fibres can be further simplified by providing the fibre feeding device with a simple holding means in the form of a collapsible arm 36 for supporting a drum 37 or the like on which optical fibres have been wound. When an inventive optical fibre feeding device is connected to a drum that carries optical fibres, optical fibres can easily be installed by one single person. The inventive fibre feeding device also enables optical fibre cables that have already been connected electrically to be fed into a tubular element/duct in predetermined lengths, whereby the bar is raised to expose the blow passage when the electrical connection is located on the front end of the cable. When the electrical connection is located on the rear end of the cable, this end of the cable can be supported by the drum together with an optical fibre cable/ribbon of given length. When the optical fibre cable has been fed into the blow pipe, there is immediately obtained an established optical fibre connection that can be connected directly to an existing outlet, such as a wall outlet in a living space.

The arm 36 holding the drum 37 may be provided with a recording device 38 which records the length of optical fibre that has been blown into the duct. The device 38 may, for instance, function to optically register a mark on one side of the drum so as to determine the number of revolutions of the drum when taking optical fibre therefrom and thereby the length of optical fibre unwound from the drum. The arm may also carry a compressed air-driven brake means 39 which functions to stop the drum should feeding of the optical fibre be stopped for some reason or other. The brake means may be activated in response to a pressure change occurring in the blow passage when the optical fibre is unable to move forwards.

It will be understood that the invention is not restricted to the aforedescribed and illustrated exemplifying embodiments thereof and that modifications can be made within the scope of the accompanying Claims.


Anspruch[de]
Vorrichtung zur Zuführung von Glasfasern in ein röhrenförmiges Element, einen Kabelkanal oder ähnliches, umfassend einen pressluftbetriebenen Zuführer (21), in welchem eine Glasfaser (23) mit Hilfe der komprimierten Luft befördert wird, die einem Strömungsdurchgang in dem Zuführer zugeführt wird, in welchem die Glasfaser angeordnet ist, wobei die Vorrichtung eine Schiene (22) enthält, die in einen Kanal (26) in einem Körper (28) der Vorrichtung eingeführt und befestigt werden kann, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Schiene (22) eine Nut (29) auf jeder von zwei ihrer langen Seiten aufweist, wobei die Nut als Strömungsdurchgang in Verbindung mit einer Wand des Kanals (26) fungiert, wenn die Schiene in dem Körper der Vorrichtung angebracht ist, dass der Kanal Löcher (25, 27) für die jeweilige Zuführung und Entfernung der komprimierten Luft enthält, und dass der Strömungsdurchgang eine Querschnittsgestalt aufweist, die an eine gegebene Art einer Glasfaser oder eines Faserbands derart angepasst ist, dass Glasfasern von gegenseitig unterschiedlichen Querschnitten in das röhrenförmige Element mit Hilfe ein und derselben Glasfaserzuführungsvorrichtung in Abhängigkeit der Einstellung der Schiene (22) eingeführt werden können. Vorrichtung zur Zuführung einer Glasfaser in ein röhrenförmiges Element, einen Kanal oder ähnliches, umfassend einen pressluftbetriebenen Zuführer (21), in welchem eine Glasfaser (23) mit der Hilfe der komprimierten Luft befördert wird, die einem Strömungsdurchgang in dem Zuführer zugeführt wird, in welchem die Glasfaser angeordnet ist, wobei die Vorrichtung weiter umfasst: wenigstens zwei Schienen (22), die wahlweise einzeln in einen Kanal (26) in einem Körper (28) der Vorrichtung eingeführt und befestigt werden können, wobei jede der Schienen (22) an wenigstens einer langen Seite eine Nut (29) aufweist, wobei die Nut als ein Strömungsdurchgang in Kombination mit einer Wand des Kanals (26) fungiert, wenn eine ausgewählte Schiene in dem Körper der Vorrichtung angebracht ist, wobei der Kanal Löcher (25, 27) zur jeweiligen Zuführung und Entfernung der komprimierten Luft enthält, wobei der Strömungsdurchgang der ausgewählten Schiene eine Querschnittsgestalt aufweist, die an eine gegebene Art von Glasfasern oder Glasfaserbändern derart angepasst ist, dass Glasfasern mit gegenseitig verschiedenen Querschnitten in das röhrenförmige Element mit Hilfe ein und derselben Glasfaserzuführungsvorrichtung, in Abhängigkeit der Wahl der Schiene (22), eingeführt werden können. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Schiene oder die Schienen (22) einen allgemein rechteckigen Querschnitt aufweist/aufweisen. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Körper (28) der Vorrichtung Mittel (30-33) zum Lösen und Befestigen der Schiene oder der Schienen enthält. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass ein Federmechanismus (34) zwischen dem Körper (28) und der Schiene oder den Schienen (22) angeordnet ist, um die Schiene oder die Schienen von ihrer befestigten Position zu lösen. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass eine Glasfaser tragende Trommel (37) mit der Zuführungsvorrichtung mittels eines Arms (36) verbunden ist, womit Glasfasern, die auf die Trommel gewickelt sind, direkt der Faserzuführungsvorrichtung zugeführt werden können. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 6, gekennzeichnet durch Mittel (38), zur Aufzeichnung einer Rotationsbewegung der Trommel (37), um zu ermöglichen, dass die Anzahl der Glasfaserumdrehungen, die von der Trommel abgewickelt sind, aufgezeichnet werden. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 6, gekennzeichnet durch Bremsmittel (39), um die Rotation der Trommel (37) zu stoppen. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 8, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Bremsmittel (39) durch komprimierte Luft angetrieben werden und steuerbar sind, so dass eine Rotation der Trommel (37) als Antwort auf eine Druckänderung in dem Strömungsdurchgang (29) gestoppt werden kann.
Anspruch[en]
A device for feeding optical fibres into a tubular element, duct, or the like, comprising a compressed air-operated feeder (21) in which an optical fibre (23) is advanced with the aid of the compressed air delivered to a blow passage in the feeder in which the optical fibre is located, the device including a bar (22) which can be inserted into and fixed in a channel (26) in a body (28) of said device, characterised in that the bar (22) has a groove on each of two of its long sides (29), said groove functioning as the blow passage in combination with a wall of the channel (26) when the bar is placed in the body of the device, and in that said channel includes holes (25, 27) for respectively, the delivery and removal of the compressed air, and in that the blow passage has a cross-sectional shape that is adapted to a given type of optical fibre or fibre ribbon, such that optical fibres of mutually different cross-sections can be fed into said tubular element with the aid of one and the same optical fibre feeding device, depending on the setting of the bar (22). A device for feeding optical fibres into a tubular element, duct, or the like, comprising a compressed air-operated feeder (21) in which an optical fibre (23) is advanced with the aid of the compressed air delivered to a blow passage in the feeder in which the optical fibre is located, the device further comprising at least two bars (22) which can each be selectively separately inserted into and fixed in a channel (26) in a body (28) of said device, each of the bars (22) having on at least one long side a groove (29), said groove functioning as the blow passage in combination with a wall of the channel (26) when a selected bar is placed in the body of the device, and in that said channel includes holes (25, 27) for, respectively, the delivery and removal of the compressed air, and in that the blow passage of said selected bar has a cross-sectional shape that is adapted to a given type of optical fibre or fibre ribbon, such that optical fibres of mutually different cross-sections can be fed into said tubular element with the aid of one and the same optical fibre feeding device, depending on the selection of the bar (22). A device according to Claim 1 or 2, characterised in that said bar or bars (22) has or have a generally square cross-section. A device according to Claim 1 or 2, characterised in that the body (28) of said device includes means (30-33) for releasing and fixing said bar or bars. A device according to Claim 1 or 2, characterised by a spring mechanism (34) disposed between said body (28) and said bar or bars (22) for releasing said bar or bars from its fixed position. A device according to Claim 1 or 2, characterised by an optical fibre carrying drum (37) which is connected to the feed device by means of an arm (36), wherewith optical fibre coiled on the drum can be delivered directly to the fibre feeding device. A device according to Claim 6, characterised by means (38) for recording rotational movement of the drum (37), so as to enable the number of optical fibre turns unwound from the drum to be recorded. A device according to Claim 6, characterised by brake means (39) for stopping rotation of the drum (37). A device according to Claim 8, characterised in that said brake means (39) is driven by compressed air and controllable, so that rotation of the drum (37) can be stopped in response to pressure changes in the blow passage (29).
Anspruch[fr]
Dispositif d'avance de fibres optiques dans un élément tubulaire, conduit, ou autre, comprenant un élément d'avance actionné par air comprimé (21) dans lequel une fibre optique (23) est avancée à l'aide de l'air comprimé délivré à un passage de soufflage dans l'élément d'avance dans lequel la fibre optique est située, le dispositif comprenant une barre (22) qui peut être insérée dans un canal (26) et fixée dans celui-ci dans un corps (28) dudit dispositif, caractérisé en ce que la barre (22) comporte une gorge (29) sur chacun de deux de ses côtés en longueur, ladite gorge fonctionnant en tant que passage de soufflage en combinaison avec une paroi du canal (26) lorsque la barre est placée dans le corps du dispositif, en ce que ledit canal comprend des trous (25, 27) pour respectivement la délivrance et l'élimination de l'air comprimé, et en ce que le passage de soufflage présente une forme en section transversale qui est adaptée à un type donné de fibre optique ou de ruban de fibres, de sorte que des fibres optiques de sections transversales mutuellement différentes puissent être avancées dans ledit élément tubulaire à l'aide d'un seul et même dispositif d'avance de fibres optiques, en fonction du réglage de la barre (22). Dispositif d'avance de fibres optiques dans un élément tubulaire, un conduit, ou autre, comprenant un élément d'avance actionné par air comprimé (21) dans lequel une fibre optique (23) est avancée à l'aide de l'air comprimé délivré à un passage de soufflage dans l'élément d'avance dans lequel la fibre optique est située, le dispositif comprenant en outre au moins deux barres (22) qui peuvent chacune être insérées de manière sélective et séparée dans un canal (26) et fixées dans celui-ci dans un corps (28) dudit dispositif, chacune des barres (22) comportant sur au moins un côté en longueur une gorge (29), ladite gorge fonctionnant en tant que passage de soufflage en combinaison avec une paroi du canal (26) lorsque la barre sélectionnée est placée dans le corps du dispositif, en ce que ledit canal comprend des trous (25, 27) pour, respectivement la délivrance et l'élimination de l'air comprimé, et en ce que le passage de soufflage de ladite barre sélectionnée présente une forme en section transversale qui est conçue pour un type donné de fibre optique ou de ruban de fibres, de sorte que des fibres optiques de sections transversales mutuellement différentes puissent être avancées dans ledit élément tubulaire à l'aide d'un seul et même dispositif d'avance de fibres optiques, en fonction de la sélection de la barre (22). Dispositif selon la revendication 1 ou 2, caractérisé en ce que ladite barre ou lesdites barres (22) présente ou présentent une section transversale généralement carrée. Dispositif selon la revendication 1 ou 2, caractérisé en ce que le corps (28) dudit dispositif comprend un moyen (30 à 33) destiné à libérer et à fixer ladite barre ou lesdites barres. Dispositif selon la revendication 1 ou 2, caractérisé par un mécanisme de ressort (34) disposé entre ledit corps (28) et ladite barre ou lesdites barres (22) pour libérer ladite barre ou lesdites barres de sa position fixe. Dispositif selon la revendication 1 ou 2, caractérisé par un tambour de support de fibres optiques (37) qui est connecté au dispositif d'avance au moyen d'un bras (36), avec lequel la fibre optique enroulée sur le tambour peut être délivrée directement au dispositif d'avance de fibres. Dispositif selon la revendication 6, caractérisé par un moyen (38) destiné à enregistrer un mouvement de rotation du tambour (37), de manière à permettre au nombre de tours de fibres optiques déroulés à partir du tambour d'être enregistré. Dispositif selon la revendication 6, caractérisé par un moyen de freinage (39) destiné à arrêter la rotation du tambour (37). Dispositif selon la revendication 8, caractérisé en ce que ledit moyen de freinage (39) est commandé par de l'air comprimé et peut être commandé, de sorte que la rotation du tambour (37) puisse être arrêtée en réponse à des changements de pression dans le passage de soufflage (29).






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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