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Overview:

AFE’s industry leading experience and capabilities have been applied to some very unique and market leading technologies. This case study demonstrates how AFE spans the development lifecycle from initial consultation through to qualification and prototyping.

 

A customer came to AFE with a set of very high level requirements that were still being thought through. In addition, they were at the conceptual stages of a new development using unusual materials for harsh environment sensing and required some assistance with the optical system. Initially the challenge was to develop a set of fibreoptic products against wavelengths, drive current and output powers to precisely fit into a specific package space.
AFE consulted with the customers Global Optics Group to help clarify the challenge and define a set of requirements. AFE then determined a range of devices which ensured the overall size of the installation could be reduced whilst maintaining performance. These initial products were manufactured, aligned and qualified in AFE’s environmental chambers (temperature cycling), before being sent for demonstration purposes at the customer.

Working with the UK mechanical design team, AFE helped in the design of the flexible connection system to ensure the packaging of the fibre. In order to achieve the fibre length constraints of the coupled assemblies and the processing of the fibre, AFE’s fibre termination and polishing processes required re-engineering to ensure acceptance of the unique components and repeatability in production. AFE designed and manufactured all the additional tooling required to process the prototype.

After testing with 3 different devices AFE have produced a product which achieves the required output power at the required drive current across the temperature range (+25°C to +150°C). It is also smaller than the customers’ first concept prototype which AFE were not involved with.

This was the initial requirement and AFE are now responsible for the entire optical system in this product which, is at the forefront of harsh environment sensing.

 

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