Now Introducing Fiber Optic Options

Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 in UEA Blog

As you may already know, UEA specializes in the transfer of electricity, fluid, and data through a rotary connection.  We have a long history providing unique and customized engineering solutions for various environments using our slip ring and hydraulic swivel technologies.  It is exciting, therefore, to announce that UEA has added a new technology to the mix: fiber optics.

In the past, UEA has typically provided data transfer via electrical connections but recently begun working with Fiber Optic Rotary Joint (FORJ) suppliers to incorporate fiber optics into our designs.  This allows customers to make use of all the advantages fiber optics has over typical bundled copper systems such as:

Speed: In a slip ring assembly, due to resistance and EM interference issues, data transfer is usually limited to below 50 Mbps while a typical multimode optical fiber can be expected to transmit at up to 10 Gbps.
Space: Because optical fiber strands are thinner than copper cabling strands, more wires can be bundled together in the same area.
Bandwidth: Fiber optic cables can deliver higher bandwidth. Over 100M, a multi-mode fiber cable can relay 1000MHz whereas a typical Cat 6a cable, for example, can only relay 600MHz.
Interference: Fiber optic signals are not affected by crosstalk from nearby cables and circuits.
Wear: FORJ unit requires no maintenance, does not wear in any significant way, and can be easily replaced.
Safety: Fiber optic cables do not spark and have high electrical resistance for use near high voltage circuits.
Security: Optical fiber is extremely difficult to be tapped into without authorization.

If you think that your rotary application would be improved with the addition of fiber optics, our engineering team will be happy to work with you to incorporate a FORJ unit.

For more information on data transfer in slip rings, visit our blog for additional articles.

Andrew Mills
Application Design Engineer