Wirewerks recently introduced the NextSTEP Technology product line, a high-density fiber-management system that includes patch panels, slide-in modules, and cable-management accessories. In its maximum density configuration, the NextSTEP system manages up to 6000 fibers (3000 ports) in a standard 19-inch rack, “freeing up valuable floor space for other equipment and applications,” Wirewerks said. The company added that NextSTEP “solves the accessibility issues found in typical high-density systems by offering complete front and rear panel access along with NextSTEP features including stepped positioning for the modules with a panel and a unique magnetic cable management system.”
Six NextSTEP modules are currently available: a customizable patch module, an MPO adapter strip module, a distribution module, a splice tray module, a WDM module, and a blank adapter module. “Modules may be mixed in any combination in the panel and installed in as little as ten seconds without the need for specialized tools or training,” Wirewerks added. “All modules have integrated cable-management features, allowing technicians to work on a group of 12 fibers without disturbing other live fibers co-resident in the panel. All these features combine to reduce installation time and improve mean-time-to-repair (MTTR), while simultaneously increasing uptime and reducing costs.”
Jais Cohen, Wirewerks president, commented, “Wirewerks is proud to announce our NextSTEP technology, an adaptable and versatile high-density fiber-management system designed by our engineering team. We believe very strongly that NextSTEP will gain industry acceptance because of its versatility, allowing for front and rear access to the panel and for its unique magnetic CableTree cable management.”
Wirewerks explained that NextSTEP’s functionality is based on three enabling technologies: “stepped” shelf design, the common form-factor modules, and the trademarked CableTree cable-management components.
The stepped shelf design (pictured, top of page) “provides greatly improved accessibility even with the system’s industry-leading density factor,” the company said. “Greater accessibility along with super high-density means reduced floor-space requirements along with faster installs, moves/adds/changes and repairs—all contributing to reduced costs.”
The common form-factor modules (pictured below) “allow for mixed deployment in the same panel,” Wirewerks continued. “NextSTEP 1U and 4U patch panels accept up to 12 or 48 modules respectively, in any combination. Each patch or distribution module manages up to 12 fibers, or as many as 96 fibers in MPO adapter modules. The optical fiber splice tray module supports single or ribbon fiber splicing, with a capacity of up to 24 fibers and 2 bare fiber splitters per module.
The C/D-WDM module is available in 4-, 8-, and 10-channel configurations and features all-independent, complete front panel access for easy installation and maintenance. The blank adapter module reduces heat exchange between hot and cold aisles through the patch panel in data center applications and provides convenient storage space for small parts and accessories. NextSTEP solutions deliver the density and the flexibility customers need for scalability and versatility in today’s optical networks.”
CableTree cable management components “are reusable accessories that employ a unique magnetic mount to allow positioning or repositioning as often as required in NextSTEP patch panels,” WireWerks noted. “In addition to flexible positioning, CableTree mounts are specifically engineered to release if cable-tension exceeds threshold, protecting the fibers from strain-related damage during installation or maintenance routines.”
CableTree is a term trademarked by Wirewerks; the company also noted several patents are pending on NextSTEP components.
The technology’s scalability, ease-of-use and variety of slide-in modules make it suitable for essentially any passive optical network application, Wirewerks said, including data centers, enterprise LANs and broadband networks.
Inventory of NextSTEP technology is at Wirewerks authorized distributors in North America. The company also has implemented a next-day shipping program.
Tim Emoff, vice president of business development at TVC Canada, which is a division of WESCO Canada, commented, “NextSTEP technology reflects real innovation from the Wirewerks R&D group and they have made sure that quality, functionality and performance are built into every component of the system. We foresee broad appeal in the marketplace and real success for this product line.”