A major optical system manufacturer has stated that more than 30% of the optical boards returned from the field were found to only have contaminated optical ports. No other problem was found. Proper cleaning would have saved time and money.
Your choice is simple: you either can clean properly when you install the system, or you can go back (again and again) and troubleshoot the network until the problem is found and fixed. This is particularly true for the new, high-speed fibre optic networks operating above 600mHz. The specific problems include:
• Initial Cleaning. If a connector is not cleaned properly initially, the odds are that insertion loss will increase or back reflection will increase, or both. In this case the network will suffer performance problems immediately, and the problems will exacerbate when the network speeds increase.
• Reconfigurations. If network components are reconfigured without following proper cleaning procedures, it is very likely that clean connectors will be contaminated by dirty connectors. Performance problems will result, especially if the reason for the reconfiguration was to boost network speeds.
• Troubleshooting. If a network is disrupted for testing or upgrades, and proper cleaning is not performed, then once again the signal will be degraded and problems will be encountered when the network is brought back on-line.
The bottom line is this: Cleaning must be a priority for all personnel who come in contact with an optical network. If you don't clean properly, you're going to spend MORE money trouble-shooting the network and re-working the connectors.
Do it right the first time. Clean EVERY connector, every time you touch it.
Please note over the next months the cleaning products will be re-name branded to Sticklers.