‘One Sterlite – One Specs’: Ensuring Product Consistency Across Borders

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We discuss the following topics in this blog:

  1. How does STL Maintain Consistency Across Multiple Facilities?
  2. How an Engineering Change Management Process Helped Assure Quality?

In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:

  1. What is WiFi?
  2. What is an Optical Fibre Cable?

How does STL Maintain Consistency Across Multiple Facilities?

Global data network solutions company Sterlite Tech stands amongst the largest integrated manufacturers of Optical Fibre (OF) in the world, with facilities in India, China, Italy and Brazil. The dynamic range of product offerings ensures a strong, fast and efficient network for clients, backed by next-gen software solutions.

As one might imagine, having facilities in multiple countries comes with its own set of challenges – consistency being a major one. Sterlite Tech recognizes this and seeks to proactively maintain consistency in quality. This philosophy has been termed: One Sterlite – One Specs.

The Transformation Team at Sterlite Tech worked on our highest selling optical fiber products, learning the best practices across India and China and replicating them across all plants to gain a global competitive advantage.

This is what Sanyam Jain of the Process Transformation Team had to say about the project:

“Internal Benchmarking has two parts: Specs Benchmarking and Measurement Benchmarking. A head-to-head spec comparison study informed us of what learnings to incorporate across borders. This was followed by Impact Analysis and Measurement Gap Analysis, which brought the best practices to all our manufacturing plants’’

How an Engineering Change Management Process Helped Assure Quality?

As a next step, with the help of Cross Functional Team, benchmarking activities were conducted in Indian and Chinese OF factories over a period of 5 months and the G.652.D product was made consistent and at par with sustainable quality standards. The resulting correction in quality enabled all factories to produce standardized product and sell to the global market.

The team also created an automated Engineering Change Management process, with an eye towards increasing efficiency. All engineers were trained to facilitate implementation.

The automation – which is set to be replicated in all other product factories – has cut down the approval time required for the process by 80%. These innovations have together led to a higher than before First Time Right (FTR) rate.

This is just another example of how Sterlite Tech continues to uphold its promise of delivering quality and consistency, by creating an environment of efficiency with next-gen solutions.

FAQS

What is WiFi?

Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.

To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).

What is an Optical Fibre Cable?

An optical fibre cable is a cable type that has a few to hundreds of optical fibres bundled together within a protective plastic coating. They help carry digital data in the form of light pulses across large distances at faster speeds. For this, they need to be installed or deployed either underground or aerially. Standalone fibres cannot be buried or hanged so fibres are bunched together as cables for the transmission of data.

This is done to protect the fibre from stress, moisture, temperature changes and other externalities. There are three main components of a optical fibre cable, core (It carries the light and is made of pure silicon dioxide (SiO2) with dopants such as germania, phosphorous pentoxide, or alumina to raise the refractive index; Typical glass cores range from as small as 3.7um up to 200um), Cladding (Cladding surrounds the core and has a lower refractive index than the core, it is also made from the same material as the core; 1% refractive index difference is maintained between the core and cladding; Two commonly used diameters are 125µm and 140µm) and Coating (Protective layer that absorbs shocks, physical damage and moisture; The outside diameter of the coating is typically either 250µm or 500µm; Commonly used material for coatings are acrylate,Silicone, carbon, and polyimide).

An optical fibre cable is made up of the following components: Optical fibres – ranging from one to many. Buffer tubes (with different settings), for protection and cushioning of the fibre. Water protection in the tubes – wet or dry. A central strength member (CSM) is the backbone of all cables. Armoured tapes for stranding to bunch the buffer tubes and strength members together. Sheathing or final covering to provide further protection.

The five main reasons that make this technology innovation disruptive are fast communication speed, infinite bandwidth & capacity, low interference, high tensile strength and secure communication. The major usescases of optical fibre cables include intenet connectivity, computer networking, surgery & dentistry, automotive industry, telephony, lighting & decorations, mechanical inspections, cable television, military applications and space.

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