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January 2016

Press Contact:

Anne Meerboth-Maltz
Tel. (312) 781-5185
Fax (312) 781-5188
E-mail: ameerboth@mdna.com

Messe Düsseldorf North America
150 North Michigan Avenue
Suite 2920
Chicago, IL 60601

wire 2016 Specialist Article No.5

ICT systems: copper cables and fiber optics are indispensable for signal transmission

Ever since the 1980s the term “information society” has been more widely used. It includes the idea of a society which is based on information and communication technology (ICT) permeating every aspect of it. The last 25 years have seen unprecedented technical developments in many areas of our lives.

Whether directly or indirectly, the internet plays a major and decisive role. Large volumes of data and signals are transmitted over the internet at high speed and are processed by sophisticated ICT systems. They now allow the remote monitoring of machines and provide control over manufacturing processes – a development known as “Industry 4.0”.

But the internet also permits the efficient use of electricity from renewable energy sources, with “smart” solutions that help to control and channel the flow of electric power to wherever it is needed. A variety of different ICT systems interact with each other in traffic engineering. Such systems, however, can only function if signals – i.e. carriers of information – are transmitted. And signal transmission is handled either by metallic conductors, usually made from copper, or optical conductors – both products from the cable industry.

In copper conductors the electrical signals are transmitted via electrons, whereas in optical conductors – also known as fiber optics (FO) – this is done by light particles (i.e. photons). Optical conductors are made from quartz glass and a special transparent plastic. Optical cables can transmit more information than copper, have a significantly lower level of attenuation and are insensitive to external electromagnetic impact. By using different frequencies, it is possible to run several independent data channels on a single FO cable. Due to their specific physical properties, metallic and optical conductors each have their own areas of application. One industry that illustrates this point particularly well is automotive engineering. In recent years there has been an increasing trend of the two worlds – mobility and ICT – to merge and become networked.

More and more electronic systems are being installed in vehicles. They include engine and transmission control, control units for window regulators, central locking and other amenities as well as various safe driving systems and driver assistance systems. More and more vehicles now also have multimedia components and allow drivers and passengers to access and use the internet.

Today’s state-of-the-art high-end car has an on-board network consisting of more than 2,000 individual cables with a total length of over 2.2 miles. To save space and weight, cables need to decrease in size – a development which is leading to a growing demand for cables made from alternative materials, such as copper alloys. One important criterion for choosing a conductor material is the data transfer rate. Engine control, for instance, requires immediate transmission, while an air conditioning system does not need to respond to temperature changes in the car within fractions of a second. Whenever large data volumes are transmitted at high speed, often in real time, this is done via fiber optics.

The wire 2016 trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany

The latest equipment and technologies from the cable and wire sector, including metallic and optical conductors, will be highlighted at wire 2016, the leading international trade fair for the wire and cable industry. The concurrent staging of Tube 2016, International Pipe and Tube Trade Fair, will create valuable synergy effects for attendees. Both events will be held from April 4 – 8, 2016 in Düsseldorf, Germany.

For wire and Tube 2016 press information, contact:
Anne Meerboth-Maltz
E-mail: ameerboth@mdna.com
Tel. (312) 781-5185

Messe Dusseldorf North America Located at 150 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2920, Chicago, IL. Phone: 312-781-5180. .