Kit configuration starts with our marketing department, our staff of engineers and our sales team. Usually it’s the sales team up first explaining the need for a kit for a specific customer or they had an inspiration or a germ of an idea from a tech in the field saying he wished he had a selection of tools in an all-in-one kit. Ideas can originate just about anywhere. All suggestions are evaluated, and one of the first questions posed is there a market for this kit and will anyone care (translation, will anyone buy it)?
Kevin Costner starred in the movie, Field of Dreams. And a voice over kept saying, “if you build it they will come.” We ask, if you build it will the customers come. In the case of fiber prep tools and the need for a kit our marketing department conducted extensive research and found such a need, and with the breadth of line, fiber-mart Tools was positioned to fill it.
Because fiber is ubiquitous and more and more is being installed every day, the need for the proper tools for installation and maintenance continues to grow; therefore, the need for fiber prep tools continues to grow. So, the question then becomes, what goes into a fiber prep kit?
fiber-mart Tools has a number of Fiber Prep Kits in the line including the TK-120 Fiber Prep Kit and the TK-150 Fiber Prep Kit with Connector Cleaner, Fiber Cleaver & Visual Fault Locator. The TK-150 features all of the same tools as the TK-120 plus the VFL-150 Visual Fault Locator, FCC-250 Fiber Connector Cleaner and the FC-220 Fiber Cleaver. These kits have been on the market for a little over a year and can already be found in use around the world. But who decided what to put in the kits and how was that decision made?
Looking at the tools contained in the TK-120 and the function of each explains how and why they were chosen. To start there are three cable stripping tools, the CST-1900 Round Cable Stripper, CSR-1575 Cable Strip & Ring Tool, and the FOD-2000 Fiber Optic Drop Cable Slitter. These tools allow you to open cable jackets and buffer tubes to gain access to the fiber.
Along the same line is the MS-6 Mid Span Slitter. This patent pending tool allows the tech to gain access to a fiber mid span for either a repair or connectorizing a fiber.
Every kit needs a fiber stripper and fiber-mart Tools manufactures the JIC-375 Fiber Optic Stripper Three Hole…THE tool for stripping fiber optic cable. And if you are exposing the inner workings of the cable you are bound to encounter Kevlar – a very tough material. A standard scissor would last a week before breaking so you need the JIC-186 Ergonomic Fiber Optic Kevlar Cutter…a tough resilient scissor specifically designed to deal with materials as tough as Kevlar.
Rounding out the kit you need a flashlight like the FL-2000, a screwdriver like the SD-61 Multi Bit Screwdriver for opening panel boxes, FW-5 fiber wipes for cleaning the fiber and a couple of pliers. We included the JIC-2288 Diagonal Cutter Pliers for use as the name implies – for cutting cables, and the JIC-842 Telecom Long Nose Pliers for grabbing or pulling cables. Now add the rugged H-90 21 Pocket Tool Case and you have the perfect kit…and that is the genesis of the fiber Prep kit.