R&M – R&M and US Conec announce Partnership to produce and deploy next-generation Connectors for Harsh Environments


Next partnership in the field of fiber optic connectors agreed: license agreement enables US Conec to manufacture and supply HEC connectors that are fully interoperable with the R&M format.



Fiber optic manufacturers Reichle & De-Massari (R&M) AG and US Conec Ltd. announce the execution of a definitive license agreement that enables US Conec to produce and supply Harsh Environment Connectors fully interoperable with R&M’s HEC-QR connector format.

The HEC-QR connector from R&M and the HEC-DC connector from US Conec encompass a next-generation family of connectors for harsh environments, supporting single fiber (SC), duplex (LC), and multi-fiber (MT) variants. The novel, 19mm circular housing format enables simple insertion and extraction in dense cabling environments via actuation by the strain relief boot. The IP 68-rated connector embodiment is compliant with the requirements of GR-3120 for single-fiber applications and GR-3152 for multi-fiber applications. The robust connector solution is ideal for applications requiring rugged optical connectivity such as fiber to the home, industrial, broadcast, and transportation.

R&M Executive Statement

Robert Merki, CTO R&M


R&M CTO Robert Merki comments: «The HEC-QR connector family offers the perfect combination of easy handling and robust performance. Together with US Conec, we will be able to offer solutions for harsh environment applications around the globe and set a new standard for pre-connectorized outdoor connectivity.» 


US Conec Executive Statement

Mike Hughes, Vice President US Conec


Mike Hughes, VP Product Management at US Conec, comments: «We are excited to build on our long-standing partnership with R&M by collaborating on the next generation of harsh environment connectivity by introducing HEC-DC solutions with DirectConect™ technology. R&M delivers proven, reliable Swiss precision craftsmanship for fiber optic connector technologies. The new platform’s simple push-on insertion and quick release extraction mechanism enables state-of-the-art, high-density optical connector functionality for harsh environment applications.»



EMR Analysis

More information on R&M: See the full profile on EMR Executive Services

More information on Michel Riva (Chief Executive Officer, R&M): See the full profile on EMR Executive Services

More information on Robert Merki (Chief Technology Officer, R&M): See the full profile on EMR Executive Services

More information on HEC-BR and HEC-QR by R&M: https://www.rdm.com/hec/ + Strong outdoor connectors that withstand extreme temperatures, vibrations, salt spray, dirt and moisture.

HEC stands for Harsh Environment Connector.

Both models are able to accommodate LC, SC and MPO connectors and are optimally protected against extreme environmental influences thanks to their housing design. The HEC housings are decoupled from the cable strain relief in the housing to protect the mated ferrules from temperature fluctuations, cable shrinkage and mechanical influences.

The HEC-BR features a bayonet coupling and a 32 mm diameter, while the HEC-QR has a quick-release mechanism and a 19 mm housing to allow higher packing density at the point of use. The push-twist-pull coupling on the HEC-QR prevents unintentional unlocking by operators, plants and animals by requiring a slight counterclockwise twist.


More information on US Conec: https://www.usconec.com/ + Established in 1992, US Conec is a leader in providing passive components for high density optical interconnects. The company was founded to expand the use of MT style multifiber technology through the design, manufacturing and sales of high precision fiber optic components. 

Today, US Conec brands span the globe, delivering cost effective technology solutions for data center and enterprise structured cabling, public networks, circuit board interconnect, and industrial and military markets worldwide.

US Conec shareholders are Corning Inc., Fujikura Ltd., and NTT Advanced Technology Corporation.

US Conec provides industry leading components that enable high bandwidth systems such as cloud computing, core routing, and distribution networks like fiber-to-the-home.

More information on Joe Graham (President and Chief Executive Officer, US Conec): https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-graham-41806759/ 

More information on Mike Hughes (Vice President, Product Management, US Conec): https://www.linkedin.com/in/mehughes-nc/ 




EMR Additional Notes: 

  • Optical Cable:
    • An optical cable transfers audio digitally, but instead of copper wire, light is used. This is a variation of fiber optics, which is used in a variety of applications.
    • The biggest difference between Optical Cables and HDMI is that HDMI can pass higher-resolution audio, including the formats found on Blu-ray: Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio. These formats can’t get transmitted across optical. In terms of simplicity, HDMI also passes video signals.


  • Types of Network Cabling:
    • Coaxial Cable:
      • Coaxial cables or coax, have a single copper conductor at the center, while a plastic layer provides insulation between the center conductor and braided metal shield. The metal shield blocks outside interference from fluorescent lights, motors, and other computers.
    • Twisted Pair:
      • Twisted pair uses copper wires that are, as the name suggests, twisted together in pairs. The twist effect of each pair in the cables ensures any interference presented or picked up on one cable is canceled by the cable’s partner that twists around the initial cable. Twisting the two wires also reduces the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the circuit.
        • Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) Cable:
          • In STP, copper wires are first covered by plastic insulation. A metal shield, which consists of metal foil or braid, surrounds the bundle of insulated pairs. Where electromagnetic radiation is a serious issue, each pair of wires may be individually shielded in addition to the outer shield. This is known as foil twisted pair (FTP).
        • Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cable:
          • UTP cables typically contain four pairs of copper wires, with each pair containing two wires twisted together. These pairs are covered by plastic insulation. They do not have any shielding and just have an outer jacket.
          • Most categories of twisted-pair cables are available as UTP. But some newer categories are also available in combinations of shielded, foil shielded and unshielded.
    • Fiber Optic Cable:
      • Fiber optic cables consist of a thin optical fiber surrounded by cladding. Cladding is made from glass that is less pure than the core and has a lower refractive index than the core. The difference in refractive indices causes light to be reflected at the boundary. Additional layers, such as the buffer layer and jacket layer, surround the cladding to add strength and protect the cable against damage.
      • Data rates have increased throughout the network, and in some cases, fiber optics is the only option. While Cat8 twisted-pair cables can carry up to 40 Gbps of data, fiber supports data rates up to 400 Gbps.
      • Fiber has a low error rate. Network data is encoded in a light beam. Unlike with twisted-pair cables, the light beam neither generates nor is affected by electronic interference. Additionally, multiple frequency data streams can be multiplexed over a single fiber to increase the total data rate.


  • FTTx:
    • Fiber to the Home (FTTH), Fiber to the Building (FTTB), Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) and Fiber to the Curb (FTTC), termed as FTTx are various technology and deployment options developed to enable reach of fiber as close to the user location as possible to provide high speed data and voice services.
    • Fiber to the home (FTTH) is the delivery of a communications signal over optical fiber from the operator’s switching equipment all the way to a home or business, thereby replacing existing copper infrastructure such as telephone wires and coaxial cable.
    • FTTP and FTTH are two different abbreviations for the same thing. FTTP stands for ‘fibre to the premises’ and FTTH stands for ‘fibre to the home’. … Unlike FTTC, FTTP broadband is delivered via fibre-optic cables not only as far as the cabinet, but across the entire span to your home or business.
    • Fiber-optic cables are less susceptible to glitches than traditional copper wires and can withstand the shock and vibration from inclement weather. FTTH is considered “future proof” and offers the flexibility to deliver additional services in the years to come.



  • Key Differences Between Copper Cable and Fiber Optics:
    • Data transmission speed of a fiber cable is comparatively more than that of copper cable. Copper cables are nearly 31% slower in data transmission than fiber cable.
    • A copper cable transmits the data through it in the form of electrical pulse i.e., due to the movement of electrons. As against in a fiber optics, the data transmission is the result of movement of photons thus it transmits in the form of light pulses.
    • The bandwidth provided by a copper cable is less than that of the fiber optics. Thus, a copper cabling meets the industry standards and provides a performance of up to 10 Gbps.  However, a fiber optics due to its large bandwidth possess better performance of up to 60 Tbps and above.
    • The energy consumed by a copper cable during its operation is somewhat greater than 10W but on the other side, fiber optics consumes less energy i.e., around 2W per user.
    • The lifespan of a copper wire is approximately 5 years as it gets easily affected by temperature variations and other environmental factors. However, fiber optics possess a lifespan of 30 to 50 years.
    • As fiber optics are difficult to be tapped as compared to copper cables thus proves advantageous from the security point of view. Due to this reason fiber optics are widely used for data transmission at present time.
    • A fiber optics allows transmission of data at a much faster rate as compared to copper cable.
    • The installation and maintenance cost of a fiber cable is more than copper cable.


  • IP Ratings (Ingress Protection):
    • A two-digit number established by the International Electro Technical Commission, is used to provide an Ingress Protection rating to a piece of electronic equipment or to an enclosure for electronic equipment.
    • The protection class after EN60529 are indicated by short symbols that consist of the two code letters IP and a code numeral for the amount of the protection.
    • Example: IP65 (NEMA 4)
      The two digits represent different forms of environmental influence:
      • The first digit represents protection against ingress of solid objects.
      • The second digit represents protection against ingress of liquids.
    • The larger the value of each digit, the greater the protection. As an example, a product rated IP54 would be better protected against environmental factors than another similar product rated as IP42.
  • IK Ratings (Impact Kinetic):
    • IK Rating or “Impact Protection” (the K is from ‘Kinetic’ to differentiate from IP rating) is defined in international standards and indicates the level of resistance an electrical enclosure provides against mechanical impact.
    • K09 rated items are protected against 10 joules of impact, which is the equivalent of a 5kg mass being dropped from 200mm above the product.
IK Rating Chart - Ellipse Security, Inc.