When I first joined Amphenol Telect three years ago, I was struck by our E-Series and N-Series fiber distribution panels. They aren’t dense, they have been around forever, but the remarkable part of the product was the K-Link, or Kutsch Link.
Whenever I open a tray and see those K-Links articulate — while keeping a constant 30mm bend radius — was always fascinating to watch. With this innovation, customers have peace of mind in cable management on their fiber optic networks.
While they are using a tray-based system, their fiber is never subject to bend radius violations or any type of tensile stress with the K-Link.
So, what is a K-Link, and who or what is a Kutsch? A K-Link is an articulating cable management link that was designed by one of our engineers, Duane Kutsch. I doubt when the initial products were designed anyone thought it would have such a lasting influence on how Amphenol Telect manages fiber optic cable.
It is believed the first version of the K-Link was simultaneously released in three products:
CableLinks set an industry first as an articulating cable management link for a fiber optic raceway. E-Series was a total-front-access fiber distribution panel, which gave way to N-Series, a similar product, that provided a customer with both total-front and total-rear-access.
This product has been revolutionary in the cable management space for the last 20 years. The CableLinks solution gives customers the ability to augment both horizontal and vertical runs of fiber raceway.
It also allows you to articulate around an obstacle. Whether water pipes or HVAC ducting are in your way, you can connect our WaveTrax raceway product to CableLinks, articulate around your obstacle and then go back to WaveTrax.
Or, you can use CableLinks to get from your Express Off Ramp to a vertical cable manager.
CableLinks was the first product like this in fiber cable management and, more than 20 years later, there is not another product that can support both a horizontal and vertical run, while articulating.
Both E- and N-Series were revolutionary for fiber optic networks. These panels were created way before bend-insensitive fiber was widely used and customers were always worried about maintaining that magical 30mm radius.
These panels solved the problem, allowing any technician to navigate and service their optical distribution panels without having to tiptoe and worry about bend and attenuation.
E-Series and N-Series are legacy products now, while CableLinks is still supporting fiber cable in Tier-1 networks all around the world. The impact of this articulating link has changed the way Amphenol Telect has managed cable for the last 35 years.
The original K-Link design has been re-imagined and altered for Amphenol Telect products.
Elements of the original design are overtly present in our high-density fiber solutions to this day. superHD, our high-density interconnect distribution frame, uses K-Links. A hyperscale solution we're releasing next week uses the design in the same fashion that E- and N-series do.
I have never met Kutsch. Not one of our current engineers ever worked with Kutsch.
His legacy remains.
The impact he made on both the business and the industry is remarkable. Our products have been shaped by this design for the last 20 years, and I am positive Amphenol Telect products will still be using this design in another 20 years.
The question I ask myself often is, “did he really know what he created, and how important it became?”
Aaron Monheim is a Product Manager of Fiber. He has been with Telect for three years and manages our high-density fiber distribution series, along with our cable management raceway solution, WaveTrax.
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