The Mastermind of Arden Refractive Index Profiler nPA-600

Arden’s Refractive Index Profiler nPA-600 has been launched for a couple of weeks and the responses from the market and our customers are overwhelming.  The positive responses mean a lot to us, especially the mastermind of this innovative product, Mr. Kit Buchanan, Arden’s Product Designer.  While he was busy working on his next big projects, Thomas, Arden’s Marketing Manager, had a short conversation with him on his insider story about the development of the nPA-600.

Thomas: What inspired you to develop the refractive index profiler nPA-600?

Kit: We had discussions with some of our customers at trade shows and some mentioned the production yield of their specialty fibers, like multi-core fibers and octagonal fibers which have complex geometries, have not been satisfactory.  The fiber’s refractive index profile was one of the most crucial factors.  Our engineering team had lots of research and internal discussions on how to address the issues to help customers identify production faults earlier, improve production yield and hence lower production cost.

Thomas: What challenges did you face when you developed the nPA-600?

Kit: This is an innovative product that has never existed in the market before and we did not have much market intelligence.  As the product was developed to address the specific needs to the market, we needed to deep dive to understand the production yield problem of specialty fibers and study how we can solve the measurement and monitoring problems in an easy, fast and accurate way.  We developed many prototypes and came up with proposed solutions which were evaluated and adopted, according to our company values – precision, quality and customer success, to ensure the product would meet the demands and expectations of the target markets.

The nPA uses a radically different and new-to-market measurement technique which comes with some compromise.  But I think we found a good balance of various factors like measurement speed, accuracy, and ease of use, while keeping the price very competitive. Our customers certainly seem to agree.

It has been very fulfilling to see the trust that our customers have placed in the measurements and how they are using the data to improve their production processes.

Thomas: What are the key features you are most proud of?

Kit: Our nPA-600 can measure the refractive index profiles of circularly symmetric fibers and non-circularly symmetric fibers, such as polarisation maintaining, octagonal, and multi-core fibers, up to 600 μm in diameter.  That means we can measure most of the fibers.  Also it is very easy and straightforward to use, and the refractive index profile data can be obtained in seconds.  No other refractive index profilers on the market can be on par with us.

Thomas: What are you most happy about with the nPA-600?

Kit: The launch of the nPA-600 is like seeing the birth of a baby – everybody in Arden is excited and has lots of hope.  I am happy to hear our product can really help our customers and make them succeed.  Receiving excellent feedback from customers is a big encouragement to drive me forward to develop better products in the future.

Thomas: What is your outlook for the future of the nPA-600 and the optical fiber industry?

Kit: The nPA-600 has the potential to revolutionise the way that professionals in the optical fiber industry measure refractive index profiles.  With its fast and easy measurement capabilities, and easy integration with other systems, the nPA-600 is an essential tool for anyone working with specialty fibers.  As for the optical fiber industry, we see a rather bright future.  The demand for high-speed, reliable communication systems is increasing every day, and specialty fibers play a critical role in meeting that demand. We are committed to designing more products like the nPA-600 that will help professionals in the optical fiber industry meet the challenges of measuring the refractive index profiles of large and complicated structure fibers, detecting early production faults and improving production yield.

Thomas: What is your plan after the launch of the nPA-600?

Kit: The launch of the nPA-600 is only the start.  We will keep listening to our customers’ feedback and keep improving the product to ensure it meets the changing demands of the most updated production workflow and requirements.

Thomas: When are we going to see the physical demonstration of this innovative product?

Kit: Our customers can contact our sales engineers for a demonstration.  The first public appearance is at the Laser World of Photonics at the end of June.  Simply visit our booth at A3.110.




Arden Photonics’ latest nPA-600 Refractive Index Profiler is the quick, easy, and reliable way to obtain the refractive index profile data to measure and verify specialty fiber design and manufacturing processes. It measures traditional circularly symmetric fibers and non-circularly symmetric fibers, such as polarisation maintaining, octagonal, and multi-core fibers, up to 600 µm in seconds. The nPA-600 comes with the nPA v2.0 software which boosts system performance and improves user experience, and the API allows the nPA-600 to integrate to other systems seamlessly.

To find out more about Arden’s nPA-600 Refractive Index Profiler:

Our Product Range