CERSA-MCI is a leading French company worldwide that designs and produces its own global measurement solutions. Thanks to close cooperation with their customers and huge investment in research and development, the company’s line of instruments is available both for production lines and for laboratories use. CERSA-MCI’s mastery of high-technologies, design, production, assembly and final tests allows them to provide high performance instruments with a reputation for quality and durability, as well as to provide efficient technical support. Interview with Eric NOGUES, Technical Sales Engineer at CERSA-MCI. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Eric NOGUES: CERSA-MCI has developed specific measuring devices for fine wires, cables/tubes and optical fibers. We address a niche market with sophisticated instruments for fine dimensions. LDS (Laser Diffraction Sensor) was developed in the mid-1980s for in-line measurement of fine wire diameters. Even today this device is used both in production and in the laboratory by many companies worldwide. Still a reference for fine wire measurements down to 5µm. To meet optical fiber manufacturers metrology needs and provide product characterization, CERSA developed in the early 90’s, the first laser interferometric sensor for glass fiber (LIS-Glass). The success was immediate! Then we designed and developpes other complementary instruments with a goal: “full in-line quality certification of the optical fiber”. Now with NCTM, CM5 and AIR instruments, the fiber can be real-time measured and characterized even on the fastest drawing lines. All these instruments come with our CIM software with powerful features as acquisition, display, record of measurements, quality reports. A global solution to meet customer’s needs, used all over the world. E.E: What’s the news about new products? E.N: In 2021, CERSA launched a new generation of measuring devices called SQM. A truly innovative, patented instrument, developed following insistent customer demand. The goal: checking continuously the surface quality of fine wires/tubes in-line. To simplify how SQM works, we can say that it works like a ring camera, all around the circumference of the wire. The image is analyzed in real-time by powerful algorithms and our CIM software displays all relevant information about defects, such as their length, width, surface and localization. A complete image of the wire surface is generated by SQM in order to detect any defect, shape disturbances, scratches, blisters. Alarms can be generated according to the customer’s requirements to stop production and avoid material wastes. E.E: What are the ranges of products? E.N: LDS devices are available in mono or dual axes for diameter monitoring during drawing process or for laboratory measurements fitted with its accessories (measurement over 360°). The perfect gauge on the market for fine wires from 2mm down to 5 µm. LPS instrument is able to monitor diameter and also detect lumps & neckdowns in a single product for larger wire and cable diameters (0.3 to 5mm). An innovative gauge which mixes a diameter gauge and a flaw detector. All-in-one box! SQM a new device able to detect surface defects that may appear during the drawing or extrusion process. This new instrument offers high-resolution and real-time surface defect detection such as scratches, die marks, impurities, bubbles for raw material, varnished or insulated products. Optical fiber measuring devices: a complete solution to certify production and control process continuously during fiber drawing. The largest and the most demanding companies choose CERSA instruments to equip their drawing towers. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? E.N: Optical fiber market: After a difficult year in 2020 for the sector due to overstocking, activity will pick up again with a more sustained rhythm in 2022 with new projects flourishing everywhere. This is due in particular to the desire of the governments of many countries to have a localized production that is less dependent on China and the vagaries of geopolitical situations. Wire and cable market: The recent tensions on the price of raw materials and supply chains are somewhat upsetting the manufacturers who have to adapt to maintain their activities and especially sufficient profitability. There is a growing trend to manufacture high quality products, while increasing productivity and profitability. There is little room for maneuver, but it is essential to distinguish oneself from the significant competition in this sector. Adaptability and investments will be necessary to overcome the current crises. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? E.N: After the long period of Covid and now the impact of the conflict in Ukraine on the world economy, it is difficult to make predictions even in the medium term! Like many manufacturers, we are experiencing delays or even disruptions in the supply chain, and above all significant price increases for electronic, optical and mechanical components. However, the strong trend in the communications sector is the massive use of optical fiber to meet the exponential demand. A fiber of better quality, more powerful but also smaller size. Indeed, manufacturers are all moving towards a thinner diameter to increase the number of fibers in the final cable. As for many years, CERSA has been accompanying them in their R&D work to make the measuring equipment evolve accordingly. As far as the wire and cable sector is concerned, we notice an acceleration of the goal for zero defects and the improvement of productivity. As the cost of raw materials is constantly increasing and becoming scarcer, this implies a search for savings in materials by avoiding all waste as much as possible. The principle of recycling materials is now part of our culture. With CERSA devices capable of measuring and detecting defects even on the fastest production lines, manufacturers have the tools to continuously improve the final quality of their products while saving money. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? E.N: Globally speaking, CERSA devices are very often ahead of their competitors. Take the LDS for example, the only instrument capable of measuring wire diameter down to 5µm with an overall uncertainty of +/-0.1µm. The LPS with 20,000 measurements per second is much faster than all similar instruments on the market and allows the detection of lump&neck on fast lines without having to buy an additional instrument. Or the SQM, a unique device on the market capable of detecting the smallest surface defects on wires or tubes down to Ø20µm! In the fiber optic sector, we have always sought to use the most innovative technologies in order to offer our customers the best performance devices on the market. One example among others: we use and master the birefringence technology since 2008 on our NCTM instrument for the measurement of the fiber tension. By choosing the CERSA brand, our customers are assured of always having the best technology available on the market. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022? E.N: As explained earlier, the trends in the fiber and wire/cable markets are strong and will grow with the current crisis situation. CERSA continues to invest heavily in R&D activities and offers today devices such as the SQM capable of bringing a real gain in the quality of thin wires/tubes. A technical success that has attracted the interest of several companies, but also a commercial success that will increase in the next months, let’s be sure!