X-Beam Tech, an optical connector specialist, started from an optical connector and expanded to an optical communication device. Its final destination is to become a high-quality optical communication connection integrated solution provider. AVING News interviewed Kim Haeng-jeong, the CEO of X-Beam Tech, which participated in the MIK HOT SPOT (Made in Korea Online Exhibition) KTVF.
Please introduce your company briefly.
We are X-Beam Tech, a next-generation high-reliability special optical connector specialist. It specializes in manufacturing high-quality optical communication parts based on ultra-precision machining and optical technology. It was a breakthrough technology that was not available in Korea at the time when I first encountered the expansion beam connection technology. Since I was convinced that this was the next generation optical communication technology, I thought that there would also be a lot of demand in Korea in the future, and I started with the possibility of localization.
Despite the strong advantages of optical communication, the existing optical connector was sensitive to shock and required careful attention and professional management, so there were many restrictions to apply in harsh environments such as defense tactics, aviation, and ships.
We wanted to make use of the advantages of optical communication even in such special sites. Even though this technology is an optically simple structure, the entry barrier is still high that only a few companies were able to commercialize it since lenses and optical fibers must be very precisely aligned to actually run the technology.
At first, there were many difficulties because it was a technology that was not in Korea. But as we researched, designed, and manufactured parts one by one, we were able to succeed in localizing the expansion beam connector technology and stand parallel with advanced foreign companies now.
Please introduce your main products and systems.
Our main product is the expansion beam optical connector, HXB series. This product is a high-reliability connection technology for next-generation optical communication, and is an optical communication connector to which extended beam technology is applied.
Conventional optical connectors are not durability and susceptible to breakage by even small impacts since optical fibers made of glass contact each other and transmit signals. In addition, since the cross section of the optical fiber is only about the thickness of the hair, the signal can be blocked even by invisible fine dust, so the engineers have to inspect with a microscope and tools every time it is used.
So far, due to frequent deployments and modifications in communication networks in severe vibration and shock environments, these restrictions were stumbling blocks in applying optical communications in defense tactical networks that require high durability and special industries like space, aerospace, railroad, oil exploration, and broadcasting industries.
Our products are made to solve these problems. It is a product that greatly makes up for the disadvantages mentioned above by transmitting the optical signal to the size of hundreds of times by using a lens on the joint.
The extension beam connector can maintain stable communication even if part of the signal is obscured due to small contamination, and the contamination of the signal blocking level is very easy to manage because it can be visually identified.
It can be easily cleaned and managed without a separate microscope and cleaning device, and there is no worry of deterioration due to abrasion despite frequent connections between connectors as there is no physical contact between the optical fibers on both sides.
Most of the connectors cannot be connected between plugs and need an adapter separately. But, our connector is a universal type, so you can quickly and easily add or extend cables and change existing connections. It is also economical because it does not require a separate adapter. This advantage is very convenient when frequent network changes are required in the field, such as in the field operation.
And up to six optical channels can be connected at the same time, with photoelectric composite configuration and various configurations according to user requirements. Currently, many countries such as Germany and other European countries are looking for our HXB connector, and we are gradually strengthening our position in the global market.
Staff of your company
My name is Kim Haeng-jeong, the CEO of X-Beam Tech. Our company is made up of specialists in design and development in defense industry, a doctor in ICT, and a CEO from a same industry as me. We also have an advisor who also serves as an adjunct professor at university and experts in optical communication for more than ten years. So although our company does not have a long history, we have a firm foundation with long working experience and strong academic knowledge.
Our company was established with a basis in the researchers and is still investing in R&D, and is strictly designing and manufacturing each small part with the goal of high quality and high performance. Our advantage is that we can flexibly develop products that satisfy the detailed specifications that our customers want.
What are your plans for the future?
We have developed HXB 11, the most compact model of the HXB series, which will be released this month. Also, we will develop a high-precision D38999 connector for optical communication and the expanded beam temini of ARINC845, the latest aviation standard, and introduce new optical connector technology in the first half of next year.
In addition, we plan to secure additional price competitiveness by reinforcing current mass production facilities and expand customer base through thorough quality control and active technical support. Based on the element technology of the expansion beam connector, we intend to further develop related communication equipment, components, and optical sensors to secure continuous growth engines.
Direction sought by the company
In the field of special connectors, foreign products are dominating the market, and we are going to continue our R&D work, hoping that someday, we will become the standard of the rugged connector industry and lead the industry. Starting from an optical connector and expanding to an optical communication device, our final destination is to become a high-quality optical communication connection integrated solution provider.
Which part of the support agency (KTVF) program was really helpful?
KTVF has helped us to successfully develop our items, and among them, the most helpful program is the global expert committee-related marketing capability enhancement program. By matching our company’s custom overseas market experts, it helped us solve difficulties in overall overseas sales according to our situation. We have also received great help in import and export tasks, which many small and medium-sized businesses are having difficulty in. It provided the source to open up new markets and generously taught us their long-established know-hows.
Korea Techno-Venture Foundation (KTVF), which supported companies participating in the MIK HOT SPOT (Made in Korea Online Exhibition), is a non-profit foundation funded by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) to promote new technology startups and support global advancement. Since its establishment in 2001, it has established a close cooperation network with research institutes, universities and related institutions, as well as overseas organizations in Japan and the Eurasia region, and have promoted step-by-step customized support projects that connects “startup – fostering – commercialization – global marketing” to create the entrepreneurship ecosystem. KTVF said, “As an accelerator that supports global technology commercialization through discovering, fostering, and investing in tech-startups with high growth potential, we intend to contribute to the success and job creation of small and medium-sized venture companies.”
The global news network AVING News has begun holding the MIK Hot Spot (Made in Korea Online Exhibition) to help small and medium-sized companies enter the market and attract investment 365 days a year’ AVING News has been running online exhibitions since 2005 and had 975 online exhibitions so far. Its YouTube online exhibition has placed itself as Korea’s largest online exhibition hall that opens with 19,000 videos (booths) with more than 800,000 visits per month which means more than 10 million visits per year.
The MIK HOT SPOT online exhibition is scheduled to be held regularly according to the field, target market, and participating institutions, and it will be presented as a new type of online business by transforming the know-hows and values of the participating companies according to the trend. Companies that want to participate can apply and apply through the marketing support projects from supporting institutions in the local governments. Refer to the institutions for more information.