ESCATEC, a provider of contract design and manufacturing services, has announced that it has just completed an intensive training course for its design engineers that focussed on the causes of EMC and how to prevent it. Held near ESCATEC Switzerland, which is the company’s main centre for Design and Development for customers, and follows on from the company’s investment earlier this year in state-of-the-art EMC testing equipment.
Pascal Weder, one of the R&D engineers from ESCATEC Switzerland on the course, explained, “Every product has to be tested to make sure that it meets the EMC regulations for the country that it is being sold in, such as the European EN 61000-X-X. Although the regulations are similar, there are differences between countries so it is important to understand these variations. We manufacture products for international companies that sell all over the world so we have to make sure that the products can be sold globally. We know the certification laboratories around the world and what they are looking for, which significantly speeds up the certification processes.”
Product failing EMC test
By focussing on the early stages of a design and addressing possible sources of EMC at this point, ESCATEC has found that it can speed up the product design process by reducing or even removing the time spend in later stages fixing EMC issues during certification. For example, a major source of EMC can be unexpected harmonics at the edge of a signal that can be missed at the design stage by inexperienced designers. Conversely, a well-designed power system can be used to absorb some of a product’s EMC as a switching component will consume the energy during the first phase of the switching process out of the power system and only later out of the decoupling capacitor.
Product passing EMC test with SFC5 ferrite cores clipped to cable
Dr. Thomas Dekorsy, General Manager of ESCATEC Switzerland, added, “We take a very integrated approach from Design and Development through prototype testing and certification to production as, unusually, we do this all in house. This removes the typical problem when using a series of different companies for each stage of finding out and fixing problems with each company blaming another, i.e. passing the buck. At ESCATEC, the buck is always with us so we avoid problems and, should they occur, we fix them fast to keep costs down for our customers.”