In today’s device intensive world Electromagnetic Compatibility or EMC is becoming more and more important. This means that the risk related to radiation and interference to critical electronic equipment and their equipment has become critical today. One also needs to know the fact that a lot of the devices that can be malfunctioned by electromagnetic radiation operate in highly sensitive environments. If any interference is made in the functioning of airplane cockpits or hospitals, the result can be fatal to the lives of many people. Hence, manufacturers and designers should have absolute knowledge about EMC to understand the components that cause interference or that can be impacted by it. Equally important is the knowledge of how a shielded enclosure can safeguard their product and the environment where it will work.
Factoring in EMC at Product Design and Development Stage
Most designers and manufacturers tend to focus on only the physical attributes and functionality of the final product. But it is critical to consider EMC right at the primary stage when the product is on the drawing boards. How will the product perform when deployed in its environment? Will it work efficiently? Will other devices impair its functioning? Or will it affect the working of other devices?
When one contemplates on the above mentioned questions at the time of design and production, their money, time and production cost can be saved and the out-coming product will be safe and viable. For example, in the case of a wireless, remote-controlled light that is ideal for operating room productions. However, if this product emits EMI that interferes with the functioning of other critical life support equipment or vital signs monitoring equipment to falter, then no surgeon will take the risk of having these even for a trial at the hospital.
Choosing the Shielding Material and Type with Care
Both EMI and RFI i.e. radio frequency interference can be blocked by Electromagnetic shielding. Metals are mainly used in these shields. Copper, aluminum, nickel or steel are commonly found in a shielded enclosure. While all of these are quite effective at their functions, it is believed by many manufacturers that most effective shielding can be yielded from alloy made from nickel, copper, iron and molybdenum.
The different manner in which the metals are used is important. Solid sheets are used by some, while perforated sheets are preferred by others. Coatings and screens of EMI resistant material is commonly done. The manufacturers should consider the material types used and the form in which they are used much before the product reaches its final production stage. A prototype should ideally be checked in actual working conditions to ensure that the shielding is holding up perfectly. This should be done before the product goes out into the market.
One can find the perfect match for their products with the availability of a variety and range of shielded enclosures. This will help investing resources at the right time in the production cycle and result in a successful product which was produced efficiently.