EMC Testing In-House
The aim of TYRI’s EMC laboratory is to test how the company’s lights affect and are affected by other electronic components. The walls in the room – which is reminiscent of a bank vault – are covered in a 3D material which dampens signal reflection, thereby increasing measurement accuracy. The lab is an important investment into increasingly self-sufficient quality testing in the company.
Håkan Dalsvik, Electronics Engineer at TYRI, oversees EMC testing at the company, and he shared the ins and outs of the tests with us.
Håkan has worked at TYRI since the year 2000. At that time, TYRI’s workforce comprised of seven individuals, and he was the first electronics designer in the company. Since then, the company has grown, relocated and expanded its premises. Today, Håkan is the Senior Electronics Engineer and is responsible for the company’s EMC testing, which means conducting electromagnetic compatibility tests to determine how well an electrical component performs in an electromagnetic environment without causing or being susceptible to interference from other equipment. If the interference and resistance of different pieces of equipment are adapted to each other, they should be able to work together and achieve electromagnetic compatibility.
The goal is for one piece of equipment to not disturb or be disturbed by another. Because TYRI’s lights contain electronics, tests must be conducted when new products are developed.
Many companies conduct EMC tests externally, but TYRI prefers testing in-house, which ensures that standards applicable to different applications are complied with.
“If we encounter problems in our EMC tests, such as flickering in the light, we don’t want to have to wait for external testing or queue for new tests. In-house testing enables us to quickly and efficiently alternate between testing and experimentation in an agile process, resulting in better and more accurate tests at a lower cost. Moreover, it’s great to be able to conduct the tests ourselves since we trust our testing and know that they will be carried out
meticulously with guaranteed quality,” says Håkan.
Interference in the electromagnetic environment can result in the lights not functioning as they should. Interference may come from other equipment, via the air or a cabling system, or as electrostatic discharge (ESD).
TYRI has invested in an in-house laboratory with access to a dampened monitor room and measuring equipment specifically designed to test whether the lights affect their surroundings in an electromagnetic environment. If a light produces a high level of interference in, for example, the FM band, it can lead to poor radio reception. Other equipment that can be affected by excessive interference includes sensor signals to control equipment and other wireless communication. The ability of the light to withstand electrostatic discharge is also tested in-house. This type of test provides a clear indication of whether or not the light will function in a statically charged environment. For example, if the light is not sufficiently immune to electrostatic discharge pulses from an ESD gun, the LEDs may fail, and this would necessitate the development of other solutions by the Development department.
“Our goal is to expand the lab to also be able to test how our lights are affected by other electronic components. This
will become of particular interest when our INTELLilight products broaden our range and contribute to increased EMC testing,” says Håkan.