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Discover innovative EMC shielding solutions

Author : Paige West, Editor, DPA & Connectivity

23 May 2019

The DPA Editor visited Kemtron’s facility in Braintree to discover how they help customers meet their RFI/EMI shielding and environmental sealing requirements.

Shutterstock image

Firstly, what is Electromagnetic Interference? 

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) is a form of pollution that can affect electronic equipment that is not protected from it. EMI can cause effects ranging from annoying noises on your car radio to serious accidents when safety critical equipment is caused to malfunction.

So, how can you protect against it? 

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is what you need to achieve. It simply means that a device, equipment or system functions satisfactorily in its electromagnetic environment without introducing intolerable electromagnetic disturbance to anything in that environment. 

Legislation

The EMC Directive differs from most other directives in that its primary requirement is protection of the electromagnetic spectrum rather than safety of the equipment.

Most electrical products must comply, whether battery or mains powered. Exceptions include but are not limited to components and sub-assemblies with no intrinsic function and products already covered by other directives, (medical, military, automotive, some agricultural, transmitting and communications equipment).

The Directive requires that products must not emit unwanted electromagnetic pollution (interference) and must be immune to a normal level of interference. Compliance with these requirements is usually demonstrated by testing to harmonised standards but testing is not mandatory, and a manufacturer may choose to provide a technical assessment for compliance as an alternative.

Knitted mesh strip

In the UK the Directive is enforced by the Trading Standards Service and Ofcom. Penalties for non-compliance can include three months imprisonment and a £5,000 fine but generally involves a recall and replacement of the affected product.

Who are Kemtron?

Kemtron are manufacturers and suppliers of electrically conductive gaskets and components for RFI/EMI Shielding. During the tour of Kemtron’s warehouse it was great to see how they design and manufacture bespoke EMC shielding solutions for customers around the world. Some were even created by hand, enhancing product performance and ensuring regulatory conformance.

It’s list of products include:

• Knitted wire mesh

• Conductive elastomers

• Form in Place gaskets

• Conductive fabric over foam

• Beryllium copper fingers

• Honeycomb vent panels

EMI gasket material

• Shielded cable glands

• Shielded windows

• Conductive tapes

• Ferrites

What do customers do with these products?

They make the electronics enclosure or part of it into a Faraday cage.

• Gaskets fill gaps in enclosure seams and joins forming a conductive path.

• Vent panels allow air/cooling while maintaining the faraday cage.

• Shielded windows allow displays to be seen while maintaining the faraday cage.

• Shielding cans make small faraday cages on PCBs.

Kemtron has provided a specialist service in EMI Shielding, RF Shielding, O-rings & EMI shielding gasket and component solutions for over 30 years. For more information: https://www.kemtron.co.uk/


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