Big overseas demand for EMC Compliance Testing

As demand for EMC testing for HSE compliance grows, a UK-based leader in the field is investing heavily in equipment and training – and has just employed another globally qualified test engineer to keep up with worldwide demand.

‘Our new engineer has already carried out projects in the USA, Japan and Korea as well as throughout Europe,’ said Chris Norris of Laidler Associates, a company that provides training and information to businesses the world over to help them comply with the many CE standards.

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) is the engineering process that allows different items of electrical equipment – anything from televisions to vacuum cleaners, or from mobile phones to computers – to work simultaneously without interfering with each other. ‘Most of these items will need EMC testing if they are to comply with the EMC Directive for CE Marking,’ explained Norris.

But he pointed out that even if each individual item in a factory or office has been EMC tested and is CE marked, there is no guarantee that when all the emissions are added together, the system is still compliant. 
 
‘Clearly it is not possible to build a machine or system in a test lab or anechoic chamber for testing, so that testing is rarely carried out,’ he added. ‘But Laidler has always been of the opinion that you cannot ensure compliance with the EMC Directive without carrying out testing – and to be certain, this has to be done on site.’

This opinion has been backed up by the HSE in a letter to Laidler, stating: ’If it is reasonably practicable to carry out testing for immunity to electromagnetic disturbances, then the Health and Safety at Work Act requires that such testing is carried out. In most situations it would be necessary to undertake such testing as part of compliance with the Machinery Directive.’


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