EMC test laboratory supplements existing facilities with environmental test chambers
At the core of the test services offered the former Paxton Test Facility is electromagnetic compliance (EMC) and so the company has now re-branded to Brighton EMC as a reflection of this. The established state-of-the-art test house provides UKAS accredited EMC testing services to electronic product manufacturers.
According to Brett Glass, Compliance Manager at Brighton EMC, the rebranding of the company to “Brighton EMC” gives it greater visibility and recognition as an independent UKAS accredited test facility, providing reliable EMC testing services to manufacturers.
“UKAS accreditation provides confidence to external customers of a commitment to quality and service improvement,” he says.
UKAS accreditation confirms that Brighton EMC meets the ISO 17025 standard for Laboratory Accreditation, with added benefit of short lead-times, something that Glass explains further.
“On occasion, we have instant availability, and even during busy periods our waiting time is only up to 4 weeks, which is shorter than the national 6-to-8-week waiting list,” he says.
This represents a significant advantage because if a manufacturer discovers problems during the EMC test, the wait time to get the product back to a test house after resolving the problems is shorter, thus helping to speed up the product development process. “We have experienced engineers at our facility to support customers and raise suggestions based on their test results,” Glass continues.
A recent user of the facility, renewable energy specialist Bramble Energy, tested its Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generator at Brighton EMC to prepare for a planned product launch.
According to Thomas Wines, Senior Engineer at Bramble Energy traditional PEM fuel cells are manufactured using expensive material and complex processes, resulting in high-cost technology.
“The Bramble Printed Circuit Board Fuel Cell (PCBFC) technology is a patent-protected, new manufacturing method which makes use of existing supply chain routes from the printed circuit board industry. This offers a cost-effective, time efficient and scalable method of producing hydrogen fuel cells,” he says.
For this, Bramble Energy needed to obtain an EMC testing partner who was also able to provide engineering support to help the company diagnose any EMC issues that may arise during the testing process. With its good availability when compared to other test houses, the Brighton EMC test facility has allowed for Bramble Energy to get support and feedback with a quick turnaround, helping with any further development in good time.
According to Wines, the information and support given by the engineers from the Brighton EMC test facility was professional with the reports having been very helpful in gauging the product status and for planning further development work.
“The conversational testing process is the reason we chose to test our product there. The reports and status were sent through at lightning speed!” concludes Wines.
Environmental Testing Capability
Located in Paxton’s Technology Centre on the south coast, Brighton EMC also has Environmental Chambers in addition to its EMC testing equipment. These can be used for testing the impact to products from environmental factors. There is also equipment to carry out Electrostatic Discharge (ESD), surge, transient and power quality tests.
Glass explains that in the Environmental Chambers, the products can be tested against any impacts from environmental factors, including high and low temperature, UV, moisture, and humidity.
“These powerful machines perform environmental stress tests to determine a product’s expected lifespan and can be used to test the sustainability of components during the design process,” he concludes.