A commercial EMC test facility in the Sussex town of Brighton has received UKAS accreditation
The south coast based security technology manufacturer, Paxton has gained UKAS accreditation for the company’s in-house public facing product test facility based in Brighton. This makes Paxton not only one of the fully equipped commercial EMC test laboratories in the country, but it also has the added benefit of short lead times.
UKAS visited Paxton’s UK headquarters in Brighton to carry out a formal assessment of the EMC Test Facility, which originally opened in August 2019. The government-appointed agency assessed Paxton’s ability and competence in performing product testing including an audit of the quality management system. The state-of-the-art facility has now been officially granted UKAS accreditation, confirming that it meets the ISO 17025 standard for Laboratory Accreditation.
According to Brett Glass, Paxton’s Compliance Manager, the accreditation from UKAS punctuates the development period of the facility that he has overseen and something for which the company is proud. For any manufacturer looking for the highest possible quality and level of testing, this is the accreditation they want and need.
“Gaining it has been an in-depth and worthwhile process. Our Compliance team has been working towards it for some time whilst testing our products and that of many manufacturers from the South East of the UK,” he says.
The original purpose of Paxton opening the test facility was in order to maximise the efficiency and quality of the company’s own product development activities. This has enabled Paxton to launch new products and system additions quickly during the pandemic and the period of global component shortages.
However, whilst the company was doing some research during the planning phase of the facility, Paxton re-evaluated its original purpose and decided to offer product testing services externally to support businesses with the offer of quick pre-compliance testing and also a bespoke service as required. This is unlike traditional test houses which often have long waiting lists and can potentially hinder the speed at which products come to market. Paxton believes this quick turnaround time is something that will benefit smaller companies requiring pre-compliance test services.
Glass explains that many clients are testing their new designs at the Paxton facility because the lead times are shorter than all the current national test houses.
“If we factor in that 50% of products fail EMC testing the first time around, the pre-compliance testing we offer can really be of benefit to keep a product launch timely and on track. Ultimately, the test facility aims to be efficient and cost effective to both large and small businesses. We are flexible and take a best effort approach for our customers,” he says.
The modern facility has been designed and built using industry leading equipment. This includes an Electromagnetic Compatibility Chamber (EMC) for manufacturers who need to perform emission and immunity tests at three metres. It also has equipment to carry out Electrostatic Discharge (ESD), surge, transient tests and power quality tests.
Additionally, Paxton installed various Environmental Chambers to test the impact to products from environmental factors including UV, moisture, cold, humidity and heat. These powerful machines stress test to determine a product’s expected lifespan and the suitability of components during the design process.