As it is well known, EMI and RFI are unwanted electromagnetic energy that pollutes the environment and can affect the operation of other equipment around it. It can be radiated into the air or conducted over system power lines. EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) is the ability of a system to function in a high EMI/RFI environment and to limit its own EMI/RFI output.
The International Special Committee on Radio Interference (CISPR) makes recommendations for EMI/RFI suppression to nationalized EMC regulatory bodies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the IEC. The FCC is the governing body in the U.S., and IEC is widely recognized in Europe as well as worldwide.
Although there are governing bodies that set regulation on both sides of the Atlantic, the overall EMI market has historically been a fragmented industry, with a wide variety of players in the EMI filter industry only offering specific products in niche markets.
Viewing a Fragmented Market as a Golden Opportunity
With an eye towards innovation and expansion, Astrodyne Corporation viewed this business of EMI filters as an appealing complement to power supplies, yet recognized the highly fragmented environment. This got the company thinking.
No one manufacturer in the industry had found a way to truly harness the vast types of EMI filters available to provide a comprehensive set of products to end users. No one had tried consolidating the business into one neat package, an opportunity in which Astrodyne decided to invest.
With its recent acquisitions of LCR Electronics Inc., Radius Power and Filter Concepts, all leading providers of EMI filter and electronic control products to OEM customers worldwide, Astrodyne has begun to lay a new framework of specialized power solutions. With power supplies and EMI filters being developed side-by-side, end users can more easily obtain an integrated, functional solution as well increased technical and commercial capabilities.
People may wonder, ‘why did a company like Astrodyne, known for its power solutions, start incorporating EMI filters into its business?’ The answer is not only logical, it is simple. EMI filters and power supplies go hand-in-hand, like peanut butter and jelly or bread and butter. They complement each other. Customers who use EMI filters are almost always in need of power supplies, as well.
The overriding vision behind a unified industry solution is to provide a comprehensive source for the demanding power conversion applications that protect and enhance peoples’ lives—what better way to ensure the safety-critical nature of these applications than to offer filters and power supplies that reliably operate together from the start?
The company’s family of innovative AC/DC switching power supply, DC/DC converter, EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) filters and electronic controls are designed specifically for challenging applications for medical, military, aerospace and industrial devices and systems. And, Astrodyne power supplies are designed to meet the EMC regulations directed by the industry’s major governing bodies, the FCC, FDA for medical applications and the IEC.
Power supplies and filters are often designed concurrently. Bringing EMI filters directly into the fold gives designers a unique set of complementary power supplies and filters that can be used for critical applications worldwide. This gives users a broader basket of specialized power solutions, in both standard and custom configurations.
Bringing Industry Powerhouses Together
Another strength resulting from the union of these industry powerhouses was bringing two North America pre-compliance testing labs under one umbrella. These labs are located in Norristown, PA and Yorba Linda, CA.
Pre-compliance dramatically improves a device’s chance of passing EMC testing and significantly lowers the risk of failure during the certification process. Failing an EMC test poses a substantial threat to project deadlines and budget. No company wants to go through that.
Designers can send their devices to either facility and have them tested to ensure that they pass. EMC problems are much cheaper and easier to fix the earlier they are caught in the design cycle.
If an EMC problem is found in pre-compliance testing on a pre-production run, there is still time to fix it before it goes to final production. Also, pre-compliance testing at an accredited EMC lab is more cost-effective than full compliance testing.
These labs have the same calibrated test gear as final testing, so they offer an extremely high level of accuracy, and companies don’t incur an additional cost as the equipment is already in the labs.
The Yorba Linda location also features a UL and SEMKO certified lab as well. Having this lab on-site not only saves time in the certification process but also money.
Astrodyne’s Client Test Data Program (CTDP) offers UL certification while the ENEC MTL (Manufacturer’s Test Laboratory) offers SEMKO certification, allowing for certification to domestic and international standards.
With these labs, Astrodyne is able to certify filters to both the UL and CSA standards through the UL program including UL 1283, CSA C22.2 No. 8 and IEC/EN 60939-1/2.
The CTDP program was recently extended to include power supply test and certification capability. Power supplies are harmonized to global standards including IEC/EN 60950 (ITE standard), IEC/EN 60601 (medical standard) as well as IECEE SMT (CB Scheme).
By broadening its product line and looking towards the future, Astrodyne is second to none. Because of the company’s forward thinking, it is single-handedly able to offer customers the very best in specialized power solutions in the most cost-effective way.
For more information visit www.astrodyne.com.