EMC/EMI Testing

A Seasonal Series on Transient Testing: Part 4

A Sudden Spark Made My Screen Go Dark

Electrostatic Discharges (ESD) are everywhere. We feel them when we reach for a doorknob, a car-door handle, or pull off a sweater. Your electronic products feel them too, and often not in a good way. False displays, logic upsets, or even component damage can result.  In Part 4 of Elite’s transient testing series, Tom Klouda and Tom Braxton show how an ESD test is done and why you need to know more about it. Read more from our transient series in Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 5.


It’s a brisk morning in January and you slide off your coat, settle in the chair next to the equipment bench, and rub your hands together to get the chill off your fingers.  Rolling over to the bench, you reach for the power switch on the laptop and – zap! Your arm jerks back and the screen has gone blue. Reboot and hope for the best.

You could change a few details in this story, but we’ve all had this experience.  It doesn’t have to be a cold day in January – it could be any time of year in any office or lab.  Electrostatic discharge (ESD) has raised its head and bit your finger. ESD also bit the laptop, but the machine doesn’t have an arm to jerk back in response.  The laptop was knocked down after taking a punch and is getting back on its feet. You hope to see that no data was corrupted when it comes up again.

Digital devices are especially vulnerable to ESD upsets. The actions described above can build up a charge of 20kV or more between the finger and the surface. The current level is extremely low, but a jolt that size can throw off a device’s internal clock and, in the worst case, damage semiconductor devices.

IEC 61000-4-2, the basic standard for ESD immunity testing, spells out voltage severity levels, test environments, and test procedures.  Those specs aim for test repeatability while simulating a condition that is inherently not repeatable.  The table below shows the voltage severity levels for two different discharge types, contact and air.

Contact discharge (sometimes called “current injection”) is performed when the tip of the ESD test instrument is touching the test-point surface before the discharge is applied.  This simulates the case when there is direct contact between the EUT and the discharge source, as shown by Elite test engineer Brelon Weathersby in the figure to the right:

Elite’s Brelon Weathersby testing the ESD contact-discharge instrument

Air discharge is, as the name implies, a discharge passing from the instrument tip through the air to the test point. The illustration below shows the path of an air discharge.

A third discharge type is indirect, where discharges are applied to a nearby coupling plane.  This simulates the condition where the zap occurs in the vicinity of the EUT, creating a momentary RF field that can be induced into the EUT.  The illustration below shows the positions of the horizontal coupling plane (HCP) and the vertical coupling plane (VCP). Discharges are applied at the edges of the coupling planes while the EUT is monitored.

ESD behavior is statistical.  The equipment under test (EUT) can be zapped in the same place at the same level under the same conditions, and fail every time, half the time, or 1% of the time.  That’s why the standard calls for a minimum of ten discharges at each voltage level, negative and positive.  If a device is tested a 2kV, 4kV, and 8kV, at both polarities, that would mean 60 discharges at that test point.  If the EUT has ten specified test points, there would be 600 discharges applied.  It’s easy to see how that number could grow for a more complex EUT.

Any device going through an ESD test needs a test plan showing the EUT’s configuration and test point locations. Test points are chosen based on how likely they will be zapped in actual use.  For example, anywhere hands are going to touch, such as control panels and cable connectors, are obvious test points.  Conductive surfaces get contact discharges, and non-conductive surfaces (plastic enclosures, painted surfaces, etc.) get air discharges.  If an air discharge can’t be generated because the surface is heavily insulated, the non-discharge is noted along with other results.

Maintaining a record of the results is critically important.  The test plan will have defined failure criteria stating what is acceptable and not acceptable.  If the EUT responds in any way (blinking lights, interruptions, etc.), those are noted for the voltage level and polarity.  After many discharges a, pattern might become apparent, and that is useful information for those responsible for the product.

The final report emerging from an ESD test may contain a pass-or-fail determination, but it might be a set of data noting only the responses to the various discharges.  Those results are inconclusive and require engineering judgments to be made by the EUT’s responsible engineer.  An example of an inconclusive result is a toy that had flickering lights during the ESD test – was that a failure?  Maybe not, since it’s not a safety hazard or a loss of function.  On the other hand, it could be a hazard for critical displays like fluid levels if ESD causes erratic flashes.  These are the types of judgments that are made to determine whether an EUT’s response is actually a failure.

As with any transient phenomenon, the first order of business is understanding the EUT’s failure criteria. The upfront work to craft a test plan will take some time, but it will save both time and uncertainty when the results are known.  A thorough ESD test could have predicted the blue-screen reset seen after you slid into your chair and rolled near the bench. Better to know that might happen before your customer is charged to 20kV and finds out the hard way.

Contact Elite for more information on planning and executing your ESD immunity test.  You’ll be glad you did.

Learn more in A Seasonal Series on Transient Testing: Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 5.

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A Seasonal Series on Transient Testing: Part 3

When lightning strikes, it can cause damaging electrical surges near and far. Are your electronic devices protected from surges on power and signal cables? Elite’s Tom Klouda and Tom Braxton are back with the third installment on transient events and their testing techniques. Read more in Part 1,  Part 2Part 4, and Part 5.


Dark clouds move slowly as the sky changes from blue to purple. Rain begins to fall, and you hear distant thunder rumbling… Crack! Ka-boom! A flash of light and sudden thunder explodes with enough force that you can feel it.

Lightning strikes millions of times around the world and whenever it happens it takes us by surprise. But we share that surprise with our devices. A lightning strike is typically 300 million volts carrying a current between 10,000 and 200,000 amps, and all that energy has to go somewhere. Most of it goes into the ground and startles earthworms, but some is induced into power and signal cables.

If only one-tenth of one percent of that voltage finds its way into local wiring, that’s a 300,000-volt surge being spread around. It’s extremely brief and will quickly diminish, but it’s going to find its way into devices plugged into their power source. While not as dramatic, voltage surges are also produced from major power-system switching and short circuits.

Not to worry though – there’s a test for that. Elite’s Tom Klouda explains how it’s done.

IEC 61000-4-5 Surge Immunity Testing

The IEC 61000-4-5 standard spells out straightforward test procedures for surge immunity. The equipment under test (EUT) is connected via its power cables to a coupling-decoupling network (CDN), which is connected to a combination wave generator that creates the test-surge waveform, shown in the images below. The generator output waveform is defined for both voltage and current.

IEC 61000-4-5 voltage waveform (left)             IEC 61000-4-5 current waveform (right)

The levels applied during the test are chosen based on the severity levels appropriate for the EUT. The selection of test levels is shown in the table below.

Because electrical connectivity can be varied (single-phase AC, three-phase AC, DC power source), the form of the CDN is varied as well. The image below shows the connectivity of the CDN is shown in its simplest form. The combination wave generator is capacitively connected to the power lines going to the EUT and the decoupling network prevents the surges from going back into the power source.

Tests are done in configurations of line-to-ground and line-to-line, and in multiple combinations when three-phase power is involved.

The EUT is monitored during the test, with any response noted along with the test levels and operating conditions of the EUT.

Tests are also performed on interconnecting signal lines if the EUT has signal paths that could be affected by induced power surges. IEC 61000-4-5 specifies the CDN connectivity for both shielded and unshielded cables. As an example, the image below shows the configuration for shielded interconnecting cables.

The real value in this test, as for all immunity tests, is in the test plan. The test plan gives the EUT’s description as tested (model, version, connectivity, supporting hardware, etc.) and defines its failure criteria: what should the EUT be doing during the test and what should it not be doing? Any responses in the EUT are noted so that a determination can be made whether the response was acceptable or if it was an actual failure.

At Elite, we’ve tested hundreds of products for surge immunity. We draw on that experience for pre-test advice, compliments of our Regulatory EMC Team Leader, Rick King, NCE, shown in the photo in Elite’s surge-test lab.  

Rick reminds clients to confirm the suitability of their transient voltage suppressors (TVS) and to keep in mind that TVS ratings should be chosen based on not only the maximum applied surge levels, (i.e., +/-2kV), but also considering that lower amplitudes of 500V and 1000V are generally required to be tested. Excessive surge energy can enter the EUT if the TVS does not clamp at the lower levels.  

Rick also cautions that the lab’s surge coupling networks contain inductors which may create problems for switched-mode and pulse-width modulated (PWM) power supplies. The problem manifests itself as the test item’s inability to power-up during the surge test. Check Annex I of IEC 61000-4-5 for an explanation of this issue or contact Rick King at Elite for more insight.

Lightning and unexpected switching events are going to happen. You can rest assured that with Elite’s deep experience in surge-immunity testing you’ll know how your product is going to behave. Your customers will be much happier when your product continues to work even after those lightning flashes make them flinch.

Contact Elite with your questions on product testing and confirm your compliance before lightning strikes.

Learn more in A Seasonal Series on Transient Testing: Part 1Part 2Part 4, and Part 5.

A Seasonal Series on Transient Testing: Part 2

Electrical Fast Transients (EFTs) – What they are and how they are tested

Large equipment is switched on and off all the time, and when that happens the power line sputters with bursts of pulses.  These are electrical fast transients (EFTs) that can upset an electronic device. Elite’s Tom Klouda and Tom Braxton are back with the second installment on transient events and their testing techniques. Read Part 1 and Part 3Part 4 and Part 5


The IT manager at Hypothetical Tech’s branch location is talking with his colleague at the home office:

“We settled into that new office park.  It’s the space next to the campus HVAC plant.  Lots of room, and we’re in business!  Well, except Tuesday — four terminals crashed and we had to reboot.  Then on Friday it happened again, and we checked for lost data.  While we were down the folks in the HVAC plant came by to visit while they waited for their system to start up.  Nice guys.”

Does any of this sound familiar?  It’s what can happen when digital systems are hit with an electrical fast transient (EFT).  That HVAC plant next door had large blowers with hefty startup currents.  When the switch closes and the motor commutators start connecting, voltage spikes flash through the building’s wires.

High-current motors are a common EFT source, as are the switch contacts themselves.  The sudden voltage change is like striking a bell – a series of bursts, each of which linger until the energy has run out. 

What do bursts look like?

Think of an old-school desk telephone with a mechanical bell.  The bell rings in repeating bursts and generates an acoustic waveform like that shown below. 

In an EFT event, the current from the sudden surge splatters through the conductors’ natural resonance and sends bursts flowing into devices connected to the common power wiring.  EFT bursts are electrical, not acoustic, but the pattern is similar. The EFT voltage bursts resemble the acoustic bursts of the ringing bell. 

What is EFT?

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) characterizes EFT bursts in standard 61000-4-4.  Like most standards, the electrical specifications are tightly defined.

The staccato bursts of voltage in the field are like snowflakes: they are never quite the same twice.  But they do have common characteristics that are standardized to allow repeatable testing.  Each individual pulse has a waveform defined in IEC 61000-4-4, shown in the image below:

A series of these pulses are sent into the power line at a designated repetition rate, forming a burst of a specified duration, which is then repeated at 300ms intervals and resemble the telephone-bell acoustic pulses shown above:

The voltage levels and repetition rates of the bursts are set based on the severity level appropriate for the equipment under test (EUT) and are run for a minimum of one minute.

As with any immunity test, a test plan is needed to assure the product is receiving a realistic approximation of what happens in its intended environment.  The test plan would include a description of the product, its configuration during the test (connecting equipment, cabling, active software, etc.), and the criteria for failure conditions. 

The test plan and the description of failure criteria are important.  During the application of the bursts, the EUT is monitored for correct operation.  If the EUT reacts to the bursts, is it a failure or a benign response?  For example, flickering display lamps may not count as a failure for some consumer products but may be critical for medical equipment.  Whatever could be regarded as a failure needs to be described in the test plan.

Not all responses can be known ahead of time, so someone familiar with the EUT should be present during the test to watch for anything unusual.  Any response should be documented for later analysis.  It’s obviously important for the EUT’s designer to know how the product responds to these kinds of transients.

Applying the burst to the equipment under test (EUT)

The burst defined in IEC 61000-4-4 is applied to the EUT through its external cables.  The EUT’s vulnerability is tested by connecting the burst generator to the power cables through a coupling-decoupling network (CDN). 

The image below shows a schematic view how it’s done inside the CDN.   The right-hand side of the image represents the coupling section injecting the burst directly into the power lines.  The left-hand side is the decoupling section preventing the burst from propagating into the external power grid.  The photo shows the CDN application in Elite’s laboratory.

Drawing showing EFT generator connectivity inside CDN.
Photo showing EFT test using a CDN in Elite’s lab.

The next image shows how the burst is applied to signal cables in a tabletop configuration.  The cables are laid inside a coupling clamp that capacitively applies the burst.  The photograph shows a typical configuration.

Drawing showing EFT test with coupling clamp.
Photo showing coupling clamp during an EFT test in the lab.

These tests are best done in a laboratory, but if that’s not practical the test can be done in situ (on site in its installed condition). The IEC 61000-4-4 standard shows alternative test configurations that can be applied.

The EUT is monitored for normal operation for the duration of the test and any responses are recorded.  The failure criteria defined in the test plan determines if the responses are failures.  If not, the EUT has passed.

If your product is to carry the CE Mark so that it is eligible for sale in the European Union, IEC 61000-4-4 is among the suite of standards it needs to meet.  Be aware of how your devices respond to an EFT burst. Then if your customers install your equipment near some heavy machinery, you’ll have fewer things to worry about.

Contact us today to get more information and schedule your product’s transient tests to achieve CE Mark compliance, along with the range of FCC, ISED, and others your product needs.  When your customers hear the big motors start up next to their site, they won’t spend time recovering lost data and you won’t spend time trying to find out why. 

Learn more in A Seasonal Series on Transient Testing: Part 1 and Part 3Part 4 and Part 5.

A Seasonal Series on Transient Testing: Part 1

The weeks and months pass quickly this time of year.  The days are transient things, popping on the calendar and vanishing before we notice. 

This is the first of our new series with Elite’s Tom Klouda and Tom Braxton. Stay tuned for more transient talk in future blogs. Read Part 2Part 3Part 4 and Part 5.

Transient events are everywhere, including the space around your product.  Can your device tolerate a voltage surge?  An electrical fast transient?  An electrostatic discharge?  A magnetic impulse?  The only way to find out is to test it, and your product will need to navigate that test.  You’ll need an experienced guide to get you there.  The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) provides the standards, and Elite Electronic Engineering is the guide you need to lead you through.

What are transients and where do they come from?

A transient is a short-duration pulse brought about by stored energy or a disruption in current flow.  Anyone who has experienced electrostatic discharge (ESD) when pulling off a sweater during low humidity then reached for a metal doorknob has dealt with transients.  The ESD between the metal surface and the finger is a stored-energy phenomenon. 

Voltage surges on power lines are examples of a transient brought on by current-flow disruption. When an electrical contact is interrupted by opening or closing, voltage arcs and mechanical bouncing of the contacts create random pulses.  There will be uncontrolled transients that depend on several factors: the contact type, the voltage and current levels, whether current is AC or DC, and the conductors’ geometry.  Devices in line or adjacent to the source of those transients are all vulnerable to disruption or damage.  The figure below gives a simple illustration of a switch contact being closed and the arcs that would bring about transient pulses.

Illustration showing contact closure and generation of transient pulses

These transients can cause digital logic upsets that appear as process interruptions or corrupted data.  Some transients can cause actual damage, like that shown in the picture below.  Logic upsets are more common and can range from a simple annoyance to a critical malfunction and can be minimized with error-correcting software.  Component damage is clearly a larger concern as it results in a costly repair or replacement.

Example of transient surge damage

Transients can be radiated or conducted, or sometimes both.  For example, energizing a high-current device will almost certainly generate a series of electrical fast transients (EFT) on the power circuit, which will propagate to other devices drawing energy through power cables in that building.  In addition, that event will create a momentary radiated field that can be induced into other conductors or directly into nearby devices. 

Though transients are uncontrolled when they occur, repeatable test procedures are in place that offer confidence in your product’s ability to operate normally when transients happen.

How are products tested for transient immunity?

There are different types of transients and different types of products.   The IEC standards and guidelines establish product categories and test procedures for a wide range of transient phenomena.  For example, IEC 61000-4-2 addresses ESD immunity, laying out test procedures and severity-level choices that can be chosen depending on the product type and its intended environment.  The figure below shows a typical application of the test.

Example of an ESD test being performed on a product and the range of voltage levels given in IEC 61000-4-2

Similarly, voltage surges are covered in IEC 61000-4-5, which spells out test procedures that are effective in predicting a product’s ability to withstand lightning surges and other sudden voltage spikes.  Voltage levels are chosen based on the product’s category and intended environment.

Voltage waveform applied in an IEC 61000-4-5 surge test, and the specified voltage levels

Your product will be subjected to a variety of transient events: power surges and ESD, as shown above, but also noise bursts, voltage dips, and magnetic pulses, among others, all identified in the IEC 61000-4 series of standards.

Your product’s application and intended environment will determine which tests to apply and at what levels.  The experts at Elite Electronic Engineering can explain the tests and guide you through the necessary steps toward verification. 

Be sure to follow the Elite Insider Newsletter in the coming months.  Those newsletters will review in detail the transient types, the standards that define and characterize them, and the tests that are performed to evaluate the immunity of your product. Continue with Part 2 and Part 3Part 4 and Part 5.

Elite Electronic Engineering draws on 65 years of experience in testing products like yours and brings its expertise and evaluation skill to answer your questions.  We’ll see the days grow shorter this season and become more transient as they go by.  Verify that your product can also see transients go by  — Contact Elite to find out how.

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Elite Now an Approved Mazda EMC Laboratory

Elite’s Automotive EMC Testing team has successfully completed the lab approval process to become the first and only approved Mazda EMC test laboratory in North America. With this new credential, Elite is ready to conduct validation testing for automotive electronics manufacturers on a wide range of Mazda vehicle electronic systems.

The scope of Elite’s approved services currently extends to testing low voltage (12VDC) components with plans to achieve full approval for all high voltage testing required for electric vehicle drive train components.

Elite’s capabilities cover the MES PW 67602 “Revision D” standard which means having methods such as the Tri-Plate transmission line and all the CI 290 Mazda cranking waveforms in place.  In addition, our radiated emissions equipment and chambers meet stringent requirements set in the Revision D standard.

To have your product tested, manufacturers can simply send their Mazda EMC test plan to Elite for review and to receive a proposal, as well as a project start date.  From there we connect our EMC experts with the client’s technical team to prepare for testing in advance and ensure a successful delay-free validation project.

Mazda EMC approval adds to our long list of global Automotive OEM approvals, including Ford, GM, FCA (Stellantis), Hyundai-Kia, and Jaguar Land Rover. With more EMC chambers, test equipment, and qualified personnel than any other EMC lab, Elite is uniquely suited to help automotive electronics manufacturers achieve their product validation goals and deliver products to the OEMs on time and with accepted test results.

Contact us today for information on how Elite can help you with your Mazda EMC validation testing.

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BREXIT: Compliance Steps to Take Now

Starting January 1, 2021, new regulatory compliance rules went into effect for products sold into the United Kingdom. These changes are a result of the United Kingdom exiting the European Union in the process known as “Brexit.” Manufacturers need to take action now to ensure their electrical and electronic products are compliant when sold into the UK and in particular England, Wales, and Scotland.

The key step for manufacturers and one that requires immediate attention is to affix the new UKCA marking for products sold in the UK. The deadline for including the UKCA mark is now less than one year away and all products sold in the UK will require it starting January 1, 2022.   Until then, manufacturers can continue to label their UK products with the CE Mark.

Note that Northern Ireland (NI) is part of the UK but the regulatory processes for NI will continue to follow the EU regulations and products sold in Northern Ireland require a CE Mark label.

There are no technical changes for manufacturers to address specifically due to Brexit.  Products will not require re-testing or new testing in order to apply the UKCA mark. For example, the UK radio equipment regulation (SI 2017/1206) and EMC regulations (SI 2016/1091) are transposed into UK law based on the existing European Union Radio Equipment Directive and EMC Directive, respectively. Manufacturers can continue to bring new products to the UK and the EU by testing to the same harmonized standards listed in the European Union Official Journal or the applicable standards that are generally applied for CE Marking processes.

At this point a, European Union CE Mark Manufacturers Self-Declaration (DoC) is still required and is the compliance document required for products sold in the UK. We anticipate it may be necessary to also list the British Standard equivalent “BS” standards with “EN” standards for future DoCs.

Through the UK/US Mutual Recognition Agreement, Elite is a UK Approved Body and listed in the UK Market Conformity Assessment Body database. Our scope of accreditation includes EMC and Radio Equipment Regulations.

Contact Our Regulatory Compliance Experts

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CISPR 36 Is Published

New EMC Standard for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

By Craig Fanning, EMC Lab Manager

As the United States Lead Technical Advisor and Vice-Chair for CISPR/D (the committee responsible for the development of international automotive emissions standards), I am happy to announce that the new CISPR 36 standard has been published as of July 2020.

CISPR 36:2020, entitled “Electric and hybrid electric road vehicles – Radio disturbance characteristics – Limits and methods of measurement for the protection of off-board receivers below 30 MHz,” was developed through the efforts of CISPR/D/WG1 (the same working group responsible for CISPR 12).

The standard covers radiated emissions measurements from electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) in the frequency range of 150 kHz to 30 MHz. The test measures the magnetic field emissions being produced by the vehicle (on all 4 sides) at a test distance of 3 meters. Although the vehicle’s emissions are measured at a test distance of 3 meters, the limits were derived for the protection of off-board receivers at a 10-meter separation distance

CISPR 36 was developed based upon the need for a vehicle emissions standard covering the frequency range of 150 kHz to 30 MHz. Vehicles utilizing electric propulsion  tend to produce emissions in the lower frequency bands not covered by CISPR 12 (a standard also for protection of off-board receivers at a 10 meter separation distance but in the frequency range of 30 MHz to 1000 MHz). The new international standard was also developed because SAE J551/5 (a recommended practice developed for industrial robotics) was being used for EV and HEV regulatory purposes in China GB/T 18387.

The development and publishing of the standard was not easy. The team worked on this project for several years and through several iterations of proposed limits and measurement detectors.  Using the methods described in CISPR 16-4-4, the team made some small adjustments to the proposed limits and increased confidence that the limits would fulfil CISPR’s scope to protect the radio spectrum. In addition, the team agreed to change the measurement detector from Peak to Quasi-Peak which also required a change in the limit curve. These changes allowed the document to pass the voting processes and get to the publication stage.

Going forward, vehicle OEMs should avoid further use of SAE J551/5 as it will be withdrawn and SAE J551/1 will instruct users to reference CISPR 36.

Congratulations to all the CISPR/D experts who worked on this new international standard in order to get it to publication. The hard work by many will ensure the protection of the radio spectrum as EVs and HEVs continue to evolve and emerge in the automotive market worldwide.

Learn more about Elite’s Automotive EMC Testing capabilities and our expert engineers.

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Elite is All Charged-Up for Ford FMC 1280

Earlier this year Ford released the FMC 1280 EMC specification covering High Voltage Electrical/Electronic Components and Subsystems during Charging. Since the release of the document Elite’s Automotive EMC Testing team has been preparing its lab to conduct this testing for Ford suppliers. Well, all the prep work is now complete and we’re ready to test.

The purpose of this standard is to validate the automotive electronics that are active during vehicle battery charging while the vehicle is connected to the AC mains power grid or an external DC charging device.

The preparation has not been trivial but Elite was already well-aligned with the needs of this new spec because a major sector of our testing expertise overlapped perfectly with the needs of FMC 1280. 

Elite is already a leader in EMC testing for FCC, Canada ISED, and European Union CE Mark compliance. With our two 3-meter chambers and a full suite of IEC 61000-4-x test equipment, we are fully prepared for supporting Ford suppliers of vehicle charging related equipment.

In addition, we have also been conducting UNECE Regulation 10 testing for European Union type certification. Many of the tests in UNECE Reg 10 are aligned with the FMC 1280 requirements.

An FMC approved test plan is still required for FMC 1280 testing, so please be sure to let the FMC EMC engineer know that you will be having this testing done at Elite during the test plan approval process.

Contact us today and speak with one of our Automotive EMC experts to learn more about our Ford FMC 1280 capabilities.

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Observations on International Automotive EMC Testing

At Elite, we perform a significant number of Automotive EMC tests.  This includes a wide range of test methods developed by standards organizations like SAE, ISO, and CISPR.  We also test dozens of specifications developed by domestic OEMs as well as requirements from International OEMs around the world. There are easily several hundred unique industry and corporate tests we run for International Automotive EMC and electrical validation. 

The majority of all OEM specifications include familiar core methods such as those described in ISO 11452, ISO 7637, or CISPR25. However, nearly all corporate OEMs tailor these common methods, and may also create their own uniquely developed tests to meet their specific quality standards and markets. International OEMs in particular have some very specialized tests that require custom-built equipment and test procedures. This month, I offer my observations on some unique international OEM requirements and how Elite configures our services to meet the challenge based on my 15 years of experience.

1) Lengthy Surge Testing: One major international OEM specifies a conducted transient immunity test of 50,000 positive and negative polarity pulses associated with the alternator field coil and other inductive loads.  At 2 seconds per pulse, a single sample in one mode of operation requires approximately 28 hours of testing. It’s a good test in that it confirms transient voltage suppressors (TVS) are properly designed to shunt voltage spikes.  But given the high number of applied pulses, it’s also effective as a TVS durability test where component weaknesses, heating effects, and dielectric breakdown over time are evaluated.

Test plans often call for multiple samples and test modes, so Elite developed two sets of custom test equipment to handle the throughput. Also, because this particular OEM specification allows for a wide tolerance for the spark surge duration (0.1 to 1.5ms) it’s important to confirm this parameter with the OEM prior to testing.  Our test stand is flexibly configured to vary the duration, but a variation across the range of allowable surge duration can mean imparting pulses with an energy that can vary by over 100 joules. It’s a good test, but depending on the defined surge duration, a product may or may not meet this requirement.

2) 10-meter Harness Noise Coupling Test: In this international OEM test, a 10-meter long (30 feet) harness is run on a 12ft x 6ft bench with the harness connected to typical vehicle electronic subassemblies (ESA). The specification calls for a car horn, headlamp, windshield wiper motor, and other components that create the electrical transient environment of a vehicle harness. Once the test environment harness is set up, the test item is connected to its own length of harness tightly coupled alongside the 10m test harness and subjected to the transients created by the on/off cycling of each ESA.

While many OEMs have versions of this coupled noise test, this one is unique in that it requires a 10m long harness and uses actual vehicle components as the noise generators.  It’s a very comprehensive evaluation of all possible conditions on the vehicle and the transients are more representative of the actual harness environment.  At Elite, we optimize this test by dedicating a test bench and the whole area having the ESA generators permanently fixed along with the 10m harness constrained in a static configuration.  This permanent arrangement provides more repeatability each time we run the test and reduces setup time.

3) Magnetic Field (Noise Box) Test: This is generally referred to as the “Noise Box” test in which a loop of wire is formed around a low dielectric frame, such as Styrofoam.  The OEM standard specifies a 0.5m x 0.3m dimension for the test but vehicle components are often too large. In order to test large components, Elite increased its box dimensions to 1m x 1m. A correction factor is used to account for the larger box size dimensions.

4) Emissions Measured in dBm: The majority of all conducted and radiated emissions automotive EMC testing is performed using an antenna cable to the input of a measurement receiver having a 50-ohm input impedance.  A few international OEMs specify emissions measurements in terms of power (dBm).  While emissions measured as a power metric are not conventional for the automotive markets, it is often used in regulatory testing for wireless transmitters.  Most harmonized European Union standards such as those for WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular transceivers require testing for spurious emissions measured in power (dBm). 

We also observe that international OEMs oftentimes do not publish the limits for emissions with their common specifications; rather they provide a test method document than in a separate product document they define the emissions limits in some cases for very specific modules on the vehicle.  Elite has created automation and software that allows for setting unique emissions limits for a particular product.

5) Stripline, TEM Cell, and BCI Immunity: Nearly all OEMs include Bulk Current Injection (BCI) immunity testing within the span of 10kHz up to 400MHz because inductively coupling RF energy onto a vehicle harness is very efficiently accomplished over this range.  

In addition to BCI, some international OEMs also require TEM cell and Stripline RF immunity tests. TEM and Stripline use capacitive rather than inductive coupling to impart RF energy to harnesses and circuit elements. Running a BCI test along with TEM and Stripline would appear to be redundant but it illustrates the importance that international OEMs place on having robust electronic performance, in particular for this frequency range.   Typical vehicle harnesses can be resonant in the frequency range where BCI, TEM, and Stripline are applied.  Plus, harnesses are almost always unshielded and can act as tuned antennas capable of receiving RF energy and creating susceptibility problems.  The rigor of multiple RF immunity tests over this range reduces the risk of immunity problems at the vehicle level.

At Elite, our TEM cell operation is optimized with proven software and by dedicating the amplifier and cabling for the setup.  Some TEM cell requirements run up to 400MHz where the VSWR of the chamber becomes an issue.  However, by continuously monitoring VSWR during the test we can gauge the operation of the test and evaluate the relevance of anomalies if they occur.

Our Stripline is configured on a wheeled base that allows for quick placement in an absorber-lined chamber.  Test setup time for TEM or Stripline is very quick.  

Finally, we have one OEM specification that requires BCI testing up to 2GHz.  Testing to this high frequency is not a conventional test but we have the injection probes tuned for this range along with all other hardware to complete testing.

In summary, even though the EMC physics of Faraday, Maxwell, and Hertz are the same regardless of product, industry, or electromagnetic environment, the actual test methods we run for our wide range of clients are quite different depending on the application and environment.  

The variety of testing makes for a challenging professional work day, especially when you have to quickly transition between tests and from one OEM’s specification to another.  Fortunately, we have software, test fixtures, and quality processes that help keep all 35 of Elite’s EMC test engineers accurate and efficient in our tasks.

One last observation to make is that I’m fortunate to work with my brother, Mark because he’s a great person and (in case you haven’t noticed by the photo) we have a lot in common. Mark works in the Environmental Stress Testing lab and we often get into very “lively Gabalewicz discussions” as to which technical career is more difficult – EMC or Mechanical testing. Since this is my article, EMC is far more challenging.  End of story.

We welcome any questions on Automotive EMC testing, and encourage you to contact us if you would like to learn more about International EMC testing or any of our other services.

Experience Counts When Measuring Shielding Effectiveness

By Pat Hall, Elite’s Military & Commercial Aerospace EMC Team Leader

On October 15th, Elite is hosting our annual IEEE EMC Society Oktoberfest chapter meeting with the presentation topic on radio frequency (RF) shielding. RF shielding seems pretty straightforward – you apply to metal, foil, or a coating around a product to control the RF environment, and “bang,” EMC problems are solved! However without a good understanding of how shields work, applying them successfully to mitigate EMI problems can be a frustrating challenge.

Here at Elite we regularly measure shielding effectiveness (SE) for internal needs and for our clients. Making accurate measurements is a challenge because shields have many different shapes and purposes. For example, housings, connectors, or cables all use shields and each application requires a unique test fixture to ensure accurate and repeatable SE measurements. 

Our most common request is to measure SE for connectors and cables. For these products, we primarily use two techniques, the Triaxial Fixture Method and the Mode-Stirred Method. Here’s a brief overview of how they work and a few words of advice. 

Tri-axial Fixture Method 100MHz to 1GHz

In essence with the tri-axial method, we create a smaller diameter coaxial cable within a larger diameter coaxial cable. The smaller inner coaxial cable itself is a single conductor centered with dielectric spacers within a length of brass tubing. The single inner conductor terminates within the brass tube to a 50-ohm resistor with the other side of the resistor connected to the inside surface of the brass tube, which in turn becomes the RF return path. 

The brass tube has a cutout section where connector adapters are soldered to mount the connector under test. The adapters are specially made for each connector type and size. It’s within the inner diameter of the brass tube (and connectors) that we apply an RF signal. Any RF that escapes the assembly is collected within the space of the larger coaxial assembly and measured by a receiver at the opposite end of the tri-axial fixture. The outer surface of the inner coaxial assembly now becomes the center coaxial pin of the larger coaxial assembly and the input conductor to the measurement receiver.

The larger coaxial assembly has a rear section designed to slide along the length of the coaxial assembly. As it slides it makes electrical shorting contact between the larger and smaller tubes. During the measurement, the sliding assembly is moved back and forth along the axis of the fixture to account for resonances and positioned so that the received signal is maximized. The difference in amplitude between the signal generated at one end of the triaxial fixture and the signal measured at the other end of the fixture is used to calculate the shielding effectiveness of the connector. 

Mode-Stirred Method 200MHz -18GHz

For evaluating shielding using the mode-stirred method we configure the two ends of a connector assembly each to a length of semi-rigid coax. The assembly is then connected to a reverb shielded chamber wall panel having feed-through connectors. On the outside of the chamber, one end of the connector test assembly is mated to a 50-ohm load and the other end to a measuring receiver.

To make the SE measurement, an RF signal is injected into the mode stirred chamber and measured at the reference antenna. The same signal is also measured by the receiver connected to the connector under test. The difference in readings between the reference and the connector under test provides the data for the SE calculation. During the test, the mode stirrer is rotated while taking measurements. Below 2GHz typically 200 measurements are made per revolution and above 2GHz 3000 readings are taken.

Tips for Successful SE Measurements

To help make your connector shielding effectiveness test more of success I recommend the following steps:

  • The most important step for the mode-stirred test is to ensure no RF leakage occurs at any of the fixturing points and that any leakage only occurs at the connector mating interface.
  • We recommend contacting Elite early in the project so we can help develop the semi-rigid coax interface assembly in a manner that will ensure an accurate test. Semi-rigid is truly the best for fixturing and is far superior to flexible cable and standard connectors.
  • Provide a reference cable, meaning one continuous length of the cable without the connector in place. With a reference cable, we can determine the best possible performance of the measurement system since there is no connector in the test. Having the reference cable will help us establish the dynamic range for the measurement.
  • Provide the connector under test with threads and mating surfaces having materials and surface finishes that are suitable for soldering to rigid coax. It’s very difficult to solder to a stainless steel or aluminum connector or connectors that have a plating finish. 

To get a quick technical overview of shielding theory and the practical application of shields, I recommend the free LearnEMC tutorials on Shielding Theory and Practical EM Shielding.

For more information about how Elite can help you evaluate your connectors or cables for shielding effectiveness, please give me a call to discuss your questions.

Pat Hall
Sr. EMC Engineer
iNARTE Certified EMC Engineer
Military & Commercial Aerospace EMC Team Leader

Email
(630) 495-9770 ext. 104

Employee Spotlight: Elite’s Lightning Expert Tom Klouda

Elite has been a leader in Lightning and Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Testing for decades thanks to the skill and dedication of Tom Klouda, Elite’s Director of Engineering. When he is not busy specifying new test equipment, verifying new test methods, or designing and building custom EMC and Environmental test systems, he is a member of the SAE AE2 Lightning standards committee responsible for ensuring that aircraft electronics are tolerant of lightning strikes.

Since 1988, Tom has grown our Lightning and EMP Testing capabilities to include three test setups that achieve Level 5 for all waveforms in RTCA DO-160 Section 22 and a custom EMP simulator to meet the requirements of MIL-STD-461 RS105. No other lab in the world combines the specialized resources and expertise in Lightning and EMP testing like Elite – and Tom is the driving force behind that accomplishment.

We asked Tom about his longtime interest in lightning simulation and testing, how it has shaped his career, and how he has helped to advance an important aspect of aviation safety.

Q: When did you get started with lightning testing?
My father James C. Klouda founded Elite Electronic Engineering Company in 1954. I started working at Elite officially in 1986. 33 years fly by when you’re having fun!  I am now Vice President and Director of Engineering at Elite. Testing aircraft electronics and avionics to the indirect effects of lightning strikes and electromagnetic pulses (EMP) is a specialized area of expertise that I developed over many years.   I became interested in this field when electromagnetic pulse (EMP) requirements were added to MIL-STD-461 and Indirect Lightning requirements were added to RTCA DO-160 Section 22. In 1988, I went to an EMP testing workshop to understand the EMP test methods.  Elite soon became a leader performing EMP tests.

Q: What is most fascinating to you about lightning testing?
I soon discovered that EMP and lightning generators were not commercially available. These tests would require “homemade” equipment so I was excited to tackle that challenge. I worked with Elite’s senior engineers to design and develop lightning and EMP transient generators.  The EMP requirement is to produce a damped sinusoid high-current transient on equipment interconnect cables – the first system we developed used a 12 kW pulsed amplifier that was the size of two large refrigerators side by side. A state-of-the-art arbitrary waveform generator was used to produce the damped sinusoid waveforms and a large clamp-on inductive coupler was used to induce the pulse on the interconnect cables.

Q: How has the understanding and modeling of lightning behavior changed over the years?
The indirect effects of lightning requirements replicate the transient levels that avionics will be subject to when an aircraft is struck by lightning. The challenge is to produce the correct wave shapes for multi-stroke and multiple-burst events – test levels and injection methods have been the focus of most of my career.  My electrical engineering degree did not completely prepare me for a career in this field so I had to learn on the job.  To learn more about lightning tests, I took a course at a laboratory with direct effects capabilities and witnessed controlled, direct lightning strikes on aircraft components.

Q: How have you benefitted from participating in lightning standards committees and other professional organizations?
The training course instructor was the founding chairman of the SAE AE2 Lightning committee.  I later joined the SAE AE2 lightning committee and it has been a very rewarding experience.  The committee provides insight and knowledge of how and why the test methods and waveforms were developed, including the basic research behind lightning behavior. Now I help develop new standards with other industry experts that are used to qualify new aircraft and all of their components.  The colleagues I have met on the committee have also become my good friends.

Q: What is the most challenging project you have completed?
The coolest project I worked on was testing data entry panels that were installed on the U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bomber – and that’s all I can share about that project. Another milestone in my career was to help design a commercially available lightning generator that meets the Level 5 requirements of RTCA DO-160 Section 22. This equipment is used in many manufacturers and test labs throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. It feels good to know I helped develop equipment that is making people safer when flying in storms.

Do you have Lightning or EMP Testing requirements to certify your aircraft electronics? Contact us today to experience the advantage of Elite’s resources and expertise to certify your products.

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In Case You Missed It: 2019 IEEE International Symposium on EMC+SIPI

The 2019 IEEE International Symposium on EMC+SIPI was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, in July. Elite was there as an exhibitor and presenter to learn more about how technological advances in the electronics industry are driving new challenges for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) around the world. Here are a few highlights to catch you up:

  1. Over 1,200 attendees and exhibitors from industry, government agencies, and academia descended on New Orleans for the entire week. The program was packed with detailed presentations on topics like 5G wireless infrastructure, autonomous vehicle systems, aerospace applications, and standards committees. Elite’s Craig Fanning presented “Current and Future Changes to the CISPR Automotive EMC Standards” along with other industry experts during a Friday morning session.
  2. Elite sponsored two events for the IEEE Young Professionals organization, including an EMC trivia game and a networking social. IEEE YP is open to IEEE members who earned their first professional degree within the last 15 years and offers an opportunity for people new to the EMC field to connect. Elite accepted a Certificate of Appreciation from the 2019 IEEE EMC+SIPI Young Professional Program Chair, Louann Mlekodaj.
  3. A joint meeting of the SAE G46 and IEEE TC8 committees was held on Wednesday, with a luncheon sponsored by Elite. These committees focus on EMC standards and best practices for aeronautics and space applications. In addition to updates on standards development activities, the meeting included several presentations from NASA personnel on exciting new space missions underway. EMC is vital to the success of space travel – and rigorous testing is required since spacecraft have to work right the first time.

Next year, we will be in Reno, Nevada, USA, for the 2020 IEEE International Symposium on EMC+SIPI and look forward to another productive meeting. Elite counts many IEEE members among its staff and have been a longtime supporter of the Symposium. It is a unique opportunity to engage with the people who “write the book” on EMC, stay ahead of technology advances, and anticipate our customers’ needs.

Most of all, it furthers our mission to “enhance the quality of life for all people by preserving the electromagnetic spectrum and ensuring the safety and reliability of electronic devices.”

If you are interested in attending the 2020 symposium, sign up here for updates.

Ford Mandates Reverb RI Testing for Components

Earlier this year the Ford EMC department issued a notice to Elite and all other approved test labs that all RF radiated immunity testing shall be performed using the reverberation chamber method. In the past, Ford’s corporate EMC standards EMC-CS-2009.1 and FMC-1278 have permitted the use of either the reverberation chamber method or absorber lined chamber radiated immunity method.

However, going forward, the reverb method will be the default test method. We are recommending to all clients that if they are considering the ALSE version of the test, to double check with Ford EMC during the test plan development and approval process. ALSE can only be used with specific permission from Ford EMC, and that has to be clearly defined in the approved test plan.

Elite has three Mode Tuned reverberation chambers. In addition to using them for Ford RI114 testing, these chambers are also applied for DO-160G and MIL-STD-461 radiated immunity. The Commercial Aviation and Military EMC testing we perform in these chambers allows Elite to apply pulsed RF test levels up to 5000 V/m.

Elite is fully approved by Ford for RI114 testing in a reverberation chamber. Contact us today if you have any questions on this new requirement for Automotive EMC testing.

Labels: Automotive EMC

Employee Spotlight: Paul Gates

Here’s a little bit about Paul Gates, from our Automotive EMC Testing team:

Title: EMC Engineer

Year Started at Elite: 2018

Area(s) of expertise: Consumer Electronics, PCB Design, Programming

Education: BSEE – University of Illinois at Chicago

Any unique hobbies, talents, skills, experiences, etc.:  Eating and gaming

Proudest moment in life so far:

When Stan [Dolecki, Elite’s Automotive EMC Team Leader] told me “Good Job.”

What would you consider to be your passion outside of work? How did you get started in it? Any advice for someone looking to try this activity?

I am beginning to learn about assembling PCs from scratch. I recommend this to anyone interested in PC gaming as it allows for greater performance at a lower cost, compared to pre-built PCs and consoles. Resources are plentiful on google and throughout the internet.

How did you get involved with EMC/ENV testing?

I began testing at an internship during undergrad and I became exposed to EMC when starting at Elite.

Most rewarding/favorite aspect of working at Elite:

The company’s investment in the training and education of its employees

What is something that customers/colleagues might find surprising about you?

I am an identical twin.

If you had a personal motto, what would it be?

Measure twice, cut once.

If you could be paid in something other than money, what would you choose?

GPUs or RAM

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Electric Vehicles Drive New EMC Standards

By Craig Fanning, EMC Lab Manager

Elite will be hosting our annual St. Patrick’s Day Event with the IEEE and SAE Chicago sections on March 13.

For the keynote presentation, EMC engineers from Harley-Davidson will outline the technical development process and discuss the unique challenges that accompany the design, testing, and manufacturing of the LiveWire – the first all-electric motorcycle from H-D.

This will be a very interesting event from my perspective as I am heavily involved with the development of Automotive EMC standards as the CISPR/D Vice Chair and member of the ISO USTAG and SAE EMC Committees.

Here are just a few of the standards that are being updated to address the EMC testing of Electric Vehicles (EVs):

  • ECE Regulation 10 (now 10.05) was updated to address the EMC testing of EVs and EV ESAs (Electronic Sub-Assemblies) at the regulatory level. This standard is currently being used for regulatory purposes if a vehicle manufacturer wants to sell in many countries overseas which requires Type approval of the vehicle (E Marking).
  • CISPR 25 4th Edition was updated with setups for the testing of both EVs and components. Annex I of the updated standard covers the special setups and considerations for the testing of EV modules
  • CISPR 12 7th Edition is currently at the CD stage as the FDIS vote did not pass. This was mainly due to the fact that CISPR/D WG1 wanted to keep the peak detector limits in the standard. The “peak to quasi-peak” correction has been 20 dB for many years since that correlates with internal combustion engine ignition noise. However, the “peak to quasi-peak” correction for EV drive systems is considerably less. Therefore, we will need to make some additional changes to the proposed standard prior to publication.
  • CISPR 36 1st Edition is a brand new standard that is currently in the development stages. This standard addresses the radiated emissions of EVs and HEVs. This standard will cover the frequency range of 150 kHz to 30 MHz and is for the protection of off-board receivers at a distance of 10 meters from the vehicle. Again, the proposed limits were a concern for some countries and we are working towards justification efforts and reworking the proposed limits.

Standards are also being developed for the Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) charging of EVs. These high-power charging systems which are capable of charging the vehicle battery without any physical connection to the charging system (charging through the air) will be critical for the future when driverless EVs will be driving on the roadways.

We are also working on implementing updates to cover the testing of vehicles and ESAs that utilize autonomous driving. Technology drives the standards and the standards committees are currently getting a lot of good input from vehicle manufacturers and suppliers that utilize autonomous driving systems. As we see the need and receive requests for updates to the standards, they will be implemented.

The development of Automotive EMC standards for North America and the rest of the world has been very active over the past few years with the industry-changing impact of electric and autonomous vehicles. We look forward to seeing everybody on March 13 for the presentation by the EV experts from Harley-Davidson.

Elite’s Stan Dolecki on UNECE Regulation 10

Elite’s Automotive EMC Team Leader, Stan Dolecki, was recently interviewed by Interference Technology regarding UNECE Regulation 10. The discussion focused on electronic sub-assemblies with immunity-related functionality and associated voltage and current transient requirements. Mr. Dolecki brings his unmatched expertise in Automotive EMC test standards and methods to nearly every project at Elite to assist customers with complete test plans and evaluate compliance to applicable standards

Click here to read the full interview at Interference Technology

Contact us today to team up with Elite’s Automotive EMC test experts on your next project.

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In Case You Missed It, Elite Was There

Elite’s staff has been busy the past few months attending important industry events that impact our test industry and the clients we serve. From these tradeshows and conferences, we’ve narrowed down a few key takeaways to share with our readers.

Mobile World Congress Americas 2018

The MWCA conference and exhibition is the largest mobile cellular industry event held in the US. Elite’s participation included having a sales booth where our staff met attendees and showcased our new OTA test services and Connected Conformity processes. Our staff also attended conference sessions to hear the latest news about all things cellular.

CEOs and tech leaders described their vision for 5G and how it will enable innovation, create new markets, dramatically boost the US economy, and generally raise the standard of living globally. New cellular innovation will enable the convergence of augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence to create the equivalent of the next Industrial Revolution. The following videos offer a high-level summary for Day 1 and Day 2 at MWCA 2018. 

2018 IEEE 88th Vehicular Technology Conference

The IEEE VTS conference was held in Chicago this past August and included three days of keynote presentations along with over 500 technical papers covering the latest in connected vehicle technology.

Here are a few highlights of interest to our readers: 

  • There is no immediate timing for a federal mandate requiring Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) or Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (cV2X).
  • Commercial deployment of cV2X is expected to be in vehicles by 2020.
  • The FCC is still evaluating spectrum sharing possibilities at 5.9GHz for Wi-Fi and DSRC/cV2X.  Options include enabling WiFi with detect-and-avoid technology as well as re-channelization where safety channels are moved to the upper part of the band.
  • The FCC will have proposals for unlicensed access in the 6GHz-8Ghz range later this year.

Elite’s Firass Badaruzzaman (center) also caught up with fellow Motorola alums Dennis Roberson (left; President of Roberson and Associates; IEEE VTS Conference Chairman) and Marty Cooper (right; Inventor, Entrepreneur, and Executive; widely considered the “father of the handheld cell phone.”

Industry conferences and technical seminars are unique opportunities to learn from and network with other technical professionals – and you will usually find Elite there. Check here for upcoming events hosted and attended by Elite.

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Elite Helps Steer Automotive EMC Standards Development

An Interview with Elite’s EMC Lab Manager and “CISPR-D” US Technical Advisor, Craig Fanning. Learn more from Craig at the upcoming Automotive EMC Standards Seminars in Detroit and Chicago.

By Stacey Klouda Cosentino

Stacey (SKC)-   So Craig, you’ve really grown a passion for helping to write and maintain automotive EMC standards. What’s your story, and tell us about these standards and committees you lead?

Craig-  Okay I’ll admit it I’ve become a standards nerd, but after 20 years of participation on tech committees, I really come to recognize standards are essential in any industry that’s successful and sustaining.  The automotive industry is 3% to 4% of our total GDP so we take pride here at Elite in contributing to this important segment of the US economy. Automotive EMC is also a big part of Elite’s brand and as the leader in automotive EMC testing, we need to be a significant voice in test technology.  

Currently, I’m the US Technical Advisor to CISPR D, Convener of CISPR D/WG2, and the Convener of CISPR D/A JTF on Chamber Validation. I am also in the process of being nominated to be Vice-Chair of CISPR D. CISPR is part of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the various CISPR subcommittees prepare standards for different industry segments. CISPR D addresses RF emissions standards for vehicles. I am also on the SAE EMC committee and the ISO/TC22/SC32/WG3 committee. The WG3 committee is responsible for developing and maintaining the immunity standards used in the automobile industry worldwide.

SKC-   What’s involved as a committee member and leader and why is this important?

Craig-  As the US Technical Advisor, my responsibility is to provide technical input for the US on standards at an international level. We have a team of about 20 experts from US-based OEMs, suppliers, and laboratories that make up the CISPR D USTAG. Each National Committee is allowed to have just a few key individuals that can attend the international standards meetings. It is our delegation’s job to make sure the interests of US manufacturers/suppliers and test labs are well represented when developing and maintaining international standards.

Quite honestly…as a leader, I am just the organizer of a committee. We have a phenomenal team of very knowledgeable experts who have been involved with automotive EMC (and standards development) for many years. We have one expert on the USTAG who was an integral part of drafting CISPR 25 Ed.1. He basically wrote the first revision of the standard we are still using today and he still contributes to the evolution of the standard. OEM experts work on actual vehicle issues every day. They are the ones who really know what performance is needed at the module level in order to have acceptable EMC performance at the vehicle level. As an EMC laboratory expert, I provide help with test and standards development from a practical standpoint. This is definitely a team effort…and we all work together well to get the job done.   

A big part of what we do is to make sure the standards are continuously improving, relevant, and adapting to changing technology and innovation. As a committee, we specify test processes by consensus of experts and in that way capture best practices and ensure consistent and repeatable measurement results.

Our efforts to standardize methodologies reduce the cost and variety of test equipment, software, and unique expertise.  The physics of EMC is the same for each OEM, supplier, and lab, so if we can write a single test method that can be shared by all players then the evaluation process for the entire industry becomes more efficient.

SKC-   As you mention the physics of EMC has not changed and for sure automotive EMC standards have been around for many years, so why is it important to have new or revised automotive EMC standards?

Craig-  You’re right our standards have been around for years, but these documents were the best work at the time they were released.  Our work efforts now are to improve the existing specs and make them more clear, concise, and unambiguous. We include improvements on definitions, setup details, and special test cases for new technology.  

SKC-   What new technology is driving your committee work?

Craig-  Electric and hybrid vehicle electronics are a major one.  With all the plug-in and Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) charging systems vehicle electronics need to consider an entirely different EMC environment. In this area we incorporate the work from the AC mains connected CISPR/ISO/IEC committees and adapt their technical input to the vehicle environment. I am also involved with the ANSI C63.30 committee working on a procedure for the testing of WPT products (including WPT devices for vehicles).

Autonomous driving is also a big leap in vehicle technology. Autonomous vehicles have many high-frequency transmitters and include wireless connectivity. There are a greater number and variety of vehicular wireless devices with a broad range of applications, frequencies, and power levels. We will have a lot of interesting work to do from a standards development standpoint to address this new technology and connectivity.    

The receive bandwidth and sensitivity of wireless devices depend on the type of device – for example, TPMS, GPS, WiFi, or cellular.  Our committee has to consider the level of protection these devices need and then develop vehicle and component standards that will limit interference from vehicle electronics and motors. We have to balance specifying limits that protect receivers with the design constraints for vehicle electronic and motor manufacturers. After all, it’s not economical to specify requirements that dictate vehicle systems to be designed with shielded enclosures, harnesses, and connectors so we have to write practical documents.

SKC–  How are advancements in testing instrumentation and software changing standards?

Craig-  There are really important changes in our standards as a result of time-domain FFT-based receivers. We’re already seeing the benefits of FFT technology especially when testing GNSS receivers where the RBW is only 9kHz. This is an exhaustively long measurement with a swept or stepped receiver when compared to an FFT receiver. We are implementing FFT into the OEM measurements which allow FFT. Elite also does testing for the Military, Aerospace, and Commercial Electronics industries. FFT is finding its way into those standards and we will be implementing that technology into those tests whenever possible.

SKC- How has your standards work helped you personally?

Craig–  I’ve had the opportunity to meet many brilliant people in our industry from the US and around the world. I have been privileged to be able to know many of them on a professional and personal level. I’ve come to recognize that we all have a common focus of contributing our knowledge to the industry (no matter where you live or work geographically).

Being a part of these standards committees has really helped Elite be the leader in automotive EMC testing. I’ve been able to gain insight into the standards like never before so that when we test at Elite, we have a rock-solid understanding of what’s right or wrong about our processes.  It builds tremendous confidence internally and with our clients when we set up and run our tests. No matter how concise we try to make the standard, something always comes up for interpretation. Being involved with the standard development, I know what the intent of the standard was and how to correctly interpret the standards whenever there is a question or the need for engineering judgment.  

SKC-  How has Elite supported your participation?

Craig–   Elite has always been an ardent supporter of industry organizations, like the IEEE EMC Society, SAE, IEST, and other professional groups.  Industry organization support was a core belief of Elite’s founder Jim Klouda and he stressed that Elite’s employees should be active in our industry and contribute time and resources. That same belief and commitment continue today with our current company leaders Ray, Tom, and Joe Klouda.  At Elite I’m involved with CISPR, ISO, and SAE for automotive EMC, but we also have Tom Klouda leading aviation lightning standards development and Pat Hall participating in HIRF standards development in the SAE aviation committees.  Plus on the wireless regulatory testing side, Dan Crowder works in commercial wireless testing standards. Seems at times like we’ve got our hands in everything. 

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EBook: Guide to Antenna Tests and OTA Measurements

Antenna performance for a wireless transmitter is critical for optimizing range, throughput, and power consumption. This guide provides an overview of basic antenna concepts and the processes to evaluate antenna performance and transceiver operations. Once an antenna has been configured to a wireless device, measuring its performance can provide numerous benefits.

Everything You Need to Know About Antenna Tests & OTA Measurements

This e-book provides information on:

  • An overview of antennas and the importance of measuring
  • Antenna design basics, fundamentals, and measurements
  • Overview and summary of important antenna parameters
  • Information on Passive and Active antenna testing

​Readers will also learn how to apply that knowledge to:

  • Benchmark your antenna design through testing
  • Optimize integrated antenna-transceiver performance
  • Achieve greater success with network operator certifications

Download Guide to Antenna Tests and OTA Measurements

Employee Spotlight: Rick King & Mark Longinotti on 20 Years of Compliance Testing

Rick King and Mark Longinotti are two key members of Elite’s regulatory compliance team. They perform testing and complete certifications of transmitters for Elite clients who want to sell their products in the US, Canada, European Union, and globally. Recently, Elite’s Stacey Klouda sat down for an interview with Mark and Rick to ask them how their jobs have changed in the 20 years that each has been at Elite.

Stacey K: So between you two guys, you have a combined 40 years of experience, and your whole time here you’ve dealt exclusively with government EMC regulations. That’s a lot of time spent reading FCC regulations…I assume you sleep well after pouring through regulations every day?

Mark L: EMC regulations are definitely not on the New York Times best sellers list. They’re not on any best-of list…

Rick K: For sure it’s one of the toughest parts of the job, staying current with all the changes. And every country has a unique rule that we have to understand. Some country regulations look alike; some are slightly or completely different, whether it’s FCC, Canada, or the EU. They’re also constantly changing and often written rules don’t provide a clear answer, which means we have to look for guidance documents, precedence, and good engineering judgments to apply the right test.

Mark L: Our job can seem a bit like putting a puzzle together in that you read the regulations then look in another procedure or linked document for more guidance, then look at how it applies to the product, followed by talking to the customer about how this would apply to their device. Repeat…rinse…repeat…etc. In a profession where we strive to give pass-fail results and answers, dealing with the occasional uncertainty about rules and regulations is a real challenge.

Rick K: I’d say this job can seem more like a crime scene investigation [laughing]

Mark L: Huh…”CSI.” Are you talking about dealing with the FCC/EU standards or are you trying to tell me what’s in store for me after working with you for so long?

Stacey K: What was your impression when you first joined Elite?

Mark L: Well, since that was 21 years ago I was a lot younger than I am now. I recall being excited about the new opportunity but slightly overwhelmed with the amount of expertise that’s required to be a good regulatory test engineer. We had several older EMC engineers “curmudgeons” who seemed to know everything. I guess I’m one of those curmudgeons now.    

Rick K: The Company was a big mystery to me. I had no experience with EMC testing and did not really know what it was, but was curious about the measurements and equipment and recognized the potential for my role and career with Elite.  

Mark L: I remember that there was a lot of “stuff” on the shelves. It was kind of like the TV show “American Pickers” where there were just racks and racks of old stuff packed up to the ceiling. But all that has been moved out and now every available square inch of space is used for actual testing. The place looks so much different than when I started. Even with all the changes, we could still use more space. I could also use a well-appointed corner office with a skyscraper view of Lake Michigan…

Stacey K: What’s the biggest change in your work seen since you started?

Rick K: There’s no question about it; transmitters are everywhere and in everything now. Nearly all products we see in our lab have some kind of wireless connectivity.

Mark L: When I started we were testing transmitters but they were more simple devices like garage door openers or remote call buttons type devices. For sure we tested licensed radios, Part 90 devices, and Part 68 devices, but still compared to today those test items were relatively straightforward.

Rick K: Technology is constantly changing. Our challenge is trying to stay current.  It seems like every year there’s something different in our lab.   We’re seeing a wide range of transmitter types like Bluetooth, Zigbee, WiFi, NFC, and LoRA, and each of them has its own unique modulation schemes, spread spectrum or wide band spread, channel configurations, and so on. 

Mark L: As an EMC engineer in this group, you have to think on your feet, and quickly.  When products come to us for testing we have to switch gears from our last project and instantly be familiar with the next product, next application, and next regulation.  It’s not a “cookie-cutter” kind of EMC test job. You really have to multi-task and quickly switch your brain to the next set of standards and technologies.   

Rick K: Our test equipment is much more advanced than ever, and we use it to be efficient and competitive.  But we still have to perform many of our measurements manually.   Sometimes we have to confirm readings using calculations and be able to spot results that don’t appear accurate.  It’s important to leverage the speed and efficiency of our test equipment and automation but still, we have to make sure we’re getting correct results.

Stacey K: What’s next for Mark and Rick?

Mark L: I’m hoping to be more of a mentor and teacher of our newer engineers. If they can tolerate me. [laughing]

Rick K: I’m pretty eager to learn more about our new wireless testing capabilities.  With our new fully anechoic CTIA complaint chamber there are measurements for TIR, TRP, and antenna pattern mapping that I would like to learn and broaden my range of knowledge.  I’ve wanted to pick up more background on this aspect of wireless measurements because I’m hearing more about the importance of these measurements with respect to regulatory compliance.  So I’m ready to dig in when the time comes.

Mark L: There’s definitely an air of excitement here at Elite with the changes and new services coming online. I’m pretty keyed up to seeing it all come together and being a part of something new and significant for our company.  

Rick K: You’re such the company guy Mark. [laughing]

Contact Rick King or Mark Longinotti to learn more about Elite’s FCC, Canada, and CE Mark testing services and get your compliance testing program started.

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6 Steps to Certification for the “Internet of Things”

Here at Elite, we’re seeing many of our clients take steps to enable wireless connectivity in their products. Some of these firms have internal processes to get their products through regulatory and industry tests and certifications. However, others need conformity assessment expertise and administrative assistance due to limited internal resources or time constraints.

At Elite, we’re expanding our wireless test, engineering, and support services to ease the burden on our clients and help them get their Internet of Things (IoT) and wireless products to market successfully. Elite regulatory specialists and experienced test engineers can guide clients through the technical and administrative processes to complete testing and achieve certification when necessary.

1. Review and Analyze the Product and Requirements

We request that our clients provide all the available information on the radios and receivers, host device, intended applications, and target markets. Next, we review and analyze the information to create a compliance test and certification plan that will ensure all applicable government and industry requirements are addressed.

2. Prepare, Test, and Report

Since wireless tests require specific compliance configurations, Elite will schedule a pre-test meeting to confirm test plan details, review transmitter operations, and identify information and documentation required for testing and/or certification.  With two 3-meter chambers, qualified EMC engineers, and a full-service Environmental Stress lab, Elite provides a full suite of services including related partner-provided services such as safety, SAR testing, protocol-interoperability qualifications, and RoHS/REACH. Elite can also support antenna development and Over-The-Air (OTA) testing with our new CTIA-compliant chamber and instrumentation.

3. Prepare Documentation

Elite provides compliance templates for labeling, manuals, DoC, and technical file structure. We can also prepare RF exposure assessments, and safety evaluations, and can assist manufacturers with documenting the “Risk Assessment” – now a formal documentation requirement as stated in the European Union Directives and supporting guides.

4. Certify as Necessary

Some devices need to be certified for regulatory compliance. Elite is a certification body for the United States (FCC), and Canada (ISED), and a notified body for the European Union. 

5. Go Global

Beyond North America and Europe, Elite can obtain global certifications in nearly every market. Provide Elite with a list of target global markets and we can provide a plan and budgetary estimate of service fees.

6. Stay Current

When certified products change with new and updated features or when new regulations are published, Elite can signal the significance of these changes to your products.

Contact us today to learn more about how Elite can streamline your IoT and wireless product certification process.

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New Employee Spotlight: Javier Cardenas

Here’s a little bit about a new addition to the Elite team, Javier Cardenas:

Title: EMC Test Engineer

Year Started at Elite: 2018

Area(s) of expertise: Solid State Physics

Education: M.S. in Physics (Illinois Institute of Technology, 2017)

Any unique hobbies, talents, skills, experiences, etc.:  Worked at the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratories as well as at the Advanced Photon Source in the same facility.

Proudest moment in life so far:

Graduating from the Illinois Institute of Technology

What would you consider to be your passion outside of work? How did you get started in it? Any advice for someone looking to try this activity?

Driving around with no particular destination and taking in the scenery.

How did you get involved with EMC/ENV testing?

A referral from a friend.

Why did you choose to work at Elite?

The employees were all friendly and welcoming.

What is something that customers/colleagues might find surprising about you?

I don’t like chocolate.

If you had a personal motto, what would it be?

Take any learning experience that comes your way.

If you could be paid something other than money, what would you choose?

Computer hardware

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Employee Spotlight: Jeremy Rutnicki

Here’s a little bit about a new addition to our EMC testing department, Jeremy Rutnicki:

Title: EMC Technician

Year Started at Elite: 2017

Education: AS of Science, DeVry University

Industry Certification: ASE, VMWare Certified, Trimble Technology (GCS, SCS, BC-HSE)

Any unique hobbies, talents, skills, experiences, etc.: 

I build household electronics that most people think are weird.

Proudest moment in life so far:

The Cubs won the World Series!

If you had a personal motto, what would it be?

Bigger, better, best

If you could be paid something other than money, what would you choose?

Ice cream, grilled Reubens, or my mom’s meatloaf.

What is something that customers/colleagues would find interesting about you? 

John Wayne is my 3rd cousin. I’ve gone to 10+ cubs games a year for as long as I can remember

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More Access to Elite’s EMC/EMI Testing

Earlier this year, we relocated and expanded our Environmental Stress TestingPhotometric Testing, and Fixture Fabrication services at our new North Annex. This made room for two more EMC/EMI test chambers at our main laboratory which is now fully operational.

Room #31 is an absorber-lined shielded enclosure (ALSE) meeting the requirements of Automotive EMC Testing per CISPR 25, ISO 11452-2, and ISO 11452-9, and is suitable for Commercial Aviation and Military EMC/EMI Testing per MIL-STD-461 and RTCA DO-160. The chamber utilizes a mixture of foam and hybrid (ferrite/foam) absorbers strategically placed behind the ground plane connection and on the ceiling to maximize antenna and absorber separation.

Room #32 is also an ALSE but is designed primarily for Commercial Aviation and Military EMC/EMI Testing per MIL-STD-461 and RTCA DO-160. The chamber is equipped with high-current, 3-phase, 400Hz filters for testing commercial and military aerospace products. Hybrid (ferrite/foam) absorber supplements the fully-lined ferrite structure for improved high-frequency performance. The ability to configure this chamber for Automotive EMC radiated immunity testing per ISO 11452-2 and ISO 11452-9 allows additional scheduling flexibility.

Both chambers are also equipped with High Voltage/High Current DC filters for testing of 48VDC “Orange Wire” automotive systems.

“These new chambers will improve throughput for AutomotiveCommercial Aviation, and Military EMC Testing that requires an ALSE,” according to Craig Fanning, Elite’s EMC Laboratory Manager. “Growing capacity to reduce backlogs has been a priority for Elite, and we design our setups to rapidly adapt to our customer’s technical and schedule requirements. Paired with our skilled test engineers, these new chambers demonstrate our commitment to deliver quick access to our high-quality facilities AND our trusted team.”

Elite’s success depends on helping our customers succeed. Our goal is to increase our EMC/EMI and Environmental Stress testing capacity and add new, complementary services to meet all of our customer’s needs in one location. This gives our customers an advantage over their competition by shortening test schedules, streamlining their supply chains, and delivering dependable test results that get their products to market quickly.

When you are ready to experience the Elite advantage and put our comprehensive capabilities and proven experts to work for you, please contact us to schedule a tour or request a quote.

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EBook: Everything You Need to Know About Marine EMC

(EMC) addresses two concerns; first, the ability of a device to limit its radio frequency emissions so it doesn’t interfere with other nearby devices (in particular radio receivers); and second, the ability of a device to operate as required in the presence of electrical and electromagnetic interference and other electrical threats.

This guide describes the EMC and wireless device regulations that apply to marine equipment and systems.

What You’ll Find in This EBook:

  1. Overview of the marine EMC environment
  2. Recreational craft regulations
  3. Commercial ship regulations
  4. Conformity assessment
  5. How to Prepare for marine equipment EMC testing

Download Everything You Need to Know About Marine EMC

Employee Spotlight: Marty Kalnins

Here’s a little bit about a new addition to our EMC testing department, Marty Kalnins:

Title: EMC Engineer

Year Started at Elite: 2017

Education: Bachelor’s in EE from IIT

Any unique hobbies, talents, skills, experiences, etc.: 

3D printer design/build; Licensed pyrotechnician for 17+ years.

What would you consider to be your passion outside of work? How did you get started in it? Any advice for anyone looking to try this activity?

Pyro/Fireworks. My father-in-law got me started in the business.  He let me set up for the 4th of July display in Oak Forest, IL. That was it–I was hooked. I now shoot 7 shows a year. To get into this industry, you need to first find a licensed pyro-tech.  The tricky thing is that we are few and far between.

Proudest moment in life so far:

My kids and graduating from college (I started back to school at the age of 45).

What would you consider to be your passion outside of work? How did you get started in it? Any advice for anyone looking to try this activity? 

Just doing anything outside (except in the Illinois winters).

How did you get involved with EMC/ENV testing?

A close friend got me into it. 

Why did you choose to work at Elite?

Elite is the premiere EMC lab in the area (and see above).

If you had a personal motto, what would it be?

“Use it or lose it.”

If you could be paid something other than money, what would you choose?

GOLD.

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Employee Spotlight: Zachary Ryan

Here’s a little bit about our new official member of Elite’s automotive EMC testing department, Zak Ryan:

Title: EMC Test Engineer

Year Started at Elite: 2017

Areas of Expertise/Interest: Audio

Education: UIC BSEE ’16, COD AAS ’14

Any unique hobbies, talents, skills, experiences, etc.: Play guitar, design personal circuits, arduino applications

Proudest moment in life so far: Obtaining my BSEE, recording an album with my band

What would you consider to be your passion outside of work? How did you get started in it? Any advice for anyone looking to try this activity? 

Music/guitar. Started in middle school wanting to play songs from my favorite bands. Eventually got really interested in music theory.  My advice is to go out on a limb and commit to learning. It takes time. 

How did you get involved with EMC/ENV testing?

My audio interest led me to RF work and I’ve always enjoyed lab settings.

Why did you choose to work at Elite?

Great customer reviews and laboratory environment. Hands-on work and local to where I live.

What is something that customers/colleagues might find surprising about you?

I drive a stick-shift car–all cars I have MUST be a stick.

If you had a personal motto, what would it be?

Strive to be better.

 If you could be paid something other than money, what would you choose?

Food gift cards to nice places 🙂

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2017 Learn EMC Courses with Dr. Todd Hubing

World Class EMC Courses in the Midwest 

Dr. Todd Hubing of LearnEMC has established a world-class EMC training facility in the historic town of Stoughton, Wisconsin – just 20 minutes south of Madison (less than 2 hours from O’Hare).

LearnEMC offers short courses that provide relevant, practical, and proven EMC design knowledge and techniques geared toward producing designs that pass compliance regulations the first time. The LearnEMC training facility has been designed for small class sizes (16) to allow for hands-on demonstrations and plenty of interaction.

Todd Hubing’s engineering credentials are second to none. His academic research has covered an impressive range of EMC topics.  Now his training courses focus on the reliable integration of low-cost, safety-critical electronics in an electromagnetically harsh environment.  He has trained thousands of students while a professor at Clemson, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and NC State, and has helped hundreds more through workshops and corporate-sponsored EMC training events.

Todd is an IEEE Fellow and a Fellow of the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society. He is a past president of the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society and served on the society’s board of directors for 18 years between 1995 and 2013.

COMING EVENT- April!

2017 LearnEMC Short Courses

Session 1: April 3-6  price & registration

Location: LearnEMC facility in Stoughton, Wisconsin 

Instructor: Todd Hubing 

April 3, 2017

The Physics of Electromagnetic Compatibility Measurements

April 4-5, 2017

Electronic Systems Design for EMC Compliance

April 6, 2017

Computer Modeling Tools for Electromagnetic Compatibility

Session 2: May 1-4  price & registration

Location: LearnEMC facility in Stoughton, Wisconsin

Instructor: Todd Hubing*(except for May 1-2)

May 1-2, 2017

Electronic Product Design and Retrofit for EMC

May 3, 2017

Printed Circuit Board Design for EMC and Signal Integrity

May 4, 2017

Advanced Printed Circuit Board Design for EMC

Session 3: September 11-14  registration opens in March

Location: LearnEMC facility in Stoughton, Wisconsin

Instructor: Todd Hubing

September 11-12, 2017

Design for Automotive EMC Compliance

September 13, 2017

Automotive Printed Circuit Board Layout

September 14, 2017

Power Electronics Design for Electromagnetic Compatibility

Session 4: October 16-19  registration opens in March

Location: LearnEMC facility in Stoughton, Wisconsin

Instructor: Todd Hubing

October 16-17, 2017

Fundamentals of Electromagnetic Compatibility

October 18-19, 2017

Design for Guaranteed EMC Compliance


Join us in historic Stoughton, Wisconsin for EMC training at its best!

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10 Steps to Successful Automotive EMC Testing

An average passenger car today relies on between 50 to 75 embedded electronic modules to monitor and control nearly all aspects of vehicle operations. These functions include steering, braking, tail-pipe emission controls, safety, and entertainment and comfort enhancements, to name just a few.

To ensure safe and reliable operations of these systems, a rigorous, multistep test-and-validation process is often performed as part of product development.

Our FREE e-book will take you through each step:

  1. Determining your target market
  2. Product function and expected performance
  3. Compatibility with other devices
  4. Test requirements and documentation
  5. Test lab needs
  6. Development testing
  7. Test quoting and scheduling

As well as three more important steps to guide your successful automotive EMC testing!

Download 10 Steps to Successful Automotive EMC Testing for Free

Elite’s Antenna Testing Services

By Stacey Klouda, Elite’s Marketing Specialist

I recently interviewed Steve Laya, Elite’s Sales and Marketing Manager, to discuss the new Antenna Testing & Consulting services offered by Elite. 

So Steve, why antenna testing at Elite?

We’re strategically focused on wireless technology and testing.  Many Elite clients are designing RF transmitters or integrating radio transceivers into their products. They rely on us for regulatory compliance services but have also asked for our help to optimize their devices and specifically with respect to their antenna performance.   

Isn’t an antenna just a simple structure and why does it need to be tested?

For sure in some cases, an antenna is just a simple element, but electromagnetically even a basic dipole needs to be optimized for range, efficiency, and bandwidth. If you can design a well-matched and properly-tuned antenna then you’ll achieve the required data throughput for your application and do so without drawing excessive power or creating other RF consequences.  

Some clients design their antenna as a metal trace on their transmitter printed circuit board (PCB) while others use purchased products that are either soldered to the PCB or are attached to the RF output port. 

For either designed-in or purchased antennas, once the element is installed the performance of that antenna and transmitter will be affected by the host board circuitry and nearby structures. The testing we’re offering will help engineers visualize these electromagnetic interactions and optimize the host board layout, antenna, and housing structure. 

Our antenna patterns will even illustrate the RF propagation for a wireless transmitter on a specific mounting surface. Plus we can measure the interaction between the antenna, digital host electronics, and the receiver to measure its sensitivity, which is particularly important for cellular modules. 

What services can you provide?

We’ve developed relationships with nearby experts who will perform the testing and provide these services.  Our partners are Mobile Mark, NEBENS, and Wistron.

For antenna pattern mapping we rely on the fully-anechoic RF chamber at Mobile Mark in Itasca, Illinois. They’re 20 minutes from Elite and can provide 2D and 3D antenna patterns along with efficiency, gain, and other measurements.

NEBENS, Inc is our independent electromagnetics consulting partner. They have world-class expertise in RF systems design, antenna design, modeling, and simulation. Their exciting new MIMObit software analyzes multi-antenna Tx/Rx systems in a variety of propagation environments. If you’re considering MIMO for your application you need to contact Nick Burris, right now.

Wistron is our partner offering local access to PTCRB pre-testing to confirm Total Radiated Power (TRP) and Total Isotropic Sensitivity (TIS) performance prior to final operator compliance testing. 

Why did you select these partners?

First of all, these folks are the experts. They have an amazing track record of providing expertise in areas that we believe will help our wireless clients be more successful. We really believe in their engineers and trust them to work with our customers. Second, they’re all within 30 minutes of Elite which means services will be convenient and cost-effective.

How do I access these services?

Just contact Elite and we can get you started. As with all our partner services Elite can provide a one-stop turn-key offering. Elite staff can facilitate the initial discussion, define the scope of the project, generate a proposal for services, and kickoff start dates. Many of our clients already have Elite as an approved vendor in their supply chain database which makes it just more convenient to source these partner services through us. So certainly Elite can provide access to these services through subcontracting.

But we also promote our partners independently on our website, and if preferred, we will have our clients engage directly with our partners. For each project we let the client decide which approach works best for them, and that’s how the services proceed.

For more information on these antenna services, contact Steve Laya at 630-495-9770 or by email.

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Employee Spotlight: Tylar Jozefczyk

Here’s a little bit about a new official member of Elite’s EMC testing department, Tylar Jozefczyk:

Title: EMC Test Engineer

Year Started at Elite: 2016

Areas of Expertise/Interest: Still learning, but EMC testing

Education: Bachelor of Science in Physics & Minor in Mathematics from Loyola University Chicago; Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago

Any unique hobbies, talents, skills, experiences, etc.: Video games, books, anime/manga, watching Blackhawks games. I used to play volleyball, basketball, and softball. I play the piano and was in band/pep band for 7ish years.  

Proudest moment in life so far: As cliché as it may be, getting my two degrees. I had been in school for nearly 7 years, so finally getting both degrees and hanging them up was really cool.

What would you consider to be your passion outside of work? How did you get started in it? Any advice for anyone looking to try this activity? 

I don’t really have one specific passion, but I tend to jump around to a lot of media stuff, like movies/video games/anime, and animated stuff.  I like having a bunch of things that I can be into and keep myself busy with.  As for advice, I always say ask a friend for recommendations that they think to match your personality and interests, then branch out from there. I would also say just jumping in and trying something out it since you never know if you’ll like it or not if you don’t give it a shot.

How did you get involved with EMC/ENV testing?

Mostly through looking at the different jobs that I could do as an electrical engineer. 

Why did you choose to work at Elite?

With my degree, I wanted to be involved with the physical aspect of engineering.  I originally hadn’t thought of working in testing, but after looking into it I realized that it was up my alley.  

What is something that customers/colleagues might find surprising about you?

I really love astronomy and if I didn’t want to be an engineer, I would be an astrophysicist.   

If you had a personal motto, what would it be?

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it. Plus it’s awesome and all that.”

 If you could be paid in something other than money, what would you choose?

Video games or books.

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Updates for GMW3097 EMC Testing

Manufacturers of new electrical and electronic modules to General Motors must perform EMC validation testing in accordance with the specification titled GMW 3097 (June 2015). The spectrum of testing required by GMW 3097 consists of conducted/radiated emissions, conducted/radiated immunity, conducted transient immunity/emissions, and Electrostatic Discharge.

Recently, GM has enacted a new policy that places much greater emphasis on the summary reporting requirements listed in GMW 3097 (June 2015). The summary report obligations for suppliers are stated in Section 3 Requirements, Part (d) in the Notes:

Note: In addition to the procedure report(s) per item “d” in the preceding list, the supplier shall also submit a brief summary of any/all DV/PV data associated with any test under an approved EMC test plan within five (5) working days of completion of that testing. This submission shall be via email to both the GM Design Responsible Engineer (DRE)/Designing Engineer (DE) and the GM EMC engineer.

GM requires that the supplier must send by email an in-process summary report after the completion of each separate phase of testing, i.e upon completion of radiated emissions, or conducted transients, ESD, etc. In addition, when the supplier sends the data summary report to the GM DRE/DE, the supplier must also “cc” copy the EMC test lab confirming the summary report email was transmitted. EMC labs are required to confirm that validation data was sent after each test and within five days of completion of each phase of testing.  

This new policy by GM places important obligations on both the supplier and on the test lab that performed the testing. This policy certainly includes Elite when we perform GMW 3097 EMC validation testing for our clients. GM EMC group not being updated on a test-by-test basis is no longer an option.

In addition, the GM policy stipulates that if the data is not transmitted within five days then the EMC test laboratory that performed the tests must notify GM that the data has not been transmitted. If the EMC lab (Elite) does not receive a “cc’ed” email copy of the data summary from its customer at the five-day expiration period then the EMC lab (Elite) is at risk of losing its GM EMC laboratory recognition. 

Because of the obligations placed on Elite by this GM policy, data transmittal email copies that are not received by Elite within five days will be notified to GM directly by Elite. Elite is not obligated to provide the data to GM but rather inform GM EMC DRE/DE that the five-day grace period has passed and we have not received confirmation that the data has been transmitted to GM.

Given the serious consequences of non-compliance with this GM requirement, Elite will follow this notification policy rigorously. 

Please contact us if you have any questions about this process or our testing services. We certainly want our customers to be informed of this important GM procedure and work together to avoid any complications with GM validation testing. 

For more information contact Robert Bugielski:

Robert J. Bugielski Jr.

Senior EMC Engineer

Technical Sales

ph: (630) 495-9770 ext. 168

Email

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