© ebm-papst

In-house EMC

ebm-papst is now testing the elec­tro­mag­netic compat­i­bility of its prod­ucts itself at its new labo­ra­tory  center in Mulfingen. This saves time and money and has another advan­tage.

ebm-papst invested 12 million euros in its new testing center for elec­tro­mag­netic compat­i­bility (EMC) at its head­quar­ters in Mulfingen. Although the construc­tion of the 5,000-square meter building had its chal­lenges, the 25-meter tall struc­ture was completed within the planned construc­tion period, and testing oper­a­tions began recently. Test spec­i­mens of up to 60 cubic meters in size and with a weight of up to 3.5 metric tons are tested here.

Across a total of 13 different cham­bers, the engi­neers measure how well they react to distur­bances and whether they could cause elec­trical or elec­tro­mag­netic inter­fer­ence to other devices them­selves. In addi­tion to the test cham­bers and test halls, there are offices, complex energy-saving building tech­nology systems, and plenty of safety precau­tions spread over three floors.

Every­thing in-house

Markus Mettler and Martin Schmitt inspect a test chamber. (Photo | ebm-papst)

Martin Schmitt, Head of Elec­tronics Services, explains the advan­tages of having an in-house EMC test center: “We can use it to measure our fans here on site according to all the rele­vant EMC stan­dards and no longer have to resort to external labo­ra­to­ries. Combined with the exper­tise of our internal EMC experts, we save time, can be as flex­ible as possible, and increase our reac­tion speed. Further­more, the systems already offer the option of conducting EMC measure­ments on our customers’ end devices under actual oper­ating condi­tions.”

Even for the construc­tion of the building, ebm-papst relied on in-house resources. “We managed the project ourselves together with our archi­tec­tural firm, which enabled us to stream­line the process and ulti­mately save time and money,” said Markus Mettler, Tech­nical Oper­a­tions Manager at ebm-papst and respon­sible for the construc­tion. Being able to dispense with using a general contractor made it possible to adapt the plan­ning parallel to construc­tion.

Mettler: “During the weekly construc­tion meet­ings with the plan­ning team, changes were made that would have had an effect on the price and construc­tion time quoted by a general contractor.” It was a wise move for ebm-papst to appoint local compa­nies with the construc­tion of the EMC test center: they have their own personnel and rely much less on subcon­trac­tors, who would not have been able to travel during the coro­n­avirus crisis, as some inter­na­tional borders were closed. 

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