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.
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.