Henry Ott Consultants

Electromagnetic Compatibility Consulting and Training

EMC Design Consulting?

Although many experienced electrical engineers are knowledgeable in EMC, they seldom know exactly what must be done on your new product. Certainly, providing your engineers with EMC training will better prepare them to deal with EMC problems when they arise; however, it is unlikely that they will be able to solve all of them.  Why?  Because new products and technology, operating at higher frequencies, generate more emissions and new EMC problems.  For example, loop radiation is a function of the square of the frequency, therefore, if you double the frequency you quadruple the radiation.  As a result, whatever you did for EMC on  the last product  is never enough for your next product.

In today's highly competitive global market, everyone is adopting aggressive scheduled and programs to minimize product cost and time to market.  You cannot afford to develop an EMC design by trial and error or use after-the-fact fixes!  Nor can you tolerate overly conservative designs that add unnecessary cost to the product.  But how do you determine exactly what must be done?  You call Henry Ott Consultants early in the product design cycle!  Our experience has shown that the most timely and cost-effective approach is a team effort that combines our EMC expertise with your engineer's knowledge of the product. Together we can usually develop a cost-effective EMC design quickly.

Types of Consulting

Up-Front EMC Design Consultation

This is always the best approach, do it early not after-the-fact. Most EMC solutions are inexpensive or free when done early. As the design cycle progresses; from concept, to design, to prototype models, to testing, to production, the number of EMC mitigation techniques available to the designer decreases steadily.  Consequently, the cost of achieving EMC steadily goes up.

This is the type of EMC consulting that we like to do!  We work with your engineers throughout the design cycle, giving EMC input whenever it is needed.  After we get to know your product, much of the consulting work can be done in our office over the phone and/or by email.  This is also the most cost effective approach for the client, and produces the best EMC designs.

EMC Design Reviews

This can be done anywhere in the design cycle.  We can look at part of the design (e.g., the PCB layout, or the shielding) or the whole design.  Not usually as good as the up-front approach but it can still be effective.  A typical EMC design review may take from one to two days depending on the complexity of the product.

EMC Troubleshooting

This situation often arises after the client has failed one or more EMC tests, and asks us to find a fix for the problem.  Scheduling may be a problem in this situation, since we have other commitments and the client wants the fix by "yesterday."  There are also many additional constraints involved in this case, since the client does not want to change certain things (sometimes it seems that they want a fix without any changes).  The time required to find a solution is hard to predict, typically this may take anywhere from a day to a week.  This is the least cost effective of all the approaches to EMC.

Site Surveys

A site survey is usually used to identify the cause of an existing or potential EMC problem at a specific location.  Instrumentation is used to make measurements of electromagnetic fields, power transients, or ESD effects.  A typical site survey could take a few hours or a few days.  Sometimes monitors are set up to record measurements over a period of weeks.

ESD Consulting

This type consulting usually only occurs in the winter when the client is having ESD failures with a product in a certain location.  The solution can involve changing the environment to prevent the discharge of modifying the product to increase it's ESD immunity, or sometimes both.  Typically this type of consulting  takes a day or more according to the circumstances.  

We can also work with you up-front on a design in order to design ESD immunity into the product and avoid the problem discussed above. This is usually the best and most cost effective approach.

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Henry Ott Consultants
48 Baker Road Livingston, NJ 07039
Phone: 973-992-1793,   FAX: 973-533-1442

May 27, 2016 (jw)