EMI in Industrial Automation
Electromagnetic Interference known as EMI shortly is the disturbance or disruption caused in the operation of an electronic device due to radio frequency spectrum of another electronic device in the vicinity of which it occurs. For instance the sparking on the motor brushes, tension circuits switching, activation of inductive and resistive loads, activation of switches, automotive ignitions, atmospheric discharges and even the electrostatic discharge between persons and devices, microwave devices, mobile communication devices etc. These may cause an overload which in turn may cause high impact on a communication network. This commonly occurs in industries and factories as is very frequent because of use of large machines such as welding instruments, motors (MCCs) and in digital networks and computers in the vicinity of these areas.
EMI is largely problematic as it can cause slow degradation of equipments and their components. Other problems that can be traced to EMI is communication failures between devices of the same equipment network and/or computers, alarms produced without explanation, action on relays that do not follow logic, without being commanded, in addition to the burning of electronic components and circuits etc. Due to bad grounding and shielding it often causes noises in power source lines.
To minimise the impact of EMI it is important consider the topology and the distribution of the wiring, types of cables as well as the protection techniques. The cables can work as a transmission system in high frequencies, with crossed and confused lines they can reflect and scatter energy from one circuit to another. Hence it is crucial to keep the connection is good condition. Inactive connectors can before RF detectors by developing resistance.
Below are some general guidelines to limit EMI effects-
- When it comes to technical problems do not be neglectful, imprudent, irresponsible or incompetent. Try to get to the root of the problem or get immediate help from an expert.
- Be well informed about the system you are working with before starting work as each plant has its own safety details.
- Adhere to the safety practices and physical references that are in place for the area.
- Keep the terminals and wiring from contacting each other and act safely of measurements as an electric shock may occur due to high voltage.
- If any equipment in installed incorrectly, it may damage the performance of the system and be a potential source of danger and accidents. Therefore it is advisable to get the installation, operation and maintenance jobs done by trained professionals.
Take note of the standards that guarantee adequate signal levels as well the safety demanded by the application before beginning the automation project.
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Preventive maintenance actions must be taken annually to check each on the grounding system to ensure the quality of each connection with respect to robustness, reliability and low impedance, while also checking that there is no corrosion and contamination.
3G Shielding specialities are well known for their EMI Shielding, PCB Shield, RF Shielding and Absorber. Since 1994, leading electronics companies have relied on 3G to deliver leading edge solutions for shielding advanced electronic applications. 3G is a service-oriented enterprise focussed on serving a global clientele. Led by client needs, their product portfolio has evolved from application specific board shielding to also include enclosure shielding, microwave absorbers, and thermal solutions.