Almost any electronic device in today's world can communicate with another via electromagnetic interference (EMI). In certain cases, EMI can be useful and transform the way we work. However, in others, EMI can have a detrimental effect on electronic appliances, meaning that they don't work as intended or even rendering them completely useless.
So, what exactly is EMI, and what can you do to combat it? In this article, we're going to break down the many nuances of EMI and examine your best means of defence.
What is electromagnetic interference?
In simple terms, EMI is best described as interference caused by an electromagnetic disturbance in one device which leads to disruption in another, or both. It's a common, worldwide phenomenon, and it's something we see in everyday life, often without us even noticing. For example, that unpleasant, high-pitched noise when a microphone is placed too close to a speaker? That's EMI. Anyone who's ever taken a flight will know that turning a mobile phone off beforehand is drilled home by the airline attendants over and over again. This is because the EMI from a phone that's turned on has the potential to interfere with a plane's navigation signals.
EMI is interference caused by an electromagnetic disturbance in one device, leading to disruption in another or both pieces of equipment.
EMI is either conducted, in that two or more electronic devices physically touch one another, or radiated via induction. Additionally, there are two kinds of EMI – man-made, which is typically created from electronic circuits, and naturally occurring, which can happen when lightning strikes, or during other atmospheric phenomena such as solar flares.
How to shield against electromagnetic interference
We've established that EMI can adversely affect electronic devices, so how do we go about shielding our equipment from it? Your industrial connectors are high-performing assets, and to keep them that way, it's imperative that you invest in backshells to optimise their efficiency. Let's take a look at just what backshells are, and how they can guard against EMI.
In layman's terms, a backshell is the rear end of a connector, used to ensure a cable and said connector securely attach. Our range of state-of-the-art backshells is second-to-none. With a comprehensive selection available, Interconnect System's backshells solutions are sure to put paid to any EMI in the area. Not only do they protect your aircraft, oil rig or sea vessels from EMI, they also deliver functions such as environmental protection and strain relief. Have you ever considered that your electronic device itself could be a source of EMI emissions? It could be, which is why our backshells are essential when it comes to protecting your valuable equipment.
Aside from backshells, it's also worth taking a look at our conduit systems to further protect your equipment from EMI. Not only are they watertight, resistant to corrosion and able to withstand extreme temperatures, they also have EMI shielding, ensuring that your cables are under the best protection possible.
It's important to consider that EMI may not always occur as an innocent by-product of a lightning strike or an active mobile phone. In some cases, EMI can be deployed as a hindrance, especially in the form of electromagnetic pulses. That's why you should choose fibre optic cables to shore up your electronic systems – these provide invaluable protection from EMI that other structures – especially those made of copper – may not offer.
Choosing fibre optic cables to shore up your electronic systems is a top-notch idea.
Which industries do our backshells cover?
Of course, because EMI emissions can occur anywhere in the world, under a myriad of circumstances, it's vital that our backshells can be utilised across a raft of industries. Let's take a look at a few of these, and how our products can help.
- Marine – Oil rigs and other sea-based structures are up against the constant, perpetual might of the ocean, meaning that any cable harness systems in place need to not only be protected from EMI, but also the huge stresses waves and tides can generate. That's why our cable harness systems can tolerate pressure of up to 5,000 PSI.
- Rail – Almost half a million Australians use the train as their sole method of commuting to work each day, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Therefore, it stands to reason that any product designed to combat EMI on the trains must also stand up to strenuous, continued wear and tear – and ours do so.
- Defence – Of course, any military equipment, or communications systems used in a country's defence, need extremely capable cables and connectors that can stand up to the rigours of tactical applications, as well as being able to nullify the threat of EMI attacks – that's where our backshells come in.
- Aerospace – Modern flight and space exploration is a wonderful human achievement, but it wouldn't be possible without products capable of both surviving and operating at optimal levels in the most extreme of conditions. Our products have been tested to the nth degree in this field – you can be sure they're up to the job.
Do your electronic systems meet EMI standards?
In the field, it's vital that your electronic equipment not only operates as intended.
In the field, it's vital that your electronic equipment not only operates as intended, but also doesn't emit signals of its own that could degrade or damage other nearby devices. Therefore, certain requirements have been put into place to guard against EMI – these are known as electromagnetic compatibility standards (EMC). In Australia, the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) have put together regulatory arrangements that must be adhered to in order to meet EMI standards. Hence, it's of paramount importance that your electronic systems meet this criteria – there are four of the basic requirements:
- There are sound technical grounds with regards to your product compliance.
- You prepare and retain compliance records.
- You make and hold a Declaration of Conformity.
- You label your product as directed.
Our cutting-edge components will ensure that your electronic devices, cables and other equipment meets every requirement laid out by the ACA.
Interconnect System's decades of experience in our field has enabled us to work with some of the most innovative companies in Australia across a range of industries. If you'd like to find out more about our products, or how we can assist your firm, be sure to reach out to our expert team who will be happy to assist with your inquiry.