Monday, January 11, 2010

Electromagnetic interference

Do you spend much time thinking about EMI?

Probably not, but as a well-grounded machine vision engineer, you ought to be aware of the risks and hazards in your next integration assignment. Here’s a quote from Control Engineering to illustrate: “… it’s not uncommon to find low-voltage (24 V dc) encoder wire piled on top of 460 V PWM power cable. This allows an individual conductor to act as a noise transmitter or receiver.” (Control Eng, December 2009)

In other words, your sophisticated and very expensive vision system might not perform the way you expected because of the influence of electrical noise. I found “Electromagnetic Interference: What Drive Users Need to Know” (Frank Bartos, Control Engineering December 1st, 2009) a very useful guide to the issues and risks. You might like to take a look.

EMI isn’t a sexy subject; most of us would rather work on lighting, optics and software, but neglect the impact of electrical noise at your peril!

No comments: