RF/EMI Shielding in Manufacturing and Quality Control
When manufacturing wireless and electronic chips, parts, or finished product, the device often needs to be activated for quality and process control checks, offering numerous challenges. To assure radio frequency signals are attributable to the individual unit being tested, RF isolation may be required on assembly lines.
Parallel lines create additional radio frequency challenges. When multiple adjacent manufacturing cells are building electronic and wireless products, RF isolation may also be required to allow quality control or activation testing of the same components on adjacent lines.
RF isolation may also be required to prevent RF/EMI noise from other parts of the factory interfering with activation testing.
Additionally, RF sensors and process controls that are critical to automation can be susceptible to interference and may require isolation from other radio frequency sources.
Trouble shooting process control issues may require portable shielding movable on the assembly line or between cells. Additionally, automation controls and sensors require calibration and may require temporary RF isolation.
RFID is used more and more in manufacturing on individual products or on pallets for electronic labeling and scanning. RF shielding may be required to assure accurate counts as product moves from location to location in order to segment distinct manufacturing operations, the warehouse from the factory, or the dock from the truck.
RF / EMI shielding in manufacturing can be accomplished a number of ways. Curtains can segment operations. Portable lightweight RF shielded test boxes can house equipment as it travels along the line. And portable RF shielding tents can be erected for temporary isolation.