A Beginners Guide to EMC Compliance in Australia

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in Technology | Comments Off on A Beginners Guide to EMC Compliance in Australia

A Beginners Guide to EMC Compliance in Australia

The first thing to say about Electromagnetic Compliance (EMC) and compatibility is that it is a complex subject. Compliance implies that manufacturers, importers, and distributors who wish to sell electrical and electronic equipment in Australia must test, certify, register, and label the equipment as compliant with Australian EMC standards.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) regulates EMC compliance standards in Australia. They have a published list of standards titled the ACMA_Standards_List

The Australia/NZ standards are in large parts similar or identical to the European standards.

Complexity arises for Australian manufacturers who wish to export their products, and for distributors who import product for sale in the Australian market.

There are different standards and requirements for different products, and there are different standards for geographical areas like the United States, Canada Europe, and Japan.


The basics of EMC

All electrical and electronic circuits produce electromagnetism when powered; it is a fundamental law of science.There’s good news and bad news about this.

Without electromagnetism, the technologies we take for granted would not exist. Power stations, including the transformers and power lines that give us electric light, household appliances, battery and mains operated gadgets of all kinds all produce electromagnetism.

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and compliance has to do with electromagnetic energy and how it may cause electromagnetic interference (EMI) or physical damage in the environment in which it operates.

A common interpretation states that “an electronic or electrical produce shall work as intended in its environment”, a fairly meaningless statement that makes no reference to standards compliance.

Radio and electronic transmissions are troublesome because of the inherent risk of interference with other electronic circuits.


What is EMC Compliance

Australian EMC regulations dictate that electrical and electronic equipment must be tested, certified, registered, and labelled as compliant to applicable standards. These standards vary between different categories of equipment.

A supplier should complete the following regulatory requirements before marketing or selling a product on the Australian market.

  1. Determine if the product is subject to EMC Compliance.
  2. Identify the applicable EMC standards listed on the ACMA database.
  3. Demonstrate compliance through testing conducted by an accredited testing laboratory. EMC Technologies is such a lab.
  4. Complete a Declaration of Conformity (DoC) that confirms the product complies with the applicable standard/s.
  5. Register the product on the national database.
  6. Apply a compliance label to the product.

The difficulty for suppliers is to correctly identify the applicable standards and there are many of them. The safest approach is to consult a NATA accredited test laboratory like EMC Technologies.

EMC Technologies is the largest and most experienced EMI/EMC/EMR and Safety testing facility with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, and New Zealand. EMC Technologies is NATA accredited (National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia).


EMC Compliance testing

The ACMA database lists applicable standards for Australia and NZ. There are different standards for different products and too complex and comprehensive to list in this post.

In essence, testing is conducted in three main classes:

  1. Emission. The generation of electromagnetic energy and its release into the environment.
  2. Susceptibility. The tendency of electrical equipment to malfunction resulting in unintended operation.
  3. Coupling. The way in which emitted interference reaches a victim.

The Radiated Emissions Test is the most common EMC test in all countries. It measures the strength of the electromagnetic field unintentionally emitted by a product. Switching voltages and currents in digital circuits generate such emissions.

They can cause unintentional interference to mission-critical military or civil systems like navigation systems or landing guidance systems for aircraft.

Let’s consider two scenarios associated with EMC and a couple of examples that illustrate the concerns of risk and the victim: The examples illustrate the risk associated with electromagnetic emission, and the victim impacted by such emission,

  1. An announcement made to aircraft passengers to switch off their mobile phones, laptops, and tablets reflect the risk of electromagnetic emission from such devices interfering with sensitive electronic guidance systems located on the aircraft which ensures a safe landing.
  2. The ongoing research and debate about the risk of holding, carrying, or placing a mobile phone close to the head for prolonged periods.

In the first example, the victim is the onboard guidance system; in the second example, the user of the mobile device is the victim, a human being. Unless, of course, lack of EMC causes malfunctions in the guidance system and the aircraft crashes, in which case all the passengers become victims of collateral damage.

The regulations should convince Australian consumers to buy and use only certified products. The labelling requirements make it easy to identify such products. Australian standards mandate that compliant products must be labelled with the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) shown below.


RCM Mark | EMC Tech AU


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Types of Laser Cutters

Posted by on Nov 9, 2017 in Articles, Technology | Comments Off on Types of Laser Cutters

Types of Laser Cutters

Laser cutting is an essential part of most industrial processes.

Laser cutting is the process of a powerful laser beam that is used to cut or engrave items from flat sheets of material. These materials can include plastic, wood or a wide range of other materials.

In recent years, laser cutting has become of the most popular choices to create intricate designs and shapes. One of the biggest advantages of the precision that laser cutters offer is that they don’t only have the capability to cut basic shapes into materials, but they can form intricate patterns, shapes, and designs meaning that the options are virtually endless. Another benefit of this technology is that the output does not require finishing work as the edges are left with a high-quality surface finish.

The precision levels and the quality of the edges that are achieved with laser cutting machines are much better and more efficient than the traditional cutting methods as the laser beam will not wear during the cutting process. This technology allows for complex shapes to be cut without the requirements of different tools and can be achieved at a much faster speed than other cutting methods.

But not all laser cutters are the same. Here is the rundown of the different types of laser cutters that are available on the market, each is suited to a different industrial application. Although each laser provides great benefits, they also have some limitations.

Types of laser cutters

There are three main types of laser cutters: CO2 lasers, fiber lasers, and neodymium crystal lasers.

low-powered CO2 laser

CO2 lasers

CO2 lasers, also known as gas lasers, are one of the most commonly used types of laser cutters. They are based on a carbon dioxide gas mixture that is stimulated electronically create a wavelength of about 10.6 micrometers. They only require little power and are considerably inexpensive to operate. This type of laser is extremely popular and is the most widely used as if can be used on a wide range of applications and have an extremely efficient and excellent beam quality.

CO2 lasers are best suited for cutting or etching non-metallic materials such as wood, acrylic, glass, paper, textiles, plastics, foils & films, leather, and stone.

The laser beam is a line of extremely high-intensity light of a single wavelength or color. In terms of a CO2 laser, that specific wavelength a part of the Infrared light spectrum meaning that it is invisible to the human eye. The beam then travels from the laser resonator and is bounced in different directions by mirrors, also known as beam benders, that are in the machine, before it is focused onto the plate. The beam that this laser cutter produces goes through the bore of the nozzle before it hits the plate. Also flowing through the nozzle is compressed gas in the form of Oxygen and Nitrogen. The target of the laser is extremely hot as the compressed gas aids in generating heat which simply enables the machine to cut through the required material.

Due to the laser only requiring very little power, they can also be used for engraving applications. CO2 lasers also have various medical uses such as treating skin disorder conditions, cancers, along with assisting with particular types of cosmetic surgery.

fiber laser cutting metal

Fiber lasers

Fiber lasers generate their lasers by means of the seed laser.

Fiber lasers are a much more powerful type of laser and can produce a wavelength of 1.064 micrometers. This type of laser is amplified in glass fibers that have been specifically designed to receive their energy supplies via pump diodes. The result is a beam that is 100 times more powerful than a CO2 laser, whilst emitting the same power.

Fiber laser machines are best suited for cutting coated metals, engraving metal, and high-contrast plastic markings. Fiber lasers generally require no maintenance and have a long service life that can produce at least 25,000 laser hours.

neodymium crystal laser

Neodymium crystal lasers

Neodymium crystal lasers include the neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet, or Nd: YAG; and the neodymium-doped yttrium orthovanadate (Nd:YVO). Both are named after neodymium, the doping element, and the corresponding carrier crystal.

Neodymium lasers are similar to that of fiber lasers as they belong to the solid state laser group. Similar to that of fiber lasers, crystal lasers have a wavelength of 1.064 micrometers and are best suited for marking various materials such as metals, ceramics, and plastics.

The main difference between the two different types of lasers is that the neodymium crystal lasers feature pump diodes compared to the seed laser component in fiber lasers. The neodymium crystal laser will be more costly as the pump diodes must be replaced every 8,000 – 15,000 laser hours.


Due to the extreme precision that laser cutters provide, it allows for designers to create intricate designs without the worry of whether the design can be executed effectively. They also have the additional benefit of a refined output meaning that the final projects do not need to be polished or re-worked.

It is not hard to see why this laser cutting technology has become extremely popular in recent years. It allows designers to unleash their creativity whilst also allowing manufacturers to easily meet their client’s specific design needs.

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