Company hopes to plug into need for EMC testing

An Abbotsford company that provides testing to measure the electromagnetic waves from a product for electronics manufacturers is expanding into New Westminster.

Protocol-EMC is slated to open a testing facility in the former Sears warehouse near the Braid SkyTrain station this fall. The company offers electromagnetic compatibility testing, product testing and certification services for products that will be sold in local and international markets.

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"Adding a new testing facility in New Westminster allows us to better support our customers in the Lower Mainland region," Rob Stirling, Protocol-EMC's president, said in a media release.

The company has been based in Abbotsford since the 1990s. The company will offer open-air test sites and sheltered testing in a special chamber for product designers and manufacturers with electronics components on a variety of products including consumer, industrial, medical, wireless, power and telecom.

Stirling opened his second location in New Westminster because of its central location - closer to where many product designers and manufacturers are based, he said.

The close proximity to BCIT's Technology Place and Discovery Place in Vancouver is a boon to tech startups and academic spinoffs - companies moving out of the academic arena and into brick and mortar - who need testing at the early stage as well as when prototypes are ready to go into production, the media release said.

EMC or electromagnetic compatibility testing involves checking the interaction of electrical and electronic equipment with the environment and doesn't interfere with communication channels. Almost all electronic devices have the potential to emit radio fields and it's possible for those devices to interfere with each other.

In Canada, all electrical and electronic equipment must operate within specified limits for electromagnetic emissions, which are governed by Industry Canada.

Stirling, who teaches electromagnetic compatibility to graduate electronic engineering students at UBC, said electromagnetic compatibility training can be rare to find and isn't covered in typical circuit design courses.

"Many technicians and engineers simply haven't been exposed to EMC concepts," he said in the release. "As a consequence, they don't design with testing in mind."

For more information, visit www.proto

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