ALLEN PARK, Mich. - Ford recently held a formal groundbreaking ceremony for a new state-of-the-art Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) facility, to be located adjacent to the company’s Driveability Test Facility in Allen Park, Mich.
Construction of the 15,000 square-foot complex is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.
“The new EMC facility matches up exactly with Ford’s vision to bring high-quality products to our consumers,” said Jackie Shuk, chief, NA Vehicle Evaluation and Verification (VEV) and Global Test & Investments. “I think people would be amazed to see how much testing goes into every one of our Ford vehicles. Our commitment to our products and to our customers is impressive.”
As vehicle electrical content continues to grow and the world’s electromagnetic environment becomes more complex, the new facility will provide more accurate insight into how the vehicle’s electronics can be influenced and help Ford design more robust cars and trucks.
“Your car can’t influence the person’s pacemaker across the street. It can’t interrupt the cell phone call that’s two blocks away. It can’t be influenced by the nearby radio tower or cell tower. And it can’t interfere with itself. That’s what EMC testing is all about,” explained Dennis Paige, manager, Powertrain/EMC Lab. “We have to make sure that all of this technology talks to each other cleanly, effectively, safely and appropriately and that we deliver the intended function with the electronic systems in our vehicles.”
Ford currently conducts electromagnetic compatibility testing at a leased facility in Milford, Mich. – an hour and a half away from Dearborn.
“The new location is very close to our Product Development groups, so when we need engineering support during testing we’ll have much greater access to them,” said Keith Frazier, technical leader, EMC.
Frazier says the new EMC facility will be able to simulate very high-powered radars, something that could not be done before at the previous location and is presently performed “on the road.”
“Basically it’s to try and re-create an electromagnetic environment without having to drive the car to various places throughout the country,” he said.
That new testing will be conducted in a Reverberation Chamber, according to Richard Kautz, technical expert, EMC.
“The room will use high-frequency amplifiers to produce the fields that we want in order to test the susceptibility of the vehicle to high-intensity electromagnetic fields in the environment,” he said.
(left to right) Graydon Reitz, global director, EESE; Jackie Shuk, chief, North America Vehicle Evaluation and Verification; and Dennis Paige, manager, Powertrain/EMC Lab.