The electromagnetic waves generated by electronic devices may negatively affect other, similar, electronic devices. Such affects are called Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). EMI and RFI may cause malfunctions in electronic devices. Specifically, EMI and RFI cause suppression of signals generated internally in a device, external ambient interference with equipment operation, or emissions generated internally that will interfere with equipment operation. The world today is increasingly electronic, with millions of waves and signals floating through the air at any given moment. Therefore, EMI and RFI are potential problems in any industry, and there is a premium on protective products and services from it.
EMI / RFI shielding is important in many industries.
For example, EMI/RFI Shielding is necessary in telecomm because radio transmissions can hamper the reception of a signal by a recipient if the signals are near the same frequency. EMI/RFI Shielding may prevent incorrect frequencies from interfering with a device. Medically, in another example, hospital equipment must meet standards set by the FDA to prevent the machinery from being affected by cell phones, PDA’s, or other electronic devices. EMI/RFI Shielding helps to make such protections possible.
Typically EMI/RFI Shielding is applied through spray on agents or physical barriers. And while technology has gotten better for both of those options there are some drawbacks. Physical barriers are limited in the geometries they can be adapted for and Spray on coatings can often produce shielding that varies in thickness and resistance based on spray patterns. Also, neither physical barriers nor spray on coatings are able to shield complex designs that require non line of sight shielding. an increasing electronic world filled with electrical noise it is becoming more and more important for product designers and production managers to make sure they explore all of their options for shielding the products they have so carefully designed.