Electromagnetic interference (EMI)—or radiofrequency interference (RFI) on the radiofrequency spectrum—is most often recognized by the distorted sounds of an electronic device. These unintentional conversations, however, can also have a significant impact on a system’s performance and the security of its data. By isolating devices from the environment, EMI shielding and RF shielding help put these worries to rest.
Manufacturing the ideal electromagnetic shield requires a lot of consideration. Many metal shields and covers call for unique identifiers like part numbers or logos, as well as fast lead times. There is also the need to quickly manufacture complex shapes, add bend lines to form shields fast and accelerate plating/forming operations like NADCAP plating—all while maintaining the precision an application demands.
At Switzer, we make it a priority to meet all of these needs while keeping your budget in mind. Our personalized manufacturing approach is paired with highly precise techniques like chemical etching—a method that can create tight-tolerance parts that are as thin as .0005 inches. We pair this step with secondary processes like stamping, punching, forming and component assembly to better meet the needs of our customers and fuel the long-term success of their EMI shielding or RF shielding application.
Electromagnetic shielding is only as effective as its design. To successfully block interference, multiple variables must be considered in metal part fabrication.
In the case of materials used for electromagnetic shielding, sheet metal, metal screen and metal foam are typical. The team at Switzer has learned that nickel silver shielding, which is primarily a copper derivative, is solderable in its natural state, eliminates the need for plating and reduces costs and lead times because it absorbs radio and electromagnetic waves.
Holes, meanwhile, can be tailored to accomplish specifications for optimal usage. This is a huge benefit to the photochemical etching technique we use, as holes can be added wherever necessary at whatever size. Note that any holes in the shield or mesh must be significantly smaller than the wavelength of the radiation that is being kept out or the enclosure will not effectively approximate an unbroken conducting surface.
The electromagnetic spectrum is a crowded space—all the more so with the growth of the digital world. To avoid interference between devices and help them operate safely in their environment, regulatory bodies have established EMC standards that vary across industries, environments and countries. One of the most effective routes to complying with these evolving standards is through well-designed EMI shielding.