Johnson Controls is one of the world's foremost suppliers of automotive interior electronics, with a particular strength in radio frequency, multimedia and telematics systems. At its factory in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Johnson Controls has recently started production of a new telematics product that had been developed in its technology centre in Holland, Michigan, USA. Johnson Controls rigorously tests its products as part of a strict quality assurance process, and the new telematics system is no exception. A custom-designed end-of-line test station was therefore developed by the Test Engineering Group at the Holland facility for installing in the Leamington Spa factory.
Although the goal had been to CE mark the equipment in accordance with the European EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) and Low Voltage Directives in the USA before shipping it to the UK, a lack of time meant that this was not possible. Consequently the equipment had to be CE marked very quickly, and Johnson Controls did not have the resources to do this in-house. However, consultants from Pilz Automation Technology worked with the engineers from Johnson Controls to manage the CE marking process and ensure that the equipment was ready in time to be incorporated into the Leamington Spa production line.
Preparing the equipment for CE marking in accordance with the EMC and Low Voltage (LVD) Directives involved collating all of the correct documentation, undertaking an initial assessment, and booking time in the independent TÜV Product Services laboratory at Bearley, Warwickshire, for testing the electromagnetic emissions and susceptibility. Furthermore, the assessments and testing highlighted areas that required attention, largely as a result of it being assembled in the USA from components not designed to comply with European standards, so the Pilz consultants provided advice and guidance to enable the necessary work to be completed in just five working days.
Once the equipment had been satisfactorily retested and a report issued by TÜV Product Services, the Technical Construction File was completed, a Declaration of Conformity was prepared and signed by the General Manager of Pilz Automation Technology, and the equipment was CE marked.
Scott Mee, the Lead EMC Engineer from Johnson Controls Automotive Group, says of the project: "We received excellent service from Pilz, and the consultants were extremely professional, conscientious and responsive. We had not intended to CE mark the equipment in the UK, so the project was on the critical path from the beginning. It was great to be able to leave the management of the process in the hands of experts. Then, when we had made modifications to the unit, Pilz helped us to resolve the issues quickly and efficiently."
In conclusion, Scott Mee says: "The project ran smoothly from start to finish, thanks to the services provided by Pilz. I would definitely use Pilz consultants again should a similar situation arise, and would highly recommend them."