TRaC has recently hosted a free seminar on the EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) and vibration testing requirements of the rail industry, in conjunction with the Rail Alliance.

The discussions and workshops revealed the need for greater awareness and understanding of EMC and vibration testing for the rail sector.

The event took place at TRaC’s specialist EMC test laboratory in Skelmersdale where Network Rail gave delegates an overview of the company’s product acceptance process.

“It’s important to look at the differing severities of each environment,” explained Chris Stone, TRaC’s director of dynamic testing, who presented the rail industry requirements for vibration qualification of vehicle mounted and off-vehicle equipment. “Designers need to mitigate for vibration and shock related failures, as these can prove costly in the long term and burden maintenance schedules.”

TRaC’s application engineering manager, Rob Hillyard, explained in his presentation how the EMC directive applies to manufacturers of rail equipment and components. Hillyard pointed out that there is a gap between the rail industry standards and the European legislative standards. The discussions that followed provided delegates with an understanding of their legal and contractual obligations prior to putting equipment into service.

“With the myriad of existing directives and compulsory certifications regulating anything form tanks to toys, it is important to help manufacturers make sense of the ones that apply to their sector,” said Ifat Naz, marketing manager at TRaC. “Organising and being involved in events like these benefits the UK manufacturing sector as a whole, by raising the bar on the quality and safety of products and components,” he concluded.

Attendees were also invited to take part in a guided tour of TRaC’s North West EMC test facility, which was the result of a £1.5m investment in 2010. The facility includes specialist test chambers which meet rail, European (CE mark) and International (FCC) EMC test requirements as well as on-site servicing for EMC assessment of rail installations, stations, infrastructure and trains.