I ran across the Web site of a firm that sells EMI filters to (among
others) appliance manufacturers.
Since U.S. appliance manufacturers essentially can (and do) produce
domestically used products without any regard for EMI suppression, how
serious is the EMC problem in the U.S.?
It?s difficult to know the entire scope of the problem, but a few examples
have come to our attention. For example, the new 2.4GHz portable phones
will not function in or near laundry rooms when certain models of washing
machines are running. This problem is easily overcome by not using the
portable near these washers. A little inconvenient, but not intolerable.
In another case, a company that imports and distributes microwave ovens
asked us to investigate complaints that some of their microwave ovens were
turning on by themselves. Obviously, an unintentionally activated microwave
oven is more serious than not being able to use a portable phone in the
laundry room. The cause was a surge on the power line, probably caused by
the air conditioning system turning on. The solution was not simple and
required units to be recalled and fitted with a hardware and software
modification. The costly remedy was necessary because, in this case, the
susceptibility of the appliance electronics created a safety hazard.
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