How vitally important research and development is for ebm-papst is given concrete shape in the form of the newly completed test center in Mulfingen. More than 5,000 square meters in new laboratory space have been allocated by the technological leader for analyses and functional tests in the field of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).
In the course of the 14 months it took to construct the test center, ebm-papst invested €12 million, with a clear focus on making use of the regional construction industry. “Due to the fact that we chose local companies, Covid-19 did not derail us, and we managed to stay on schedule”, says Dr. Stephan Arnold, ebm-papst Group Director R&D. “As planned, we can start with our research operation in the first quarter of 2021, allowing us to give analytical support to the growing use of electronics in our products.”
Martin Schmitt, Head of Electronics Development with ebm-papst, explains: “In future, 50 members of staff from our electronics service divisions will be working in our new EMC test center.” A large share of the space is taken up by the shielding and absorber halls required as part of the measuring equipment. They shield from external sources of interference and help to simulate a free field. This way, it is possible to run interference suppression and interference emission tests with samples under test with up to 60m³ in size and weighing up to 3.5 tons,” reports Schmitt proudly.
The company in Mulfingen has always made sustainability a priority in the way they think and act. And their “GreenIntelligence” guideline is the natural embodiment of this, reflected in their products, processes and corporate culture and, naturally, in their new buildings. Generation of heat and negative heat in the new laboratories uses a combined heat, power and cooling system, also known as trigeneration system. Excess heat, especially during the summer, is used for running absorption chiller systems. Heating and cooling of rooms relies, for the most part, on combined heated/chilled ceilings which, in terms of energy, show excellent results at very high cold water temperatures and very moderate hot water temperatures.
“The special wiring of the circulation system and a very complex measuring and open- and closed-loop control system, we manage to save a total air volume of approx. 140,000m³/h across all processes,” says Markus Mettler, who is responsible for the building at ebm-papst Mulfingen. “This has a positive impact on both the consumption of the air handling equipment and the thermal recycling of the circulating air, considerably minimizing energy consumption.”