Meeting Report — March 20, 2004

Date: March 30, 2004, 7:00 PM
Topic: Tour of the Aearo Company and NOVICON noise and vibration measurement facility
Place: Aearo Company’s EARCAL Laboratory, 7911 Zionsville Rd., Indianapolis, IN

The Indiana Audio Engineering Society took a unique tour of the Aearo Company EARCAL hearing protection research laboratory and NOVICON noise and vibration measurement facility. This was an opportunity to see a state-of-the-art measurement facility in acoustics and noise control.

The EARCAL laboratory supports the Aearo product lines of EAR and Peltor, two of the most recognized names in hearing protection and communications. EAR invented foam earplugs and introduced them to the world in 1972. Today they offer many hearing protection options including premolded and pod plugs, earmuffs, and Professional Musician EAR® earplugs for those who desire better-sounding hearing protection. The Peltor products include a respected line of high-end earmuffs and electronic and communications products.

The NOVICON facility supports EAR Specialty Composites that provides shock, vibration, and damping solutions plus noise barriers and absorbers for business jets, military tanks and naval submarines, trucks, and PCs, as well as numerous other applications. You will find EAR products in racing and athletic helmets, running shoes, hard drives, and automobiles.

This tour began with a presentation on noise and hearing protection by Elliott H. Berger, Chair of the ANSI S12/WG11 Committee on Hearing Protectors, Past President of the National Hearing Conservation Association, and principal editor of the highly regarded best-selling text, the American Industrial Hygiene Association Noise Manual.

AES was then guided through the EARCAL facility that includes a 113 m3 reverberant test chamber with vanishingly low background noise levels, as well as state-of-the-art instrumentation for hearing protection measurements. We also visited the NOVICON laboratory for demonstrations of sound quality instrumentation and damping measurements, and a presentation of high-speed video recording techniques to evaluate shock-drop isolation testing.

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