Electromagnetic Compatibility

With ever more sources of electromagnetic radiation being produced, equipment must be designed to operate in noisy electro-magnetic environments.

It's also important that they don't cause radio-frequency disturbance in other equipment.
This is the essence of electromagnetic compadibility (EMC). Inadequate EMC can result in errors and incorrect operation of electronic devices; an increase in hazardous situations and consequently a higher health and safety risk.

Standards can help you ensure that your products will operate safely and effectively in the real world.

 

Key standards:

Major subject area Published standard(s)
Interference relating to industrial, scientific and medical radio-frequency apparatus, to other (heavy) industrial equipment, to overhead power lines, to high voltage equipment and to electric traction (CISPR/B) BS EN 55011:2016+A1:2017
Industrial, scientific and medical equipment — Radio-frequency disturbance characteristics — Limits and methods of measurement
Interference relating to household appliances tools, lighting equipment and similar apparatus (CISPR/F) BS EN 55014-1:2017
Electromagnetic compatibility. Requirements for household appliances, electric tools and similar apparatus. Emission

BS EN IEC 55015:2019
Limits and methods of measurement of radio disturbance characteristics of electrical lighting and similar equipment
Limits for the protection of radio services (CISPR/H) BS EN 61000-6-3:2007+A1:2011
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Generic standards. Emission standard for residential, commercial and light-industrial environments

BS EN 61000-6-4:2019
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Generic standards. Emission standard for industrial environments
Electromagnetic compatibility of multimedia equipment. Immunity requirements BS EN 55032:2015
Electromagnetic compatibility of multimedia equipment. Emission Requirements

BS EN 55035:2017
Sound and television broadcast receivers and associated equipment. Immunity characteristics. Limits and methods of measurement

Low frequency phenomena (SC 77A) BS EN IEC 61000-3-2:2019
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Limits. Limits for harmonic current emissions (equipment input current ≤ 16 A per phase)

BS EN 61000-3-3:2013+A1:2019
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Limits. Limitation of voltage changes, voltage fluctuations and flicker in public low-voltage supply systems, for equipment with rated current ≤ 16 A per phase and not subject to conditional connection

BS EN 61000-4-11:2004+A1:2017
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Testing and measurement techniques. Voltage dips, short interruptions and voltage variations immunity tests
High frequency phenomena (SC 77B) BS EN 61000-4-3:2006+A2:2010
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Testing and measurement techniques. Radiated, radio-frequency, electromagnetic field immunity test

BS EN 61000-4-5:2014+A1:2017
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Testing and measurement techniques. Surge immunity test

BS EN IEC 61000-6-1:2019
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Generic standards. Immunity for residential, commercial and light-industrial environments

BS EN IEC 61000-6-2:2019 
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Generic standards. Immunity for industrial environments

BS EN 61000-4-4:2012
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Testing and measurement techniques. Electrical fast transient/burst immunity test

BS EN 61000-4-6:2014
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Testing and measurement techniques. Immunity to conducted disturbances, induced by radio-frequency fields

BS EN 61000-4-2:2009
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Testing and measurement techniques. Electrostatic discharge immunity test

A problem peculiar to all electronic technologies is electromagnetic (EM) interference. All electrical and electronic technologies emit EM disturbances that can interfere with the correct operation of radio-communications or other electronics. Electronic technologies can also suffer from degraded functionality (including complete failure) when exposed to EM disturbances.

The discipline of controlling emissions of, and immunity to, EM disturbances is known as electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

Electronic technology is frequently used in safety-related applications. Inadequate EMC can result in errors and incorrect operation of electronic devices; an increase in hazardous situations and consequently a higher health and safety risk.

The EMC and safety divisions within an organisation tend to use different skills and disciplines and may operate largely independent of each other. Important issues of EMC-related functional safety may be overlooked and not be correctly addressed.

What is the EMC Directive?

The EMC Directive (Directive 2014/30/EU) came into force on 20 April 2016 and replaced the previous EMC Directive (Directive 2004/108/EC). The EMC Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/281) have since been replaced by the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/1091) which came into force on 8 December 2016.

The Regulations regulate the electromagnetic compatibility of equipment. They aim to ensure the functioning of the internal market by requiring equipment to comply with an adequate level of electromagnetic compatibility.

The directive applies to most electrical and electronic equipment (whether apparatus or fixed installations) when placed on the market and/or taken into service.

To comply with the requirements of the EMC Directive, all electrical and electronic equipment marketed in the UK (including imports) must carry CE Marking.

What do I need to do to comply with the regulations?

In most cases conformance can be claimed by meeting an appropriate harmonized European standard, which gives a 'presumption of conformity' to the directive.

What are the aims of the regulations?

The regulations were implemented for the following reasons:

  • To remove barriers to trade within the European Economic Area (EU countries and Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland).
  • To ensure that the electromagnetic disturbance generated by apparatus does not exceed a level allowing radio and telecommunications equipment and other apparatus to operate as intended.
  • To ensure that apparatus has an adequate level of intrinsic immunity to electromagnetic disturbance to enable it to operate as intended.
  • To comply with the regulations, all electrical and electronic apparatus marketed in the UK (including imports), that satisfy the requirements of the EMC Directive must carry CE Marking.
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