Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)

“Thou shalt not disturb and thou shalt not be disturbed”

Electronic systems are sources of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation has the potential to influence other systems. They are also susceptible to influence from electromagnetic signals from their environment. These phenomena are referred to as electromagnetic interference, or EMI. To prevent electronic systems from malfunctioning due to EMI, they have to meet specific requirements with regard to their electromagnetic compatibility, often abbreviated to EMC. In Europe, these requirements are set out in the 2014/30/EU directive of the European union, often referred to as the EMC directive.

This directive defines electromagnetic compatibility as: “the ability of equipment to function satisfactory in its electromagnetic environment without producing electromagnetic disruptions that are not acceptable for other equipment in that environment”. Besides the fact that systems are legally obligated to comply with the EMC directive, taking into account the EMC of a system during its development is crucial for its quality.

EMC is a vast area of expertise within electrical engineering. From the first paragraph it becomes clear that there are two main aspects when it comes to EMC:

Emission, radiating electromagnetic signals that can influence other systems in a detrimental way.

Immunity, the extent to which a system is immune to electromagnetic signals in its environment. Susceptibility is the opposite of immunity and is also used. This is the extent to which a system is susceptible to and negatively affected by electromagnetic signals in its environment.

A third crucial aspect is coupling . This term is used to refer to the way in which the disturbing signals reach the affected system.

Applications

All electronic products that are on the market should comply with strict requirements with regard to EMC. These requirements depend on the nature and the designated use of the product as well as where in the world it is brought to the market. This means that EMC has virtually infinite applications and is a crucial aspect to consider for the safety and success of a product.

Expertise

The above is but a brief summary but hopefully it has shown that EMC is an incredibly elaborate area of expertise. EMC requires a profound knowledge of the underlying technical and physical concepts. Besides this, experience in design for EMC and the certification of products is invaluable. At HedoN we have plenty of experience and knowledge in this area. In addition to over 40 years of experience with EMC within HedoN, most of our developers are certified EMC experts.

At the start of a new development the requirements with regard to EMC as a part of CE/UL/CSA are assessed and documented and a test plan is prepared. Subsequently, this is taken into account from the start of the development until the pre-compliance tests en eventually the full-compliance tests in the test laboratory.

Products

All HedoN products have been CE and/or UL/CSA certified and thus meet the relevant EMC directives. Besides its own products, HedoN often provides advice and guidance to other companies with regard to EMC and certification.

Are you looking for help or advice with regard to design for EMC and CE / UL / CSA certification? Contact us for more information!