The new EMC Directive 2014/30/EU (Electromagnetic Compatibility) aims to ensure that electronic equipment does not exceed a certain level of electromagnetic compatibility. In other words, electronic equipment shall work as intended without generating, a certain amount of, electromagnetic disturbance that influences other products. Sometimes this disturbance cannot be avoided, just think about when you hold you mobile phone too close to your computer when you receive a text message. If a disturbance still occurs when your mobile phone is a few meters away from your computer then this is not an adequate level of electromagnetic compatibility.
So what are the main points that have to be taken into account?
First of all, the equipment needs to be liable to cause electromagnetic disturbances, or its normal operation may be affected by such disturbances. If these conditions are not met, the EMC Directive does not apply.
Second, the product has to be an equipment. This can either be apparatus or a fixed installation. These are defined in the Directive as:
– Apparatus: any finished appliance or combination thereof made available on the market as a single functional unit, intended for the end user and liable to generate electromagnetic disturbance, or the performance of which is liable to be affected by such disturbance;
– Fixed installations: a particular combination of several types of apparatus and, where applicable, other devices, which are assembled, installed and intended to be used permanently at a predefined location. Examples of fixed installations are industrial plants, power plants, power supply networks, telecommunication networks etc.
This distinction is made because there are differences in the requirements which have to be met for both types of equipment.
The essential requirements have to be met for both types of equipment. In addition there are specific essential requirements for fixed installations
The essential requirements are:
– Equipment shall be so designed and manufactured, having regard to the state of the art, to ensure that:
- a) the electromagnetic disturbance generated does not exceed the level above which radio and telecommunications equipment or other equipment cannot operate as intended;
- b) it has a level of immunity to the electromagnetic disturbance to be expected in its intended use which allows it to operate without unacceptable degradation of its intended use.
The specific requirements for fixed installations are:
– A fixed installation shall be installed applying good engineering practices and respecting the information on the intended use of its components, with a view to meeting the essential requirements set out above.
Obligations of manufacturer
The manufacturer can choose from three types of conformity assessments. This assessment has to be done to show that the equipment complies to the requirements given in this Directive. There is the internal production control, the EU-type examination and the conformity to type based on internal production control. These assessments mean the following:
– Internal production control: the manufacturer fulfills the necessary obligations himself. He declares and ensures on his sole responsibility that the equipment satisfies the requirements of the Directive that apply to it;
– The EU-type examination: a notified body examines the technical design of the equipment and verifies and attests that the technical design of the equipment meets the requirements set out in this Directive;
– The EU-type examination and the conformity to type based on internal production control: the manufacturer fulfils the obligations regarding to the necessary measures in the manufacturing process and its monitoring to ensure conformity of the manufactured equipment with the approved type described in the EU-type examination certificate and with the requirements of the Directive. The manufacturer shall also affix the CE marking to each piece of equipment and the manufacturer shall also draw up a written EU Declaration of Conformity for each piece of equipment.
The Technical Documentation shall specify the applicable requirements and cover, as far as relevant for the assessment, the design, manufacture and operation of the equipment. The technical documentation shall contain at least the following elements:
- A general description of the equipment;
- Conceptual design and manufacturing drawings and schemes of components, sub-assemblies, circuits, etc.;
- Descriptions and explanations necessary for the understanding of those drawings and schemes and the operation of the equipment;
- A list of the harmonized standards applied in full or in part the references of which have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union and, where those harmonized standards have not been applied, descriptions of the solutions adopted to meet the essential requirements of this Directive, including a list of other relevant technical specifications applied. In the event of partly applied harmonized standards, the technical documentation shall specify the parts which have been applied;
- Results of design calculations made, examinations carried out, etc.;
- Test reports.
Manufacturers must keep the technical documentation and the EU declaration of conformity for ten (10) years after the equipment has been placed on the market.
The European Union Member States shall adopt, publish and apply the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the new EMC Directive from 20 April 2016.
CE Solutions can help you in order to let your product comply with the EMC directive. For more information contact one of our experts.