EMC - Electromagnetic Compatibility Compliance

EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) testing and compliance is a mandatory requirement and is necessary for products to meet regulatory requirements. With EMC testing a manufacturer ensures the proper functioning and compatibility of electrical equipment in its electromagnetic environment by limiting unwanted effects such as EMI (electromagnetic interference) both affecting and generated by the device. Through EMC testing, we can improve product performance and reduce the cost of non-compliance. EMC measurements reveal the ability of systems to function satisfactorily in their electromagnetic environment.

(Image source: Instrumentation Technologies)

What EMC challenges do we tackle?

To make sure that your products are compliant with regulations, Instrumentation Technologies helps you plan your device from the idea onwards. The sooner in the development process we start planning, the more certain you can be with your compliance. Early-stage EMC design consulting will ensure that your device's design is EMC compliant and will help you avoid downstream redesign. We have proven in many projects that this approach will help reduce non-compliance costs, in both time and expense. Also, if you hit a deadlock in the certification process, we can help you resolve the issue and get the certification process moving, minimizing your losses from having a product at a standstill. We can also provide simulation of high-speed digital links on PCBs, using the IBIS parameters of the electronic components and data on the actual PCB routing design. In addition, we have the means and the knowledge to measure the properties of individual parts of the circuit board (impedances, impedance matching) and to measure the performance of antennas integrated into devices (we measure the radiation pattern of the antenna and its efficiency).

Measures to achieve EMC compliance

There are several approaches to bringing newly-developed or non-compliant devices within the pre-defined limits. Below are just a few that Instrumentation Technologies uses:

  • Proper printed circuit board design (power supply architecture and power filtering, number of layers used, layout details, separation of problematic building blocks, etc.). We plan the design and potential adjustments and make sure that the PCB design is properly implemented.
  • Determination of signal integrity through simulations.
  • Proper mechanical and electrical design of enclosures.
  • Proper interconnection of subsystems considering EMC requirements.
  • Separation of subsystems – prevention of unwanted radiation inside the device including extra EM shielding if necessary.
  • Bandwidth reduction (filtering).

Special cases where the equipment can emit electromagnetic energy

In these cases, we are dealing with transmitters or transceivers which fall into the category of radio devices, which are subject to the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) (this also applies to radio receivers). Typical examples of such equipment include devices with built-in radio communication modules (LoRa, narrow-band data modems, GSM/GPRS/EDGE/LTE, GPS receivers).

We pay particular attention to these devices:

  • Transceivers (with full-size or miniaturized external or built-in antennae)
  • IoT devices with an antenna on the printed circuit board
  • Devices where communication parameters (receiver sensitivity, immunity to disturbance, antenna efficiency. and antenna radiation pattern) are checked to ensure compliance.

Many of the pre-check measurements are performed in-house, depending on the testing phase for the particular type of equipment. For official measurement results, we work closely with accredited testing laboratories.

About this author

Uroš Jerman, born in 1982, has earned his Master of Science degree in 2016 at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, from which he was also awarded Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering in 2008. His additional education included completion of the GMP (General Management Program) at the IEDC–Bled School of Management (2017). He has been employed at I-Tech since 2016 and is currently leading Solutions For Industries, responsible for the development of high-speed DAQ solutions in the field of General Test&Measurement, Aerospace, Automotive, Energy and other fields.

More posts by Uroš Jerman