EMC Standards for appliances

EMC Standards for appliances

What is EMC ?

Ever wonder why you are requested to switch off your electronics devices when you are taking a flight? This is one of the typical case of EMC of which your electronics devices may interfere with the electronics system in the aircraft.

Electromagnetic compatibility is the capability of electrical and electronic systems, equipments, and devices to operate in their intended electromagnetic environmemnt within a defined margin of safety, and at design levels or performance, without suffering or causing unacceptable degradation as a result of electromagnetic interference.

As more electronics products e.g. handphones, radio ransmitters, solid state switching devices, motor drives devices are developed and push to the market, the increase of electromagnetic pollution is on the rise everyday. These devices caused emissions to the environment where it was used.

As a result of these emissions, they will affect other electronic equipment which is susceptable to these emissions. As more microprocessors are used to replace analog or mechanical means of a product, it become apparent that the issue of EMC cannot be ignored. Ignoring this will caused the product to suddenly malfunction or even caused damage to properties or lives.


In order to ensure that the equipments are designed to perform as close as possible in its environment, the European standards making body CENELEC(European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) has been mandated to produce standards for use with the European EMC Directive. For telecommunications equipment ETSI(European Telecommunications Standards Institute) is the mandated standards body.

There are 3 types of standards :

a) Product or product family standards, relating to a specific product or product family group. The product standards take precedence over the generic standards and are drafted to cover the particular range of product types. These standards should refer to the Basic Standards for test methods wherever possible. It wil consist of defining what tests to carry out, what levels or limits, and what operating conditions and performance criteria to apply. These are prepared by IEC, CENELEC or CISPR.

b) Generic Standards relating to a particular environment of use. At present these are for:

(i) Domestic, Commercial and Light Industry

(ii) Industrial environment

c) Basic Standards, to provide general information and relate to the disturbing phenomena and testing and measuring techniques. Basic standards do not contain limits or performance criteria. They serve as a reference for product standards and will not normally be listed in the Official Journal, but will be referred to in product or generic standards.


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