Demystifying EMC

Electromagnetic compatibility is highly relevant for virtually all areas of electrical engineering and electronics. EMC describes how a device operates in its own shared environment; and how it affects other devices in their environments.

No area of electronic or electrical equipment is immune from the effects of its electromagnetic environment, from the deepest mine to the furthest reaches of space; from a simple switch, through embedded systems to complex supercomputers.

The necessity for demystifying EMC is not related to the degree to which devices affect, and are affected by, their electromagnetic environment.  Rather, it is on understanding the consequences, and identifying the hazards and risks. Failure to properly assess the EMC of a device can lead to negative consequences, including safety risks, product failure and data loss. A badly designed USB power pack in the home might interfere with reception of a nearby DAB radio. That’s annoying, but not life-threatening. The story would be very different in an operating theatre or an autonomous vehicle.

Regulation and compliance

That being the case, there are wide-ranging regulations, guidelines and associated directives covering general and specialist requirements. For these reasons, EMC must be considered from the earliest stage of any technology design and development, then right through the product life-cycle. The enduring need to accelerate product development processes, coupled with constant change in the regulatory regime, means there is a continuing need for information and education, in order to evaluate project risks and comply with the rules governing its target markets. Growing interest, across a wide spread of disciplines and job roles is demonstrated by the success of events like the IET’s annual seminar on the subject.

Opportunities to learn, engage and network

Following the last three years of successful seminars, "Demystifying EMC" has established itself as one of the industry’s principal training events. Aimed at an audience more diverse than ever, the 2018 event will be led by established and new industry professionals, hosted by a team from EMC test and measurement experts Rohde & Schwarz, along with their training partners. As with previous events, there will be plenty of opportunity to network with peers and engage with industry experts.

Wide spectrum of learning

Content for the event caters for a wide spectrum of people: from engineers already involved in EMC test and suppression techniques, through quality and procurement managers that wish to learn about changes to regulations and standards; to newcomers venturing into the topic for the first time.

Such a broad scope of interest in the topic is mirrored in the agenda.

One track focuses on analysis of the spectral environment, including: practical probing techniques for discovering elusive EM interference issues; live, real-time measurements of intermittent, broadband, and narrowband noise sources; the physics of interactions between PCB´s and their surroundings; and a case study of onsite problem solving on a ship.

Learn more about the new Radio Equipment Directive

Regarding regulation and standards, there is plenty of advice on hand for those wishing to learn more about the new Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU (RED), which is now in force replacing the Directive 1999/5/EC (R&TTE). Another presentation includes a special ‘Non-Compliance Countdown’ bringing together the most common technical and administrative reasons that products fail to meet the requirements of the EMC Directive. There is also learning available on the topics of risk assessment for EMC and radio, hazard-based approaches to LVD risk assessment, and EMC testing of non-radio products. Regulation for electrical products is covered in an update on CISPR/CENELEC standards.

Engage with EMC early

The need for engaging with EMC early in the product development process is highlighted in presentations on simulation, modelling and PCB design. For example, a future-looking presentation on automotive Ethernet will highlight the significant challenges posed by its high data rates and complex cable layout. Another practical challenge is pre-compliance testing for electrostatic discharge, fast transients, surges and dips. These tests are covered, as well as practical aspects of EMI filter design, and demonstrations with EMI suppression ferrites.

It all adds up to a full day of high quality, free of charge training, education and networking. What is more, attendance can also count towards Continued Professional Development (CPD) certification with the IET.

More info

Rohde & Schwarz will be hosting its 2018 Demystifying EMC seminar on Monday 22 January 2018 at The Silverstone Wing, Silverstone Race Track, Northamptonshire.

Further details are online by clicking here

Online registration is available online by clicking here

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