NewElectronics (UK) has written a white paper on the EMC Directive – its history, the new legislative framework and how it affected the Directive, how well it’s being enforced, and market surveillance.
The EMC Directive is all about electrical interference – both emissions and immunity. As test house TUV puts it ‘Do not disturb. Do not be disturbed’. When enacted in 1989, the Directive was regarded by many with horror and some degree of panic. Today, EMC is one of the constraints which designers deal with regularly and which results in better products.
The New Legislative Framework was a package of measures designed to improve market surveillance, boost the quality of conformity assessments, and clarify the use of CE Marking. As a result, the 2004 Directive will be replaced in April 2016 by Directive 2014/30/EU – and these changes are likely to have serious repercussions.
There were always concerns about how the EMC Directive would be policed and enforced. Being largely complaints driven, enforcement was expected to be self regulating, with competitors watching each other. “But this did not happen,” observes Nick Wainwright, chief executive of York EMC Services. “Perhaps lack of confidence in their own efforts meant manufacturers kept their heads down.”
As for market surveillance, for more than a decade, cross border EMC investigations have been undertaken by European authorities. They have tackled a range of products known to be sources of EMC problems, including ‘energy saving lamps’, power tools, consumer entertainment systems, LED lighting products and solar panel inverters. In all cases, major shortfalls were found, both in terms of technical assessment (primarily emissions) and administration. Interestingly, the highest number of failures came from LED lighting.
To see more, click here.