EMC, or electromagnetic compatibility, is a critical issue when developing a new product as it has to comply with demanding mandatory standards for the product to be marketed in Europe (CE marking).

The problem is that when the whole system is tested negative, it is often very difficult to trace the problem back to its origin and identify the disturbances. In addition, the environment or the use of the product can strongly affect the results and therefore the electromagnetic compatibility.

EMC, definition and background

EMC, or electromagnetic compatibility, is the ability of an electrical/electronic system to function in harmony with its electromagnetic environment. An EMC-compliant device is one that does not interfere with surrounding systems, but also that is not interfered with by others. The product must therefore be able to manage its emissions but also its susceptibility to the surrounding currencies.

Who is concerned? EMC mainly concerns manufacturers of electrical and electronic products. Any product emitting waves or frequencies is subject to it and this covers a very wide range of products, especially when we know the notoriety of connected products today.

Concerning the CE marking:

At the level of evaluation, there are for electrical and electronic products specifically so-called essential protection and installation requirements with an obligation of result from a legal point of view. It is this part of the assessment that concerns electromagnetic compatibility.

Secondly, there are the formal requirements, which are applicable to any product that wants to be marketed in the EU, even outside electrical and electronic products. This is the set of EU standards that are mandatory for marketing, such as the ban on certain hazardous materials.

Depending on the sector of activity, certain more demanding standards concerning EMC may be passed, which may be sufficient to guarantee the requirements of the CE marking.

The difficulties of EMC for manufacturers:

Three major questions arise for manufacturers when passing the EMC test:

  • Which standard and which values should be taken into consideration since the requirements differ greatly between sectors (aeronautics, consumer, military…)
  • In case of non-compliance, what is its origin? Where does the excessive radiation come from or what is disturbed?
  • How can suppliers of sub-assemblies help us to solve this problem?

To answer these questions, the analysis of the test results can give you some initial answers. Once the precise area of failure has been identified, the manufacturer can turn to the supplier to help solve the compatibility problem. For example, it is possible that certain design precautions have not been followed.

As identifying the source of EMC interference is very complicated, we at Clairitec® have decided to pre-qualify all our products for EMC. This means that our products have been tested according to the standard and common EMC norms, without going through the approval process which is not necessary for a sub-assembly. Our customers can therefore be assured that they will not have any problems with the EMC of the graphic display part.

To sum up, EMC is a complex but nevertheless mandatory directive to pass in order to be CE qualified. That is why it is always better for manufacturers to avoid as much as possible the sources of qualification problems, choosing as much as possible pre-qualified or EMC qualified sub-assemblies and suppliers always ready to help you in this step.

Faced with all these difficulties, Clairitec® becomes your partner of choice to help you design the most suitable graphic product for your needs in the long term. With a non-conformity rate of less than 0.056% in 2020, all our products are EMC pre-qualified and guaranteed to last for 10 years. This means you can offload the graphic display part of your product and the potential compatibility issues associated with it.