I. Definition & Purpose of EMC Directive 2014/30/EU
The EMC Directive 2014/30/EU came into force on the 20th of April, 2016 and is aligned to the New Legislative Framework. The Directive ensures that all electrical and electronic equipment, placed on the EU market, comply with the allowed adequate level of electromagnetic compatibility. In this regard, the electrical products shall not generate or be affected by any electromagnetic disturbance. The EMC’s purpose is to keep all side effects, appearing when electrical devices are interconnected or close to each other, under control. For instance, possible interference between TV sets, radios, electrical power lines and others. Moreover, the Directive limits electromagnetic emissions from electrical equipment so that such equipment doesn’t disturb the activity of other equipment, such as radio or telecommunication, when used as intended.
There are two primary objectives of the EMC Directive:
- All electrical and electronic equipment (whether fixed installations or apparatus) that is placed on the EU market must comply with the Directive’s requirements when it’s correctly installed, maintained and utilised for its intended purpose;
- All fixed installations must be characterised with the application of good engineering practice.
II. Scope of EMC Directive 2014/30/EU
The new EMC Directive 2014/30/EU has the same scope like the old one from 2004/108/EC and covers a vast range of equipment, encompassing electrical and electronic appliances, systems and installations, defined as apparatus or fixed installations. In this regard, it’s of importance to specify what apparatus and fixed installations mean.
As “apparatus”, manufacturers shall understand any finished appliance or combination of finished appliances, thereof placed on the EU market as a single functional unit, intended for the end-user, and liable to generate a specific level of electromagnetic disturbance or the performance of which is liable to be affected by such a disturbance. For instance, an apparatus can be:
- Plug-in cards for computers;
- Computer disk drives;
- Programmable logic controllers;
- Electric motors;
- Power supply units if used as autonomous appliances or sold separately for installation by the end-user;
- Electronic temperature controls;
- Mobile installations;
“Fixed installations” refers to a particular combination of several types of apparatus and, where applicable, other devices, which are assembled, installed and intended to be used permanently at a predefined location. For instance, residential electrical installation, national electrical and telephone networks, industrial installations, and others. Within the scope of fixed installations are also included large machines as long as they can be defined as fixed installations. For example, the production lines. More illustrative examples of fixed installations could be, as follows:
- Industrial and power plants;
- Power supply networks;
- Telecommunication, cable TV and computer networks;
- Airport luggage handling installations and airport runway lighting installations;
- Automatic warehouses;
- Skating hall ice rink machinery installations;
- Wind turbine stations;
- Water pumping stations;
- Railway infrastructures;
- Air conditioning installations, and many more.
Within the scope of the Directive are not included electromagnetic fields and their effects, as well as radio systems and aeronautical products, parts and appliances. Likewise, equipment which doesn’t contain any electrical and electronic components is not covered by the Directive’s scope. Other examples of equipment excluded from the EMC Directive’s scope are:
- Resistors, capacitors, filters, inductors,
- Integrated circuits;
- Diodes, transistors, etc.;
- Simple electromagnetic relays and thermostats;
- Cathode ray tubes, and others.
III. EMC requirements
The EMC Directive sets out mandatory essential requirements that all equipment within its scope need to comply with. These essential requirements don’t specify in details the technical specifications but define the results that need to be attained. Moreover, they allow the product design of the equipment to be adapted to the technological progress. The essential requirements are legally-binding for all equipment within the scope of the Directive and allow only compliant equipment to be placed on the EU market. The essential requirements are split into two parts:
1. General requirements for all equipment – All electrical equipment, when designed, manufactured and placed on the EU market, must comply with the following criteria:
- The electromagnetic disturbance generated when specific equipment is utilised must not exceed the level allowing the normal functioning of radio or another type of equipment;
- The equipment has an adequate level of immunity to electromagnetic disturbance, and it can operate without unacceptable degradation of its intended use;
- The equipment shall be designed and manufactured with regards to the state of the art.
2. Specific requirements for fixed installations:
- Application of good engineering practise;
- All documents required in case of inspection should be kept safely by a responsible person;
- Respecting the information on the intended use of all of its components.
The new EMC Directive sets out new obligations to manufacturers of electrical equipment (apparatus or fixed installations) in regards to the necessary conformity procedures for placing a product on the EU market. The EMC Directive 2014/30/EU states expressly that it is no longer sufficient the electromagnetic compatibility of equipment to be verified only by test reports containing EMC test data or on the basis of expert analysis. Now, the electromagnetic compatibility of an apparatus or fixed installations has to be confirmed by appropriate risk analysis and assessment (see figure 1). Both, the adequate analysis and evaluation of the risk, shall be included in the technical documentation of the product.
Figure 1. Risk assessment and reduction
Source: CENELEC Guide 32:2014, p.14
What has changed?
The new EMC Directive from 2016 still requires manufacturers to perform an electromagnetic compatibility assessment of equipment on the basis of electromagnetic phenomena. What they can no longer do is to follow the alternative approach for applying European standards stated in the old EMC Directive. The mentioned alternative approach hadn’t been included in the content of the new EMC Directive due to the need for aligning the Directive with the New Legislative Framework.
V. Types of conformity assessment procedures
The EMC Directive 2014/30/EU sets out the following conformity assessment procedures for apparatus and fixed installations:
A. Internal production control:
- Evaluation of the electromagnetic compatibility of the equipment on the basis of the relevant phenomena, with the aim of meeting the essential general requirements
- Creation of a technical file that shall contain the following information (see an example of a Technical file)
- The manufacturing of the product shall be in accordance to the product’s technical documentation and the essential requirements of the Directive.
- Every individual product that complies with the EMC’s requirements must have affixed the CE mark on it (learn more about the CE mark itself).
- Creation of a Declaration of Conformity (see an example of a Declaration of Conformity).
B. An EU-type examination that is followed by Conformity to type based on internal production control.
a) EU-type examination refers to the assessment phase when a notified body needs to examine the technical design of equipment and verify and attest that the same meets the essential requirements of the EMC Directive. Consequently, the notified body must issue an EU-type examination certificate to the manufacturer. A copy of the certificate, along with any annexes, additions and the product’s technical documentation, shall be at the disposal of the respective national authorities for ten years after the product’s introduction to the market.
b) Compliance to type based on internal production control refers to the assessment phase where the manufacturer fulfils the following obligations:
- Manufacturing of the product according to the essential requirements of EMC Directive 2014/30/EU and the product’s technical file
- Affixing the CE mark on every individual product that complies with the EMC’s essential requirements (learn more about the CE mark itself).
- Creation of a Declaration of Conformity for certifying the CE compliance of the equipment (see an example of a Declaration of Conformity).
Both procedures mentioned above are not mandatory in cases when the apparatus is intended for integration into a particular fixed installation and is otherwise not made available on the market.