Preliminary compatibility tests with the Power Electronics Group, Aragon Engineering Research Institute (I3A)
Ensuring EMC compliance in the development cycle
REGNER® EDITORIAL TEAM
The Power Electronics and Microelectronics Group –GEPM– is a research group at the Engineering Research Institute of Aragon (I3A). Its activities and research are focused on power electronics and microelectronics technologies used in household, industrial, communication and biomedical applications.
On 21 February a team of electronic engineers from REGNER® visited the GEPM facilities in order to carry out preliminary EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) certification tests on a new generation of actuators.
An important member of the GEPM is Arturo Mediano Heredia, one of the most respected researchers in EMC and EMI. He has worked in the development and analysis of a wide variety of electronic products. This engineer’s area of work is very significant in both industrial and academic fields. He has outstanding experience in collaborating with well-respected national and international companies; he provides expert training on the Master of Electronic Engineering and the Master of Telecommunication Engineering courses at EINA; he also provides professional training for Asian and American industry, especially in Silicon Valley.
EMC design rules can vary greatly depending on whether you are designing high-speed computer equipment, low-cost mixed-signal consumer products, or high-power industrial controls; but as Arturo asserts, the basic principles of EMC are the same in all industries. By applying these principles in an organised way, it is possible to review a design circuit by circuit to ensure that any specific EMC requirements are met.
Taking these rules into account, the GEPM facilitates EMC, ESD and immunity testing to meet all companies’ compliance needs. When an unacceptable value is found, Arturo Mediano, with his extensive experience in electronic devices of all kinds, advises appropriately to either change a component or redesign the electronics.
From product design to prototype evaluation and pre-compliance with full pre-certification tests, the GEPM evaluates the device according to the requirements of the EMC Directive:
EMC pre-compliance analysis
GEPM provides real-time and highly repeatable identification of problem frequencies, sources and their physical locations.
Electrostatic discharge can cause numerous problems for electronic devices. ESD testing can simulate the electrostatic impacts that devices may experience during operation. ESD testing can determine whether a product complies with IEC 61000-4-2 and can help identify ESD reduction measures.
Radiated and conducted immunity testing
Radiated immunity tests measure the intensity of unintended emissions that may be generated by the product. GEPM helps to identify what those emissions look like and whether or not they are within the required limits.
Design for Electromagnetic Compatibility
At REGNER®, when the design of a new actuator begins according to the customer’s requirements, mechanical engineering is first responsible for its development and then,together with electronics, determines where to house the electronics that will facilitate the movement of the actuator and its communications.
Increasingly there is a need for smaller actuators with higher performance. Electronic engineers often have little room to accommodate all the components and, more importantly, must ensure that their design doesn’t give rise to any electromagnetic compatibility problems.
So when electronic engineers finally receive the prototype to test the electronic designit is not uncommon for them to encounter a number of obstacles that will have an impact on the design. Often the problem is solved by making a small adjustment, but sometimes it requires a redesign. This is why pre-compliance testing is so important, to ensure that all scenarios have been considered and that the device does not fail in any way during the certification phase.
At REGNER® we are very clear about a number of considerations when it comes to the electronic design of any of our products:
- EMC and electrical safety compliance aremandatory requirements for most markets.
- In each of our projects, all EMC requirements and electrical safety requirements are included in the project specifications.
- REGNER® has its own defined objectives for compliance with the standards for each phase of development.
- For this reason, electronic engineers are very aware of the EMC and electrical safety standards and during the design process they consider all relevant requirements that may have an impact.
- At REGNER®, we believe that pre-compliance testing is necessary to pass all certification tests – nothing is left to chance.