Electromagnetic Compatibility


Electromagnetic Compatibility


EMC explained

Do you ever stop to wonder why you are asked to turn off mobile phones and electronic games in an aircraft for take-off or landing or in a hospital, where there are other electrical and electronic systems on which many people's lives may depend?

Interference to digital TV quality


Or is your favourite radio programme interrupted by interference or your TV screen covered in 'snow', for the older analog technology or “breaking up” of the image (see TV screen image above) on the screen for digital technology, when someone uses a vacuum cleaner, an electric drill, or a wireless device such as a mobile phone nearby? Most of the older generation will still remember such problems, even if today (thanks in part to IEC International Standards) they have largely been overcome.


Successful avoidance of these problems illustrates what is called electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).


In simple terms, EMC describes the ability of electronic and electrical systems or components to work correctly when they are close together. In practice this means that the electromagnetic disturbances from each item of equipment must be limited and also that each item must have an adequate level of immunity to the disturbances in its environment.


We indicate that there are sources of disturbances to equipment. IF they affect the equipment adversely, we indicate that the disturbances caused interference affecting the equipment's performance.


EMC concerns us all


The aim of EMC is to ensure the reliability and safety of all types of systems wherever they are used and exposed to electromagnetic environments. So EMC development is closely linked with the whole field of electrical and electronic engineering, including the design and testing of these systems.


The subject concerns industry which develops, tests and manufactures equipment and also those who rely on, for example, the omnipresent electronic elements in heart pacemakers, ABS vehicle braking systems, laptop computers or air traffic control systems.


It is therefore only natural that the IEC, with the global coverage of its International Standards and other technical publications, has been deeply involved with EMC for many decades and will continue to be so.