Article | June 28, 2006

Immunity Testing For The CE Mark

Source: AR
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By Rodger Gensel, AR


The European Union (EU) currently has 25 member countries with 2 additional countries to be added in 2007. The total population at that time will be nearly a half billion people. In 2005, the total exports to the EU accounted for 20% of the total US exports. This number should continue to grow and should create more business for US exporters in years to come. Since January 1, 1996, manufacturers of electronic equipment have had to meet the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) guidelines of EC Council Directive 89/336/EEC when shipping electrical and electronic products to the EU. Manufacturers must test and certify that their equipment meets the directive and they must apply a CE mark as testimony to this. Current and pending changes to the specifications that describe the tests to be made, place more stringent requirements on the equipment used for CE mark testing. Indeed, future changes will require that the testing equipment be able to expand its capabilities without causing the equipment to become useless.


The legally prescribed test requirements for EMC standards in the EU are issued by CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization. CENELEC issues both Generic and Product standards. The generic standards are EN 61000-6-1, which addresses the requirements for immunity testing in the residential, commercial and light industrial environment. The industrial environment immunity testing required is addressed by EN61000-6-2. The generic standard for emission requirements in the residential, commercial and light industrial environment is covered in IEC 61000-6-3 and the industrial environment is addressed in EN 61000-6-4.

The generic standards above apply to products for which no dedicated product or product-family standard exists. If a product or product-family standard exists, it takes the place of the generic standards in prescribing the test requirements. The generic and product-family standards outline the test requirements. They refer to what is known as the Basic Standards to define the tests to be performed, the test methods, the test set-up and the specifications of the generator used to simulate interference phenomena. The International Electrotechnical Commisson (IEC) writes the basic standards to which CENELEC refers in their EN's. This article will focus on five of the European Standards from CENELEC used in the immunity portion of the standards, four of which are required by the generic standards for CE mark certification.

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Technical Article: Immunity Testing For The CE Mark