Tech Brief: Electromagnetic Compatibility - Demystifying the Specifications

Feb. 17, 2009
FCC/CE, UL, CSA, Class 1, Div 2 - what does it all mean? Here are all of the specifications demystified and easy to understand.

So just what is a “Robust Product?” There is no clear definition, but if your product functionality needs to perform outside of the “standard”, then you may need a “Robust Product”. Sure, you can go to engineering web sites and compare “EMC” (Electromagnetic Compatibility) and other specifications for various products, but how do you know what is just passable and what will really make your system robust? This paper will review some EMC specifications and give you a better understanding of what you should consider paying extra for and what are simply “to-be-expected.”

There are four general categories to be considered:

  • EMC – this includes FCC/CE tests such as ESD and EFT
  • Mechanical – shock, vibration, drop testing
  • Safety – UL, CSA, TUV, Class 1 Division 2
  • Miscellaneous – Isolation, RFI Suppression, Enclosure ratings
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