Series 14 – Episode 4 – Navigating the upcoming changes to EMC regulations

23rd February 2024
Paige West

Paige West speaks with Guido Schlegelmilch, Head of Product, Schaffner about the upcoming changes to the EMC regulations.

Founded in 1962, Schaffner has established itself as a global market leader in EMC filtering, boasting a revenue of approximately 160 million Swiss francs in the last fiscal year. With a commitment to innovation and quality, Schaffner operates worldwide, offering a broad range of standard and customised EMC solutions across various industries including energy management, automotive, medical, and data centres.

The conversation then shifted to the critical updates in EMC regulations, where Schlegelmilch explained the current framework aimed at ensuring electromagnetic compatibility. The regulations are crucial for maintaining the reliability and safety of electrical products. He highlighted the division of regulations into basic, generic, and product-specific standards, each serving to mitigate electromagnetic interference within their respective domains.

The expanded regulations will soon mean frequencies will be regulated from 150kHz down to 9kHz, design engineers must be prepared for these changes and take action sooner rather than later.

This adjustment aims to address the increasing electromagnetic interference caused by modern electrical applications and infrastructure. Schlegelmilch underscored the challenges this poses for product design and compliance, suggesting that the integration of active EMC filters may become more prevalent.

For businesses, adapting to these new regulations will require a reassessment of design practices and possibly incur additional costs. Schlegelmilch advised early engagement with these requirements to mitigate financial impacts and stressed the importance of updated testing and certification processes to ensure compliance. He recommended leveraging expertise from leaders in the field who are well-versed in the evolving standards and can provide comprehensive support from testing to solution implementation.

Looking ahead, Schlegelmilch emphasised the critical timeline for adopting these changes, with key implementations expected in 2026. He urged businesses to prepare proactively, highlighting the risks of non-compliance including market delays and reputational damage. The overarching message was clear: timely adaptation to these regulatory updates is not just a compliance issue but a strategic imperative for maintaining competitiveness and market presence in the rapidly evolving electronics industry.

To hear more about the changes to EMC regulations, and much more, you can listen to Electronic Specifier’s interview with Guido Schlegelmilch on Spotify or Apple podcasts.

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