More EMC Standards published as Redline Versions

Latest editions of two International Standards for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) published.

By Morand Fachot

Two important International Standards for EMC have been published as Redline Versions (RLVs) also. Both are generic immunity Standards, one for residential, commercial and light-industrial environments, the second for industrial environments. These Standards and their RLV versions are also third editions that replace the previous ones published in 2005. 

EMC testing chamber for aircraft EMC testing for F-16 aircraft in anechoic test chamber (Photo: US Air Force)

Generic EMC Standards – a building block

EMC is 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.  

Generic EMC Standards specify a limited number of essential emission and immunity tests, as well as minimum test levels. They refer to basic EMC standards, which specify the general conditions or rules necessary for achieving EMC for detailed measurement and test methods. The aim of generic EMC Standards is to ensure adequate compatibility at the same time as achieving a good balance between technical and economic considerations. They also "fill the gap" during the time taken to develop product standards

Both Standards just published in RLVs were developed by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 77: Electromagnetic compatibility. They are:

  • IEC 61000-6-1:2016 RLV, Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 6-1: Generic standards – Immunity standard for residential, commercial and light-industrial environments
  • IEC 61000-6-2:2016 RLV, Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) – Part 6-2: Generic standards – Immunity standard for industrial environments

Their scope is very similar, nearly identical. The only differences are that IEC 61000-6-1 "applies also to equipment which is battery operated or is powered by a non-public, but non-industrial, low voltage power distribution system if this equipment is intended to be used [in residential, commercial, public and light-industrial locations]", whilst IEC 61000-6-2 "applies also to equipment intended to be directly connected to a DC distribution network or which is battery operated, and intended to be used in industrial locations."

The normative references to documents indispensable to their applications are identical.

Both Standards contain the following:

  • scope
  • normative references
  • terms and definitions
  • performance criteria
  • conditions during testing
  • product documentation
  • applicability
  • measurement uncertainty
  • immunity test requirements

In addition to the above, these Standards include guidance for product Committees, as well as figures for equipment ports and tables that cover immunity requirements for enclosure port, signal/control ports, input and output DC and AC power ports, and a table for immunity tests and test levels to be considered in future or for particular product families.

Significant changes compared to second editions

Since these Standards cover parallel aspects, but for different environments, the significant technical changes included in the new editions with respect to the previous editions are identical, they include:

  • improvement of the environmental description
  • extension of the frequency range for the radio-frequency electromagnetic field test according to IEC 61000-4-3:2010, EMC – Part 4-3, Testing and measurement techniques – Radiated, radio-frequency, electromagnetic field immunity test
  • amended test levels at particular frequencies for the radio-frequency electromagnetic field test according to IEC 61000-4-3:2010;
  • change of the repetition frequency for the fast transients immunity test according to IEC 61000-4-4:2012EMC – Part 4-4, testing and measurement techniques – Electrical fast transient/burst immunity test;
  • introduction of requirements according to IEC 61000-4-34:2009, EMC – Part 4-34: Testing and measurement techniques – Voltage dips, short interruptions and voltage variations immunity tests for equipment with mains current more than 16 A per phase
  • revision of the test levels
  • consideration of measurement uncertainty
  • the addition of an Annex covering guidance for product Committees 

Given the extent of changes in these new editions compared to the previous ones, these International Standards are also available as Redline versions with track changes.

Redline versions (available in English only) provide users with a quick and easy way of comparing all the changes between Standards and their previous edition. As such they are highly valued. In Redline version, a vertical bar appears in the margin wherever a change has been made. Additions and deletions are displayed in red, with deletions being struck through. First introduced in 2008, Redline versions are now available for 89 International Standards.

The complete list of IEC RLV Standards is available here.

EMC chamber EMC testing chamber (Photo: TÜV Rheinland)
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